The Best Mind Mapping Software For Small Businesses
With a mind mapping tool, you’ll be more likely to increase productivity and fuel growth. It’s a resource that can help you innovate and stand out from your competitors.
Are you wondering what the best mind mapping software on the market is? Keep reading as we answer this very important question.
What Is Mind Mapping?
Before we review mind mapping software, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what mind mapping actually means. Essentially, mind mapping is a graphic way to represent various concepts and ideas. It can allow you to organize your thoughts visually so you can use them to your advantage. Here’s how you can draw a mind map:
- In the middle of a blank piece of paper, write or draw a major topic or idea you hope you develop. Turn your paper in landscape orientation so you have more room.
- Think about the subtopics that are related to this central topic. Write them down and draw a line to connect them to the center.
- Repeat this process for subtopics and add as many lower-level subtopics as you deem necessary.
When you create your mind map, make sure the topic is a one word or a short phrase. You can also draw a simple image to represent it. Also, vary the thickness of the lines and use different colors to emphasize key points.
Once you draw your mind map, you’ll find that it reflects the way your brain works. It’s a unique and effective way to convey your thoughts and ideas to the individuals or businesses that need to know them.
What Is Mind Mapping Software?
With mind mapping software, you can create mind maps easily. This innovative tool enables you to create digital maps that show the connections and hierarchy between various ideas. While you can create mind maps on paper, using software makes this process more efficient and organized.
After you create a mind map, you’ll be able access it anytime, on any device including a tablet, smartphone, laptop, or desktop. Therefore, if you’re in a meeting or presentation, you can easily share your thoughts and ideas on a whim. You don’t have to worry about whether you have the tangible paper with your mind map with you. A mind mapping software allows you to share your map whenever you please.
A mind mapping software can also give your team the chance to brainstorm simultaneously, even if you’re not in the same location. As long as each team member has a login and knows how to use the program, you can all brainstorm together.
In addition, you may integrate your mind mapping software with other applications like Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Evernote, and Dropbox. This can be a real convenience if you use them often to jot down your ideas and thoughts.
The Pieces Of The Best Mapping Software Options
When you shop for mind mapping software, there are certain features you should look for. These features can give you the chance to make the most out of your investment. You’ll need them to draw and share the most effective mind maps. Here are a few examples of must-have features on the mind mapping software you select.
No Limitations On The Brain Canvas
Some mind mapping software comes with size limitations. This means that it won’t give you the ample amount of space you need to fully develop your ideas. So, look for a mapping software without brain canvas limitations. It’ll allow you to brainstorm for as little or as long as you need to and won’t cut your thinking session short.
When there are no limitations on brain canvas, you don’t have to rush through your mind maps. You can truly take your time and ensure your ideas support your bottom line.
Collaboration On Ideas
In a perfect world, you’d have all the answers and ideas. Since this isn’t the case, it’s imperative to find a mind mapping software that allows and encourages collaboration.
A collaborative software tool is accessible by multiple employees. It gives everyone the chance to view and revise various mind maps. They can do so in office or remotely on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other device.
You can use mind mapping software during team meetings and make brainstorming sessions far more efficient. You’re sure to be surprised at how productive and creative your employees become when they have one at their disposal.
File Attachments, Saving, Exporting, And More
A quality mind mapping software makes it easy for you to save your mind maps and re-edit them at a later time. This is a vital feature as you may not complete a brainstorming session in one sitting. You may want to take a break and come back to it during another meeting.
In addition, the software should allow you to add images and other attachments and be easy to export and share with others. There’s no sense of developing new thoughts and ideas if you can’t reveal them to the employees that can learn from them or better yet, bring them to life.
Our List Of The Best Mind Mapping Software
If you’ve done some research on mind mapping software, you know that no two softwares are created equal. Also, there’s no such thing as the “perfect” one as they all come with their own specific strengths and weaknesses. To help you make an informed decision for your unique business and needs, we’ve come up with this handy list of the best mind mapping software.
LucidChart offers something for everyone. Whether you’d like to create a simple flowchart or a very complex diagram, this tool has you covered. It gives you the chance to collaborate with your team in real-time, view history and chances with the click of a button, and integrate with hundreds of tools. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of LucidChart is data linking.
You can use it to connect your diagrams to live spreadsheet data. Any time you make a change to the spreadsheet data, rest assured it’ll be reflected automatically in your diagrams. This can save you and your team a great deal of time and manual labor.
