50 Free Mind-Mapping Tools: Improve Your Brainstorming Today

Business planning in action

Have you ever found yourself experiencing difficulties with structuring your thoughts in a logical flow? Have you ever felt frustrated because of missing great ideas and failing to document them properly?

If your answer is “yes,” you have also thought about effective techniques to organize your brainstorming.

These techniques are often associated with mind-mapping tools used by students, copywriters, and managers to present their ideas visually.

Thus, mind-mapping is an approach to representing your thoughts in the form of plans, maps, and diagrams.

Let’s discuss 50 great tools for mind-mapping and brainstorming that you can find online.

Top free tools for brainstorming to enhance your creativity

There is a variety of tools for mind-mapping you can find on the web. However, not all online tools for brainstorming are available for free. So, you may need to spend some time to find practical tools.

Just save your time for brainstorming—the lists below provide you with the names of the most favored free tools for mind-mapping online.

Here are the top 10 assistants listed below.

  1. MindMup 2 is an absolutely free tool available for users online. You can benefit from its easy-to-use interface and many options that allow for the quick integration with your Google Drive or Dropbox. Watch the MindMup tutorial to learn how to use it effectively.

Mindmup site screenshot

  1. SpiderScribe. This tool allows for creating different types of mind maps and sharing them with your friends. You can choose any color scheme and layout you want to create a unique plan.
  1. XMind. You can use this tool to organize ideas in logically or validly and prioritize key concepts with the help of such options as the creation of charts and the addition of audio notes.
  1. The Coggle mind map is helpful to determine relationships in your ideas. Coggle adds creativity to your diagrams and helps share results of your work in social media.

Coggle mind map example

  1. Popplet. If you are inspired to create a unique and colorful map as a result of your brainstorming, you can use this online tool because of numerous functions provided to draw maps and nodes, add videos, and integrate images.
  1. WiseMapping. This online tool is perfect for business people who do want to keep their ideas confidential. Thus, you can use an online version or download the app. There are no limits to your creativity!
  1. draw.io. If you want to design a free mind map online in a few easy steps, this tool is for you because it provides one of the easiest ways to create different types of diagrams.
  1. Creately is a helpful online resource that is appropriate to support your original ideas. You can apply it to create unique maps, diagrams, graphs, and charts.

Creately website screenshot

  1. GoConqr. This platform provides users with opportunities to improve their online learning and create compelling visual tools like mind maps and charts.
  1. Realtime Board is one more unique resource that is designed as a free online whiteboard to stimulate your creativity and brainstorming.

Some more free brainstorming tools for you:

  1. iMindQ Online. You will significantly improve your brainstorming experience while using this free tool with the help of the proposed templates and examples.
  1. Mapul Mind Mapping. Designers of this tool state that it is “organic”. Try this resource to understand what they mean.

Mapul Mind Mapping site screenshot

  1. Cacoo. If you have some experience in creating diagrams, this tool for designing flexible charts, maps, and graphs is perfect for you.
  1. Exobrain is for those people who view brainstorming as a good chance to create something new with the help of colorful professional templates.
  1. jsMind is perfect for the routine work. It is easy to use it and edit the prepared maps.

jsMind map screenshot

Here are some advantages of the listed mind-mapping tools for writers, students, managers, educators, and entrepreneurs:

  • Free for all users or registered users
  • Easy-to-use interfaces
  • The variety of integrated tools to create any map you want
  • Possibilities to export mind map examples and prepared charts in different formats, including PNG, JPG, PDF, HTML, and others

The best mind-mapping software to increase your productivity

Some people don’t like or trust online tools for generating their mind maps. So, you can benefit more while using the mind-mapping software.

When you install the specific software for making maps, you can become even more productive because such tools often provide exclusive options to power your brainstorming. You can just try some free software to see the difference.

Here’s a short list of mind-mapping software:

  1. Freeplane is a leader among different types of software that can be used for mind-mapping because of such features as the provision of various styles of maps and nodes, the possibility to add hyperlinks, and the possibility to protect data with the help of passwords.
  1. MindApp is a favorite application for Windows users because of its simplicity.

Mindapp website screenshot

  1. FreeMind is a well-known platform with an easy-to-use interface. Thus, a FreeMind mind map is a widely used Java tool.
  1. Semantik is a Linux application which is great for people who want to play with formats and scopes of their mind maps.
  1. RecallPlus. This software is appropriate to help students optimize their brainstorming process while allowing them to create maps and test themselves using flashcards.
  1. Labyrinth is available for Windows users. However, there is also a version for Linux users.
  1. The Brain. The authors of this application are sure that to become creative and productive, you should use calendars, notes, and other useful options while designing your maps.

The Brain site screenshot

  1. View Your Mind is a modern tool for brainstorming, and it can be downloaded by Linux and Mac OS X users.
  1. SpicyNodes. Sometimes, mind maps are not enough to support your brainstorming. Thus, you can use this tool to generate nodes while referring to online data and connecting your music, documents, and videos in one logical network.
  1. Novamind is the perfect free mind-mapping software to organize your concepts and sub-concepts in one chain and save these results to use later.

