Q & A

What Are the Best Mind Mapping Tools?

What do you need to get started?

I wish I had a penny for every time someone has reached out on social media and asked me to recommend the best Mind Mapping tools! I would now have a very large pile of very shiny pennies! 

As if there is a magic wand; a piece of software; the ultimate secret that will somehow unlock the key and allow them to be a learning ninja and master Mind Mapper overnight. 

The reality is much more prosaic and much more ordinary… and thankfully much more achievable! 

The best tool that you have for Mind Mapping sits between your ears. It's your brain! It's your hands! It's your attitude, and maybe a fistful of colored pens and pencils. 


  • I have taught Mind Mapping in the damp sand of a beautiful beach in Bali with a pointed stick. 
  • I have taught Mind Mapping with a borrowed biro on the back of a napkin on a long-haul flight to Bangkok. 
  • I have taught Mind Mapping on large sheets of paper in kindergartens with big, fat, chubby crayons

….the process is exactly the same. Success comes from using your brain, not any fancy tools! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 

The reality is you don't need to spend lots of money to learn how to mindmap. The rules, as many sets of rules are, are incredibly simple. And yet, once you have acquired them they can take a lifetime to master. 

You can learn to Mind Map in an hour, and not a very busy one at that! But the skill, the art, and the craft of Mind Mapping may take you a lifetime to master and explore. There's always something new to learn. There's always something new to play with. There is always a nuance, there's always a niche. There's always an exciting little side shoot that you want to revel in. That is what makes the technique infinitely inspiring and timeless. 

But the basics. They are simply the basics!

In fact the rules of “Here is how to Mind Map” are so basic I am going to make you an offer right here and now - I am going to teach you for FREE! Hop on over to the www.freemindmaptraining.com website and make sure you sign up for our free course. It will teach you everything that I learned on my very first few days hanging out with Tony Buzan when he taught me how to fully use his gift to the world, the Mind Map. 

Beyond that, the only investment you need to make in your future lifetime of success is a handful of colored pens or a pot of pencils, and some blank paper. Yes - if you want to get A’s in school, or research that Ph.D., write that novel you have been dreaming about, or launch that business that has been your goal for years .. the tools remain the same - paper and pens! 

I don't even buy "top of the range" pens .. the ones that live in my house come straight from Amazon HERE

There is no piece of software that comes remotely close to being able to do what your brain can do with the information as you're learning. There is no app on the planet that can teach you to be more creative with the information that is already in your brain. It's an act of supreme confidence to set off into exploring Mind Mapping and believe that you have everything inside you already to be a success. You are already a genius - you have just become shy of sharing the fact! 

The Mind Map after all, is a tool that reflects on paper, the internal learning processes of your brain. It is the output of a period of learning. And although you can use it to learn from it actually reflects much more accurately the thinking processes of your brain as it learns, as it assimilates, and as it enjoys the process of incorporating new information into your existing memories. That assimilation, those connections are what make Mind Maps ultimately so memorable. 

This is why Mind Maps are incredibly personal. You cannot ask a friend to Mind Map a book and then just simply hand you the Mind Map and expect that all their knowledge, their associations, their connections, all the emotion that they have experienced when reading the book will automatically be downloaded to your brain. 

They are not “one size fits every brain” resources - they are much more powerful than that! 

Mind Maps are so much more than mere data. They are holistic learning models. Although they can be used to share big chunks of information their power is in the long-term associations and memories they create so that your learning lasts a lifetime. So ask your friend to talk you through the Mind Map of that book and the common learning you both experience can last forever! 


You don't need to invest in purchasing software and a laptop computer to run it on and set aside however many hours it's going to take you in order to master the piece of software to create the mind map that is already sitting inside your head. Instead, you can reach across the desk, grab any piece of paper and any pen, and you can begin! However messy the beginning - the ending ( an effective and memorable learning experience) is totally worth it. 

When we think of all the learning tools available globally, Mind Maps end up being one of the most democratic in that there is now no cost bar to learning how to use your brain. Anyone with access to Wifi can have FREE access to my training with my pleasure!

I like to think that someday very soon, we can share the skill of Mind Mapping exactly like a computer virus spreading all around the world. Only instead of downloading it to our laptops and making everything run much slower and sluggish, we can share it brain to brain. 

Mothers can teach children; children can teach other children; bosses can teach employees; employees can teach their friends; friends can teach their cousins and this educationally democratic tool can ripple across the world. 

No! there's no need to buy expensive software, or platforms to run it on. No need to spend your precious time learning yet another tool that may not be updated may cease to work on your device, or is subject to being hacked! Your brain can never be hacked. Your brain never goes out of date! Your brain never needs to have updated software installed! 

So stop asking what you need to buy - and start asking what you need to do!

  1. Hop on over to www.freemindmaptraining.com and grab your place on my FREE training!
  2. Do those you love a favour and save them money too by passing them over the link to the FREE course - the more the merrier!

Learning shouldn't be hard - it should be easy and daily joy. So let's put the fun back into learning for our friends and family by gifting them the very best tool for success that I know - the ability to use their whole brain to learn, to innovate, to create, and to remember.  

I can’t wait to see what you all achieve over the course of a lifetime now that you have FREE access to a skill that literally changes lives! 

I know - because it changed mine utterly!


Elaine Colliar is the five-times World MInd Map Champion, the world’s first International Grandmaster of Mind Mapping, and founder of The Mind Mapping Expert Group. She hosts the annual online World Mind Map Championship, World Speed Reading Championship, and World Creativity Championship as well as coaching and supporting global coaches in the field of Mental Literacy.