Overview of 18 mind mapping tools

Get acquainted

An intelligence card is a schematic depiction of the key thoughts of a book, the main points of a speaker’s speech or your most important action plan. With their help, it is convenient to clean up information chaos. Intellect cards have many names - mental map, mind mapping, thought map, communication diagram, Mind map.

The word mind is translated as mind. Psychologists are sure: by drawing maps with felt-tip pens on sheets, you will really become smarter and unleash the potential of your brain. Let's leave these thoughts to the scientists and talk about the practical implementation of mind mapping.

What, where and how to draw?

The card is vaguely like a tree. Or a spider. Or an octopus. In general, something that has a center and branches.

In the center - the main idea or problem. Key points depart from it. Each item, too, if necessary, is divided into several smaller items. And so, until the whole problem is clearly worked out.

What is a good card format?

  1. The conceptual text is perceived better than the sheets, because it is shorter and simpler.
  2. Saves time perception of information.
  3. In the process of mapping improves memorization material.
  4. When working on projects using colorization of branches, areas of responsibility are clearly shown.

How to create cards

We will not be wise and complicated - let's use the algorithm of the author of the maps, Tony Buzan.

  • Observe the hierarchy of thoughts;
  • In the center - the main question. Graphic images (drawings, pictograms) are welcome;
  • Give images, blocks, rays volume. So the map is more easily perceived;
  • Leave the distance between the blocks, do not fence the fence of rays;
  • If you want to emphasize the connection between the elements, use lines, arrows, the same color;
  • Express thoughts briefly and clearly. Simple font, one keyword above the corresponding line, the main lines are smoother and more bold, position the words horizontally.
Intellect card - as a service Glavred, only for the brain. Helps to clean out the trash of thoughts.

Intellect cards are useful ...

... at work:

  • Plan your work projects. In many programs, all team members can share. Changes are made to the map, tasks are prioritized, the implementation process is monitored;
  • Get ready and have a meeting. With the help of the maps, you will chart the performance, highlight key points, set the logic of the narration. The programs have the ability to create a presentation - this will help you to visualize the materials for the planning meeting;
  • Make a strategy. Maps, in my opinion, ideal. They help to go from the general to the particular;
  • Brainstorm. Some programs even have a special mode.

... in training:

  • Record key thoughts of the seminar, lectures. Such a summary will help to remember the train of thought;
  • Sort the information. You always have free space to finish an important thought.

... in everyday life:

  • Plan. I use maps to create plans for the week, month, prepare for important events;
  • Make lists. It can be a list of books, films, webinars, purchases, gifts or just a list of things that need to be done sometime;
  • Write the notes of the books read. One main branch is one chapter. Brief thoughts, theses, main points perfectly fit into the format of maps. In addition, some programs have the ability to make hidden notes. Hover over a specific block and there will open a window detailing what is written in the block.

We evaluate

I chose 15 programs (+3 from the editorial board) for creating mental maps. In the collection there are popular services for drawing and little-known. They differ in design, export capabilities, ease of management. Some programs are more suitable for personal use, others help to plan work and study effectively. The description applies only to free versions. Read the review and choose a program that is convenient for you.

For your convenience, I also prepared a comparative table of the capabilities of all the programs presented in the table. Click here to go directly to the table.


Link: //www.mindmeister.com/ru

MindMeister features:

  • Registration required. The alternative is to log in through external services and accounts in social networks;
  • Synchronization with MeisterTask - project management application;
  • There are standard templates (about 60 pieces) and the ability to upload your own pictures or backgrounds;
  • The card is easy to share with colleagues, giving the selective right to edit the map;
  • Integrates with Google tools, as well as Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, etc.


  1. Free basic package. It has only 3 cards. You can export them only as text, you can also receive one card per invited friend;
  2. Personal Rate ($ 4.99). Unlimited number of cards, printing multiple pages, export to drawing, PDF, priority support;
  3. Tariff Pro ($ 8.25). All that in the previous tariff plus Sign in to Google Apps for Domains, multi-user licensing, export to .docx and .pptx, custom theme maps for the whole team, getting statistics and reports;
  4. Tariff Business ($ 12.49). Everything in the previous tariff, plus the creation of groups within the program, the creation of a custom domain for logging into the system, support for exporting and creating backup copies, priority support around the clock.

