6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites

Kaly (Arslan Esengulov) 14-06-2007

From basic all-accessible (students, PR folks, etc) multi-person live brainstorming dashboards TO feature-rich, techy diagram creation tools.


Basic Mind-Mapping Tools

(1) [NO LONGER WORKS] ImaginationCubed – awesome looking, simple to use, live brainstorming tool. Invite your partner and share single dashboard to create mind maps. Draw, add objects, type, etc.

6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites imagination cube (click to enlarge)

Features: [NO LONGER WORKS] Demo

  • live collaboration
  • send maps by email
  • replay your steps
  • save/print maps
  • background grid on/off

(2) – lets you quickly create custom bubble mind maps and share them with colleagues for further refining.


6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites bubblus (click to enlarge)

Features: Demo

  • create/save/print/share/collaborate on maps
  • embed maps elsewhere (blog, web profile, etc.)
  • export maps as XML, HTML, or as image (JPEG, PNG)
  • interactive Drag’n Drop interface
  • keyboard shortcuts, mousewheel zoom

(3) Mind42 – cool mind mapping tool for creating highly customizable organization charts. Each chart node can be colored, converted to an image, supplemented with a custom icon, link, attachment and more.

6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites mind42 (click to enlarge)


Features: Demo

  • sharie and collaborate on notes
  • embed maps elsewhere
  • print maps
  • integrated live chat (Google Talk)
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • Drag’n and drop interface
  • export maps (as Freemind, Mindmanager and RTF)

More Powerful Mind-Mapping

(4) Mindmeister – slightly more flexible alternative to the above mentioned mind42: more styling/formatting options, more diverse collection of embeddable icons, provides handy sidebar next to the mapping dashboard, and more.

6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites mindmeister2 (click to enlarge)



  • free account is limited to 6 mind maps
  • share and collaborate on mind maps
  • print maps
  • integrated Skype conference call
  • embed maps into your blog or website
  • drag’n drop interface
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • import maps (from FreeMind and Mindjet’s MindManager) / export to an RTF or a GIF image

(5) Mindomo – feature-rich mind mapping tool. Probably the most comprehensive one, check out screenshot and demo below.

6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites mindomo2

Features: Demo

  • free account is limited to 7 private and an unlimited number of public maps
  • share and collaborate on maps
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • drag’n drop interface
  • import MindManager and FreeMind type maps / export to maps to TXT, MMAP, RTF, PDF, JPG, GIF and PNG formats
  • print maps

(6) Gliffy – extremely powerful techy-oriented diagram creation and collaboration tool, create anything from basic flow-chart diagrams to well-documented troubleshooting guides.

6 Excellent Brainstorming and Mindmapping Sites gliffy2

Features: Demos Video / Trial

  • free account is limited allows you to 3 private and unlimited number of public diagrams
  • share and collaborate on mind maps
  • embed maps elsewhere (blog, wiki, etc.)
  • export mind maps as SVG (Microsoft Visio, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia FreeHand)
  • interactive drag’n drop interface
  • print maps
  • map edits history (instantly revert map to earlier version)
  • keyboard shortcuts

[UPDATE] Awesome related links contributed by Vic

  • Bubble-Mind
  • Kayuda (concept mapping more than mindmapping)
  • Mapul
  • Comapping (kinda rigid, forces left-to-right mapping)
  • Webofweb (prob. the oldest still surviving – mayomi came first but has sunk from sight)
  • Glinky

And in the area of more general diagramming tools, there’s

Related topics: Collaboration Tools, Crowdsourcing, Drawing Software, Mindmapping.

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  1. Clive
    February 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I use XMind and like it as it is a desktop app so I do not have to be online to use it. I can save and share maps by emailing them.

    I find the user face very intuitive as well.

  2. Anton
    July 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    The mind mapping app I use is NovaMind which is the best mind mapping app for my needs (and I think I've tried just about all of them :-)

  3. image background clipping
    May 21, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    This is absolutely great compilation. Thanks.

    clipping path

  4. MindManager Fan
    July 31, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    MindManager and Mindjet Connect seem to be missing from this list. I suggest you compare them to the options you listed.

  5. abeen
    May 30, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Thank you for the list of useful resources.

    I have been trying to get brainstorming list and here you are helping me.

    I am actually planing to redesign the website and hence was trying to use some brainstorming tool.


  6. Debi K
    September 27, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Just came across this post. Thanks for mentioning Gliffy and for the high praise. We appreciate it. Let us know if there are suggestions or feedback we can implement. Thanks! debik(at)gliffy(dot)com

  7. Aibek
    June 27, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    @ siyahid

    Thanks for letting me know.
    Although, can you do us a favor and post a link here. Is it a web-based tool?

  8. syahid ali
    June 19, 2007 at 12:41 pm

    you miss one my friend. freemind is quite a nice mind mapping tool.

  9. Aibek
    June 14, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Thanks for the insight. It seems to me, that each of the tools was designed with a specific problem in mind. While one is more suitable for wiki style collaboration, the other provides more flexible styling features and so on.

  10. mahvish
    June 14, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Great commentary but I think it is also worth mentioning Comapping ( It is far more useful and easy to use compared to traditional mind mapping tools. Provides a much better overview for a mind map that one wants to revisit many times which also makes it easier for collaboration.

    Plus the smooth navigation its amazing. I haven't seen such smooth program in a web 2.0 application before.

  11. Aibek
    June 14, 2007 at 3:30 pm


    WOW... That got to be the most informatory comment ever. Thanks lots, it's awesome, adding them to the post

  12. Vic
    June 14, 2007 at 3:28 am

    There are quite a few of these very useful on-line, web-based mind mapping and concept mapping tools. I can add to your list if you have time for more exploration: (concept mapping more than mindmapping) (kinda rigid, forces left-to-right mapping) (prob. the oldest still surviving - mayomi came first but has sunk from sight)

    And in the area of more general diagramming tools, there's and (Cumulate Draw)

    All of these, I think, have a free option - sometimes for a limited number of maps. Some are still in public Beta.

    The master list of mind mapping &
    information management software

    • Vic Gee
      September 20, 2009 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks for your appreciation.

      Here's a further update: Sadly, died a few months ago so has to come off the list. Pity - it wasn't elegant, but it did support real concept mapping.

      The master list of mind mapping &
      information management software