Design | 8 min read
Top Tools for Creating a Mind Map
Mind-mapping tools are often used by designers, copywriters, students, and managers to present their ideas visually in the form of plans, maps, and diagrams. In the design industry, mind maps are necessary components of effective customer research.
With the help of a mind map, we can analyze the functions of the product, ways of satisfying the user and gaining a correct perception of the project.
This article will help you to learn about best free and paid mind mapping software, identify what functionality they offer. Our task is to show you the best mind mapping tools that fit your working style, budget, and goals. Let’s review some great tools for creating a mind map that you can find online.
Why Do We Need a Mind Map?
A mind map is a diagram that connects information around a central topic or subject. You typically start with a central concept or issue in the middle of a blank page and then connect supporting ideas around it, so that you see connections you haven’t noticed before.
There is no limit to the ways that you can apply mind-mapping techniques. For instance, mind maps help project managers to present ideas to team members clearer. While for marketers, mind maps are akin to assistants in creating advertising campaigns and editorial schedules.
Mind maps are super valuable for UI/UX designers. Firstly, mind mapping helps us to visualize UX before working on a visual design.
Secondly, with the help of mind maps, designers keep the connections (customers, employees, partner apps, support system, back office tools, etc.) in complex projects and organize them properly.
Thirdly, mind mapping helps to coordinate with developers easily.
Designers have to think wider and predict what parts of the system will be affected by the changes in the project. To make a bird’s-eye view of the project changes, we use mind maps.
There are dozens of online mind mapping tools that you can apply in your business. So we’ve tried to save you time by providing basic info for each tool to get you started. Here are the top 5 free mind mapping tools and 5 best paid tools listed below.
5 Best Free Mind Mapping Tools
Supported platforms: iOS, Web, Android
MindMup 2 is a free online tool. An easy-to-use interface and many options that quickly integrate with your Google Drive or Dropbox are beneficial to many users. For newcomers, there is a tutorial to learn how to use the tool effectively.
Flexibility and easy navigation;
Estimation of nodes for project management;
Synchronization with Google Drive.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Mindjet MindManager is a free mind-mapping software for project planning and team management. Mindjet offers its customers to build an innovative program using mind mapping and big data analytics.
Tracking of priorities, deliverables, resources, dependencies, and due dates;
Integration of information on a unified dashboard.
Supported platforms: macOS, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS
Mindomo is a collaborative concept of mind mapping and outlining software. Using this free mind mapping software, you can achieve your goals by visually mapping ideas, plans, and interests.
Allows you to map concepts by connecting dots;
Provides a way to create a blueprint of your project;
You can keep the team engaged with collaborative Gantt charts online.
Supported platforms: Web, iOS, Android
The Coggle mind map is a useful tool to determine relationships in project ideas. With Coggle you can make creative diagrams and share results of your work on social media.
Ability to view and copy previous versions of the mind map;
The insert of images, links and checkboxes;
Different colors for new branches in the mind map;
Cards export in PNG, PDF, text or MM format.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Ayoa is a cloud-based mind mapping for business. Ayoa is suitable for both individuals and teams who want to turn their most creative ideas into reality. In addition to a free version, it has free webinars, demos, and in-app tutorial videos.
Flexibility for teamwork in Task Board;
Ability to update the progress percentage of the tasks.
5 Best Paid Tools for Creating a Mind Map
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Lucidchart has numerous templates for creating professional diagrams and flowcharts and collaborating with the project team.
Custom text/shape styling;
Group chat for group communication.
Pricing starts from $4.95 to $20 per month.
Supported Platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows
MindMeister is a great mind mapping tool that enhances its users to create and share mind maps, add notes, links, etc.
10 formats available for the mind map export;
Ability to import mind maps from other mind mapping apps.
MindMeister pricing plans vary according to the storage capacity and the range of functions. It starts from $4.99 per user/month to $12.49 per user/month.
Supported Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
XMind has a ZEN version available with all the necessary features needed to create effective mind maps.
Gantt view for project management;
Themes for personalization;
New clip art library.
Pricing starts from $39.99/6 months to $59.99/year.
Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
SimpleMind is an online collection of limitless canvas and templates for you to put all your thoughts and ideas into diagrams and mind maps.
Capability to add various attachments and links to maps;
Users can create storyboards and mind maps on the go;
Pricing starts from €24.99 to €189.90
Supported Platforms: macOS, iOS, Android.
Miro is the online collaborative whiteboard platform that is used by our designers at Cadabra Studio. Miro is a robust design toolkit, a real deal for our team. This mind mapping tool helps to brainstorm and organize our thoughts and ideas, analyze the functions of the application, ways of satisfying the user and gaining a correct perception of the project.
Robust collaborative features;
Keyboard shortcuts and auto arrange;
Design information architecture;
Teamwork in project planning.
Pricing ranges from $8 to $16 per member/month billed annually.
How Do We Use Mind Mapping Tools in Cadabra Studio?
We use a mind map hierarchy to design customer journeys and to add scenarios after each customer’s action. Mind maps help us to answer the following questions: Where is the customer at this point (location, screen)? What does the customer do here? What happens when the customer performs an action?
With the help of mind mapping, our design team has a clear picture of the system they need to build — what the main sections of the app are, what features it needs to have, how those features interact with the rest of the system, and so on. We are always very precise before moving to wireframing and prototyping stages.
Each project has a unique mind map that diverges from the template online mind maps. It covers the peculiarities of the specific business, so the business owners get a detailed picture of project functioning. By creating a detailed mind mapping, we help our clients to understand customers’ behavior and generate ideas that suit their project best.
Have You Chosen the Best Mind Map Tool for Your Project?
In this article we’ve analyzed the best tools and software for mind-mapping from our point of view. For us, mind map is a flexible and collaborative tool that helps us in a process of creating and researching for better UX design. It enables us to depict all details of the project.
The Cadabra Studio team always pays a lot of attention to design planning, taking into account all the client requirements. By choosing us as your partner, you will get an upscale UI/UX design and business ideas that really work.
Contact us. We are always ready to assist with your project!