OI’m a big fan of mindmapping for research and writing, but I was having a hard time finding an app which worked well for family history and writing.  That quest resulted in an in-depth comparison of mindmapping software.

If you’re not familiar with them, mind maps are visual thinking tools which represent in a graphic format. Kind of like brainstorms on steriods. Traditionally, a central idea is surrounded by “branches” of associated topics.

Mind maps help you see relationships between thoughts and ideas. That’s why they are so helpful in research.

In writing, they can help you determine themes, structures, and connections. You can assess the facts you already have and the context you’re missing. And you can develop ideas on how that context likely affected individuals in the past.

Advantages of mindmapping software versus pen and paper

If you’re like me, your mind maps sometimes run off the paper. Or you pick up the wrong color pen and you end up retracing everything. That doesn’t happen with software.You don’t end up starting over time after time when you change your mind. And they look nicer on your blog or presentation.

In addition, in Best mind map software of 2019, Ben Aston points out the importance of collaboration. Depending on the app you choose, you can have co-creators working on a mind map with you.

Mindmapping Software Comparison

When I was researching a long list of mindmapping software, I used the same premise for a handwritten mind map I’d started multiple times.  Though there are many other products on the market, after making a lot of sample mind maps, I narrowed down the list for writers and family storytellers to MindMup, Coggle, MindMeister, Wisemapping, and Scapple.

 

Coggle Features and Pricing

Vendor website: https://coggle.it/plans

T

Pros

  • Every change saved in real time, unlimited history to go back to earlier version of your maps
  • Has 1600 icons for users
  • Allows unconnected comments, chats, and texts
S

Cons

  • Uses keyboard shortcuts rather than menu with icons, which makes interface less intuitive
  • Coggle auto-arranges branches which makes it harder to fine-tune

Other Info

  • Browser-based

MindMeister Features and Pricing

Vendor website: https://www.mindmeister.com/mind-map-pricing

T

Pros

  • Intutitive interface
  • Symbols and icons easy to use and add dimension to maps
S

Cons

  • Not easy to customize node colors
  • Free version only allows export as text outline (or take a screenshot)

Other Info

  • Browser-based
  • Also has a Business plan for large organizations

WiseMapping Features and Pricing

Vendor website:  https://wisemapping.com

T

Pros

  • Intutitive interface with menu as well as short-cuts
  • Easy to change colors and borders of nodes
  • Branches taper towards nodes, giving appealing tree-effect
  • Open sourced software is Free
S

Cons

  • Branches auto-arrange in free version making it difficult to re-shape your map

Other Info

  • Browser-based

MindMup Features and Pricing

Vendor website: https://www.mindmeister.com/mind-map-pricing

T

Pros

  • Intuitve, easy to move things around, change color and font sizes.
  • Attach files and notes to nodules of the map
  • Download will export to image or pdf files, even outline if the map has annotated content
  • Create an embed code to use mind maps on your website or blog.
S

Cons

  • Lack of registration means it can be hard to find published maps
  • Downloading as image is a multi-step process
  • If you have multiple Google accounts, emailing can be awkward

Other Info

  • Curvey or straight-line options
  • Publish feature is  for sharing mind maps on social media or embedding on blogs
  • Web-based

Scapple Features and Pricing

Vendor website: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scapple/overview

T

Pros

  • Very intutitive interface, simply double click to add a note
  • Software, not a subcription
  • Can be used off-line
  • Completely free-form
S

Cons

  • No collaboration
  • Not many advanced features
  • Not quite as asthetically pleasing as Coogle (in author’s opinion)

Other Info

  • Designed for writers
  • Straight line connectors
  • Available for Windows and Mac

Recommendations

Look at the screengrabs from my projects and see if a particular mindmapping software appeals to you.  If it does, try it out.

For the money, Wisemapping and Scapple win. Because I often work in places without readily available WiFi, Scapple will be my software of choice, but I love Coggle’s looks, so I’ll probably use that for creating mind maps for presentations.  

 

Your Turn

Mindmapping SOftware comparison Pinnable ImageDo  you use a mindmapping software? Which one did you choose? Is there one you’d like to investigate?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this:

We use Google Analytics

Google Analytics helps us better understand where our visitors are from and what pages and posts they enjoy. Please confirm if you accept our Google Analytics tracking. You can also decline the tracking and visit our website without any data sent to Google Analytics.