Anyone know of a really great mind-mapping tool for OS X? It’s the one tool I haven’t picked up since buying my beloved MBP in 2006.

What I’m really looking for is something that supports a more 3D approach to mind-mapping than the traditional tools do (which just mimic pen and paper, at the end of the day). I feel constrained with having to hang all the nodes off a single central node – rich detail just doesn’t work like that, where things are much more interconnected. Ideally, it can cope with thousands of nodes, and support storing rich text or HTML in the notes at each node too. (Don’t want much, do I? 🙂

If you’ve got a favourite tool for this job, please leave a comment below. Ta.


  1. Mike Girouard says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I’ve been using Free Mind for years now and think its one of the best tools out there. I’m not sure it supports all the features you need, but it comes close.

  2. Ron says:
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    freemind – it’s a java app…

  3. luckec says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Hey Stu,

    I currently use MindManager 6 on my MBP. There’s already a version 7 ( In my opinion it’s the best mindmapping-tool on the market. The M$-Windows versions of MM are better than the Mac version but I still think there’s no better one for the Mac.

    – Carsten

  4. stefan says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I second (or third actually) the call for Freemind. I’ve used it when I was working with Linux, and I use it now that I have a MBP. It’s an excellent tool.

  5. Vidyut Luther says:
    March 7th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I use Xmind, it’s based off Eclipse and is cross platform like it, but it’s not free :).

  6. PatricH says:
    March 8th, 2008 at 12:44 am

    I would also put my vote in for Freemind, but you might also look into some of these: – not free – free
    All of them are very good tools, my personal favorite is Novamind, its a wonderful tool. Good luck on your decision.

  7. VicGee says:
    March 10th, 2008 at 4:18 am

    None of the above recommendations are remotely 3D. I would like to recommend Topicscape as it’s the most 3D one I’ve seen, but I can’t … Windows only 🙁

    PersonalBrain is worth a look – they have a Mac version. It’s kind of 3D in that connections can be made between any two nodes – you’re not limited to a flat tree hierarchy. Doesn’t actually show as 3D the way Topicscape does, but does give more flexibility for organisation.

    The master list of mind mapping &
    information management software

  8. PunkMonk San Francisco says:
    March 27th, 2008 at 1:53 am

    Try Personal Brain… I find it absolutely terrific to use

  9. Bloke says:
    March 14th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    My recommendation is the FreeMind-compatible XMind. I’m not sure of the license that it is released under, but the software is at least cost-free to download. I would imagine there are binaries available for OS-X.


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