Top mind mapping tools for teachers and educators


Mind mapping is a powerful technique that visually organizes information around a central concept, typically displayed in the center of a diagram, from which related ideas, words, concepts, tasks, or other items radiate. This method harnesses our natural inclination to understand concepts and relationships visually, which makes it a highly effective tool for teaching and learning.

Mind maps can have numerous applications in education, from assisting in lesson planning and presenting new information to facilitating students’ comprehension, critical thinking, and creativity.

Identify and prioritize content: Mind maps can be incredibly useful when understanding and prioritizing information. By starting with a central concept and branching it out, students can identify the main components of a topic and break them down into more manageable, detailed parts. This can aid in structuring essays or presentations, studying for exams, or simply understanding a complex topic. The visual nature of mind maps also makes it easier to see which parts of the topic are more comprehensive or important, guiding students in determining what areas to focus on.

Identify gaps in understanding: Students can visualize the relationships between different topic components and how they all fit together using mind maps. If a student cannot figure out how to connect one concept to another, it may signify a gap in understanding. This gives the student a clear indication of what they need to study further or seek help and gives teachers a tool for quickly assessing where a student may be struggling.

Unlock creative ideas or generate new ones: Mind mapping can also be a powerful tool for brainstorming. Since it doesn’t require linear thinking, mind maps can encourage the generation of many diverse ideas around a topic. Students can freely explore different possibilities and connections, spark creativity, and foster innovative thinking. The non-linear format allows students to easily add new ideas as they occur, resulting in a comprehensive and varied brainstorming session.

Mind maps can also facilitate group activities and collaborative learning. By working together on a mind map, students can build on each other’s ideas, learn from different perspectives, and develop teamwork and communication skills. They can also be a powerful tool for teachers, helping to visualize lesson plans, track student progress, or facilitate discussion.

1. Text2MindMap

This tool allows teachers and students to transform plain text into an interactive mind map. You simply write or paste the text into the tool, and it automatically generates a structured diagram which can then be customized to suit the user’s preference. This tool is very user-friendly and requires no technical knowledge, making it a great tool for teachers and students.


  • User-friendly interface and easy to navigate.
  • Converts written text into a mind map efficiently.
  • Allows for customization like color, font size, and line width.
  • Easy to share and export as JPEG or PDF files.
  • No installation is required as it is a web-based tool.


  • Limited features compared to other mind mapping tools.
  • No support for real-time collaboration.
  • Dependent on an internet connection, which may not be ideal for offline use.
  • Lacks autosave feature, risking potential loss of work.
  • Formatting constraints due to its text-based structure.

2. iBrainStorm

As an iPad app, iBrainStorm is a collaborative tool that combines the functions of a whiteboard and a corkboard. Users can write or draw ideas and also add sticky notes. It is great for interactive lessons and brainstorming sessions and allows creative and flexible teaching and learning methods.


  • User-friendly interface.
  • Supports real-time collaboration.
  • It can be used in various settings, from education to business.
  • Portable, allowing for brainstorming on the go.
  • Free to use on the Apple App Store.


  • Only available for iOS, limiting accessibility for Android or other OS users.
  • Not suitable for large-scale or complex projects.
  • Requires an active Internet connection for real-time collaboration.
  • Lacks text formatting options, limiting customization.
  • The potential risk of data loss due to app crashes or sync issues.

3. SyncSpace

SyncSpace provides an infinite zoomable drawing space that can be shared in real-time across multiple devices. This tool is great for interactive classes, as it allows for real-time collaboration between teachers and students and between students themselves.


  • Allows for real-time collaboration, making it great for team brainstorming sessions.
  • Infinite drawing space offers flexibility and scalability in visualizing ideas.
  • Zoom in or out to focus on details or see the big picture.
  • Allows you to add images and text to the drawing space.
  • Can share final drawings via email or save them to your device as images.


  • The user interface might feel less intuitive compared to some other apps.
  • The drawing tools might be basic for those needing more complex graphic tools.
  • Requires an internet connection for real-time collaboration.
  • Drawings can’t be exported in a vector format.
  • Not available on a desktop, which can limit its use for those who prefer a larger workspace.

4. Coggle

Coggle is an online tool for creating and sharing mindmaps. It works simply by typing in text, automatically linking and arranging the map as you go. Coggle integrates with Google Drive, allowing for seamless storage and collaboration. This tool allows for creating colorful and engaging educational content and is useful for breaking down complex topics into simpler, more digestible chunks.


