Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Xmind vs FreeMind

Mind mapping is a great way to organize my thoughts and I found FreeMind does a great job in doing that.  However, recently I came across Xmind.  I used the free version and found that it provides some features that were missing from FreeMind.

The following are the missing features:

Floating Topics/Floating Central Topic

This allows you to create multiple central centers.  As shown below:

Different Structures

Xmind allows you to shape your mind map into different structures (in addition to the standard map available in Freemind) such as:

  • Fishbone.
  • Spreadsheet
  • Org Chart
  • Logic Chart
This is great except, the nodes below will inherit the structure of the node below.  So I was not able to mix the different structures.

Different Shapes

It is nice to be able to change the different shapes of the nodes.   In additional to the standard Elipse, you can have:
  • Rounded Rectangle
  • Rectangle
  • Diamond
  • Call out
  • Fish head
  • Underline
Here are some examples:


In Freemind, you can only have one worksheet while in Xmind, you are able to save multiple worksheet as a workbook.

This is useful if you want to separate multiple ideas in a file.

Outline View

There is an outline view that will allow you to view which nodes are at the same level.  


There are a few complaints that I have of Xmind.  They are:

  • Due to the additional features, the installer is substantially bigger.  Freemind is 7 Mbyte, Xmind is 50 Mbyte.
  • It is also compared to Freemind.


marcelo s said...

Thank you for your comment on Xmind vs FreeMind. It's exactly what I was looking for as I am starting with mindmaps and came across both softwares.

Strovek said...

Glad the article is helpful.

yokemay said...

thanks for the review!

@josnickers said...

thanks for the review. which one do you use now /

Strovek said...

I use FreeMind but not the new features which are not compatible with other MindMap software such as the ones on Android.

Alan said...

I thought the review is about Xmind over Freemind. If that's the case, why did you switch back to Freemind?

Strovek said...

The article was to compare the two free mind mapping software.

The reason why I went back to Freemind was because

1. it was lighter weight and loads much faster.
2. also found a case where the free Xmind was not able to export back to Freemind format.

I guess at the end of day it comes down to preference since I only need the basic functions and not the advance functions.