Are you ready to get started with mind mapping software on your computer? On this page, you find 3 tools that I’ve been using for many years myself. You see, I don’t want to recommend tools that I don’t believe in. I work with all these tools and they give me great results.
Key points for me in a tool are:
- It has to be easy to learn
- The tool needs to create mind maps fast
- The mind maps have to look good and clear
- I want the tool to be useful in a ‘live’ session where I use it for training and presentations
If you are interested in using a tool, just give it a try. You can use them for at least 28 days. I included MAC OS and Windows versions so everybody will benefit. There are download links to all of them below. Click on the name of the tool you like to download
NOTE: And as always, make sure you ask your questions if you have any (about the software, how to use it, buying it, and anything else)
Here Are Your Windows Tools
Let’s start with some of my favorite Windows tools. Digital mind mapping started for me on my Windows computer. Here are the tools that I’ve used a lot over the years.
The main reasons I used them?
Easy to use, great-looking maps, and fast mapping!
Here Are Your MAC Tools
I’ve been mostly working on my MAC Book for the last 14 years. I do use Windows versions of my mind mapping tools. Still, it is always great to work with the MAC versions of them. The only tool I can not use in a native MAC version is from MindMapper. For this, I use CrossOver to emulate a Windows environment (or I boot using Bootcamp).
What is the best mind mapping software?
This is a difficult-to-answer question. It depends on:
- what you want to do with it
- how often you will use it
- how skilled you are with a computer
- your skills with the software tool itself
Here are my thoughts on the tools that I showed you before.
MindMapper is a tool that is easy to use. I like this one a lot because a new node is created automatically when I start typing. I don’t need to tell the tool that I want a new node.
In Mindmanager (use Insert or Enter) and XMind (Tab and Enter), you have to tell the tool you need a new node.
Pricewise, XMind is the best way to go. It has a free version that allows you to start and continue mind mapping as long as you like. Mindmanager is the most expensive tool of these three.
Of course, all have a student license option. This makes mind mapping a lot more affordable. Just make sure you have a student card to use this option.
All tools are making it extremely easy to map your information. Of course, other tools offer this as well. What I do like about these three is that digital mapping is exactly that, digital mapping. They don’t try to create handwritten style maps. When you like to have a hand-drawn style map, you should make it on paper I think.
Maps should however use some colors and body to the map to please the creative side of our brain. MindMapper is the best in this I think. The maps are more natural and have different colors for the branches. Xmind and Mindmanager use rather cold and monotone outlines.
My Conclusion About the Best Mind Mapping Software
Mind mapping on a computer should be easy. You have to think about the content, not so much about the making of the map.
When I look at the three tools I work a lot with, I believe MindMapper creates the most brain-friendly maps. Xmind is a very powerful tool that produces really clear maps. Mindmanager is an all-around business tool that is used by millions around the world. When you meet a mind mapper, you know they are familiar with Mindmanager.
Do You Like Your Mind Mapping Tool?
When you like your tool, it might be a good time to invest some money in a first-class mind mapping tool.
Here are some things to consider when buying a tool:
- Is it a one-time payment or is it recurring yearly?
- Did you test other tools to see if they are easy or easier to use?
- Would you like a discount (for example using a Student/Academic version)?
- Do you want to learn more about the tool (from me or via others)?
I can help you when you have questions or run into problems. Just let me know.
For now… make sure you buy the tool you like the most and which helps you create practical maps. Don’t worry about the investment too much. When you continue to use the tool, you will forget about the investment soon. The benefits from your tool will be much better!
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