Alternatives to TheBrain for all platforms with any license


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  • FreeMind icon


    FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of...

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

  • yEd Graph Editor icon

    yEd Graph Editor

    yEd is a powerful diagram editor that can be used to quickly create diagrams manually or import external data for analysis and auto-magically arrange even large data sets by just pressing a button. You can use yEd to quickly create...

    Free Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud BSD

  • Mindomo icon


    Mindomo is the easiest online software for creating mind maps, concept maps, outlines and various other types of diagrams. The following features make it the perfect choice both for business and education: * real-time collaboration ...

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android Android Tablet iPad Chrome Safari Firefox

  • MindMeister icon


    MindMeister is the market-leader in online mind mapping. Unlike traditional mind mapping tools, MindMeister allows for real-time brainstorming sessions between an unlimited number of users and requires only a standard web browser. ...

    Freemium Web / Cloud Android iPhone

  • Visual Understanding Environment icon

    Visual Understanding Environment

    Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is a mind-mapping and concept-mapping tool. It is also a non-linear presentation program.

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

    • Discontinued The last commit to the GitHub repo was made on October 8th, 2015.
  • PlantUML icon


    PlantUML is an open-source tool that uses simple textual descriptions to draw UML diagrams. The generator can be run anywhere within JVM and integrated with various application such as wiki, text editor, IDE, programming language...

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android Chrome OS

  • WizNote icon


    WizNote is a Note software, which is especially designed for Internet users and mobile Internet users. WizNote focuses more on notes of rapid collection, management, reading and sharing. WizNote is smaller, more stable, and more...

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android iPhone Windows RT Android Tablet iPad

  • Docear icon


    Docear is a unique solution to academic literature management, which helps you organizing, creating, and discovering academic literature. The 3 most distinct features are: 1. A single-section user-interface that allows the most...

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud

  • Gingko icon


    Write and organize your ideas in Gingko tree documents. Whether building a business or writing a bestseller, Gingko lets your ideas flow naturally into place. Write, brainstorm, and organize your document, all in the same flow. ...

    Freemium Web / Cloud

  • MindManager  icon


    PRODUCTIVITY & CREATIVITY MEET IN MIND MAPS MindManager’s flexible mind maps promote freeform thinking and quick organization of ideas, so creativity and productivity can live in harmony. Capture ideas. Manage meetings. Create...

    Commercial Mac Windows Web / Cloud Android iPhone iPad

  • MindNode icon


    MindNode Pro and MindNode are elegant and simple-to-use mindmapping applications for the Macintosh that help to visually.

    Commercial Mac iPhone iPad

  • icon is a project management tool that is centered around ideas and taking them through to execution. germ features a visual outliner to create detailed hierarchies and dependencies in an idea, one-touch states to show which...

    Free Personal Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android Tablet iPad

    • It's very simple to create a MindMap with this application, builds maps like MIndly: automaticly.
      Guest • Oct 2016 Disagree   Agree
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  • Coggle icon


    Coggle is a simple, beautiful, powerful way of structuring information. It's designed to help you understand things, and then share your knowledge by arranging your document in the same way that your mind works. This way of...

    Free Web / Cloud

  • SimpleMind icon


    SimpleMind is a great Mind Mapper with focus on simplicity and ease of use. Multiplatform, with live mindmap transfer.

    Freemium Mac Windows Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad

  • Blumind icon


    Blumind is a lightweight and powerful mind mapping tool, and it is free for everyone.

    Free Windows

  • Zoho Notebook icon

    Zoho Notebook

    Online Notebook application: Zoho Notebook lets you combine text, images, audio, video, RSS feeds, documents and much more. Online Collaboration: You can share a single image or selection of text from a page rather than the whole...

    Free Personal Web / Cloud Android iPhone Apple Watch

  • ConnectedText icon


    ConnectedText is a powerful but simple information management system. It is based on wiki principles and is a free-form note-taking and note-management application that allows you to keep an unlimited number of notes in one or many...

    Commercial Windows

  • ThinkComposer icon


    Create deep visual documents, adaptable and multi-level diagrams, flowcharts, concept maps, mind maps and models. Users can: - Define their own types of nodes and connectors, to reuse nomenclature, symbols, details structure. - Add...

