Online mind mapping

Mindmeister is an online mind mapping application, similar to tools like Gliffy (diagramming) which offer a single type of application for free or a with a paid premium service. Like many Web 2.0 services, it’s easy to learn and gives you many export and sharing options. I created this map in a few minutes and exported it as a *.jpg.


It won’t be long before most of our applications migrate off the desk top to the web. Here you can see several of the web applications I use to manage my online work. What I really like about these tools is that they are exceptionally easy to learn and they have collaboration built in. Oh, the fact that most are free sure lowers the barrier to trying them out 🙂

8 Responses to “Online mind mapping”

  1. Joe Horne

    Nice tool – I’ll definitely check it out! I’ve been using some freeware called Freemind that works pretty well. There’s a version for PC and a version for Mac.

  2. Vic Gee

    There’s a whole bunch of web-based applications like MindMeister (which is good, I agree with you). These are some more I know of:,,,,,,,,

    There are other free generic diagramming tools that can handle mind maps as well as Gliffy, like, and

    Most of these make collaboration easy, which is valuable. But I wonder about the security aspect. If it’s a bunch of students working on a group project or a family gathering their knowledge of a family tree together, on-line is fine, but these services seem to be marketed mainly at the business world, and I certainly wouldn’t want to put a collaborative business planning project, a team working on product ideas or business process thinking on one of these sites for the operator of the service to browse at leisure.

    Some of these are offering a downloadable intranet option, and I suspect that most will all have to go that way if they are to make the money they presumably hope for.

    The master list of mind mapping &
    information management software

  3. Daniel Lemire

    Funny. I actually looked into FreeMind today and decided to give it a try. Only after trying Mindmeister did I got back to FreeMind and start using it. I actually think that Mindmeister is a nicer application, but FreeMind is free software, so that’s free as in freedom.

    I am slightly worried about Web 2.0 that lock you in. I think they are well suited for short term projects, but for personal stuff that you want to grow over the long term, maybe Web 2.0 are not a good match. What if the company goes out of business?

    Well, I do trust Google to stick around, so I do rely on them (google mail, google documents) but even so, I have a lot of stuff on my own computers and I am not ready to go 100% Web 2.0 yet.

    Before this day can come, I need to be able to trust that I can back the data up myself and that the data format is open.

    This may be the next step, Web 2.0 applications using open format and allowing to back your data up elsewhere.

  4. Harold

    Good point, Daniel. It’s important to own your data, even if it’s just backing-up GMail on your hard drive. I’ll have to check out FreeMind. I also noticed that MindMeister can export files in the open source FreeMind format, as well as MindJet MindManager format.


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