Mind-mapping tools


© Lead Image © kudryashka, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © kudryashka, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 216/2018

Mind maps are designed to help display processes and projects clearly in a graphical format. This review explores the design possibilities offered by five mind map programs.

Structuring complex processes is part of the daily grind in many organizations. To help people understand their decision and thought processes, mind-mapping programs depict process steps graphically. Users can view an onscreen tree view to visualize dependencies.

However, visual clarity depends on the design possibilities offered by the mind-mapping program: Illustrations break up abstract content, and different font attributes emphasize the relevance of individual project steps. I tested five mind map programs to see how their design features compare.


CmapTools [6], developed at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, is available for several platforms. Its license is proprietary, but the software is free of charge. The website also features a server variant for an on-premises server and an iPad version. You can also use CmapTools in the cloud, which does not require a dedicated application on the client, just a web browser.


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