    Open Source Windows

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  • 3D Topicscape icon

    3D Topicscape

    3D Topicscape is a Personal Information Manager that provides a template loosely based on mind-mapping or concept mapping. It presents the mind map as a 3D scene where each node is a cone (or pyramid, or variation on such a shape). It...

    Freemium Windows

  • Flying Logic icon

    Flying Logic

    Highly visual software for planning support used by strategists, process improvement specialists, and teachers. Windows and Mac OS X.

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux

  • Protégé icon


    Protégé is a free, open source ontology editor and knowledge-base framework. The Protégé platform supports two main ways of modeling ontologies via the Protégé-Frames and Protégé-OWL editors....

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux

  • WiseMapping icon


    Wise Mapping is the web mind mapping tool that leverages the power of Mind Maps HTML5 and SVG. Users will be able to create and read their mind maps from everywhere whenever its needed. Once you have your mind map created the features...

    Open Source Web / Cloud

  • iMindMap icon


    iMindMap allows you organise, create, plan, notate, learn, structure, communicate, solve and project manage all in one place... To provide you with a Mind Mapping solution to suit your needs we now offer iMindMap in three exciting...

    Commercial Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad

  • tiddlymap

    TiddlyMap is a TiddlyWiki plugin that turns your favourite personal note taking software in a wiki-concept-map hybrid! Yes, you will be able to do both: drawing maps and putting down knowledge in a wiki way.

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux Web / Cloud Android iPhone Chrome OS Android Tablet Self-Hosted

  • icon is an easier and more flexible way to create mind maps and brainstorm online. It allows to connect notes, images, files, etc. into free form maps.

    Free Personal Mac Windows Web / Cloud

  • Aibase icon


    Aibase is a universal software: Knowledge Builder, Learn Helper, Hyperlink System, Outliner (with notes), Vector Graphics Editor, Calculator (is document-content; extensible by Python), Concept-Mapper, Mind-Mapper and Flow-Charter....

    Commercial Windows

  • Exstora icon


    Built-in quick note: save ideas, contacts, interesting facts With Exstora, you can write down a thought that comes to your mind as soon as possible. To create a new note, just double-click next to the corresponding section. ...

    Freemium Windows

    • Discontinued The program is no longer updated. Last version, 2.9, released in May 2011, can be still downloaded from the official website.
  • iThoughts icon


    iThoughtsHD brings mind mapping to the iPad. Based on the award winning iThoughts for iPhone, iThoughtsHD has been designed specifically for the iPad. iThoughtsHD will import and export mindmaps to and from many of the most popular...

    Commercial Mac iPhone iPad

  • icon is a simple and free web application that lets you brainstorm online.

    Free Web / Cloud

  • VisiTouch icon


    ~ Simple way to view, annotate and share Microsoft Office Visio diagrams ~ VisiTouch helps mobile workers to view and annotate on MS Visio diagrams on their iPhones and iPads. Use it to open .vsd, .vdx and .vsdx files, convert them to...

    Commercial iPhone iPad

    • Discontinued The program seems to be no longer updated. Last version, 1.9.0, released on August 2013, can be still bought from the Appstore.
  • ProcessMaker icon


    ProcessMaker is a cost effective and easy to use open source business process management (BPM) or workflow software application.

    Freemium Web / Cloud Android iPhone Android Tablet iPad

  • Mindix icon


    Mindix offers a very simple, clean and organized environment to capture ideas and take notes while conducting brainstorming sessions.

    Free Mac iPhone iPad

  • Calligra Braindump icon

    Calligra Braindump

    Braindump is a tool to dump and organize the content of your brain (ideas, drawings, images, texts…) to your computer.

    Open Source Mac Linux

  • mind42 icon


    Mind42 is a software application that supports the creation of mind maps. It's a specialized tool to quickly create, manage and edit the kind of data structure required for mind maps. Of course mind maps can be used for nearly...

    Free Web / Cloud

  • Ultra Recall icon

    Ultra Recall

    "Ultra Recall is personal information, knowledge, and document organizer software for Microsoft Windows. * Capture documents, web pages, notes, and emails from almost any application, with automatic capture of content...

    Commercial Windows

TheBrain Comments

Very Expensive $219/Desktop Version, $299/Cloud Version

Comment by bopperjr346
about TheBrain May 2015

Looks like a great program but at $200+, it seems overpriced for the consumer market.


