Comparison of Online Mind Mapping Platforms
Born from a group of students at the Polytechnic University of Turin, Algor Education is the online platform that allows you to create intuitive and fast maps on any type of device without the need to download any applications.
This software offers a wide range of possibilities, ranging from simple manual creation to the creation of automatic maps from texts, images, and simple concepts.
Every creation on Algor Education is customizable both in layout and in the expansion and creation of new nodes, which can be written by the user or suggested by the algorithm itself - and also enriched with multimedia elements. Strongly focused on inclusivity, the platform integrates the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with innovative tools for voice synthesis and automatic summarization, which can also be done from video and audio.
Already awarded multiple times for its inclusivity and range of options it offers to users, Algor allows you to register with a completely free plan that includes 3 multimedia maps, 50MB of space, sharing creations with other users, and 30 AI credits per month. However, these limits can be exceeded and expanded through basic and pro plans, which offer additional features such as highlighted voice synthesis, printing, and exporting of created materials.
XMind is software that can be downloaded on various devices, allowing you to create conceptual and mental maps without being connected to the internet. Being an offline engine, in this case, access is only necessary if you want to share your maps with other users. Once the application is opened, you can start a new project from your personal area, automatically starting a basic model presented by the program itself.
The possibilities for editing the map are various, although probably slightly sacrificed by a less dynamic interface, more focused on functionality than on immediate use. An interesting feature offered by XMind is the creation and saving of customized templates, which can then be reused in the future - perhaps differentiating them based on needs.
This platform, definitely very valid once you become familiar with the main tools, starts to show layout limitations when you start to insert many levels and nodes - because it is mainly based on the user's graphic sensitivity. Additional features, including the ability to customize themes, can be unlocked with the "Pro" plan, which allows you to have an extremely complex tool (for better or worse) at your disposal.
Mindmeister presents itself to the user as a platform for "collaborative mind mapping", with a strong emphasis on interaction between users and brainstorming for the creation of new projects. After the first log-in, the platform allows you to customize the experience by choosing the type of work you want to do and with how many other people.
Coggle focuses from its very first presentation on the speed and ease of use of the software, primarily designed for note-taking. This platform also allows you to focus on the desired mode of use and then enjoy an optimized experience in the future. We also find a strong emphasis on sharing and interaction with many users, with the ability to invite other people to collaborate on the map "live".
Some interesting features offered by the free version of Coggle are the ability to have different starting points and the ability to upload unlimited images - in addition to having a dataset of 1600 icons. However, it should be noted that many features available for free on other platforms are included in the paid plans here, including: changes to the layout of nodes and entered text; full control of the paths followed by the connecting arrows; the creation of unlimited private maps.
Once again, with Gitmind we find ourselves facing a platform strongly focused on cooperative use and the development of ideas and projects through brainstorming. At first glance, the platform already shows the potential it offers, with the ability to choose from several highly effective pre-set templates - such as the one for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
As mentioned earlier, the platform allows you to take advantage of various features specifically for cooperation with other users, which include not only a section specifically created for sharing but also the ability to create "collaboration spaces" that are saved in the user's personal area.
One of the major drawbacks of this platform is the particularly limited number of maps that can be created with the free plan, which is limited to ten. Therefore, although particularly developed interactive environments can be exploited, this choice may be too restrictive - especially for those who want to use the software as a real learning tool.
Mindomo is a platform that does not clearly position itself within a specific "area of expertise", but aims to be useful both in educational and work contexts - as well as in organizing personal life. Registration and download allow you to choose your preferred dedicated interface, allowing for a good level of customization of the overall experience.
Despite the stimulating layouts provided by the platform and the available automation levels for organizing different maps, Mindomo offers a particularly bare-bones free plan that could discourage many users. If you want to go beyond the three diagrams and unlock important features such as exporting and multimedia expansion, you need to choose one of the premium plans available as a subscription.