I'm looking for a list of mind-map/brainstorming software that are easy to use, intuitive and practically applicable across a wide range of projects.

Thus far I have been using IHMC CmapTools software, which is pretty good in most cases but not quite right for some. I'm looking for alternative programs similar to this, that may be better suited to other projects.

Please suggest some brainstorming and mind-mapping software that you have found useful, and if you wish to, give a brief description of what makes it useful.

Preferably open-source and Windows compatible, though this list is for everyone so feel free to suggest software for other operating systems, and include paid software if it's suitable.

  • 1
    Might be a shopping list question, but to clarify what are the pitfalls of the current tool you use. Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 2:53
  • @AdamSchuld The main issues I have with this software is I can't insert pictures if I wanted to, but more than that I'd like to know what other options are available, I'm currently limited to one option. It took me a while to find the software I mentioned and its not that easy to find brainstorming tools. I'm hoping someone will know of another software that I can try that might be better. I don't see how this question won't be useful for many other people.
    – Dom
    Commented Jul 30, 2013 at 12:28
  • Software for general diagram making and particularly flow diagrams would also work for mind maps. Personally, I'd just use Illustrator or whatever alternative was available. Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


By using the term 'Concept Mapping Software' I found an awesome list on Wikipedia.

A few in particular that stand out to me on first viewing are:

  • Coggle - Appears to be a web app that allows collaboration on mindmaps across the internet

  • MindMup - Another web app that appears to be very easy to use

  • Visual Understanding Environment - A desktop app that looks very graphical

  • XMind - Another interesting looking desktop app

These are all free! I'm going to try out a few and improve my descriptions if I can.

  • 1
    I don't have any experience in mind mapping, but I'd say that MindMup appeals enough to me that I might pick it up. It's a good list. Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 0:19

I will suggest taking a look at http://www.wisemapping.com. It's a web app for mindmap software collaboration. You can use the cloud version or install it locally.

  • 2
    Please note your affiliation with the product in question in your answer else it may be deleted as spam.
    – DA01
    Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 3:43

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