Is your mind a jumble of never-ending ideas, thoughts, and plans? Mine certainly is most of the time, which is why I like using mind mapping apps on my iPad and iPhone to keep track of everything.
Mind maps are diagrams that make it easier to see the connections between different pieces of information and visualize your ideas. They have innumerable uses for organizing, planning, and implanting all kinds of projects.
However, they can be time-consuming to draw manually, which is why I’ve found some mind mapping tools that make the process much quicker. An added advantage is that they are easier to edit, customize, save, and share. Here’re some of the best ones across the iOS App Store.
1. MindNode: Editor’s Choice
Here’s your go-to app for simplifying all those elaborate ideas. Most mind mapping apps allow you to have a single core idea known as a node, with several sub-nodes branching out of it. But MindNode offers the unique ability to have more than one primary node, making it easier to visualize more complex projects.
So it’s perfect for professionals or others who have to juggle a lot of information. Creating, moving, and resizing nodes is quick and straightforward. Moreover, I appreciate the many ways to customize the appearance of the nodes with colors, icons, fonts, stickers, and themes.
You can even add checkboxes to create tasks or add notes to later import into other apps like Reminders. So if you’re wondering what is the best mind mapping app for iPad, MindNode certainly scores high.
- Multiple primary nodes
- Beautiful interface
- Import from and export to multiple apps
- Supports text, images, icons, etc.
- No cloud service backup except iCloud
Price: Free ($2.49 for a monthly subscription)
2. SimpleMind: Best mind mapping app for students
Simple Mind will stimulate your creativity with its free canvas layout, where you can start a node anywhere to build your mind map. Nodes do not necessarily have to be attached to a parent node either, so you can take your time constructing ideas.
Further, it supports many types of attachments such as documents, links, images, audio notes, and even videos.
One unique feature is its capability to create maps from PDF files, saving a lot of time. This makes it one of the best mind mapping apps for students. I appreciate the built-in support for varied cloud services, including Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Nextcloud, and iCloud.
Moreover, there are no ads even in the free version, allowing you to use it without distractions. However, you will need a paid subscription to store your work in the cloud.
- Variety of attachments
- Cross-platform support
- Cloud services integration
- Multiple ways to share your mind maps
- Limited font types
Price: Free ($9.99 for Pro functionality)
3. MindLine Mind Map: Easiest to use
This one’s my favorite mind mapping app because its simplicity is its power. You can immediately start creating maps with text, links, images, and voice notes after launching the app. This offers immense creative possibilities without any distractions. When done, you can export your maps to standard formats.
Moreover, it’s incredibly affordable for the functionality it offers. It’s super simple to use and helps eliminate distractions so you can let your thoughts flow onto the screen. Cloud backups make it easy to access your maps anywhere.
- Super simple
- Clean interface
- Quickly create maps
- Not suitable for power users
Price: Free ($8.99 for annual PRO membership)
4. Mind Mapping – MindMeister: Best for collaboration
MindMeister is one of the best ways to create mind maps while collaborating with others across platforms in real-time. You can invite others to your mind map, and they can add comments, attachments, and more.
Further, there’s even a live chat feature to discuss and brainstorm ideas on the spot. It also fully integrates with a task management app by the same developer called MeisterTask. So, it can help creative teams develop an idea from conceptualization to implementation.
Of course, you can customize your mind maps with fonts, styles, colors, and much more. The free version will let you create up to 3 mind maps with limited features.
- Advanced collaboration with live chat, votes, and comments
- Highly customizable
- Can attach live videos
- Keeps a version history of your maps
- Could have better organization features like tags
Price: Free ($5.99 for monthly personal subscription)
5. iThoughts: Best for organization and planning
iThoughts is one of the best mind-mapping apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users who want to organize thoughts, make informed decisions, analyze information, and achieve goals. I love that it supports handwriting and Scribble, which makes it worth the price, even though you have to purchase the macOS app separately.
You can use it to add to-dos, brainstorm, take notes, and more. Further, it integrates well with the iOS file system and online cloud storage such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and iCloud. You can even share your maps on various platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Keynote, Pages, etc.
Moreover, it doubles up as a task manager by letting me set due dates and organize everything in one place. It also keeps track of your history so you can revert to an older version of the diagram if needed.
- Version history
- Import from a variety of other apps
- Multiple export formats
- Task management and Goal setting
- Supports handwriting and Scribble
- A bit complicated to figure out
6. Lucidchart: Best mind map app for flowcharts
Here’s an app that makes it super easy to create and view diagrams on your iPad or iPhone. It serves as a visual workspace that combines data visualization, flowcharts, and collaboration to get things done. It boasts an incredibly intuitive interface that anyone can work on. If you’re confused about where to start, the predestined templates can help out.
You can collaborate with others in real-time and add comments so that everyone stays on the same page. Further, it integrates with other tools like G Suite, Google Drive, Slack, Confluence, Jira, and more.
You need to create a Lucidchart account to use the app, and this makes your work accessible across devices or even your browser. Moreover, it also supports offline viewing of documents. As a result, Lucidchart is excellent for planning, visualizing, or illustrating any kind of project.
- Multiple flowchart options
- Cloud storage support
- Cross-platform integration
- Collaboration features
- Mind-mapping functionality could be better
Price: Free ($5.99 for the basic plan)
7. XMind – Mind Map: Most versatile mind mapping app
XMind is among the best mind mapping iOS applications, thanks to its full-featured cross-platform availability. It’s designed to help you quickly capture your ideas whenever inspiration strikes.
Then, you can build upon your thoughts and refine them into something concrete. In addition, I appreciate the ease of use and the variety of options it offers to create maps that suit your unique purposes.
The combination of colors and structures enables a variety of styles, making each mind map unique. Further, you can use Tree Table and New Fishbone structures to make your mind map clear and expressive. Finally, you can elaborate by inserting images, audio notes, labels, hyperlinks, and more.
I love the distraction-free ZEN mode that helps my creativity flow better. At the same time, it’s compatible with the iOS Dark Mode and the Files app, which brings all your stuff together in one.
- Easy to use
- Intuitive interface
- Cross-platform sync
- Wide range of features
- Does not work with the trackpad/mouse on the iPad
Price: Free ($19.99 for 6 months mobile-only subscription)
8. Ayoa – Visual Task Management: Best for teams
This one’s not a mind mapping app for iPad, but it’s still a pretty unique and innovative tool that blends mind-mapping with task management on your iPhone. It helps individuals and teams become more productive and creative, thanks to the power of visualization.
Ayoa has everything you need to brainstorm great ideas, turn your ideas into actionable tasks, track progress, meet deadlines missed, and delegate tasks to others for a seamless workflow.
You can choose from 3 easy-to-use mind mapping styles, customize your maps with images, emojis, and different branch styles and colors, and quickly turn branches into tasks to delegate to people. It’s ideal for remote teams and boasts tons of useful integrations such as Google Calendar, Dropbox, and Evernote.
- Great combination of mind-mapping and task management
- Built-in messaging and collaboration
- Good for remote work
- Not available on iPad
Price: Free ($109.99 for annual Pro subscription)
I hope you found the best mind mapping app for your iPhone and iPad. In addition, do you like using mind maps, or are you just getting started? Let me know in the comments below.