Best Mind Mapping Software For Mac 2016

Posted By admin On 16.02.22

Best Mind Mapping Software Mind mapping is a powerful technique to visually organize information. In general, mind maps begin with a central idea that ultimately lead to the branching out of sub-ideas. Discover the top 100 best mind mapping software apps for ios free and paid. Top ios apps for mind mapping software in AppCrawlr! Read More and mind mapping apps for Mac 6 Free Mind Map Apps for Mac to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing 6 Free Mind Map Apps for Mac to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing Looking for the best free mind map apps for Mac? Here are some great free mind mapping tools to help organize your thoughts on macOS. There are many very good options for mind mapping software to help you capture and organize your ideas, but we think that MindNode is the best for most people because it has a beautiful design, is easy to use, supports very reliable iCloud sync, and there are just enough import/export options to be.

Mind mapping is a great way to add structure to brainstorming sessions and visualize your ideas. Check out the applications your fellow readers use to do their best brainstorming.

Update: This list is now out of date, and we don't necessarily recommend the services listed here. For a more up to date list, check out our more recent Hive Five on the best mind mapping applications.

Five Best Mind Mapping Tools

Mind mapping is a great way to brainstorm, make a plan, or turn ideas into the steps needed to make …

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Earlier this week we asked you to share which mind mapping application helped you brainstorm most effectively. The votes are in and we're back to share the results and arm you with the tools to make your next think tank meeting that much more productive.

Best Mind Mapping Software?

Brainstorming is an important part of hashing out ideas, and mind mapping has gained popularity as…

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MindMeister (Web Application, Free)

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MindMeister is by far the most simplistic mind mapping tool in the top five, but its simplicity is definitely an asset. Once you're logged into the service, you can create a fully functional mind map using little more than the directional arrows and the Insert key to add new nodes to your map. Additional customizations like font size and node colors are available for when you want to go beyond the basics. In the upper right corner is a navigation window, handy for when your mind maps become larger than the display space. Exporting is also a strong point for MindMeister; you can export your files to a text outline, PDF, JPG, PNG, or GIF. MindMeister's history function lets you view past versions of your mind map and revert to them if you desire. You can share your maps for public collaboration or hand-select collaborators. Upgrading from the free account to the premium account gives you some handy additional features like map searching, offline editing, and the ability to export your maps to popular software like FreeMind and MindManager.

Mindjet MindManager (Windows/Mac, $349)

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Mindjet MindManager isn't cheap by any means, but you get more than your share of value and sophistication for the hundreds you spend on the program. The interface and feature set of MindManager are very polished, and the primary menus are set up like the Microsoft Office Ribbon. After the initial installation, MindManager walks you through the creation of a sample mind map—helpful both to familiarize you with the interface but also to show you features you may have overlooked. MindManager is definitely oriented towards corporate environments, including extensive integration with the Office suite and support for linking your mind maps directly into common database formats like MySQL and Access. Finding information in large mind maps is easy thanks to topic sorting, filtering, and text search tools. Mind maps can be exported in a variety of formats, but most notably in interactive PDF files and embeddable Flash animations. MindManager is available as a 30 day trial.

XMind (Windows/Mac/Linux, Free)

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XMind is the kind of free application that makes you forget you're not paying for the privilege of using it. The interface is simple and intuitive to use. You can quickly move through your entire mind map with only a handful of keystrokes or jump over to the outline view for even quicker navigation. In addition to a basic mind map you can also create fishbone, organizational, tree, and logic charts. You can export charts as HTML, images, or text, and XMind comes a free account on XMind.net which allows you to share your charts online and embed them into blogs and web sites. There is a professional version of XMind which expands on the functionality of the base application and allows you to create online charts and collaborate with others. XMind Pro is $49 per year, but most people will find the free version more than robust enough for their mind mapping needs. Portable versions available for all three supported platforms.

FreeMind (Java, Free)

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One of FreeMind's strongest selling points is a Java-based implementation. Whether you use it on Ubuntu or Windows, the features and user interface remain consistent. FreeMind is keyboard friendly with the core functionality well covered by keyboard shortcuts—I made the sample mind map pictured here without ever touching the mouse. The visual elements of your mind maps are highly customizable, including custom icons for flagging nodes on the map, color coding, grouping, and more. Mind maps created with FreeMind can be exported as HTML, PDF, and PNG files, among others.The support wiki for FreeMind is extensive and goes well beyond simply explaining how the application functions, covering things like how to add your own keyboard shortcuts and how to make the application portable.

iMindMap (Windows/Mac/Linux, $99-295)

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iMindMap can claim two distinctions among the top five tools. First, it's the biggest download—weighing in at 135MB. Second it's the only application on the list developed by Tony Buzan—who lays claim to being the inventor of the mind map. iMindMap takes a different approach to mapping than the other applications in the list. Rather than create new nodes off the main idea by adding boxes, nodes are created by clicking in the center or the main idea and drawing away from it with the mouse. Each new idea is a branch off the center. Strangely, many of basic feature available in free mind-mapping software are only found in the more expensive versions of iMindMap, like the ability to expand and collapse branches. Mind maps created in iMindMap can be exported as PDF, JPG, PNG and text outline; a 7 day trial is available.

