Best mind mapping software for Mac in 2023

Best Mind Mapping Software for Mac

Every idea starts with a thought. People mostly rely on note-taking apps to jot down thoughts and brainstorm ideas. But there is a limitation in terms of execution. Our brain works differently to connect the thoughts, and it’s often hard to replicate the same brainstorming process on paper or normal notes app. Here is where dedicated mind mapping software comes into play.

1. MindNode

MindNode Software for Mac

Most mind mapping software offer a giant canvas to connect the dots. MindNode is no exception here. I like how the app offers a detailed tutorial upfront to get started. Even a beginner can start building the thoughtmap without prior experience.

The software takes you to the default blackboard, and you can start adding elements such as blocks, images, emojis, and more to the board. You can create an outline for an organized, hierarchical view and observe how it grows as a mind map. Opt for the mind map to visually rearrange nodes and add new thoughts.

My favorite function from the bunch is the focus mode. It removes all the distractions and lets you focus on one thought at a time. As for styling, MindNode packs beautiful themes and custom stickers. You have complete control over how you want to design the idea on the board.

Once done with the process, you can easily share it to Apple Reminders, a task management app, or any other app in various formats.

MindNode offers a free version with a basic editor. The real action happens with an upgrade to MindNode Plus.

Price: Free (Premium subscription starts at $2.49 per month)


2. Xmind

Xmind Mind Mapping Software for Mac

Xmind is one of the best work-from-home mind mapping tools. This is basically a Swiss Army Knife for your brain. The reason being various options such as Fishbone Chart, Matrix, Brace Map, Org Chart to connect relationships among complex thoughts. The possibilities are endless here. It’s up to you on how you want to view the current thought process on the board.

Xmind allows you to handle comparative analysis and track milestones as well. As for features, you can add a topic, subtopic, set a boundary, add notes, and assign relationships among them.

I love Xmind’s theme editor. It lets you tailor the style of themes based on your preference, make changes to shapes, lines, colors, etc. Once assigned, you won’t have to repeat it every time.

Price: Free (Premium subscription starts at $39.99 per six months)


3. Milanote

Milanote Mind Mapping Software for Mac

This one is my personal favorite, something that I use daily. The software packs a perfect combination of modularity and customization options to stand out in the crowd.

You have a blank canvas upfront to get started. Simply drag and drop elements such as notes, links, to-do, lines, columns, comments, images, etc., from the left sidebar. Place them anywhere on the Milanote board and use arrows to connect them.

Milanote comfortably beats rivals with a rich collection of templates. Some of the useful templates include Brainstorming, Creative Writing, Moodboards, Story Boards, and more. The sharing is seamless as well. Simply share the board with others and discuss ideas in detail with others in real-time.

Price: Free (Premium plan starts at $9.99 per person per month)


4. SimpleMind

SimpleMind Lite Software for Mac

SimpleMind has the best on-board process among all the mind mapping software out there. No need to sign up. Simply open the app and get started mapping out ideas.

I appreciate the theming options out of the box. You won’t have to mess with endless color options in the software. SimpleMind does the trick for you. Go to the theme option in the Inspector menu and choose from the available themes and styles.

Other features remain standard. The list includes an unlimited number of mind maps, notes, style sheets, collapse and expand branches, and more.

SimpleMind free version is feature-rich compared to rivals. However, you can unlock more functions such as sharing, productivity booster, cross-platform synchronization, and more.

Price: Free (One-time purchase at $29.99)


5. MindMeister

MindMeiste Software for Mac

Used by over 14 million users worldwide, MindMeister emphasizes design to deliver one of the aesthetically pleasing mind mapping experiences.

MindMeister is completely web-based, meaning you can use it across anywhere on Windows, Mac, or Linux. And surprisingly, it works perfectly fine, and I had no problems navigating and using the software on Google Chrome.

The standard feature list is comparable to rivals but what sets MindMeister apart from the rest of the options is the built-in presentation mode. With a single click, the software will turn your mind map into beautiful, dynamic slideshows.

As for export options, one can export the slides as PNGs, embed the whole presentation on the website, or even broadcast it live to their collaborators online.

Price: Free (Premium subscription starts at $2.49 per month)


Brainstorming is easier than ever with dedicated mind mapping software. It can help you get plan-out huge projects on the go. Go through the apps list above and pick the suitable option for you.

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Parth previously worked at covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at iGeeksBlog, Guiding Tech, iPhonehacks, and TechWiser writing about apps comparisons, tutorials, software tips and tricks, and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.

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