Software Tools

Xmind 2020 vs Xmind 8 Pro – The Key Difference

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In this post I’m going to share with you the key difference between Xmind 8 and Xmind 2020.

You’ll also find my video below (Xmind 2020 vs Xmind 8) answering this question.

Now let me provide an overview on both apps so you get a good idea of what each mind mapping software is really designed to help you with.

Let’s do this.

What is the difference between Xmind 8 and Xmind 2020?

The real difference between Xmind 8 and Xmind 2020 comes down to design. Xmind 2020 is much more design-centric and comes with many modern templates, while Xmind 8 has a more traditional look and has less choice when it comes to templates. Functionality-wise, there’s not much difference between the two apps.

Here’s my video covering this answer in more detail:

Now let’s look at each mind mapping tool in turn.

Xmind 8 Pro

Xmind 2020 vs Xmind 8 Pro - The Key Difference 1

Xmind 8 is the flagship product. Xmind 8 in fact was an upgrade to the original Xmind 7, which is the app I got started with, many moons ago.

Xmind 8 is perfect for brainstorming and mapping out ideas and concepts, anything from a simple mind map to a complex logic chart.

Admittedly, there’s not much happening in the eye-candy department, but then again, back when the software was released, sleek design was not commonplace, or at least not as important as functionality, and who ever heard of sexy mind mapping software?

Xmind 8 is the flagship product. Xmind 8 in fact was an upgrade to the original Xmind 7, which is the app I got started with, many moons ago.

Xmind 8 is perfect for brainstorming and mapping out ideas and concepts, anything from a simple mind map to a complex logic chart.

Admittedly, there’s not much happening in the eye-candy department, but then again, back when the software was released, sleek design was not commonplace, or at least not as important as functionality, and who ever heard of sexy mind mapping software?

When it comes to the operating system, Xmind 8 works on both Windows and Mac. Although the sales page doesn’t mention Linux, XMind state on their website that the software does run on Linux too. See image below:

Xmind 2020 vs Xmind 8 Pro - The Key Difference 2
Ref: Xmind’s ebsite.

Xmind 2020

Xmind 2020 vs Xmind 8 Pro - The Key Difference 3

Xmind 2020 is the latest version of the tool. As you’d expect with a newer release, the software feels more polished.

There’s not much difference between each application when it comes to functionality though. Generally, everything works the same way. Creating a mind map feels pretty much the same in either version.

Note: until recently, there was a third app called Xmind Zen, which made an appearance in 2018. Xmind Zen was a subscription service. In December 2020 I discovered it had been discontinued. When I asked Xmind support to comment, they explained that Xmind Zen has been merged with Xmind 2020.

Xmind 2020 runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

What about the free version of Xmind?

Xmind provide a very generous unlimited trial for both apps, and both the Xmind 2020 trial version and the Xmind 8 trial are offered as a download on Xmind’s website.

The trick, as Xmind support explained to me via email, is not to upgrade the software, which in turn allows you to run the app without a license key.

As you’d expect, the free version (i.e. the trial version) comes with some limitations, such as not being able to export your mindmap into a PDF file.

But still, if you’re planning on using the app for personal use and have no need for PDFs, you get to use the Xmind for free and that’s pretty cool.

I personally use it for brainstorming and mapping out ideas and processes to clarify thinking. You still get access to every template, so you really can’t complain.

You can see every version release in Xmind’s Wikipedia page.

Conclusion

When it comes to Xmind 2020 vs Xmind 8 Pro, the main difference is a more polished interface and a significantly better user interface experience when it comes to using Xmind 2020.

However, the difference really is mostly about design. If you want mind mapping software for brainstorming and creating a decent mind map, then XMind 8 is perfect for the job. If, on the other hand, you want to impress prospects and clients, or you want to create eye-catching mind maps for any other reason, then Xmind 2020 is a better choice.

The main difference between Xmind 2020 and Xmind 8: video transcript

What’s the difference between Xmind 2020 and xmind 8 Pro? That’s what I’m answering in this video.

And as a bonus I’m going to let you in on a little secret that a lot of people seem to miss, and that is a way to use Xmind for free if you’re going to use it for personal use and you don’t need access to every feature.

You’ll find links and timestamps to everything I mention in the description so you can click and go to a section if you need a recap.

Okay let’s do this!

Okay so let’s start with Xmind 8. Xmind 8 is the flagship product; it’s been around for over a decade and it’s a big name in the mind mapping space.

Then came along Xmind 2020 which is the newer version of Xmind 8. However it doesn’t quite replace Xmind 8. Instead, it gives you a different experience.

Xmind 2020, as you can guess, was released in 2020 or thereabouts… and what a year that was!

Functionality-wise, there isn’t much difference between Xmind 8 and Xmind 2020. Everything works the same, everything is where you’d expect it to be, and rightly so.

The real difference between Xmind 2020 and Xmind 8 is design.

With Xmind 8 you’re quite limited in the way of templates, but also things don’t look that sexy. On the other hand, with Xmind 2020 you have access to lots of nice templates, nice icons, nice everything!

If you want a more detailed overview of Xmind 2020 then click on this video.

So here’s the difference in real terms:

if you need to create mind maps that look really nice so that you can share them with clients or prospects or use them to present things and look good, then you may want to steer towards Xmind 2020.

However, if you’re creating mind maps for data-driven people like accountants (no offense) or you just like to brainstorm your ideas for yourself then Xmind 8 is perfect!

Either way, you’ll be glad to know that I have a full tutorial on how to use Xmind and you’ll find that here as well as in the description.

Now for the bonus that I promised.

Here’s the thing: a lot of people commented in my original Xmind 8 video that they didn’t see how you could use this software for free.

Well, here’s how: Xmind actually give you an unlimited trial. Now, unlimited normally means no limits but what Xmind mean by unlimited is a trial that doesn’t expire.

That means that you can continue to use the software for free as long as you don’t register the software.

You’ll find that information on their website and you may have heard me mention that they sent me an email explaining this.

Let me know in the comments which one you are for: Xmind 8 or Xmind 2020, and let me know what you’re using it for.

Lots of very cool mind mapping tools coming up so sub and I’ll see you in the next video.

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