Free mind mapping software is becoming more essential for running a business today. The overflow of Big Data that daunts us in any business activity we undertake needs something to manage it. Most of the time, our minds are incapable of single-handedly doing that.

We need some outside interference. In trying to keep up with the flurry of ideas that stream into our minds every day, sometimes, while we are occupied with other activities, we end up with thickets of ambiguous and incomplete thoughts that we can’t put into action. That is when mind-mapping software comes in handy.

Mind mapping is a visual technique for organizing information, problem-solving, brainstorming, and developing ideas. Mind map software provides online tools to help individuals and teams create useful diagrams to clarify thinking and collaborate more effectively. In this guide, we compare the top free mind mapping tools available in 2023 based on core features, capabilities, and ease of use.

What Is Mind Mapping Software?

Mind-mapping tools’ primary job is to enable you to put your scattered thoughts and business schedules (e.g., your content schedules) into neat flowcharts or diagrams that you can easily read later. They are more advanced now, though. The later versions of the typical free mind-mapping software were developed to put these ideas into concepts your team can easily understand. That brings out a whole other level of productivity from brainstorming sessions. It works wonders. Putting ideas into a vivid visual interface has proven to be the most effective approach to brainstorming.

Fortunately, for everyone needing such tools, not all will cost you money. There is free mind-mapping software out there. The features of some free mind mapping software are also quite useful for use on a small scale. It is a good way to try out the concept first and see how it works out for you before committing any payments to it. You might even find yourself with no need for paid mind-mapping software at all.

Free Mind Mapping Software
Mind mapping software featured image
Mind mapping software is useful for various creative and project planning tasks. Image credit: Profile Tree

Key Benefits of Mind Mapping:

  • Improves learning and memory retention
  • It helps visualize connections between concepts.
  • Facilitates brainstorming sessions
  • Enables collaborative knowledge-sharing
  • Boosts creativity and productivity

Free Mind Mapping Software

Here are three brands of mind-mapping freeware that you might find appealing. 


Intuitive and easy to use, Coggle offers a web-based mind map maker with a free version allowing unlimited public and up to 5 private diagrams. Great for basic mind maps.

We should appreciate the existence of applications like Coggle. Since it started, it has maintained a 100% free plan you can use for as long as you wish. That is alongside its paid plans ($5 and $8 per month), which offer more features. The free version is quite enough for most people’s usage, though. It allows you to draw limitless mind maps like the one below.

Coggle example graphic - Free Mind Mapping Software
If you’re not working on a large scale, free mind-mapping software can do the job. Image credit: Coggle

The maps are quite colourful and easy to trace, as you can see. You can also add an unlimited amount of images to your maps, making them more presentable. That goes well with another feature Coggle offers. It allows you to create presentations with these mind maps. Although free mind mapping software is usually designed for personal use only, that last feature makes Coggle usable in a team setting, too. You can let your team in on the ideas in your head.

Other Features:

  • Allows you to write notes on individual branches on your map.
  • You can invite team members to collaborate with you on a map.
  • Viewing your map’s history to know when entry changes were made and who made them.
  • There is a messaging and real-time chat platform to contact those collaborating with you.
  • Downloading mind maps in different formats, like PDF, PNG, or even text. That is in addition to the standard mind map (.mm) format.


This full-featured online mind mapping tool provides a free basic account with 3 mind maps. Paid plans unlock more features like offline access and infinite maps.


The popular graphic design tool Canva offers free mind map templates and an extensive suite of design capabilities—a simple drag-and-drop editor.


A simple yet powerful free mind mapping app with unlimited maps. Allows exporting to PDF and sharing mind maps via links—limited styling capabilities.


While not exclusively for mind maps, Lucidchart provides free access for up to 3 documents—robust features for flowcharts, org charts, and more.


A unique AI-powered tool that can automatically generate mind maps from text, Evernote, or Suitable for turning research notes into mind maps.


This macOS and iOS mind mapping app offers a free version with basic templates and maps. Great for Apple users who want native apps.


XMind provides a limited free version of their visual thinking toolkit, with paid plans unlocking advanced features—Integrates with Office and Google Drive.


A simple online mind mapping tool with a free plan allowing unlimited public maps and up to 5 private maps.

The free version of this browser-based mind map maker provides 3 free mind maps up to a certain number of nodes per map.