My impressions

The program is noteworthy if you have small requests. MindMeister even in the free version has a fairly wide functionality: different styles and colors of the blocks, changing the color of the text and its outlines. A small menu appears on the right and you can change the design mode using the toggle buttons. Convenient, compact, simple. Maps are easy to draw: select the block from which the next rays should go, and click on the plus sign. Want to color the blocks and add icons, emoticons - also work.


Link: //www.mindmup.com/

MindMup Features:

  • There are all the main opportunities to create high-quality design;
  • Simple operation;
  • Free export to PDF (link available during the day);
  • Maps are synchronized if the devices have one account;
  • Import images from disk or cloud in 2 clicks.


  1. Free package. Users of the free version can create public maps up to 100 Kb for a period of 6 months;
  2. Individual Gold ($ 2.99 / month). Unlimited number of cards, up to 5 messages in the mail, the volume of cards up to 100 MB, storage on Google Drive;
  3. Team Gold ($ 50 / year for 10 users, $ 100 / year for 100 users). Unlimited number of maps, work with Google / GAFE;
  4. Corporate Gold ($ 100 / year). Unlimited users and maps created by them, working with Google / GAFE.

My impressions

MindMup is ideal for beginners, because there is no chain of complex actions. You can insert a picture or edit the caption with two clicks, create new blocks or delete them with one click. At the same time, the map looks aesthetic, it is understandable and logical. It can be individualized by adding photos. At the time of adding, you can easily change the size of the image, place it under the text or on the side.


Link: //mind42.com/

Mind42 Features:

  • Only the main functionality: adding icons, notes, main and additional nodes;
  • Laconic card design;
  • Export to JPEG, PDF, PNG and several more;
  • You can add your map to the general groups of Mind42 or view other people's maps;
  • The ability to work together on the card;
  • Set the priority of the task block. View priority is easy, if you hover the cursor on a special icon.

My impressions

It seems that the creators of the program have already decided a lot for me. For example, they established their own order in which the branches will be located, offered only one type of font and blocks. But you can set the priority and progress of the tasks. In general, the possibilities of Mind42 are modest, like young girls in ancient Russia.


Link: //www.xmind.net/

XMind Features:

  • A large number of templates: fishbone, business plans, SWOT analysis and other useful things;
  • Stylish design, bright design - the background on the entire map or separately on the blocks, a large selection of styles, lines, colors and shapes;
  • Brainstorming;
  • Convenient creation of presentations.


  1. Free. All kinds of diagrams and cloud sync.
  2. XMind: ZEN Desktop ($ 4.58 / month). Full-featured desktop version.
  3. XMind: ZEN Desktop + Mobile ($ 4.99 / month). Desktop + mobile version.
  4. XMind: ZEN Mobile ($ 1.24 / month). Mobile version.
  5. XMind 8 Pro ($ 129). In the PRO-account, export is available in PDF, PPT, SVG, OpenOffice, more than 60,000 icons, Gantt charts, presentation mode and brainstorming.

My impressions

Using XMind is definitely worth it. I thought about the paid version, but so far I have enough and trimmed free. The program has a lot of opportunities. Choosing her for simple drawing up plans or notes is the same as driving a Ferrari in the countryside. The program is more suitable for professional teamwork. I like XMind for its design and ease of drawing.

MindJet Mindmanager

Link: //www.mindjet.com/ru

Features MingManager:

  • Templates are categorized - meetings and events, management, strategic planning, personal productivity, troubleshooting, flowcharts;
  • According to the design possibilities, it resembles Word - it is also simple and easy to choose text color, shape of a flowchart, fill, font, alignment, bulleted lists;
  • Prioritization of actions. You can set the sequence of tasks, put beacons such as "risk", "discuss", "postpone", "costs", "for", "against";
  • You can brainstorm, build Gantt charts, link cards together. Easily switch between tabbed maps;
  • There is a MindManager Plus web account for saving files in the cloud;
  • Transfer data from Microsoft Outlook.


Perpetual license. For Mac costs 13 000 r, for Windows 25 000 r. Creation of interactive maps, the establishment of a timeframe for completing tasks, exporting maps in various formats

My impressions

Mindmanager offers a lot of training materials, technical support service works. Card design can be both laconic and playful, if you want it. Management is simple, all the necessary buttons at hand. If you study this program thoroughly, then it is quite possible to use it for home and work. The data from Excel, Outlook is inserted into the map, other maps can be inserted. Personally, I do not need so many functions yet.


