Two great cross-platform mind-mapping applications

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These two mind-mapping applications are written in Java and thus run on all major operating systems (Mac, Linux, Windows).


FreeMind is completely free. It has made some great progress in recent years. Tips:
  • Switch on “Format → Automatic Layout” in the menu bar. It formats the mind map nicely.
  • The default is for nodes to be selected on hover. I prefer having to click to select a node. This behavior can be enabled via “Preferences → Behavior → Selection Method → By Click”.
  • Check out the shortcuts in the “Insert” and “Navigate” menus. They really speed up mind map creation.


XMind has a slick user interface, the basic version is free. Unfortunately, PDF export is a professional feature.