3.7 out of 5 with 7 ratings

Freeplane Reviews

Can't live without it

about Freeplane · · Helpful Not helpful 14 Helpful Report as spam

My need to take digital notes/knowledge, has lead me through various intents: first a text-file, then multiple text-files and emails, then a mix of word-documents and excel-files, and finally Markdown files which could be edited in text and seen as HTML... These were ok, but my curiosity got spiked when I heard about mind-maps.

Then, without any ambition, I tried a couple of mind-map applications, and ended up choosing freeplane because it was:

  • open source
  • multi-platform (windows, linux, mac)
  • fast to learn some basics for it to be usefull (new child-node, move node, edit text, basic stuff)

Using only these basic features already made freeplane usefull for my day work. I kept using freeplane and with time refined the way I used freeplane in order to make it fit even better my needs. And this has been the reason why I kept using freeplane more-and-more, and why its now so important to me for my personal and professional tasks - I feel like that I've improved how to decompose problems and register them with freeplane, and also because I know better what is easy to make with freplane features and what doesn't fit the representation that freeplane gives.

After 3 years of intense daily usage, it's an important part of my personal and professional organization. I use it to:

  • take unorganized nodes (which I later review and organize if possible)
  • investigate a new technology, registering the sources (URLs), copying entire web-pages (copy/paste), writting notes inside copied-content (using different colors for my notes and original text), adding links to local files (pdf, word documents, ppt, ..., its a simple as dragging), inserting screen-shots (I just paste them)
  • register meetings: date, subject of the meeting, participants list, relevant documents, main-points discused, decisions taken, final Action Points pending, final Minute-of-meeting, any final video-or-mp3 recording of the meeting, my own thoughts about the points...
  • TODOs lists: what I need TODO, what is pending others TODO, and what was already done (nodes save creation time and last-modification time)

Freeplane is also free (for all features!), there is full-access to source-code as anopen-source project, keeps being actively developed documented and supported by the devs and the community around, with future versions in the horizon (ie, its not dead or stalled).

It also supports more complex features - in case you need any of them, I only used scripts from these - like formulas, latex, scripts (like small-plugins, in groovy, java, javascript, jruby, and other JSR223-supported-languages) and full-fledged plugins to add new features inside menus.

So, in overall, freeplane for me opened a new paradigm to how I register and organize knowledge.


Freeplane: difficult takeoff, smooth sail

about Freeplane and Inspiration · · Helpful Not helpful 8 Helpful Report as spam

Freeplane is actually a very good editor, it took me a while to get set up and start using the application, but very simple to use once you actually read their tutorial.

Took me a while to find, so here's it's current location: http://freeplane.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Tutorial_Freeplane#Quick_reference

Click the link that says "Quick Reference - Professional" to the right, under the image.

It'll take you a while to read (took me approx an hour for the entire thing) but the program is quite user friendly.

Being a former Inspiration user, it definitely could compete with the big dogs with just a tiny bit more polishing.


about Freeplane · · Helpful Not helpful 3 Helpful Report as spam

It's the LEAST user-friendly program I have ever encountered. I have literary wasted over an hour of my life trying to figure out where to find the most basic things. They are hidden all over the place in menus/submenus... in hundreds of places. You can't even create a new node by a single click from the (completely useless) toolbar or at least from the context menu, as one would expect! You have to go somewhere to a hidden submenu... Just awful.


I gave up on Freeplane 2-3 times in the past just for the reasons you mentioned above. I hated it's interface. Then I gave it a try one more time & my conclusion is Freeplane is the best mind mapping software I have come across. You will have to learn just a few basic keyboard shortcuts & it will make the software super easy to use. Also watching a few video tutorials on YouTube helped me. Once you get a hang of it, you will love it.

about Freeplane · · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

A really great application for knowledge management. The UI could use a cleanup though...


about Freeplane · · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

I use Freeplane to write lectures, books, courses. I use more than 2 years. The scheme consists of 5 thousand nodes.


about Freeplane · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

Freeplane is an excellent, actively developed fork of FreeMind.


On my computer, Visual Studio uses about 200mb of ...

about Freeplane · · Helpful Not helpful -3 Helpful Report as spam

It's using 270mb of memory as soon as it's working!

I deleted this immediately.
IT wastes like Java Swing and Electron cannot be in my machine.