Two Excellent Free Mind Map Programs


I've always been a fan of a business graphics package called Smartdraw (  It's an easy way to do mind maps, org charts, calendars, room plans, flyers, web pages, and just about every other type of graphic you can imagine.  However, at almost US$300 it's not cheap.

Edraw ( is cheaper, at around US$100, and works in a similar way. 

A great bargain, however, is that the Mind Map component of Edraw is also available completely free.  Just go to and download it.  It's an 11 MB download, and runs under Windows XP and above. 

Edraw Mind Map


It should be pointed out that Edraw's Mind Map application is not a classic mind mapping outliner, but more of a general-purpose drawing program that includes a collection of icons (bubbles, lines, buttons etc) relevant to creating mind maps.  So although you can create some great-looking images, it does take time to drag each individual item to the correct place on the page.

If you're after a classic mind map application, ie an outliner that automatically creates a mind map based on the text you type in, have a look at Freemind.  This is still my favourite of all the free mind mapping programs.



Freemind is a smaller download (versions start at 4 MB) than the Edraw offering, though it does require Java.  This gives it the advantage of running in Windows, Mac and Linux, so if you're a non-Windows user it's definitely worth a look. Try it yourself at


Thanks to user Robert C for recommending Edraw's Mind Mapping freeware.  If you have a Hot Find that you want to tell me about, see for details on how to do so.


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Thanks Rob Schifreen...

benefits of creative thinking mind maps Understanding how the technique helps link teaching with learning, enabling students to “learn how to learn”