  • Allows for real-time collaboration and sharing.
  • Integrates with Google Drive for easy storage and access.
  • Provides a simple, intuitive interface for creating mind maps.
  • Enables adding images and hyperlinks to mind maps.
  • Offers unlimited public diagrams for free.


  • Advanced features (like private diagrams) are available only in the paid version.
  • The free version supports only three private diagrams.
  • Requires an internet connection for access and collaboration.
  • Limited customization options compared to some other tools.
  • The automatic layout can sometimes create cluttered diagrams.

5. Mindmeister

This comprehensive, fully-online tool enables real-time collaboration for mind mapping. Mindmeister has many powerful features, including adding notes, links, and files to your mind maps, changing styles, and exporting maps as PDF or image files. It’s useful for both classroom teaching and collaborative projects among students.


  • A comprehensive tool with many powerful features for mind mapping.
  • Allows real-time collaboration, which is great for team projects.
  • Integrates with MeisterTask, a task management tool.
  • Enables adding notes, links, and files to your mind maps.
  • Offers a decent number of maps in the free version.


  • Full features are available only in the paid version.
  • Requires an internet connection for real-time collaboration and access.
  • It may be overwhelming for first-time users due to its comprehensive feature set.
  • Limited offline functionality.
  • It can be more expensive than other mind-mapping tools if you need advanced features.

6. MindMup

This free, cloud-based mind-mapping tool allows users to create, share, and publish mind maps. The maps can be stored in Google Drive, exported to various file formats, and made public for others to view and collaborate. It’s a simple and efficient tool for educators to map lesson plans or for students to organize project ideas.


  • Free to use with no download or installation required.
  • Allows for real-time collaboration.
  • Supports integration with Google Drive for easy storage.
  • Mind maps can be exported in PDF, image, or text formats.
  • Features a simple and user-friendly interface.


  • Limited customization options compared to other tools.
  • The free version stores maps only for a limited time.
  • Full features are available only in the paid version.
  • Requires an internet connection for creating and sharing maps.
  • Real-time collaboration can sometimes be laggy.

7. LucidChart

LucidChart is a versatile diagramming tool that can create flowcharts, mind maps, and other visual representations of information. It offers free accounts for educators and students and allows for real-time collaboration. This tool can be used to facilitate a variety of teaching methods, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning.


  • Allows for real-time collaboration.
  • Offers a wide variety of templates and shapes for various types of diagrams.
  • Integrates with popular platforms like Google Drive, Confluence, and Slack.
  • Provides free accounts for students and teachers.
  • Supports exporting in multiple formats like PDF, PNG, JPEG, or Visio.


  • Advanced features are only available in the paid version.
  • Requires an internet connection to work.
  • The interface may be overwhelming for first-time users.
  • It can be slow when working with large diagrams.
  • Limited offline functionality.

8. Sketchlot

This web-based sketching tool allows educators and students to create sketches on a shared drawing board. Sketchlot is useful for various educational purposes, including illustrating complex concepts, problem-solving, and real-time collaboration.


  • Allows for real-time collaboration between teachers and students.
  • Works on all modern web browsers on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • Teachers can create sketch assignments that students can complete.
  • Easy to use and doesn’t require any downloads or installations.
  • Completed sketches can be easily shared or saved.


  • Limited drawing tools compared to more complex design software.
  • Requires an internet connection to work.
  • Lacks advanced features like layering or detailed editing.
  • The interface is not as polished as other more advanced tools.
  • No integration with other platforms or tools.

9. Cacoo

Cacoo is an online drawing tool that can create various diagrams, such as flowcharts, wireframes, and network charts. It’s user-friendly and allows real-time collaboration, making it a great tool for teaching and group projects. The diagrams created in Cacoo can be exported in various formats, including PDF and PNG, and they can also be used free of charge.


  • Provides a wide variety of templates for different types of diagrams.
  • Allows for real-time collaboration with team members.
  • Integrates with popular platforms such as Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Exports diagrams in formats like PNG, PDF, PPT, or PostScript.
  • Has a free tier with basic functionality.


  • Advanced features are available only in the paid version.
  • Requires an internet connection to work.
  • It may have a learning curve for first-time users.
  • The free version has limitations on the number of sheets and collaborators.
  • Some users may find the interface less intuitive compared to other tools.