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Ten popular concept mapping tools

May 11, 2011

I was taken to task yesterday for limiting the list of software recommended in Best tools and practices for concept mapping. This morning I did some research and came up with a credible list of the ten most-recommended tools for mind mapping and concept mapping (out of fifty listed at least once). I eliminated titles that had not been updated in the past two years or were neither cross-platform nor web-based. The items are listed alphabetically.

Free desktop software for Win/Mac/Linux

Commercial desktop software for Win/Mac

Free web-based tools

  • – runs in Flash
  • Prezi – upgrade for a fee, also commercial desktop software for Win/Mac/Linux

Update: Read about a new tool – Try Coggle for concept maps

15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2017 2:26 am

    You can give our concept map maker a try. It’s web-based so you can access your concept map from anywhere. You can import images, embed it to web pages, export as a PDF and do a lot more with your concept map.

  2. Roeland Loggen permalink
    December 16, 2016 5:44 pm

    Freeplane is an alternative to freemind, and a bit better.

  3. Ibolya Lorincz permalink
    May 5, 2016 9:28 am

    I would like to draw your attention to an online concept mapping software – that wasn’t mentioned. Besides its concept mapping and mind mapping features, Mindomo also has an outline feature that lets you switch from the outline view to the mind map view and vice versa.
    Also, it offers real-time collaboration which is essential when working online. Mindomo is probably the most versatile, easy-to-use mind mapping, concept mapping and outlining tool there is.

  4. March 28, 2016 9:17 am

    What about – Mind Vector ( I personally recommend this app because not only I am using it since long time, even it has such excellent features that I happy to share with other. It is very simple, flexible and easy to understand the tool structure that helps me while I make my maps for brainstorming and ideas.

    Thank You!

  5. Chris Clark permalink*
    February 10, 2016 8:44 am

    Regarding VUE and Java 6 on a Mac, I just installed VUE 3.3.0 on my Mac running OSX El Capitan. I then installed this Java from Apple – . After I rebooted VUE launched with no problem.

  6. AlexK permalink
    February 9, 2016 11:37 pm

    Vie requires Java 6 which rules it out for me on Mac al

  7. November 23, 2015 7:20 pm

    I am a big fan of mind mup – – mainly because it syncs with Google drive and dropbox and it enables a real-time collaborative environment for remote teams to work in. Definitely worth a try, another one with a different flavor is called WorkFlowy. –

  8. Elisabeth permalink
    October 11, 2012 10:46 am

    As an advocate of concept mapping in the classroom and as a planning tool, I really appreciate as a free online concept mapping tool as well. I’ve used Prezi, but like Tarek said, Prezi is more of a presentation tool, not a true concept mapping piece.

  9. Tarek Koudsi permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:35 pm

    Prezi is more likely to be used for presentation purposes rather concept mapping, I like your compilation, thank you.


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