The Program That Finally Made Me Love Mind Maps. And It's Free.


Back in June 2014 I wrote in this column about mind-mapping software, and I recommended a couple of products.  You can still read the original posting at if you're interested.

At the time, one up-and-coming product that I looked at, but didn't feel able to recommend at the time, was XMind.  But things have changed in the past two and a half years, and they've changed significantly for the better.

XMind, once rather clunky, is now truly impressive.  It has a range of features, some more useful than others, but at the end of the day it's a mind map program for Windows which is incredibly easy to use, and available for free.  I put together the diagram below in about an hour.  Just press Enter to create a new topic, or Insert to insert a new sub-topic against an existing one, and XMind takes care of all the rest.  The neat formatting and layout that you can see is entirely down to the program, leaving me to get on with getting my thoughts down onto the screen.

XMind Pro, available for a cost, gets you loads more features, but the basic free version contains everything you need to start thinking in mind map form.  The program is a 114 MB download from and is malware-free according to Web of Trust and my PC's scanner (it's too large for VirusTotal).  

Note that, although the program is known as XMind 6, the download and the version number is 3.5.1.  This is correct.  And no, I have no idea either.



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You had trouble working out why v 3.5.1 is called XMind 6
Well this should clear things up - v3.6.0 is called XMind 7

I've found that Vue and context maps have afforded me more freedom to produce better diagrams. Mind-mappers forbid you to join two leaves and comment on them both.

I'm going to try XMind out, though....

I love VUE, unfortunately it is not clear whether it is still supported: do you know?....i would love to stick on it.....i love its flexibility....anyway i will try XMind6

Jeeezzz I should never answer a post in the morning..LOL

I've tried them all.. I use them to map Novels..
and I found Xmind6 the easiest to use and learn...

Thanks :) The new version is worth a look. EDraw and FreeMind are my favorites