Mindnode Free

Great mind mapping software is easy to use, yet powerful. It accommodates brainstorming sessions across distributed teams. Ideally, it’s free or very low-cost. Mind map templates are key, to save time.

  1. MindNode is a free mindmapping tool. Elegant, with bright colors and light interface. Easy to use with fast keyboard navigation. It's very good for what it does: write your ideas, organize your thoughts and thoroughly explore the topics you study.
  2. What does the Best Free Mind Mapping Software – MindNode exactly do? Based on the very principle of a mind map, MindNode is an app that allows you to create a visual diagram around a central idea. The tool enables you to “connect the dots” by bringing additional ideas closer to the central one, creating branches (or nodes).
  3. That's what our Free Editor is for. Using our free version you can create and edit MindNode documents. We support basic editing features like creating new nodes, adding titles, reordering nodes and folding child nodes. The Free Editor also allows the importing and exporting of all supported file formats.
  4. Free MindNode Alternatives The most popular alternative is FreeMind, which is both free and Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 50 alternatives to MindNode so hopefully you can find a suitable replacement.
By Paul Hartsock MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Sep 17, 2009 4:00 AM PT

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MindNode, an app by Markus Muller, is available for US$7.99 at the App Store. Brain mapping is essentially the act of recording a brainstorming or planning session in an organized diagram. Start with a general idea relating to what you're trying to accomplish -- your central node -- then just start throwing up related ideas, connecting them to the node that inspired them, and building nodes upon nodes.

Sometimes it's chaotic, sometimes you'll be sitting in dead silence, but in the end, you'll have a vast tree of related ideas, branches upon branches, all leading back to your central theme. No real action has been taken, but at least you've sapped all the ideas out of all the heads in the room, written them down, and made new connections between them. With all this laid out, it might now be easier to think up creative plans and solutions.


In a group situation, the most convenient way to handle brain mapping might be with a giant whiteboard. But uncontrollable spasms of creative inspiration can just as easily strike when you're all alone, and a new iPhone and iPod touch app from MindNode lets you get it all jotted down, connected, saved and ready to send through email.

Easy Thinking

MindNode is extremely easy to figure out and start using. Start by naming your main node, then just hit the '+' sign to start branching out with new ideas. These new ideas create new nodes, which can in turn be branched upon again and again. You can create multiple main nodes.

Space management is often an issue when trying to mind map on a physical medium, and that MindNode eliminates this problem by letting you drag nodes anywhere on the screen. The line connecting it to its root node will remain intact, and to help prevent all those crisscrossing lines from becoming confusing, each line can be made one of seven different colors.

Copy and paste is supported, landscape view is an option, and you can pinch and pull for in and out zooming. If you don't like a node, you can edit or delete it.

MindNode will automatically create a textual outline of your mind map as you work -- just hit the triple-line button in the upper right corner to see it.

Your mind maps won't be limited to the iPhone. You can export them through email in a variety of formats (MindNode document, Freemind document, PNG image, text outline or OPML outline). You can also import and export documents from MindNode Pro, the company's desktop Mac application.

Make Trees, Not Webs

In using MindNode, I learned the difference between mind mapping and concept mapping. One thing I wanted but couldn't figure out how to get from MindNode was the ability to cross-connect nodes -- going from one branch to another in order to connect two ideas that are similar but that were spawned by different lines of thought. On a whiteboard, this is done simply by drawing a line all the way around from one node to another on a different branch. Not so easy with MindNode.

For example, let's say I wanted to mind map my solutions for crossing the street using MindNode. I could map out all of my possible approaches and their possible outcomes. In the end, many of them result in me being hit by a delivery truck. I'd like to direct all of these various initial courses of action (jaywalking without looking, using a crosswalk against the light, etc.) to a single 'Get hit by a delivery truck' outcome node, but I couldn't figure out a way to do that. Instead, each branch must stay its own branch, and I'm left with a dozen different end nodes saying essentially the same thing.

Put another way, here is an example of a really cool web of concepts Wired came up with last Spring. See how almost all the main nodes connect back onto each other? I couldn't figure out how to make that happen with MindNode.

You could create a blank node, drag it over to an existing node with the same text, and drop it there, but that just gives the appearance of a common node -- it won't translate into a text outline.

According to Wikipedia (at least, at the time I'm writing this -- you never know with that thing), mind mapping generally follows a hierarchical or tree branch format; cross-connections like the kind I was trying to do are done in what's called 'concept mapping.' But including that ability seems perfectly reasonable in an app like this -- why not toss it in? I suppose it would make the process of textually outlining the map more difficult.


I also wonder about the price of MindNode. I don't mean to imply that the developers cut corners, but this doesn't appear to be an extremely complex application. Is it really necessary to charge $8 for this app, especially when a pen and a piece of paper could be used as a reasonable substitute?

Bottom Line

The practice of mind mapping really can make your sit-and-think-this-through sessions more productive, whether you're doing it alone or with a big group, and MindNode takes the process off the bar napkin and into the iPhone. It's a breeze to figure out, and it's nice to be able to drag your nodes anywhere around the screen and color-code your connections.

Xmind Vs Freemind

Still, MindNode does seem to have constraints that aren't present with a whiteboard or a pen and pad, which won't split hairs with you about whether you're trying to mind map or concept map. $8 seems like a bit much for what MindNode actually does.