Menu icon

Mind Maps

Mind mapping is a method of writing down information that encourages you to group related ideas together around a central premise. It can be used for personal goals and business, but it’s also very useful for academic work.

How to Create Mind Maps

ThinkBuzan has posted an article on its website that explains how to create mind maps. For those new to mind mapping, this could be the information you’ll need to get started. The company also has an article written on how students can use mind mapping, listing seven techniques that you may find helpful.

Mind Mapping Software

There are dozens of products available for mind mapping for desktop computers, mobile devices, and on the Web. Some of them are paid downloads, others are shareware, and a few are completely free. Although it might be worth experimenting to see which software does best for you, Jason Fitzpatrick of LifeHacker put together a list of five good choices. Here are some others:


FreeMind is a mind-mapping software (written in Java) for PC or Macintosh. One drawback is
that the program doesn’t support simultaneous collaboration.


MindMup is a very basic mind-mapping site, still in beta (as of this writing). No account required.


Mind42 pronounced “mind for two,” this site helps you create free (ad-supported) collaborative
mind maps.


Mindomo another free mind-mapping software website, Mindomo works on multiple computer
and mobile platforms. There’s also a version that’s compatible with Google Drive.


XMind (Windows/Mac/Linux, Free). The interface is simple and intuitive to use. You can quickly
move through your entire mind map with only a handful of keystrokes or jump over to the outline view for even quicker navigation.

Mind Mapping Apps

Tablets are almost perfect for mind mapping. You’ve got the simplicity of a touch screen with the utility of a computerized tool. App developers know this, of course, and there’s no shortage of mind-mapping apps available for multiple platforms. Some are dedicated to the tablet; others are variations of tools you’ll find online. Some are free, others cost a few dollars. As with any productivity software, you may need to try a few before you find the one you like best.

So which should you try?

iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) – AppAdvice has a list of iPad apps that you can use for mind mapping. Some are more expensive than others, but many of them have extensive feature sets that could prove useful if you’re a true devotee of the mind mapping process.

Android – If you’re an Android user, take a look at this list from GitMind: Compare 10 Best Mind Mapping Apps and Tools for Android Some of them are cross-platform software, such as MindMeister.

Tips and Tutorials

James Cook University in Australia has put together a guide for students to learn mind-mapping techniques. By Gina Trapani at LifeHacker