Link: //personalbrain.en.softonic.com/

Features PersonalBrain:

  • From the design, you can change only the theme;
  • Most features are available after purchasing paid work packages;
  • Complicated program management;
  • Shows a three-dimensional image of the mind map.


  1. The main paid package ($ 219). Printing, adding files, links, pictures, notes are available;
  2. Pro Packs ($ 299). You can integrate calendar and events, spell check, save reports, multi-page printing, export maps. The difference between the packages Pro License, Pro Combo, TeamBrain in the presence of the desktop version and cloud storage.

My impressions

Did not like First, I completed the application installation quest, put checkmarks and dots in the required fields. Then she opened the map and was disappointed in the management. You click the wrong place - the central unit is changing, and you are disorganized. Well, the design is gloomy. In general, I did not make friends with her.

iMind Map

Link: //imindmap.com/

Features iMindMap:

  • The program offers 4 modes: fixing ideas and thoughts, brainstorming, creating mind maps, converting data into 2D and 3D presentations, pdf files, spreadsheets and other formats;
  • About 130 kinds of styles;
  • At the beginning of work there are prompts: click on the icon, use Tab and Enter;
  • There is a spell checker;
  • Very bright animated presentations;
  • You can take notes on each branch, use icons from a series of finance, transportation, arrows, calendar, communications, flags, numbers, people, etc., change the format of flowcharts, set deadlines and priorities, add audio files;
  • Time map;
  • Import files in IMX, Doc, Docx, IMM, MM, MMAP;
  • Export files in PDF, SVG, 3D image, table, web page, project, audio, DropTask, Power Point presentation, archiving to a zip file.


  1. For home and school (80 €). Creating and editing maps, adding images, creating art projects, adding links and notes, 30 days of use, one license;
  2. Maximum (190 €). Adds to the capabilities of the previous package even brainstorming, creating presentations, exporting video from YouTube, integration with DropTask, three-dimensional image, converting to different formats, a license for a year and 2 computers;
  3. Maximum Plus (€ 250). Adds books and CDs of Tony Buzan, the founder of mental maps, to the capabilities of the previous package.

My impressions

One of the best programs I've used. XMind and MindMup would be next to her. Very easy to manage. Easily switch between fixation, brainstorming, mind maps and time maps, draw blocks and the relationships between them. If you want to recreate the atmosphere of drawing with markers on the drawing paper, then in iMind Map you can draw branches by hand.


Link: //bubbl.us/

Bubbl Features:

  • Not very convenient management, you need to get used to;
  • Only the general color scheme changes; the font, the text color or the shape of nodes cannot be changed separately;
  • 3 cards are created for free;
  • The map is saved in formats JPEG, PNG, HTML.


  1. Premium ($ 4.91 per month). Create an unlimited number of maps, track the change history, add files and images;
  2. Corporate rate. There are several licenses available, user account management, user branding. The cost of the corporate tariff depends on the number of accounts and the term of the subscription.

My impressions

Nothing special. Management seemed complicated to me, design was ordinary. Who needs a business style card - welcome!


Link: //www.comapping.com/

Features Comapping:

  • There is only one type of card;
  • Small design possibilities;
  • Maps can be sent to e-mail, saved in SVG, PDF, Xmind, Freemind, MindManager formats;
  • The service is used for brainstorming, event planning, training.


Paid versions are based on the number of licenses and versions: online or desktop. One online license costs $ 25 per year, the desktop is $ 49, and the maximum package of 100 licenses is $ 612 and $ 1225 is the discounted price.

My impressions

Nice program, but I don’t like this map structure. I love it when the main idea is in the center. The design also didn’t go to me. What then is it nice? Its simplicity, unobtrusive design. I liked how the marks on the map stand out in gray, for example, “competitor analysis”. They do not distract attention, and bear the benefit.


