There are several mindmapping products out there, and I have previously reviewed one particular software solution called Inspiration. I have personally used several products, and each on has its advantages.
Freemind is an open source mindmapping solution and as far as open source solutions go, it is a solid mindmapping solution. Its interface is fairly simple to use but I have found some things about it just a bit quirky and it does not create elaborate mindmaps as other products do.
I have personally found that Freemind is not one of the simplest mindmapping tools to use. It’s advantage is its cost. For further information about Freemind see here.
This is a commercial mindmapping product that has a great deal of functionality. It has a number of templates, converts to outline forms, and can even be used for presentations. As a presentation tool alternative to PowerPoint, this is a solid product. It is easy to learn to use as well. I am currently using Mindmanager 7, but Mindjet now as a version 8 that I have not gotten around to purchasing, but I plan to do so. You can even download a trial version, and the company does offer academic versions. For more information about Mindjet Mindmanager see here.
Mindjet Mindmanager Screenshot
Xmind offers a free version of its software for download. It is a much easier to use mindmapping tool than either Freemind or Mindmanager. It does not have all the features found in Mindmanager, but it has a great deal more features than Freemind. There are templates to guide your map design. You can choose design features like map format, lines used, icons, and even the type of background to use. For $49 you can upgrade Xmind to Pro and add addtional features like presentation mode, adding audio notes, and many other features. This is one of my personal favorite mindmapping tools due to its ease of use, presentation features, and the ability to upload your maps to Xmind web with subscription. For more information and to download Xmind’s software see here.
It is very difficult to avoid listing Inspiration 9 when talking about mindmapping software. Educators have been familiar with this tool for quite some time, and it is a standard productivity tool with a number of educators. It is also an excellent tool for administrators as well. It’s ability to create maps, outlines, and now even presentations makes it a highly useful mindmapping tool for administrators. I have reviewed this software before, so I won’t get into great detail, but it is a product well worth the less-than-one hundred dollar selling price. For more information and a free trial download, see here.
Inspiration 9 Screenshot
If I were going to rank these products in ease of use I would rank them in the following manner:
- Inspiration 9
If I were going to rank them according to how useful I have found them as an administrator, I would rank them in the following manner:
- Inspiration 9
When considering all of their additional features , I would rank them:
- Inspiration 9
As you can see, Inspiration 9 is my personal favorite when it comes to mindmapping, but Xmind is a close second.