If you are looking for a free mind mapping software for Windows 111/0 to organize your thoughts, you should take a look at Freeplane. It comes with some of the best features that are required. In this post, we will check out the features, options, and how to use it.
Freeplane mind mapping software
The user interface of Freeplane is not very modern, and it has an old-school look. However, you can find almost all the essential features to organize your planning – and that is the most important thing. The following list contains some of the important options you might like-
- Custom font: Most of the mind mapping software do not allow users to use a user-defined font, and they stick with the system font. You can use a manually installed font in this software to make it look good.
- Password protected map: Sometimes, you might need to lock down a plan. If so, you can use this functionality.
- Export: Not all tools let users export a map in standard image format, but Freeplane does. You can export your mind map in different forms, such as .jpg, .html, etc.
- Print preview: Many times, you might need to print a plan, but you cannot do that because of the lack of support. However, Freeplane allows users to check the print preview and print it manually.
- Add hyperlink: If you need to add some hyperlinks, you can do that as well. For your information, it is possible to add website URL as well as local links, i.e., file, folder, etc.
- Add tasks and reminder: While planning something or organizing your thoughts in this software, you might need to add some notes, reminders, etc. If you install this mind mapping software, you do not need to install any note-taking app for Windows.
- Add-ons: If you are not getting your desired feature, you can take a look at the add-on repository.
How to install, setup and use Freeplane
To get started with this mind mapping software, you need to download and install it. After opening, you can find a window like this-
It shows how you can start using this software. Following that, you can create a new map by clicking File > New map or pressing Ctrl+N.
If you already have a template, you can click File > New map from template and load the template from your computer. There are some small tutorials related to this software. You can follow them to know how to perform a particular task.
Change font: To change the default font of the text, you need to expand the corresponding drop-down menu and choose something that you like. You can also change the font size. This is handy when you need to categorize the primary option and branches.
Password protect: If you want to create a password protected mind map, you need to go to File > New protected (encrypted) map. After that, you need to enter a password.
If you forget this password, there is no way to recover it.
Add hyperlink: If you want to add a local file link or a website URL in your map, you need to select the text first, and go to Edit > Link.
After that, select what kind of link you want to insert and complete the task as per the instruction.
Change map background: If you do not like the white background, you can change it to something else. It is possible to insert an image, choose a solid color, and so on. For that, go to Format > Map background.
Now select what you want to add.
Tasks and reminders: If you want to add some notes, reminders, etc., you can navigate to Tools > Manage tasks and reminders. Following that, you can find a window to add whatever you want.
Save/export: If you want to save the mind map as a standard image file or any other format, you can do that too. For that, you need to finish everything in your map, go to File > Export map.
After that, you need to select a format from the Files of type drop-down menu and click the Save button.
Freeplane also has some options, and you can explore that from the Preferences panel. You need to press CTRL+comma to open that. The most important option is the Look and feel. You can change the user interface of Freeplane from this panel. You can find several options, such as Nimbus, Metal, Motif, etc.
I ran this tool through VirusTotal and got a result of 1/69 – a false positive, I am sure! If you like this software, you can get it from the download page.
Mindmapp and Freemind are two other free mind mapping tools for Windows you may want to take a look at.