Startup Series #14 – Mindmap Tools

Startup Series, Startups | 0 comments | by Erin Quilliam

All companies want to increase their productivity and organisation, from startups to business empires. Mindmap tools and mindmapping software are a simple and effective solution to boost these in your company.

In the world of startups, where your company is taking shape, having the means to expand and record ideas, organise thoughts, and explain concepts is invaluable. Sometimes, simple solutions are overlooked, yet may be the most effective tool in the scenario. Mindmaps are a simple, but effective, method of organisation and visualisation.

Mindmaps have been used throughout the generations as a way to generate, visualise and organise ideas. Nowadays, this  method has been taken into the digital age, with software designed to replace the pen and paper method.

We’ll look through some of the best mindmapping software to use, so you can decide which product is right for you and your startup.



What We Like


MindManager (2018)
Lots of built-in templates making it a highly useful software from planning to presentation, including mindmaps, flowcharts, Gantt charts, Venn diagrams, and more.


The digital architect feature lets you build on these templates, or create your own, making it a versatile tool.


Well connected. Able to integrate with Microsoft office, SharePoint, over 800 web apps and has universal HTML5 file export.


Priority view and schedule view, so you can filter and see at a glance what you’re working on and where priorities are.

Depending on what’s best for you and your company, there are different versions of available. 2018, Mac, and Enterprise.


This software is more like a project management suite than a simple mindmap tool. It’s powerful and versatile, with loads of features to make it a highly useful piece of software for your team.


You can consolidate and organise a lot of data and documents in a single dashboard view, thanks to the enhanced integrative abilities of this software.


The maps are easy to share, thanks to a publishing tool letting you save them to the cloud and share a link with anyone to let them see the interactive map, be it colleagues or embedded in your social media.


Free – 30-day free trial.


$418 perpetual license.


Separate prices for Enterprise, and existing users.

The cloud-based web app, there’s no installation needed, and you can collaborate in real-time on mindmaps with your team, wherever they are.


Bright, bold, simple design aimed at ease of use and clear visuals.


Users can be invited and approved by boards, and assigned special permissions and designated roles can be given to users. Keeping work roles clear, and the chain of command in force.


Easy integration and sharing, allowing you to import to your map or create from an existing GroupZap account. You can export part, or all, of your file as a PDF easily.


HtTPS encryption, meaning your ideas and information is kept securely.


This web app is very simple, and very visual, making it incredibly clear to use and view.


The fact that this is a web app makes it great to use if you have users on different computers in different places since no installation is necessary. You can cross platforms, and jump straight into working on visualising and organising your ideas.


Free – 14-day free trial.


Enterprise pricing starts from $145.


Individual prices are

$9 monthly for the basic plan.

$16 monthly or $165 annually for the full plan.


Another web app built for collaborative use. Built on HTML5, it works on all major browsers and devices and allows real-time collaboration. There’s even a chat feature so you can discuss edits and ideas!


Admin interface, making it easy to allow permissions to other users, manage documents, and merge accounts into a master account. So even if one creator leaves your company, their documents can be kept on the account.


All files are encrypted and backed up hourly, so your documents are secure.


Another well-integrated software, including the ability to integrate with google apps, Microsoft office, Dropbox, and more.


Drawing on this app is a doddle, as it features themed layouts, customisable templates, and the ability to drag and drop features.


Hourly backup and revision history, meaning you can track changes and recover lost documents with ease.

The sharing capabilities of this app are brilliant, thanks to it being web-based. It means you can share and embed diagrams easily online and through email, as well as download into a variety of formats to share or print.


Drawing with LucidChart is incredibly easy, thanks to the drag and drop feature which simplifies a lot of the process. It is as easy as dragging a line from an object, which creates a new shape.


The chat feature is another standout for this app against other web-based ones. It means you can communicate with your team in real-time, and leave comments on documents all within the app, rather than having to use other apps to keep track of edits and feedback.

You must request a quote for the enterprise pricing.



Sadly not much in terms of collaboration features on this app. But as a readily available, free tool to use for mindmapping, you won’t find anything better.


Fast one-click navigation, including folding and unfolding and following links.


Smart drag and drop, copy, and paste. Meaning you can copy nodes and files into your map.


Can export your map as HTML/XHTML, PDF, and several other forms.

The fact this app is free makes it accessible for even the smallest of startups. It might not be as user-friendly and visually stunning as some of the other applications on this list, but it’s still great at what it does. If you’re looking for cheap, simple mindmap tools, this is one to consider.


If you’re not looking for a collaborative tool, and don’t need fancy graphics, it might be worth keeping FreeMind in mind. It might be basic, sometimes that’s all you need to create a good mindmap.

You can utilise the various templates and charts available to be created an used. You can even include different kinds of chart in one mindmap.


Brainstorming mode lets you collect different ideas into a group. Letting you view, organise and analyse your ideas clearly.


Built-in Gantt view, making it easy to manage and view tasks as a project manager.


XMind supports the use of icons and clipart, meaning you can embellish your map or add visual detail to help clarify and organise ideas.


XMind now has a new share dialog, letting you share to your social media, LinkedIn, or blog. There is also the ability to drag and drop your mindmap to share quickly across your local network.

XMind features simple but effective tools as part of the app.

These prove effective ways of marking information and adding detail to viewers through tools such as boundaries and relationship markers.

In addition, there are items useful to your working practice such as markers, comments, and callouts.

This means you can mark information, attach topics and information. Additionally, you can receive feedback on your mindmap without editing the document itself to communicate them.


Other options, like the drill down feature and filtering, mean it is easy to focus on specific areas of your mindmap within a larger project. And gives you more ways to easily navigate your thoughts.

Free – Xmind 8

$79 – XMind 8 Plus


$99 – XMind 8 Pro


Contact for a quote on a volume license key.


In today’s world, it’s easy to forget pen and paper techniques such as a mindmap. However, the fact this method has entered the digital world, with so many applications to support it, is a testament to its versatility and use as an organisational tool and visual aid.

This digital update brings a new world of collaborative possibilities to the mindmap, which is a strong selling-point of many of the apps in this article. Furthermore, the security and sharing of a digital file is far superior to that of a paper copy.

Mindmaps offer a simple but effective solution to visualise ideas, organise thoughts, as well as presenting concepts to colleagues or viewers.

When was the last time your company struggled to fully investigate a concept? Or had trouble to clarify the full extent of an idea? Mindmaps serve beautifully in these roles, or even just to organise your own thoughts.

Plus, with so many powerful mindmap tools to choose from that boast different features and capabilities, there is sure to be one to suit your needs.



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