Top 10 Tools for Creating Mind Maps

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A mind map is a tree-like diagram: in the center the key topic (idea, problem), and around it the constituent parts (tasks, resources). It illustrates both the objects themselves and the connections between them.

The main map helps to structure information, visualize the process of thinking and generating ideas. It can even help you create a content plan where you don't just need to write high-quality texts but also make your readers go and see the best odds on live matches. It can also be useful to draw the logic of a chain of letters, think about segmentation of the base, or make a to-do list.

The diagram can be drawn manually on paper and in ordinary graphic editors, but it's more convenient to work with special tools. Here are 10 platforms, divided into two categories:

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  • With strict and concise design. Working in them is more like drafting than drawing.
  • With a bright and unusual design. You can set up customization of lines, blocks, and in some even insert images.

Platforms With a Strict and Concise Design

These are platforms where strict geometric shapes prevail. Drawing is more like constructing a diagram. The services offer many templates that are convenient to use for a specific task: planning an event, building a sales funnel or creating a plan for an article.

Xmind

With Xmind, thoughts are easily structured due to the logic of the platform. There is a central topic and its branches: main topic – subtopics. Everything is intuitive and easy. From 2021, you can make simple mind maps right in your browser – you don't have to install a program or an application.

However, there is no real-time collaborative editing, the web version only saves in PNG.

The trial access for the desktop program is limited: for example, you can't add images and remove the watermark. The web version is free, but there are no watermarks, there is integration with Google Drive, and most features are available.

Here's what you can do on the paid plan:

  • Create tables on templates for a specific task: for example, business plans or SWOT-analysis.
  • Add a background to the map – so it's easier to read individual elements.
  • Choose the format of lines and their colors, which helps to visually divide the map into meaningful blocks.
  • Choose geometric shapes to draw and emphasize block content with shapes.
  • Use LaTeX for mathematical formulas.
  • Save the image not only in PNG but also in PDF, Word, Excel, OPML, Textbundle.

Diagrams

There are over a hundred templates in Diagrams. You can change shapes, arrows, text color, and background color. You can add mathematical formulas and pictures. Another big advantage is that creating mind maps is completely free.

Here's what you can do for free:

  • Create a chart even without registering.
  • Save files to Google Drive, OneDrive or computer memory.
  • Share maps with employees quickly and easily – you can embed them in Google Docs, HTML, Notion.
  • Set up integrations with Jira, GitHub, Dropbox, and more.
  • Download files in different formats: PNG, SVG, PDF, XML, etc.

Mindmeister

The design is strict and concise. The program is great for planning and building sales funnels. However, no more than 3 maps can be created without a subscription.

What is possible on the free plan:

  • Create multiple maidcards as well as presentations based on them.
  • Get access to a library of icons and images.
  • Export the map in text format, but then the visual component is immediately lost.
  • Get technical support by mail (but paid plans have priority).
  • Work with the team in real time.

What you can with your subscription:

  • Personal Package. Create maps with no restrictions, print multiple pages, export to image and PDF files, and get priority support.
  • Pro Package. Everything on the Personal plan, plus export to DOCX and PPTX, the ability to add custom styles, and custom map themes.
  • Business Package. Everything on the "Pro" plan, plus backups, custom domains, and the ability to add multiple administrators.

Simple Mind

The map looks concise, very simple to operate. However, there is no online version and many limitations of the free version (iOS/Android apps only).

What is possible on the free plan:

  • Add numbering to the map, which helps you organize large amounts of information.
  • Set one of 15+ styles.
  • Create an unlimited number of blocks. This allows you to make large maps and detail them regularly.

What you can do on the paid plan:

  • Synchronize your map with Dropbox and Google Drive.
  • Export mind map in PDF or image format – the map can be printed or used as a document.
  • Add images or photos.
  • Add icons (right-hand pane of the interface) to help draw the team's attention to certain blocks.
  • Add links to documents or web pages, so it takes less time to get additional information outside of the map.
  • Use checkboxes and auto numbering.

Platforms With a Bright and Unusual Design

The cards on this list have a memorable design: colors, unusual lines, and shapes. In some of them you can draw or add blocks in the form of images.

Coggle

In Coggle, you can log in through your Google account. Immediately visible hints on how to work with the service, but even without them the interface is easy to understand.

What is possible on the free plan:

  • Create up to 3 personal mind-maps.
  • Get access to the cards of other users.
  • Use about 1,600 available icons that help to highlight meaningful blocks.
  • View history of changes. Useful when more than one person is working on a map at once.
  • Download a map in PDF or image format.
  • Export as .mm and text, in Microsoft Visio format.
  • Create embeddable charts and non-standard mental maps with multiple starting points at once.

A paid subscription includes unlimited number of maps, line style management, team work on maps. On the organization rate, charts can be branded.

Ayoa

Ayoa has a cool design, really creative and unconventional. Lots of features. However, it was not immediately clear how to add new blocks and format the line style.

There is no free plan, on the paid one you can:

  • Use different templates for the cards you create: performance training, goal setting, organizer, and others.
  • Connect a team to work and chat with colleagues.
  • Set tags, set deadlines for tasks, make notes/notes to branches.
  • Choose the style of branches: allows you to go from a more strict design to a creative one.
  • Customize filters, notifications and reminders.
  • Integrate the product with Google Calendar, Zoom, Evernote.

Mindmup

The map is intuitive from the first second and easy to build. You can make blocks as images, add tables and links.

What you can do on the free plan:

  • Create an unlimited number of maps.
  • Save content to Google Drive.
  • Export to PDF, image, and document files.
  • Share smart maps for public access.

What you can do on paid plans:

  • Personal Gold. Everything on the free plan, as well as creating large maps and connecting a team to work.
  • Organizations Gold. Everything on the Personal Gold plan, as well as export to Office 365 and get personal tech support.
  • Team Gold. Everything on the previous plan, as well as a ban on distributing cards outside the company's domain and a password manager.

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