Link: //www.mindgenius.com/mind-map-software/

MindGenius Features:

  • Good for teamwork, educational process. Emphasis is placed on working with enterprises;
  • The design possibilities are optimal - the size, color, font type, background fill color, and block shape change;
  • Add pictures, links, notes - there is such a function too;
  • There are mobile apps for iOS and Android;
  • Export maps in MS Office, JPEG, PNG, PDF, HTML
  • A large number of different templates, there are Gantt charts, Swot analysis, and for each type there are also tutorials.


  1. MindGenius2019 by subscription ($ 160 / year, from the second year - $ 56 / year). It includes the program itself and a subscription to the online version + updates.
  2. MindGenius2019 unlimited ($ 256). Includes a perpetual software license and a one-year subscription to the online version. A year later, the latter can be extended for $ 42.
  3. MindGeniusOnline ($ 16 / month or $ 160 / year). Subscribe to the online version.

My impressions

Nice design, friendly control, great features - a good program, in general. If I manage the company, take note of MindGenius.


Link: //www.mapul.com/

Mapul features:

  • Unusual design. Bright juicy colors of lines and blocks;
  • Maps are saved in formats JPEG, SVG;
  • A small selection of colors and fonts;
  • Not very convenient management. The lines are difficult to change after drawing, the text jumps over them and is difficult to read.


  1. Free version. One card and 4 images;
  2. Premium package. The number of cards is unlimited. Premium can be purchased for 3, 6 or 12 months. Accordingly, $ 25, $ 35, $ ​​49.

My impressions

The design simply won me over: bright, juicy, unusual. But the process of drawing disappoint. I want to align the line - instead, the program draws me an additional branch. In general, if you adapt yourself, Mapul can be your favorite.


Link: //www.mindomo.com/ru/

Features Mindomo:

  • Three accounts: teacher, businessman, student;
  • 24 card templates are offered;
  • Возможность совместной работы над картой несколькими пользователями. При изменении карты приходят уведомления на электронную почту;
  • Есть возможность резервного копирования;
  • Добавляются аудио- и видео-записи, изображения, гиперссылки, иконки, символы;
  • Устанавливается приоритетность задач, добавляются комментарии к блокам.


Покупаются на полгода. In all tariffs unlimited number of mind maps, backup to DropBox and Google. Disk, adding audio and video, password protection of cards, desktop version, synchronization between devices, 7 import formats.

  1. Premium ($ 36). It has 8 export formats, 1 GB of memory, 1 user;
  2. Professional ($ 90). It has 12 export formats, 5 GB of memory, 1 user;
  3. Team ($ 142). It has 12 export formats, 15 GB of memory, 5 users.

My impressions

After working in Mindomo, there is a pleasant aftertaste. Drawing is simple - just press the button next to the block. Pictures are inserted easily and immediately in the optimal size. I liked that you can make notes to each block in the form of simple text or lists - very convenient.


Link: //coggle.it/

Coggle features:

  • Pop-up tips in English;
  • Peculiar management. New branches, for example, appear by double pressing, the color scheme appears when you right-click;
  • There is only one map in the free version;
  • Export PNG, PDF;
  • Collaboration on the map. There are chat and comments;
  • History of changes. The slider moves along the scale, returning the map to the desired editing segment;
  • More than 1600 icons;
  • Available gallery of other cards;
  • Sync with Google Drive, requires an account.


  1. Awesome. $ 5 per month or $ 50 per year. Unlimited number of maps, presentation mode, shared folders, high-resolution image downloads, a wide selection of color schemes;
  2. Organization (corporate). $ 8 per month. Added separate workspace, consolidated billing, user and time management, corporate identity.

My impressions

The design did not like at all. Management is not very difficult to understand, tips are nearby. Lines and blocks are easy to create, change direction. Runner with the abolition of changes in the map - just salvation.

ConceptDraw MINDMAP

Link: //conceptdraw.com/

ConceptDraw MINDMAP features:

  • There are ready-made themes. The design features are standard: the size of the letters is changed, the background of the text and the card itself is filled;
  • The map is converted into a text list and vice versa;
  • Hyperlinks, notes, icons, tags are added;
  • Wide settings for creating a presentation;
  • Maps are imported from Xmaind, FreeMaind, MindManager, Word, Power Point;
  • Export to PDF, web pages, MindManager, Word, Power Point. You can export the file checklist with completed and outstanding tasks;
  • You can show presentations via Skype, post to Twitter, send by email and save to Evernote;
  • In addition to maps, you can draw diagrams and various flowcharts, manage projects;
  • By default, the map is saved on your computer in the "My Documents" folder.


