- Best for visual workflows: FigJam
- Best for collaboration: Miro
- Best for complex projects: Lucidchart
- Best for integrations: WorkCanvas by monday.com
- Best for simple workflows: Freehand by InVision
- Best for custom graphics or media: Canva
When you think of a project management tool, you usually think of something to help you organize and keep track of tasks. But if your projects need custom visualization to explain a concept or process, a mind mapping tool is a good option.
Any design tools with collaboration features are a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page and meets project deadlines. Most of the software explored in this article will have project management functionality or integrate with other project management software.
- Top mind mapping tools comparison
- Top mind mapping tools (jump to first listing)
- Key features of mind mapping software for project management
- How do I choose the best mind mapping software for my business?
Top mind mapping tools comparison
The products featured in the table below are either whiteboard, graphics, wireframing, diagramming or project management solutions. Each one has the capability to draw or assemble shapes to visualize your data, ideas or planning process.
|Sharing and/or exporting
FigJam: Best for visual workflows
Both affordable and intuitive, FigJam is a fluid design tool for projects and concepts. While it’s not a classic project management tool with task lists and reminders, it’s a great tool for visualizing concepts, ideas and projects.
FigJam is best for teams that need to plan a process or product, as opposed to teams with lots of data or writing. You can use the free version to get to grips with the functionality before purchasing a paid plan, and you’ll also be able to check out the free version of Figma. You can use its templates to get started with mind mapping, flow charts, wireframing or diagramming.
- Free: Allows three active files for Figma and FigJam, plus exporting.
- FigJam Professional: $3 per user/month billed annually, or $5 per user/month billed monthly.
- FigJam Organization: $5 per user/month billed annually.
- Enterprise: $5 per user/month billed annually, but you need to contact sales before purchase.
- Access to Figma.
- Interactive workspace including voting and audio messaging.
- Separate team libraries or organization-wide libraries.
- Custom templates and color palettes.
- Diagramming and tables.
- Mobile apps for iOS and Android.
- Free plan offers small teams unlimited collaborators, sharing of active files, templates and mobile access.
- Online mind mapping template.
- Team libraries for collaboration.
- Admin and billing in the FigJam Organization plan.
- Exporting in all plans to save projects and designs.
- Only annual billing available for FigJam Organization and Enterprise.
- Only paid plans have password protection.
- Guest and team controls only offered in Enterprise.
Miro: Best for collaboration
Miro is suited for teams that want features for collaboration and extensive user management to protect their workplace and foster productivity. The platform has plans for all stages of growth, and onboarding for higher plans to get larger teams started faster. Miro’s Free plan has unlimited members, so you can take your time getting adjusted to the software before making a costly commitment.
- Free: Unlimited users, three boards, templates and integrations.
- Starter: $8 per user/month billed annually, or $10 per user/month billed monthly.
- Business: $16 per user/month billed annually, or $20 per user/month billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
- Collaboration with different users like guests, visitors and members.
- 100+ integrations, including Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.
- Miro templates and custom templates.
- Diagramming and mind mapping tools.
- On-the-go collaboration with mobile apps for iOS and Android.
- Ability to add guests and visitors in the Business plan and up.
- Unlimited project boards in paid plans.
- Interactive presentations in all plans.
- Developer tools like REST APIs and WebSDKs are available in the Free plan.
- Project organization only available in paid plans.
- Voting and video chat only available in paid plans.
- Full collaboration features only available in Enterprise plan.
Lucidchart: Best for complex projects
An awesome choice for teams that want in-depth data visualization tools, Lucidchart excels at complex mind mapping with data manipulation capabilities like shape linking and data overlays.
Plans are affordable, but for more collaboration, you’ll need at least the Team plan for bigger groups. Likewise, Lucidchart’s Free plan is great for getting started, but it’s also very limited, especially with importing. Teams can download their work and use offline mode to edit projects without an internet connection.
- Month-to-month billing is available but not disclosed upfront.
- Discount available when bundled with Lucidspark.
- Free: Three documents and 100 templates.
- Individual: $7.95 per user/month, billed annually.
- Team: $9 per user/month, billed annually.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing and includes Lucidspark bundle.
- Variety of powerful integrations including Quickbase, Salesforce and BambooHR.
- Presentation mode for paid plans.
- Shape libraries and the ability to link shapes.
- Org charts, advanced diagramming, dynamic shapes and mind map tools.
- Users can collaborate by sharing links, comments and documents.
- Teams can use offline mode to edit their documents without an internet connection.
- Affordable plans.
- Lucidspark bundled with Enterprise tier.
- Free plan has access to popular integrations like Slack, Quickbase, Loom and Asana.
- Advanced collaboration features like commenting and invites are only available in Team plan and up.
- Import and exporting are limited across tiers.
