There are plenty of choices when it comes to Mind Mapping software and I still remember the days when I used to long for a couple of well-known tools online that were – and still are – paid options.
But those days are long gone and have been ever since I came across an astonishing mind mapping app that offers a free plan.
I try out productivity solutions often, and none come close to this type of tool because when it comes to planning, we think faster than we can write (or type). This kind of software gives you the ability to very quickly create a tree-like structure in which you can contain your thoughts without losing track of your thought process.
I’ve been using this software for years now and I still use it at least 3 or 4 times a week. I fire up the app whenever I want to plan a project, big or small.Mind mapping can help you get down my thought processes quickly and then develop them like no other tool.Click To Tweet
And this tool lacks nothing when it comes to mapping capabilities, and considering the price tag (zero) it has some pretty nifty benefits:
- it works on a mac
- it works on windows
- it’s a desktop app, so you run the software on your computer
Suffice it to say that I’ve never since felt the need to look elsewhere for another software soltution online. And I’m betting that neither will you once you try this software.
Possibly The Best Mind Mapping App on The Planet, Considering The Price Tag (Zero)
As I say, I’ve been using for years now and it’s definitely one of my all-time favourite tools. In all this time and usage, the shine has never worn off. I think that in itself is impressive.
This app is perfect for brainstorming anything you need to plan. The software is very intuitive – as you’ll see in the video – and it really is hard not to fall in love with this tool.
Where to Get Your Mind Map Software – Free Download for Mac and Window
The website claims that this is the most popular mind mapping tool on the planet. I know that’s a bold claim, but I believe it. After all, when you give a desktop app with this much power away against a backdrop of paid alternatives, it can’t be hard to rack up a ton of raving fans.
The tool is called Xmind and you can get it here.
You’ll note on their website that they do have some paid plans, but I think those are mostly aimed at corporates because the paid plan offers benefits such as team sharing and includes the kinds of features that organisations or at least teams that collaborate on projects would definitely find valuable.
Perhaps not surprisingly, their page showcases an impressive list of well-known global companies as clients who use the software.
But as I say, I’ve been using the free version all these years and it does way more than I needed to do.
Using the Mind Mapping Software
Once you grab your free download and install it on your computer, you’ll be able to start using it straight away.
You can see me use the software in the video and walk you through the different features that I use the most. I also show you how I use it to create branches and I show off some of the things that took me a little bit of time to figure out, such as creating relationships and structures.
The video tutorial is brief, but I believe it will get you up and running very quickly – consider it a shortcut.
Let me quickly go over some of the cool stuff you’ll see in the video:
When you fire up the app, you’ll see plenty of gorgeous templates that you can use to get started. These are pre-made templates to give you a head start. They include many designs and layouts and the idea here is that you can use the templates to choose a design that you like.
This is a great option if you’re doing presentations and you want to add a little eye-candy to the mix.
I actually use the default template most of the time because it suits me fine, but I do like to play around with some of the pre-made maps every so often.
Xmind does update the software often, and you’ll find once you start using the tool that new templates and icon sets begin to appear after updates. So you get a built-in string of surprise bonuses with the software. Heh.
How to export Your Mind Maps
I mostly just save my work in its original format because it’s for my own use. But if you want to add a nice mind map to a document, you can export your work to a graphic and then embed that graphic in a document.
The paid plan gives you a lot more options to export to, including PDF.
Tip: check out the video as I share my workaround for creating a nice PDF with your mind map
Other Potential Uses for Your Mind Maps
You can use them for anything you want, of course, but some of the obvious settings that spring to mind include:
- brainstorming ideas from scratch
- creating processes that you can share with others
- creating processes that you can use in a presentation
- creating documented procedures and embedding the mind maps into the documents as images
You can even create lead magnets that your web visitors can download if you have a blog. Offering a mindmap download can be a very quick way to create a decent lead magnet that you can use to generate subscribers.
Tip: if you’re going to create downloadable mind maps, use the templates to create really nice looking lead magnets
Using the Icon Sets
I use many of the icon sets extensively. I like to colour code things to help me very quickly make sense of the map visually.
For example, if I brainstorm a project, then I always use these colours:
- blue flags on any process that I’m waiting on
- red flags for urgent processes
- green flags for completed processes
There are many other icons that I like to use, but the above are the ones I make the most use of.
Please check out the video to appreciate the full process and to get a fast start on the software, then grab your free download and start brainstorming!