This program is not easy pricing. It depends on the number of users plus additional functions are taken into account. For $ 199, you will purchase the simplest version for 1 license, an update for the program costs $ 99, a package for corporate use costs $ 299, and 10 licenses for educational tasks cost $ 638.

My impressions

Many useful features in the program. As an addition to the service of creating mind cards, there is also a line of programs for creating business graphics and project management. In general, this is a huge set of tools specifically for business.


Link: //ncase.me/loopy

LOOPY Features:

The service allows you to create "live" schemes in which elements move between blocks. This allows you to illustrate some kind of cyclical processes.


The service is free, registration is not required.

My impressions

Very small possibilities for the design of maps. The main thing is that the cards turn out to be "live", with their help it is convenient to depict dynamic processes. The resulting scheme can be inserted into the site as an interactive element.


Link: //about.draw.io/

Features Draw.io

  • No registration required. At the first entrance, choose where to save files. If the cloud, then you need authorization through the appropriate service.
  • Files are not saved in Draw.io, but in your storage — on Google Drive, OneDrive, or your hard drive.
  • Multifunctional tool. In addition to mind maps, you can make flowcharts, simple infographics, visualize business processes, and even design page layouts.
  • There are online and desktop versions as well as integration with many tools, including Jira and Trello.


The tool is free without any restrictions. Except when you need to deploy the product on your server.

My impressions

For a quick outline of the thoughts and plans of functions and features a bit too much. Because of this, the service is more complicated than those sharpened specifically for the intellect card. Time to create may take more. But this is a great option when the scheme needs to be done for a presentation and other similar tasks - complete freedom of action will allow you to draw it exactly the way you need it, and design it in corporate style and colors.


Link: //www.wisemapping.com/

WiseMapping Features

  • Open source.
  • Can be installed on a company server.
  • Works online, you do not need to download anything.
  • The map can be inserted in a couple of clicks on the site page.
  • There is an import / export in FreeMind.
  • The card can be shared by inviting the user via e-mail. Access for viewing / editing is configured.


The tool is free without any restrictions. If you install the program to your server, and some functions are missing, you can contact the developers.

My impressions

The first impression is confirmed - the tool is very simple and without frills. Of the possibilities - add emoji, links and notes. You can also change the style of the blocks, the background color and borders, the style and color of the text. In my opinion, the tool is well suited for personal use and quick sketches.


Link: //simplemind.eu/

SimpleMind Features

  • Works on different platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android.
  • The page size and number of elements are practically unlimited.
  • The free version has quite a few restrictions - there is no export, you cannot add media files, links and emoji, the ability to edit the appearance of maps is limited.
  • No online version, you need to download to your computer.


  1. Free basic version. It supports the standard functionality of mind maps and several styles.
  2. Full version (from € 24.99) All program functionality without limitations.

My impressions

The interface seems less intuitive than in XMind or MindMeister. The free version does not have any specific chips or bells and whistles. In general - a good-quality program for personal and work purposes, if you need to work alone. Share and edit the map with colleagues for free will not work.


For convenience, I have prepared for you a comparative table of services. Click on the image below to download it.

We use

For drawing simple maps with plans for the day, lists and ideas are well suited:

  • MindMeister,
  • Mindmanager
  • MindMup,
  • Mind 42,
  • Wisemapping,
  • Comapping
  • Mapul,
  • Simplemind

The programs are easy to manage, all the necessary functions right at your fingertips.

Looking for a handy tool for teamwork or strategic planning? Create presentations and assign tasks to the entire department using mental maps. Choose:

  • MindMeister,
  • Xmind
  • Mindmanager
  • MindGenius,
  • Mindomo,
  • Coggle
  • ConceptDraw,
  • iMindMap
  • Draw.io.

To choose the right program, decide what additional features you need. I draw maps with MindMeister, XMind and iMindMap, but I also follow other programs with interest.

What tools for building mind cards do you use and why?

By the way, on the Adobe Photoshop course we learn how to do more complex things than mind maps. Sign up if you want to further develop in graphic design and illustration.

Watch the video: Best Mind Mapping Software Tutorial (January 2020).


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