A small aside: Although we didn't include it because the topic of this Hive Five was mind mapping software, it bears noting that nearly 20% of the votes went to analog methods like pencil and paper and using a whiteboard. For all your geeky ways, many of you have much love for good old fashioned analog brainstorming.

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Now that you've seen the contenders for the crown of Master of the Mind Map, it's time to log your vote for your favorite:

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Agree with the spread? Can't believe your favorite mind mapping tool didn't make the top five? Sound off with your opinions in the comments below.

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What Is Mind Mapping Software?

If your teams and key creative workers are getting bogged down by an increasing workload of rote tasks or maybe simply swamped by too much information in this new world of interconnected big data, then mind mapping software might be able to help. These solutions focus on helping workers ideate, innovate, and even eventually execute.

This review roundup focuses on leading mind mapping software solutions in overlapping subcategories. None of the products in this category are name brands but most of them have impressive customer lists. At the low end, applications cost just a few dollars per user, and those costs extend to several hundred dollars for enterprise-worthy versions.

Two products, Bloomfire and Front & Main Honey, emphasize social aspects of traditional knowledge management approaches. Both products have a similar user experience (UX) to those of Facebook and Reddit. You could think of these as social intranets in other words. Their general use involves posting a series of online surveys, questions, or suggestions for colleagues' consideration. Colleagues, in turn, post answers and comments. Anyone can search for past discussion topics, and there's typically a way to 'like' and share the most useful threads.

For example, a product engineer could post an early draft of your company's latest widget to get department-wide feedback. A saleswoman could answer negotiation questions posed by junior staff or the entire team could have a discussion about their upcoming holiday party. Traditionally, such activities would happen by email or, at best, by using an intranet message board (if not physical memos). Modern software makes these collaboration tasks easier.

Bloomfire has some integration with Salesforce Chatter. But we think the general opportunity for Bloomfire, Front & Main Honey, or similar products is limited to the extent that tech giants such as Facebook fail to make headway in selling private installations to businesses.

Three other products—Mindjet MindManager 2016 for Windows, Expert Software Applications Mindomo, and XMind—are designed with mind mapping as their main function. Such apps are a mixture of flow charting and project management tools. Among these three, XMind stands out for being based on an open-source platform. Take the same scenarios as stated earlier. Rather than just discussing company ideas in a social environment (perhaps with kludged diagrams), the mind mapping tools let colleagues consider every detail of a plan in a very formal way. They aren't nearly as fun but their structure is more appropriate for conservative corporations—which is to say, most offices, even if the social products are sexier.

Expert Software Applications Mindomo is the Editors' Choice winner in this review roundup. It has all of the same basic features as XMind and Mindjet MindManager 2016 for Windows, but also includes a basic level of social networking. It's pricey but not to an extent that would intimidate many organizations. Plus, it can ease a business into a more social decision-making mindset.

The Mind Mapping Concept


Image credit: tonybuzan.com

Mind mapping is simply a visual way to convey your thoughts and ideas. As a concept, mind mapping is widely attributed to inventor Tony Buzan who believes they are the best way to take notes. Buzan says a mind map 'harnesses the full range of cortical skills—word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness—in a single, uniquely powerful manner.' In the book, The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential,' co-author Buzan describes mind maps as 'being constructed in a colorful, tree-like fashion.'

Mind Mapping Software Comparison

And in his article on mind maps, PCMag's Rob Marvin explains mind mapping as a 'visual means of organizing information, typically through a web-like diagram,' and describes ways in which project managers can use mind maps to visualize every moving part of their project workflow.

Ideas for Improvement

We have a few suggestions for how mind mapping products could be more even more useful; these suggestions center around adding artificial intelligence (AI) and wiki integration and beefing up security. In the social-first services, we think an interesting addition would be AI software that scans users' browsing, customer relationship management (CRM), email, and database activities to automatically suggest when useful information should be captured.

Because these products are all intended to help manage your team members' big ideas, we think they should include tools for integrating with a wiki. Other than the Bloomfire/Salesforce.com partnership, these products don't yet work deeply with CRM software and human resources (HR) products.

