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Free Mind Mapping Software: 9 Best Tools of 2020

October 17, 2019

Chances are, there’s a lot on your plate right now.

This article probably isn’t the only open tab on your web browser, and finding the right mind mapping software isn’t the only task on your checklist. 

That’s why mind mapping software is so important. A mind map is a visual chart that lays out the various thoughts and tasks you have connected to a central topic. It can function for helping you sort out ideas on a business project, for a school assignment, or even a home renovation plan. 

And instead of creating all of this yourself, mind mapping software can lay out all of your ideas in a polished arrangement that allows for collaboration and publishing. Finding the right mind mapping software can play a huge role in the success of your projects, regardless of what sphere they operate in. That’s why we compiled a list of the best free mind mapping software.

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9 best free mind mapping software options 

The list below ranks the best free mind mapping software. These rankings are based on user satisfaction scores as of October 16, 2019.

Simplemind

Simplemind’s free version is registration-free and allows for multiple types of map styles. 

Simplemind

G2 satisfaction score: 5.0

Features:

  • Can include multiple mind maps on one page
  • Horizontal and vertical layouts for customizing the size and shape of map
  • Unlimited page size and number of elements

What users like:

The program is intuitive. It has an extensive tutorial which comes in handy after you've figured out the stuff you need to get going. It's got tons of options. But best of all, it has so many different practical applications. I am an aggressive course taker and reader. It's obviously an excellent notetaking device. I also use it for project planning, goal setting, and scheduling.”

Simplemind review by Roy B.

What users dislike:

“Like many touch-enabled apps, certain functionality is less discoverable - like doing a long press to enable multiple-selection (this is needed to relocate an entire region of the mindmap at once). But the help site certainly helped me through this.”

Simplemind review by anonymous user in hIgher education

Mindomo

Mindomo has a free version that allows for six users per month to access the platform.

Mindomo

G2 satisfaction score: 4.8

Features:

  • Remote synchronization of offline and online content
  • Easy collaboration and brainstorming within team
  • Break down specific goals into tasks and divide among team 

What users like:

I liked the ease of use and ease of learning with Mindomo. The maps are easy for creating and organizing all my lecture material. There are many options to link to external resources like files, video, audio, and images. The assignment feature is nice for group work.”

Mindomo review by Karim Y.

What users dislike:

I like that it is web-based because I have access to it everywhere, but connectivity problems can cause issues once in a while. Not the fault of the software however.”

Mindomo review by Matt V.

Coggle

Coggle’s free version of its software enables five users per month to access an account.

coggle

G2 satisfaction score: 4.8

Features:

  • Realtime collaboration among colleagues
  • Drag and drop images from desktop into maps
  • Every change is saved and any map can be reverted to see progress at a certain point in time

What users like:

“I really like the simplicity of the mind maps creation process. The whole design of the interface seems very well-thought and smooth. There is no mess occurring when using Coggle because all the tools are available right there in front of you. There are suggested shortcuts to make it even easier. I've tried a lot of mind mapping softwares and this is one is so far the most user-friendly and good-looking. It can be easily synchronized with a Google account which is convenient for me since I use Google at work/studies all the time.”

Coggle review by anonymous user in music

What users dislike: 

It would be nice to be able to use during meetings with an integrative whiteboard tool.”

Coggle review by Mandy O.

Wisemapping

Wisemapping is free for individual memberships without any limitations or restrictions for product use.

wisemapping

G2 satisfaction score: 4.3

Features:

  • Web-based, so there is no need to install anything
  • Mind maps can be shared with anyone and embedded in web pages free of plug-ins
  • Collaborative and can function for business or educational purposes

What users like:

What I like about Wisemapping is that I do not need to download any application since it works directly from HTML5. Since it is a free version, we manage to work with its high variety of tools without any restriction. You do not have to be an expert in the use of maps to achieve good use of this tool. It allows me to distribute my ideas on any web page, saving me a lot of work unlike other services.”

Wisemapping review by Matt L.

What users dislike:

I can not add isolated topics anywhere but at the beginning, therefore the idea should be clear before starting to make my map and this is a disadvantage when it comes to online jobs.”

Wisemapping review by Claudia H.

Popplet

Popplet is free for ten maps and three users per month.