WorkCanvas by monday.com: Best for integrations
WorkCanvas is an online whiteboard tool offered by monday.com. It’s more limited than other mind mapping options, but it does offer great features for the price. You can also integrate it with monday.com Work OS for more project management functionality. The whiteboard tool includes templates for mind mapping, diagrams and flowcharts.
- Free: Unlimited members and three infinite canvases.
- Pro: $8.90 per user/month, billed annually.
- Enterprise: Contact sales.
- Templates for org charts, mind mapping, flowcharts and diagrams.
- Each canvas (project) has the option for multiple collaborators, from 10 to 30+ members.
- Sharing and exporting of canvases.
- Voting and offline working capabilities coming soon.
- Unlimited infinite canvases in paid plans.
- Free plan supports unlimited users, 10 collaborators per canvas and three file uploads per canvas.
- Unlimited file uploads and public sharing.
- Pro plan offers watermark-free exporting.
- Free plan only offers basic templates.
- Not as feature-rich as other mind mapping solutions.
For more information on monday project management, read the full monday.com review.
Freehand by InVision: Best for simple workflows
Freehand is a whiteboard tool offered by InVision for smaller teams with tighter budgets. You can integrate it with InVision as well as other productivity applications. Its extensive library of templates is designed to help you brainstorm and plan any concept you want to visualize.
- Free: Capped at 30 active users and three freehands (projects).
- Pro: $4 per user/month billed annually, or $4.95 per user/month billed monthly.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
- Integrations to increase functionality.
- 200+ templates available and the ability to build custom templates.
- Compatible with virtual machines.
- Feedback options like voting and commenting on your projects.
- Ability to add guests for collaboration with clients and contractors.
- Unlimited freehands for paid plans.
- Unlimited public and private spaces in the Free plan.
- Flexible pricing options for Enterprise plan.
- Exporting in all plans.
- Admin and security features are reserved for the Enterprise plan.
Canva: Best for custom graphics or media
Beautiful premade graphics, templates and customization options are what Canva is known for. The free version can take individuals a long way towards creating professional graphics, social media posts, wireframes, diagrams and mind maps. Paid plans, meanwhile, offer access to higher-quality graphics, videos and more niche templates. Teams can also add animations and create their own videos in both the free and paid versions.
- Canva Free: Multiple users and 5GB of storage.
- Canva Pro: $119.99 user/year.
- Canva for Teams: $300 user/year.
- 250,000+ templates and 1000+ design types for social media posts, stationary, logos, flyers, diagrams, flowcharts, etc.
- Library of shapes and ability to customize shapes.
- Samples of audio and video are available, with more options in paid versions.
- Fonts, colors and word effects in all plans.
- Importing and exporting for your workflow.
- AI-powered editing tools.
- 5GB of storage in Canva Free.
- Shareable links in all plans.
- Easy background removal and image resizing in paid versions.
- 1TB of storage in paid plans.
- Branding, collaboration and more security in Canva for Teams.
- Downloading options for your designs are limited in the Free plan.
- Specific graphics are limited in the Free plan.
- Single sign-on is only available in Canva for Teams.
Key features of mind mapping software for project management
These aren’t the most important features for choosing the best mind mapping solution, but they are the bare minimum for finding a tool that teams can use effectively. You’re going to want something with flexibility in terms of collaborating with others or working on the go.
Sometimes you need to create something while traveling, or last minute. Being able to work on your ideas as creativity strikes or developments arise is a huge asset. A mobile version will help to bridge any gaps in your workflow.
Anyone working in a team or with someone else in mind needs to be able to share their designs. Some software will limit your ability to export or share links to more expensive tiers, so it’s important to find one with affordable sharing options.
In-app collaboration is a great way to communicate your ideas quickly and directly. You can comment, message or vote in most software, and some project management tools allow you to present your designs to an audience.
A huge part of being able to express your thoughts and create an accurate representation of your ideas is the ability to explain or visualize specific concepts. This can be through color coding, adding unique shapes, fonts, images or data.
Some design tools like Figma, Canva and WorkCanvas don’t have as many classic project management features like task management or reminders. Through integrations, you can use free or affordable tools to build mind maps and incorporate them into your projects.
How do I choose the best mind mapping software for my business?
The first thing you need to do is find a tool that can capably create what you have in mind. Canva has a variety of fonts, colors, graphics and elements for personalization, while tools like Figma are great for working spatially.
The aesthetic you have in mind really matters. From there, the ability to work with the level of complexity your projects require is important. Most of the software on this list has great free plans you can use to hit the ground running, or at the very least get a feel for the software before committing to a paid version.
There can be a learning curve to working with design tools, and the variety of options and features can be overwhelming. It will help in the long run to look for online tutorials and budget time for exploring any of the free plans offered.
The selection of tools in this article is based on how useful they can be for mind mapping, as well as for concept visualization or idea development. The majority of software on this list is affordable for individuals and small teams, while also offering the strong functionality that established professionals require.
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