Free Mind Mapping Software - Novamind example graphic
Novamind allows you to create visually engaging mind maps easily. Image credit: NovaMind

What sets NovaMind apart from other free mind mapping software is that it allows you access through several platforms. There are iOS, Mac OS X, Windows, and Android versions of NovaMind. There is also a cloud version that you can access online. NovaMind offers a free Lite version, but there is a catch. The Lite version only allows you up to 25 topics or maps. That might very well cover what you need to do with the software, but if you want to do some intensive work, then you better go with unlimited software like Coggle or else buy the $7/month version of NovaMind.

The platform is more advanced than most free mind-mapping software, though. Starting, you get a demo tutorial to give you a comprehensive and practical understanding of using it. As you go along with the tutorial, you get to create your first demo mind map. The application’s layout engine also allows you to design maps faster than elsewhere without any mess arising. The most notable problem with the free version of NovaMind is that it does not allow you to download in different formats like Coggle.

Other Features:

  • Save up to 10 NovaMind maps on the software’s cloud database.
  • Public sharing of documents.
  • Visual tools like themes and images to decorate your mind maps with.
  • You can add notes and external links.


Free Mind Mapping Software Blumind screenshot
Blumind makes it easy to export your mind maps to various file formats. Image credit: BluMind

A lot of people recommend Blumind as a good mind-mapping tool. Blumind does more than just mind mapping. It is more of a data management platform with a mind-mapping tool as one of its features. Blumind is completely free, too, but it is only available for Windows. It is not the best mind mapping freeware in terms of visual tools. Perhaps NovaMind would beat it in that respect. It does have some colourful themes, though. But Blumind has the absolute edge when it comes to portability. The download of maps does not exceed 1MB per map, and it allows you to download in various formats.

The importation and exportation of data are extremely simple on Blumind, too. For example, you can import data from Excel spreadsheets. Other than the mind maps, the software enables you to make organizational and logic charts, as well as tree diagrams. The interface for each of these functions is pretty user-friendly.

Other Features:

  • Allows a large number of export formats, including almost every image format.
  • Includes an internal timer.
  • It enables you to write notes and add icons as you please.
  • It has a progress bar for you to keep track of your work.
  • Supports 15 languages (Thai, Indonesian, Turkish, Korean, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish).

These are the most recommended names in mind mapping freeware at the time. They offer you fairly practical features, and the limits on their free packages are not that tight. There’s other free mind-mapping software out there that you can try out. Here are a few other names:

  • Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) – Available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
  • Sketchboard – Available on the Web and Google Chrome
  • Text2Mindmap – Web version only
  • MindMapple – Available for Windows, iOS, and Mac

Tips for Effective Mind Mapping:

  • Start with a central topic and work outward
  • Use images, colours, and branches to represent connections.
  • Keep things concise using keywords and phrases.
  • Maintain logical organization and structure
  • Leverage built-in collaboration features.
  • Use mind maps to outline articles, projects, and presentations.

Mind Mapping Mastery: Tips for Clarifying Thinking & Achieving Goals

Mind mapping offers a powerful tool for visualizing ideas, organizing information, and boosting your thinking process. Here are some key tips to help you create effective mind maps for clarity and goal achievement:

Start with a Central Idea:

  • Define your main topic or goal clearly and write it in the center of your mind map.
  • Use a large font and visual elements like images or icons to make it stand out.

Branch Out with Relevant Subtopics:

  • Identify key branches related to your central idea. These could be key questions, action steps, resources, or related concepts.
  • Use keywords and short phrases instead of complete sentences for better visual clarity.
  • Connect each branch to the central idea with lines or arrows, showing their relationship.

Expand Further:

  • For each branch, identify further subtopics and details. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm freely and explore different avenues.
  • Use different colors, fonts, and shapes to visually differentiate levels and categories.
  • Maintain a clear hierarchy, ensuring each element connects to the relevant branch or subtopic.

Focus on Visual Appeal:

  • Use colors, images, and symbols that resonate with you and enhance understanding.
  • Keep your mind map visually balanced and avoid cluttering it with too much information.
  • Utilize arrows, lines, and connectors to show relationships and flow of ideas.

Think Outside the Box:

  • Don’t be afraid to be creative and explore different layouts, colors, and styles.
  • Use mind mapping not just for planning, but also for problem-solving, decision-making, and generating new ideas.
  • Consider incorporating multimedia elements like audio recordings or embedded videos for enriched information.