And, other than normal cloud service log-ins and a way to password-protect various tidbits here and there, none of the apps focus heavily on security. Some businesses may be leery of buying a product specifically to hold their employees' best ideas unless there are extremely strong security pitches. There should be an option for marking content as only accessible when you touch your device's fingerprint sensor. That way, even if you lose your phone when it's in an unlocked mode, the person who finds it still cannot access your company's best ideas.

Still, any of the mind mapping software solutions in this review roundup will be helpful to your business as they currently stand. Giving employees a structured way to record and share their ideas with each other solves the problem of good ideas being lost to cliques and unproductive meetings or at the proverbial water cooler.

Products such as Front & Main Honey have an extremely low barrier to entry, XMind has impressive developer tools (and can be improved by letting your programmers run wild with its open-source code base), and Expert Software Applications Mindomo represents the beginning of what could be, as the subcategories of social intranets and mind mapping software discover each other. Bloomfire is a powerful cloud app, and Mindjet MindManager 2016 for Windows has strong Microsoft Office integration. The field decidedly lacks an app that does all of these things very well, but it will be interesting to check back in 12 months to see where things stand.

Best mind mapping software for macNova mind

Featured Mind Mapping Software Reviews:

  • Expert Software Applications Mindomo Review


    MSRP: $36.00

    Pros: Social and mapping features combined, not just one or the other.

    Cons: Six-month licensing.

    Bottom Line: Mind mapping software solution Expert Software Applications Mindomo is the Editors' Choice winner for its Comments feature that strengthens its social prowess and mind-mapping power.

    Read Review
  • Bloomfire Review


    MSRP: $9.00

    Pros: Gamification incentives. Strong analytics.

    Cons: Limited enterprise integration.

    Bottom Line: Mind mapping software solution Bloomfire is a good choice for visual-centric teams that need performance analytics.

    Read Review
  • Ideaflip Review


    MSRP: $16.00

    Pros: Appealing, easy-to-use user interface (UI). Easy to collaborate. Guests invited by paid members can access boards for free.

    Cons: No analytics.

    Bottom Line: Ideaflip is a great mind mapping tool for capturing ideas and building mind maps, though it lacks analytics tools that some teams may require.

    Read Review
  • Corso Innovation Management Review


    MSRP: $3.00

    Pros: Integrates ideas with your company's roadmap. Can set up challenges and mind maps.

    Cons: Some learning curve involved.

    Bottom Line: Corso Innovation Management mind mapping software offers features to manage all of your business processes including idea generation, but it's not the easiest to use.

    Read Review
  • Mindjet MindManager 2016 for Windows Review


    MSRP: $349.00

    Pros: Microsoft Office integration.

    Cons: Built-in spreadsheet and browser are intriguing, but probably not necessary for most users.

    Bottom Line: Mind mapping software solution Mindjet MindManager 2016 for Windows is a solid idea management and mind mapping performer.

    Read Review
  • Datastation Innovation Cloud Review


    MSRP: $28.39

    Pros: Uncluttered user interface (UI). Lots of reports. Phone support available. Most features are customizable.

    Cons: Separate websites and separate targets for regular and enterprise plans is a bit confusing;

    Bottom Line: Datastation Innovation Cloud simplifies the process of collecting ideas from employees, but if you're looking for mind-mapping software, you'll have to look elsewhere.

    Read Review
  • iMindQ Review


    MSRP: $9.19

    Pros: PC- and Mac-compatible. Free online version.

    Cons: Collaboration only available via Microsoft SharePoint. Dated user interface (UI).

    Bottom Line: iMindQ is easy to use and includes a lot of great brainstorming tools, but its collaboration features are limited.

    Read Review
  • XMind Review


    MSRP: $79.00

    Pros: Good features for developers. Evernote integration. Portable installation.

    Cons: Not the speediest application.

    Bottom Line: Idea management software solution XMind is a good idea mapping application if your IT team can tweak it as needed.

    Read Review
  • Front & Main Honey Review


    MSRP: $4.00

    Pros: Very low cost. Easy to use and learn. Alternate email interface.

    Cons: Limited feature set.

    Bottom Line: Idea management software solution Front & Main Honey is a useful service for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) and organizations that want a low barrier to entry.

    Read Review
  • Idearium Review


    MSRP: $214.64

    Pros: Lots of plans. Helpful onboarding walkthrough.

    Cons: No phone number. No response from email support. Pricey.

    Bottom Line: Idearium is a decent product with a variety of plans from which to choose, but it's rather pricey, especially considering the company is unresponsive to contact attempts.

    Read Review