How to Make a Mind Map in SimpleMind?

Edraw Content Team
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EdrawMax and EdrawMind are Edraw tools that offer free templates, symbols, cliparts, and icons. Check out a mind mapping guide and learn the easiest ways to create mind maps using the SimpleMind alternative. Try Edraw today!

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1. Introduction

Mind mapping is a unique educational tool that helps students and teachers to brainstorm different and complex ideas easily. With the help of mind mapping software, students can work on a theme by adding different subtopics that help illustrate it in a more elaborated way. This way, students can focus on a topic and keep exploring it in detail until they have added all the required information and found some relevant connections.

These days, students and professionals opt for some mind map software to brainstorm different ideas visually. In this article, we will elaborate on three different methods of creating a mind map by introducing SimpleMind alternatives, like EdrawMax and EdrawMind, which offer more templates, and symbols and have better remote collaboration with their respective online versions. Before we head to discuss the ease of creating mind maps using the free mind map software, let us discuss SimpleMind mind maps in general and learn how to create one mind map using the limited free-form layouts offered by SimpleMind.

2. How to Draw a Mind Map in SimpleMind

What is SimpleMind?

SimpleMind is a helpful app developed to streamline the process of organizing ideas and information. With the help of autofocus, it is possible to block distractions, which makes it easier to prepare mind maps.

Step1 Download SimpleMind:

Access the website of SimpleMind to get information about the plans available for accessing the tools and features for mind map creation. You can access some features for free, but it also has paid subscription plans that will allow you to use more exciting features for creating intuitive mind maps. Install the app on your device and then use it for drawing your mind maps. You can download SimpleMind from the Apple app store or Google Play store.

download simplemind mind map

Step2 Access the mind map section:

The blank template is suitable for creative mind mapping. You can create the mind map by adding relevant points around a core subject. The intuitive attribute of SimpleMind helps in creating splendid mind maps.

Step3 Create the mind map:

Introduce the topic and organize your information. You can restructure the entire mind map with a few clicks. Use the auto-layout for making the mind map.

create mind map simplemind map

Step4 Use suitable tools:

In the unpaid or free version of SimpleMind, you can access 15 different style sheets for creating your mind map. The Pro version provides five more layouts. Use images, icons, checkboxes, and links in the purchased Pro version. There is also the option of complete customization, where you are free to create your style sheets. More tools are available to adjust the style details like border, color, and lines.

mind map layout simplemind map

Step5 Download the mind map or share it:

In the free app, you cannot share your mind map, but if you select the Pro version, you can share your mind map as a PDF document. You also have the option to sync your mind map with Google Drive or DropBox. There is also a trial version of the SimpleMind that you can use for 30 days. It contains all the Pro features of the app.

How to make a mind map in SimpleMind?
  • Download SimpleMind.
  • Access the mind map section.
  • Create the mind map.
  • Use suitable tools.
  • Download the mind map or share it.

3. How to Draw a Mind Map in EdrawMind?

EdrawMind is a powerful mind mapping software. Here we have laid out some basic steps you need to follow while working on your mind maps.

Step1 Start:

The first step in creating a mind map from EdrawMind is downloading and installing EdrawMind in your system. Once you have launched the tool, you should login using your registered email address. If you plan to collaborate remotely with your team, check out EdrawMind Online and login using your email address. This way, you can access the files you have stored in your personal cloud.

edrawmind homepage simplemind mind map

EdrawMind logoEdrawMind Apps
12 structures & 33 themes & 700+ cliparts
Support Win, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Advanced import & export options
On-premises software for business
Enterprise-level data security
edrawmax logoEdrawMind Online
12 structures & 33 themes & 700+ cliparts
Access diagrams anywhere, anytime
Templates Gallery
Team management & Project management
Real-time Collaboration
Step2 Sketch:

EdrawMind's homepage will show you 'Blank Templates' and 'Local Examples.' Check out these sketches or click on 'New' on the left section to create a mind map from scratch. Unlike SimpleMind, EdrawMind offers 700+ designed cliparts that help create mind maps. Once you are on the canvas board, you can press 'Tab + Enter' to add different subtopics.

blank template edrawmind simplemind mind map

central theme edrawmind simplemind mind map

Step3 Template Community:

EdrawMind's 'MindMap Gallery' comes with over 5,000 mind map templates that help create wonderful mind maps for different use, including health, academics, business, project management, and more. Head to the 'MindMap Gallery' and check out user-generated templates and duplicate the content per your mind map requirements.

mind map gallery edrawmind simplemind mind map

Step4 Collaborate:

EdrawMind comes with a best-in-class remote collaboration with your team. As a registered user, you can view your mind maps as brainstorming, presentation, Gantt chart, and outliner. When you check out EdrawMind Online, you can still access all these offline functions to work effectively with your team.

remote collaboration edrawmind simplemind mind map

Step5 Export & Share:

After completing your mind map per your requirements, you can export it into multiple formats, like Graphics, HTML, SVG, MindManager, and more. You can even use the in-built sharing option to share your mind map on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Line.

social media share edrawmind simplemind mind map

How to Draw a Mind Map in EdrawMind:
  • Open EdrawMind
  • Check Sketches
  • Avail templates from the community
  • Collaborate with team
  • Export & Share

4. How to Draw a Mind Map in EdrawMax?

EdrawMax is a SimpleMind alternative, as it offers more elements, diagramming options, templates, symbols, and more. In this section, we will walk you through some of the basic steps you need to take to create mind maps for your academic or professional use using EdrawMax.

Step1 Start:

The first step you need to do to create a mind map in EdrawMax is to download it as per your computer's operating system. You can also check out the online version of this tool if you need to access the files stored in your cloud.

launch edrawmax simplemind mind map

edrawmax logoEdrawMax Desktop
Simple alternative to Visio
210+ types of diagrams
10K+ free templates & 26k+ symbols
10+ AI diagram generators
10+ export formats
edrawmax logoEdrawMax Online
Edit diagrams anywhere, anytime
Personal cloud & Dropbox integration
Enterprise-level data security
Team management and collaboration
Step2 Sketch:

After you have launched the tool, you will see 'Recommended' diagram types in the middle and 280+ diagrams arranged categorically on the left. Either search 'mind map' from the search bar or head to the 'Mind map' in the 'Basic' diagram type and click on '+' to go directly to the EdrawMax canvas board. Here you can start creating the mind map from scratch by modifying the content of the default mind map layout.

make edrawmax scratch mind map

Step3 Template Community:

EdrawMax comes with a vast template community that offers 10,000+ templates created by users. As a registered user, you can duplicate these templates and even publish your mind map to this template community to inspire others.

edrawmax template community simplemind mind map

Step4 Symbols:

EdrawMax has 26,000+ symbols that help visualize the mind maps in the best way imaginable. When you work on this SimpleMind alternative, you can check out these vector-enabled symbols and add them as and when it is required. This mind map software also lets you create vector-enabled symbols that you can use in your diagrams.

edrawmax symbols simplemind mind map

customize edrawmax simplemind mind map

Step5 Export & Share:

Once you are done making the mind map, you can go ahead and export it in multiple formats, like Visio, JPEG, PNG, HTML, PDF, Office, and more. You can also email your mind map with a click of a button. Simultaneously, you can share your mind map on different social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Line.

export edrawmax simplemind mind map

How to Draw a Mind Map in EdrawMax:
  • Open EdrawMax
  • Check Sketches
  • Avail of user-generated templates from the community
  • Choose vector-enabled symbols
  • Export & Share

5. