Mind Mapping Tools Open Source

Mind mapping is a popular and helpful tool for getting your thoughts on paper and organizing them into something that is easy to understand. The mind mapping process visually represents the links between different concepts, which makes it easier to see the connections between ideas.

In addition to helping you organize your thoughts, mind mapping can also be used to help you study, plan projects or presentations, make decisions, write reports or papers, brainstorm new ideas, and so much more. You can create a mind map about anything!

If you’re looking for a mind mapping software solution but don’t want to spend money on a proprietary program, check out these open source tools.

Mind Mapping Tools Open Source

Mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts by using mind map software. It is actually a visual thinking tool that helps in structuring information, better analysis, comprehensions, manufacturing, recall and generating new ideas. Literally, mind mapping is already used several years ago and developed into easier, creative, fun and convenient way by adapting computer compatibility.

As a matter of fact, mind mapping have a lot of benefits to earn. It has the capacity to improve bigger pictures to see and more detailed information. You can also use your imagination to make creative presentations. It also saves your time and making your work stress-free and fun. Briefly, it can help you clarify what is on your mind even in different contexts like planning your personal life, summarizing a book, planning and creating presentations and launching a project.

For beginners, using mind mapping software is just very handful and as simple as A-B-C. You start with a blank page, then write and draw anything in your mind and what do you want to develop. Next, you begin to develop its related subtopics around the main topics and connect those using simple lines. Repeat the procedure for the subtopics to lower levels of related topics. That’s the basic but with this special software, you can use or replace it with colors, drawings and symbols. Longer topics can be replaced from a single word to a single picture. You can adjust text size and fonts, colors and alignment as well just like an artist painting into a canvass.

As a final thought, mind map ping is a very interesting topic to hear and it actually has a lot of usage. You can use mind mapping for work productivity such as planning, organizing and preparing strategies for a business project. You can also use mind mapping for academic success like for teaching purposes, brainstorming ideas, problem solving and many more. And lastly, you can make mind maps for your personal management such as goal setting, planning to travel and finances and even tracking events, dates and information.

Best Open Source Mind Mapping Software:


MindMaster is a versatile, user-friendly, and professional mind mapping tool. Available on multiple platforms, including PC, tablet, mobile, and web, you can create mind maps and access them from each platform. With this excellent collaborative mind mapping tool, working with teammates has never been easier.


XMind: The Most Popular Mind Mapping Software on The Planet. XMind is the most professional and popular mind mapping tool. Millions of people use XMind to clarify thinking, manage complex information, run brainstorming and get work organized.XMIND.NET



Coggle – Simple Collaborative Mind Maps. The clear way to share complex information. Coggle is a collaborative mind-mapping tool that helps you make sense of complex things. Create unlimited mind maps and easily share them with friends and colleagues.COGGLE.IT



FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click “fold / unfold” and “follow link” operations.FREEMIND.SOURCEFORGE.NET



WiseMapping – Visual Thinking Evolution. WiseMapping is a free, fast and simple online mind mapping editor for individuals and business. Sign up to start organizing and sharing your ideas and thoughts.WISEMAPPING.COM


6. MIND42

Mind42: Free online mind mapping software. Get an overview about the different kind of mind map created on Mind42. Mind42 is a free online mind mapping software that allows you to collaborate on and publish your mind maps with others.MIND42.COM



Flowchart Maker & Online Diagram Software. Lucidchart is your solution for visual communication. Online flowcharts, diagrams, UML sketches, and ER models have never been easier. Start a free trial today!LUCIDCHART.COM



Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming app – SpiderScribe.SPIDERSCRIBE.NET



Bubbl.us – brainstorm and mind map online. Brainstorm online with Bubbl.us. Easily create colorful mind maps to print or share with others. Almost no learning curve. Millions of people are using Bubbl worldwide to generate ideas, map out processes and create presentations.BUBBL.US



Freeplane is a free and open source software application that supports thinking, sharing information and getting things done at work, in school and at home. The software can be used for mind mapping and analyzing the information contained in mind maps. Freeplane runs on any operating system that has a current version of Java installed. It can be run locally or portably from removable storage like a USB drive.FREEPLANE


best mind mapping software


Best free plan for mind mapping softwareCreate and collaborate on mind maps for workflows, projects, tasks, and more.

ClickUp is a mind mapping software for planning and organizing your projects, ideas, and more through mind maps.

ClickUp’s mind mapping features allow you to draw relationships between projects and tasks, visualize workflows and project or task structures, and easily create and manage tasks directly from your visual roadmap.

Create powerful free-form diagrams, use nodes as reference points for work to be completed, and then convert nodes into tasks. Users can create and link tasks within a mind map using drag-and-drop functionality. Share your mind maps with your team and other collaborators for collaboration in real-time.

ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.

ClickUp’s free plan is robust and includes all primary features. The unlimited plan starts at $5 a month per user and offers additional functionality.

Free forever with paid plans starting at $5/monthCheck out ClickUp


  • Free plan comes with 100 mind map uses
  • Frequently updates with new or improved features
  • Easy to convert map nodes into tasks
  • Many additional diagram/chart options to choose from, incl. Gantt chart & Kanban


  • Unlimited mind maps limited to Business and Enterprise plans
  • Mobile app can be a bit slow
  • Edit permissions are not available with the free plan


Best mind mapping software for teamsSaaS Business Strategy mind map created with MindMeister.

MindMeister is an award-winning mind mapping tool with powerful integrations. It will optimize your team’s brainstorming, ideation and web-based collaboration: visually capture, develop, and share ideas virtually.

The map editor is a blank canvas with endless customization options. With version history, you can revert back to whichever previous iteration you preferred. No eye for design? Choose from an extensive range of beautiful palette themes. The easy-to-access styling toolbar lets you connect ideas visually; add comments, notes, media and attachments; customize fonts, topics, borders and connecting lines; and add tintable icons and emojis.

Customization goes further—format topics as mind maps, org charts or lists (even on the same map), position topics as you please with free topic positioning, or switch effortlessly to Outline Mode to view your mind map as a bulleted list.

Deadline looming? Use Focus Mode for distraction-free mapping: it’s also an ideal solution for presenting your brightest ideas to your team or external stakeholders.

MindMeister integrates seamlessly with the Meister Suite. Embed mind maps into your notes in MeisterNote, or turn ideas into actions by converting topics to tasks and assigning them directly to your projects in MeisterTask. Efficient end-to-end workflow has never been easier.

MindMeister costs from $4.99/month or choose the free-to-use basic plan.

Freemium version

From $4.99/user/monthCheck out MindMeister


  • Simple controls with attractive output
  • Comes with lots of templates
  • Easy to use and adopt


  • Sub-par user experience on touchscreen
  • Integrations are lacking
  • Could use more in depth text editor features

3Microsoft Visio

Best mind mapping software for Microsoft usersMicrosoft Visio allows users to plot out processes and denote which departments are involved at which points.

From Microsoft Visio is visual diagramming tool that works well for mind mapping as well as creating many other graphical representations. If you’re already using Office 365, Visio is a top choice because it can pull data from Office 365 and let you visualize it in real-time with the charts you’ve set up in Visio. This functionality sets it apart from other tools, as Visio enables you to bring you data to life in dashboards that display data-linked diagrams. It does more than simply help you illustrate your ideas on a screen.

Much more than a simple brainstorming app, Visio provides ready-made templates to create block diagrams, flowcharts, timelines, flowcharts, floorplans, engineering designs, and Specification and Description Language (SDL) diagrams (and it also supports AutoCAD drawings). Users can share their diagrams as a link, attachment, image, or PDF and can collaborate through the comments and annotations features. Additionally, unlike a lot of the other mindmap software, Visio allows multiple users to collaborate simultaneously on the same mindmap.

Overall, this is one of the more robust mind mapping tools out there. Keep in mind, it does have a steeper learning curve than many other tools, and it definitely offers more than you need if you’re just looking for a simple interface to make an idea map. However, for technical teams, engineers, architects, and business intelligence use cases, Visio is a top choice—as long as you’re willing to stay within the Microsoft ecosystem.

Microsoft offers Visio through a one-time purchase (Visio Standard and Visio Profession) or as a SaaS (Visio Online).

Visio costs from $6.40/user/month. A one-time license costs from $459.

Free trial

From $6.40/user/monthCheck out Microsoft Visio


  • Robust library of templates
  • Best for writing UML diagrams
  • Over 250,000 shapes to choose from
  • Ready-made blocks and flow diagrams


  • Lags on older PCs
  • Complicated UX and features list
  • No customization of predefined shapes


Best simple mind mapping softwareMindGenius offers simple mind maps with a built-in explorer for easy mind map navigation.

MindGenius is a combination of a concept map creator and a project planning tool. It’s designed for use in educational settings as well as for freelancers, small businesses, and agencies.

MindGenius’ suite includes drag-and-drop mind map creation, along with project planning features like Gantt charts, kanban task views, and some basic project reporting tools. They include several features for making mind maps more useful, with filtering, highlighting, and labelling tools to help you organize and present your mind maps effectively. MindGenius also integrates with Microsoft Office, so you can easily export project data and mind maps to Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint and Microsoft Project.

Overall, MindGenius is a useful brainstorming tool that helps you convert your mind maps from simple brainstorming documents into tools for managing your projects and business. They consistently roll out cool new features; most recently, their MindGenius 2019 version offers ways to share information with others with integration to MindGenius Online, Twitter, Facebook and Dropbox, One Drive and Google.

MindGenius offers two pricing models – Perpetual and Subscription. Perpetual is $256, Subscription is $160 in year one followed by $56 annually from year 2 onwards. A subscription includes upgrades to all future revisions of MindGenius.

14 day free trial

First year $160, year two onwards $56Check out MindGenius


  • Easily move MindView maps into MS Project
  • Easily switch from MindMap to Gantt chart or timeline
  • User-friendly interface


  • RTF editor for notes can be awkward to manage
  • Templates with embedded graphics can be finicky
  • Slight learning curve compared to other apps


Best for mind mapping templatesSmartDraw’s mind maps can be applied in any industry, including IT, design, and more.

SmartDraw is positioned as an alternative to tools like Microsoft Visio, claiming to be much easier for the layman to use while being just as powerful and more affordable. That’s a big claim to live up to, and while it’s not significantly more affordable (at $5.95/user/month it’s comparable to Visio’s $6.40/user/month), it does provide an intuitive interface with useful features that are applicable to essentially any industry, from landscaping and design to IT.

SmartDraw provides users with more than 4500 templates for over 70 different types of diagrams, including flowcharts, infographics, landscape designs, decision trees, timelines, mind maps, engineering and CAD diagrams, and much more. It offers collaborative drawing online so users can work on the same diagrams at the same time, with an intelligent formatting engine that makes automatic adjustments to maintain your diagram’s arrangement. SmartDraw integrates with MS Office, Google apps, Jira, Confluence, DropBox, Box, WordPress, and Trello.

Overall, SmartDraw is a powerful tool, a strong competitor to the likes of Microsoft Visio and arguably more intuitive for the average user to navigate. Like in the case of Visio, enterprise teams are the users who will get the most out of its many advanced features.

SmartDraw costs from $5.95/user/month on a plan with 5+ users, or $9.95/user/month for a single user.

Free trial

From $5.95/user/month


  • Easily customize the color and input dimensions
  • Can import Visio files
  • Plenty of help videos and tutorials
  • Easily insert photos and hyperlinks


  • Low functionality with free version
  • Cannot flip workflow from horizontal to vertical


Best mind mapping software for scaling organizationsLucidchart offers a variety of shapes and formats for constructing client mind maps.

Lucidchart is a concept map creator and general diagramming tool well-suited to businesses of any size who want to present data visually, scaling from a few users to enterprise organizations. It’s offered as a SaaS that allows users to easily and quickly create online mind maps as well as flowcharts, technical diagrams, wireframes, floorplans, process maps, org charts, ER diagrams, and dozens of other graphical representations.

This tool covers all of the bases: real-time collaboration features, easy export of projects into many different file formats, revision history, and hundreds of templates to speed up the diagramming process. You can also embed your Lucidchart diagrams into your wiki, website, or blog, and they’ll automatically update when you make changes in Lucidchart.

Overall, Lucidchart is some of the best mind map software for those who want something easy to roll out and learn to use. It’s positioned similarly to SmartDraw as a more affordable and intuitive alternative to Microsoft Visio, and it delivers. It’s the most affordable of the three solutions, it supplies an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, and its pre-built integrations with Google Apps, Confluence, Jira, Jive, and Microsoft Visio make it easy to sync with existing tools.

Lucidchart costs from $4.95/user/month when paid annually. They also offer a “free forever” account with limited functionality and free trials of their paid versions.

Free trial of paid versions, free version available

From $4.95/user/monthCheck out Lucidchart


  • Easy sharing with edit permissions
  • Predefined industry standard templates
  • Large list of export diagram export options


  • Low object limit on the free version
  • Missing some common shapes
  • Interface feels a little dated


Best for embeddable mind mapsUsers can colour-code mind map branches to show connections and related information.

Coggle is arguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing and intuitive concept map makers on the market. This application supports real-time collaborative drawing online, allowing multiple team members to co-create mind maps and flowcharts.

Coggle’s useful features include auto-arranging branches, image uploads/attachments, a full change history, and collaborative drawing. You can download your mind maps as PDFs or image files, and you can also export as .mm and text as well as export to Microsoft Visio. Another way to share your mind maps is through embeddable diagrams, meaning that you can display your Coggle diagrams on a webpage and make any changes to the diagram from within the mind mapper tool.

This tool doesn’t offer stacks of mind map templates (instead, you can search and repurpose the public diagrams in their gallery), nor does it support the creation of more technical diagrams like network, engineering, and architectural diagrams. However, if you’re looking for a simple, beautifully designed, easy-to-use mind map creator, Coggle should be at the top of your list. This is some of the best mind mapping software for people who are new to mind mapping and want access to all the essential tools.

Coggle costs from $5/user/month. They also offer a free mind map software with unlimited public diagrams and up to 3 private diagrams.

From $5/user/monthCheck out Coggle


  • Great free version of the tool
  • Seamless integration with Google services
  • Stylish map animations
  • Easy to add content loops and branches


  • No way to auto-sort branches
  • Larger maps have sub-par presentation visibility
  • Maps on free accounts are public


Best mobile mind mapping appXMind allows users to plan projects on mind maps.

XMind is a popular brainstorming app used by anyone from startups and entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. It offers several practical features for making mind maps and business diagrams (org charts, timelines, etc) more useful and accessible.

XMInd offers some unique features for speeding up the process of making mind maps, converting mind maps into outlines, and quickly turning your mind maps into professional presentations using auto-formatting and one-click slide creation. They provide styles and themes to get you started, and as you create your mindmaps you can attach files, audio, images, and links. You can also work in “zen mode”, which eliminates distractions from the interface.

The most useful XMind feature for project managers is Gantt View feature, which converts mind maps into Gantt charts (although you can find more specialized Gantt chart tools in our review of MS Project alternatives). They also have a mobile app that users have praised as being convenient easy to navigate. XMind integrations are minimal: it has an Evernote integration, but to share with other apps, you XMind enables you to export in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, RTF, HTML, Plain Text, to PNG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, and SVG files.

XMind costs from $1.24/month for the mobile brainstorming app. You can also buy XMind for a one-time purchase of $129.00, and you can try it before buying with a free download.

Free download available

From $1.24/user/monthCheck out XMind


  • Have multiple interconnected sheets in one file
  • Can link to files, webpages, and emails
  • Brain dump mode for quick map outlines
  • Plenty of file export options


  • Free version does not support real-time collaboration
  • Limited choices for different node types
  • Fewer customizations for deeper level maps


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