Terrible pricing

Negative Comment by SpaceOctopus
about TheBrain Mar 2015

Totally agree about the pricing scheme. Completely unreasonable for anyone not using it professionally, and even then it seems unreasonable!


Good Program, mean pricing

Comment by JoeCamel
about TheBrain and yEd Graph Editor, CmapTools Oct 2012

What is the main drawback of a mind-mapping program? Try to make a circular connection, it's something always some kind of workaround and not on the same level with the standard connections. Mind maps are essentially tree-shapes. concept-maps don't have this restriction.
i don't know how they programmed it, but cross-references are more or less "created equal". This and the automatic layout makes it a good program to use for things that are interdependent.
the bad thing about this program is the pricing scheme. the free version leaves you without printing and exporting which makes the free version a complete trial or vendor-lock-in version.
the pro version is too expensive for a person not using it to earn money with it , so it is to expensive for a student arranging the thesis or a person just entering their knowledge and saving it in a flexible, interconnected way. a lawyer, detective, advertising guy or any other person connecting various informations may find it reasonable to pay more than $200 for a program that has a narrow scope but fills that purpose better than others.
as an alternative (true concept-mapping and not the hierarchical mind-mapping) to "the Brain" i suggest cmaptools,
yed graph editor is neither mindmapping nor conceptmapping tool, but it can be tweaked into such.


I haven't bought this software because:1. You can't manuall ...

Comment by TimAustralia
about TheBrain Jun 2011

I haven't bought this software because:

1. You can't manually order nodes.
Considering the main aim of the product is to tame masses of information, this is a major downfall.
It's also despite the fact that this feature is the third most requested one as of writing. (I think this was also a problem 10 years ago when i first tried it)

2. People have lost data on it (something about a java upgrade) - which would be disastrous for the only use I would ever consider paying for

3. It's very expensive - starting at $150, for features that are fairly necessary for any serious use. Given point 2, the price is hard to justify. Given point 1, I can't use it any price.

4. Other commenters are right that it is a bit hard to get a grip of all your info at once.

Having said all that, it's one of the most intriguing pieces of software I've ever seen!
Such a shame about the other points.


That's true, it's not really a mind map. But I don't think ...

Comment by Michal
about TheBrain Jun 2011

That's true, it's not really a mind map. But I don't think it's a drawback. Thanks to the possibility to have any item "thought" as your central thought, you can focus on it and see everything directly connected with it. If you need to see the big picture, there are possibilities like outline view and expanded view (the first being very good to see hierarchy in the system, the other is a kind of mind map, where you can change the position of each individual thought).

The problem with the mouse oriented interface was solved with the release 5.5, where you can set your own keyboard accelerators to almost any command.

There are some thing I don't like on PersonalBrain (for example you can't make links directly from item notes to another item, or I miss the possibility to make a nice list of items arranged according to some attributes) but whenever I tried to find something that would fit me better I landed back on PersonalBrain after a while.

And BTW with the nice dynamic interface it will be a lot of fun to organise your stuff and go through it.

Give it a try! (there is a free version without some features, but very useful anyway.


This is true, but remember that if any item becomes the cen ...

Comment by dyslucksia
about TheBrain Jun 2011

This is true, but remember that if any item becomes the central topic, this can result in limiting the scope of items viewed to those immediately related to the item - quite a limiting factor IMO. Using PB is a bit like shining a torch around a room in the dark - it only shows a small fraction of what's there. Mind mappers show large, detailed maps whose items don't jump around the way they do in PersonalBrain's display, which can be disorienting. Because the displayed spatial relationship of items changes completely with each new central item ("Thought") the user may find it difficult to create a mental "map" of his database. Hence PersonalBrain should not be confused with mind maps.

PersonalBrain as an application shows a lot of potential, but IMO this has a long way to go before it is comfortable to use, even though it has been around for 10 years. Its interface is highly mouse-oriented, so can be very inefficient at times, particularly to keyboard users. The manual omits a lot of important details, making it a difficult application to learn to use well, and once you get to know it you start discovering many gaps in its features which have not been implemented despite being requested by many users for years.

It can handle relatively large information databases but is held back by inadequate capability to manage such databases.