Collaboration and Sharing:

  • If working with others, leverage online mind mapping tools that allow real-time collaboration and shared editing.
  • Share your mind maps with team members, colleagues, or mentors for feedback and brainstorming sessions.
  • Utilize mind maps as presentation tools to visually communicate your ideas and plans.

Make it Actionable:

  • Use your mind map to break down goals into smaller, actionable steps.
  • Assign deadlines and responsibilities to specific tasks within your mind map.
  • Regularly review and update your mind map as your progress and plans evolve.

Seamless Integration: Connecting Mind Mapping Software with Other Tools

Mind mapping software can become even more powerful when integrated with other productivity and content creation tools. Here are some valuable integrations to consider:

WordPress Integration:

  • Publish mind maps directly to your WordPress blog or website: Several mind mapping tools offer seamless plugins or export options to convert your mind maps into visually engaging blog posts or website content.
  • Create interactive mind maps embedded in your website: Utilize tools with embed functionalities, allowing visitors to explore your mind maps directly on your website for increased engagement.
  • Generate SEO-friendly content from mind maps: Some integrations can analyze your mind map structure and content, creating optimized blog outlines or meta descriptions for improved search engine visibility.

Evernote Integration:

  • Sync notes and mind maps for a unified knowledge base: Integrate your mind mapping software with Evernote to access and edit both types of information seamlessly, creating a central hub for your ideas and projects.
  • Convert Evernote notes into mind maps: Leverage tools that automatically transform your Evernote notes into visually structured mind maps for improved organization and understanding.
  • Collaborate on mind maps within Evernote teams: Utilize shared workspaces and annotation features within Evernote to collaboratively edit and brainstorm with colleagues on mind maps directly.

Additional Integrations:

  • Project Management Tools (Asana, Trello): Integrate your mind map with project management tools to break down tasks, assign deadlines, and track progress visually based on your initial brainstorming.
  • Calendar Apps (Google Calendar, Outlook): Sync deadlines and action items from your mind map with your calendar, ensuring tasks are scheduled and reminders set for timely completion.
  • Design Tools (Canva, Figma): Export your mind map structure and key elements into design tools to create visually appealing presentations, infographics, or marketing materials based on your initial ideas.
  • Note-Taking Apps (Notion, Bear): Integrate your mind map with note-taking apps to capture additional details, resources, or insights related to specific branches or topics within your mind map.

Choosing the Right Integrations:

  • Consider your workflow and needs: Identify which tools you use most frequently and choose integrations that streamline your overall process.
  • Evaluate features and compatibility: Ensure chosen integrations offer functionalities that benefit your specific use case and are compatible with your software versions.
  • Explore free trial options: Many tools offer limited free trials or freemium plans, allowing you to test the integration before committing.

By strategically integrating your mind mapping software with other tools, you can create a powerful ecosystem for enhanced productivity, knowledge management, and creative collaboration. Remember, the possibilities are endless, so explore different integrations and discover how they can empower you to achieve your goals more effectively.

Free Mind Mapping Software FAQ

Q: Are free mind mapping tools powerful enough for business use?

A: They can be, but free versions have limited capabilities. Paid subscriptions unlock more robust features.

Q: What’s the best free mind map software for beginners?

A: Coggle and MindMup are intuitive for beginners to start mind mapping quickly.

Q: Can I collaborate on mind maps with free tools?

A: Some free tools like Coggle, MindMeister, and MindMup offer basic collaboration features. Paid plans provide more advanced capabilities.

Q: Is there a free mind-mapping tool that works offline?

A: Unfortunately, most free tools require an internet connection. Paid versions like MindNode Pro allow offline use.

Q: How many mind maps can I create for free?

A: Limits vary – some tools limit private maps while others restrict nodes per map. Coggle and MindMup offer unlimited maps.

Q: Can I create mind maps on mobile devices with free apps?

A: Yes, many free tools like Coggle, MindMeister, and XMind have iOS and Android apps. MindNode is iOS only.

Free Mind Mapping Software Conclusion:

While paid mind mapping software unlocks more advanced features, free tools provide an easy way to harness the benefits of visual information organization and collaboration. Determining which free tool suits your needs depends on your use cases and feature requirements. Utilizing online mind mapping enables anyone to clarify thinking, identify relationships between ideas, and improve productivity.

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