Popplet

G2 satisfaction score: 4.2

Features:

  • Intuitive map layout with easy-to-use zoom function
  • Diverse array of formats and ways to implement images in maps
  • Functionality for business and education

What users like:

What I like most about Popplet is that I can make conceptual maps for my classes in a very simple way, the spaces are structured in a project, which is the blank file in which the information is organized, and I can enter images, videos, drawings . The most interesting is that it offers the option of several people collaborating to create the same conceptual map.”

Popplet review by Paola Q.

What users dislike:

“The platform crashes frequently. I've had to reload and refresh and lost sometimes significant amounts of work over time with Popplet because there have been issues with its sync.”

Popplet review by Ashley H.

Mindmeister

Mindmeister’s basic membership is free and enables three users per month.

Mindmeister

G2 satisfaction score: 4.1

Features: 

  • Collaboration with friends or colleagues in real time
  • Built-in presentation modes to turn maps into slideshows
  • Integration with task management platform to plan out tasks

What users like:

As a sales specialist, I have to keep my Trade Marketing team informed of all sales and points of sale, in this way through Mindmeister I can create mental and conceptual maps about the information I want to transmit and my team understands me in a very fast, efficient and simple way. That's why I love this application.”

Mindmeister review by Darianna G. 

What users dislike:

“Resizing images can be tricky as the edges are tough to grasp, the interface could be more visually appealing but the functionality is most important. Printing large maps on a single sheet is tougher than it needs to be. There is no free license for educational institutions or schools. The more complex your mind map is the more difficult it is to work with it. There is no desktop version.”

Mindmeister review by Michael G.

Mindmup

Mindmup’s free version allows for unlimited free maps and six months of being able to publish maps. 

MindMup

G2 satisfaction score: 4.1

Features:

  • Keyboard shortcuts to make map-creating more efficient
  • Maps saved to the Mindmup cloud enable collaborative editing
  • Optimized for sharing maps on social media

What users like:

Templates can be created to use when doing client fact finds. Client fact finds can be saved online for later, and it's easy to pick up where I left off by opening an already started fact find back up at the next meeting.’

Mindmup review by Scot W.

What users dislike:

You can just put a URL in the text, and Mindmup recognizes it showing only text and the link is shown as a clickable button. It could be better if I can select a property and put the link here, without touching the texts.”

Mindmup review by Francesco P.

Bubbl.us

Bubbl.us offers a free version for creating up to three mind maps.

Bubbl.us

G2 satisfaction score: 4.0

Features:

  • Web-based app with no downloads necessary
  • Mind map can be saved as an image and embedded into other posts
  • One-click presentations of mind maps

What users like:

The best thing about Bubbl.us is the simplicity of the application to capture ideas using diagrams, but the application also offers options to create UML diagrams that can be used to create programming projects and flowcharts. The interface is very clean and simple, to add a ‘bubble’ in which you create ideas or actions, just click on the "+" button and write what you need. The application can be very useful if you work as a team and need to share ideas in a simple way.”

Bubbl.us review by John C.

What users dislike:

As a designer I do not find the layout itself as appealing as it could be. I am not able to change the shapes of the bubbles for even quicker viewing, only the color (some coworkers I've worked with are color blind).”

Bubbl.us review by Lizzy L.

Mind42

Mind42 is completely free to use for all features, however it does have advertisements. 

Mind42

G2 satisfaction score: 3.6

Features:

  • Created maps are private by default
  • Option to lay out maps on grid background
  • Can export and publish maps as well as share with collaborators 

What users like:

A simple, intuitive and clear, easy-to-use tool that allows the individual and collaborative creation and editing of mental diagrams and maps, allows us to create great resources since it is very easy to use and helps to develop our capacities and enhance our creativity . It offers basic options such as cut and paste, undo and add notes, predefined icons, images and links to sites. In the nodes I can choose color and font style.”

Mind42 review by Jhosep M.

What users dislike:

There aren't many options or features. There are no templates to choose from. Design options are on the level from 20-30 years ago. No media files. Link tool is not working with my website. Node management is non existent. Connection tool also.”

Mind42 review by Edo M.

Start mapping

Now that you’ve had a look at the best free mind mapping software, it’s time to choose the one that’s right for your mapping needs. Check out G2’s guide to the best mind mapping software if there is any additional insight you’d like into the space, and good luck mapping!

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