Other exciting features you’ll enjoy with LucidChart include keyboard shortcuts to make it faster and easier to complete your maps and group chat. There’s also presentation mode that instantly turns your maps into slides.
There are over 11 million users on MindMeister. With this mind mapping software, you can create and share maps that vary in size and style. You can customize them with images, icons, links, notes, animations on more. If you want to collaborate with MindMeister, you’ll have complete access to usage stats, group chat, and reports.
One of our favorite aspects of MindMeister is it’s easy-to-use interface. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ll have no problem using it. MindMeister can also be used to import mind maps from other free mind mapping software you may have used in the past.
To share a map on this software, you can invite others directly via email or send them a link to it. Even if they don’t have a MindMeister account, they can access the maps and even make changes to them. This is a huge plus if you want to share your maps with clients, investors, or anyone else outside of your organization.
Coggle was designed to help business leaders like yourself visualize and process complex information. Once you get into the software, you’ll notice unlimited image uploads, text boxes, and real-time collaboration. Since this tool works seamlessly on your browser, you don’t have to set it up. Just log in and get to work.
We consider Coggle as the best free mind mapping software because it allows you to create and store three diagrams privately at no charge. If you’re a startup, you’ll love Coggle because it can provide you with the benefits of a mind mapping software without the high expense. In the event you find it valuable, you could always upgrade to a more extensive solution.
Any time you make a change to a mind map on Coggle, rest assured it’ll save automatically. If you want to go back to a previous version, you can do so easily. This is a great feature as it can allow you to return to old ideas without having to start from scratch.
If you like the idea of a clean, easy-to-use interface, you’ll be impressed with Mindly. You can spruce up any map you make with icons, colors, and text. The zoom tool can allow you to focus in or out of a certain component of your map.
The software also gives you the chance to sync across multiple devices and share your maps with co-workers and others. Additionally, you can work on your maps at virtually any time because internet connection isn’t required.
While there’s a free version of Mindly, it limits you to three maps and a maximum of 100 elements. Due to this, if you’d like to create and share mind maps easily, you may have to opt for a paid membership.
The paid route is attractive as it offers a search feature. You can use it to look for a term or concept and make immediate edits. If you’re on a time crunch or would like to become more efficient, this can be an invaluable benefit.
For a mind mapping software with optimal flexibility, Scapple is the way to go. It can give you the opportunity to add your thought ideas and make connections any way you please.
There are absolutely no rules and requirements. You don’t have to focus on a central topic if you don’t want to and can enjoy the freedom of creating any kind of map. It encourages you to delete and rearrange ideas as you see fit.
While other mind mapping software comes with pre-built templates, Scapple doesn’t. If you like the idea of “brain dumping,” Scapple is ideal. You can jot down your ideas and come back to them whenever you’d like.
Many Scapple users report that using Scapple is as easy as drawing on a piece of paper. Although it’ll save your maps and allow you collaborate in real-time, it’ll still give you a very natural brainstorming experience.
There are no shortage of features on SimpleMind. You can select from a horizontal, vertical, or freeform mind map and customize your creation to your needs. If you use the software on your smartphone or tablet, you’ll be able to add voice and video memos. This is a unique perk as it can allow you to record quick additions when you’re in the middle of something else.
With SimpleMind, you can also import a PDF and convert it into a mind map. If there are ideas in a lengthy book or article that you’d like to mind map, the PDF convertor can save you hours of manual work. Once the map has been created, you’re welcome to go in and edit it. In addition to these unique features, you’re bound to love its templates, project planning, project collaboration, and email support.
Most people are visual thinkers. They are more likely to make sense of their thoughts and ideas when they have a visual representation of them. That’s where mind mapping software comes in. It can allow you and your team to think creatively and utilize your resources wisely.
If you’re new to mind mapping software, try a free trial to figure out if it’s right for you and your business.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is mind mapping?
With mind mapping, you can organize your thoughts and feelings visually. It can help you and your business become more productive and innovative.
Why is a mind mapping software a good investment?
While you can create mind maps with a pen and paper, a mind mapping software makes the process far easier and efficient. It can save you time and allow you to make the most out of your brainstorm sessions.
What is the best free mind mapping software?
There are a number of free options out there but we like Coggle. It offers an intuitive interface, unlimited image uploads, real-time collaboration, and more.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.