Novamind website screenshot

Advantages of different types of software for mind-mapping and brainstorming:

  • The integration with other files or data on your computer.
  • Easy-to-use interfaces with features similar to the ones in MS Word.
  • Privacy protection.
  • Possibilities to create confidential mind maps.

Combining online brainstorming and collaboration to improve results

Today, educators, members of project teams, program designers, and many other professionals are interested in collaborating while discussing their ideas and goals or solving problems.

Thus, brainstorming is conventionally viewed as a process of generating thoughts that involves a group of people. But what alternatives are available for the members of remote teams?

Here’s the trick:

You don’t need to focus on face-to-face meetings to cooperate with your colleagues, demonstrate your creativity, propose unusual ideas, and organize all of them in one working map. There are many effective tools for creating mind maps online and sharing the results with your team.

While choosing online tools for collaborative brainstorming, you can refer to the following list:

  1. Mindomo is one of the most popular mind-mapping tools online. Business persons and educators choose this tool to work on group and individual projects with the focus on organizational goals.

Mindomo website

  1. GroupMap is ideal when you expect that your team will brainstorm and create maps in cooperation with each other while discussing layouts or commenting on the content.
  1. Mind42. You can use this tool to increase the productivity of your team and exchange ideas to complete your project. It is one of the most popular free brainstorming tools.
  1. CoMapping. If you want to discuss maps while drawing them and then focus on management of assignments and analysis of presentations—this online application is for you.
  1. Slatebox is a high-quality tool for educators who need to exchange their ideas regularly and who prefer customer-friendly interfaces.

Slatebox website screenshot

Advantages of mind-mapping tools for collaboration:

  • The multi-user approach
  • The easy exchange of ideas
  • The collective work on maps
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Possibilities to share your maps with peers or colleagues
  • Possibilities to provide feedback
  • Possibilities to use a tool as a virtual idea board
  • Possibilities to communicate and send notifications

When free mind-mapping tools do not address your needs

If you are ready to pay up to $10 per month, you can draw your attention to other available resources. If you want to have unlimited opportunities for creating as many maps as you need, the following free tools and software with premium features are for you:

  1. Bubbl.us is a leader among premium applications that offer both free and paid services. This tool is effective to provide you with great ideas on how to organize your thoughts creatively.
  1. Mind Vector is a popular tool that is used by students not only to create mind maps but also to write notes online.

Mind Vector website

  1. Stormboard is appropriate when you want to structure your ideas in the most professional manner. It is easy to choose a template, refer to Stormboard examples, formulate ideas, locate them on a map, prioritize them, and share results with your team.
  1. LucidChart is another popular application that allows you to brainstorm and design maps effectively while using the integrated templates and the Google image search option. The number of templates is great, as well as the number of maps you can create using this resource.
  1. MindMeister is a cloud-based tool that provides users with many opportunities to represent the results of their brainstorming sessions in the most attractive form. Having a premium version, you can access your maps from any device and at any time.

MindMeister website screenshot

Advantages of mind-mapping tools and software with premium features:

  • You are not limited regarding the number of maps you can create with the help of your favorite mind-mapping tool
  • The unlimited import and export of information
  • The unlimited number of users for collaboration
  • Possibilities to use a customized mind map template
  • The integration of photos, videos, links, and other maps
  • Extensive reporting
  • Priority support

Apps for mind-mapping to save your time

In addition to standard online tools and software, a range of apps is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android-based devices. The popularity of these applications depends on the simplicity of using mobile devices.

Thus, mind-mapping apps allow you to create multiple unique schemes and charts with the help of your favorite gadgets. It is easy to use preferable apps anywhere.

Mobile phone iphone music

Here’s a list of iPhone and iPad apps:

  1. SimpleMind
  2. iThoughts
  3. Ideament
  4. iBlueSky
  5. MindLine – Simple Mind Mapping
  6. Edraw
  7. TodoMaps
  8. Maptini

Android mobile smartphone

And a list of Android apps:

  1. Mindjet
  2. iMindMap
  3. Gureum
  4. Mindly
  5. SchematicMind
  6. Inforapid Knowledgebase Builder
  7. Mind Map Maker

Advantages of any mind-mapping app:

  • You can prepare mind maps anywhere
  • Your brainstorming opportunities are almost unlimited
  • You can choose mobile apps that are most appropriate for your device
  • You can synchronize the app with your laptop and save prepared diagrams
  • You can demonstrate results of brainstorming anytime
  • You can use mind maps created on your device as an approach to memorizing information

The listed tools, software, and applications for mind-mapping are powerful to assist you in brainstorming and generating new ideas and logical chains.

You can choose any tool you need—free online generators, different types of software, cheap tools for creating charts, or even mobile apps for iOS and Android. Your choice can only be limited by your needs.

So, do not waste your time on drawing complex schemes made with paper and pen. You can make a process of brainstorming easy and exciting with the help of mind-mapping tools available today for entrepreneurs, students, educators, writers, academicians, or managers.

Comments (1)

April 16th, 2019 - 3:23 pm

Great article!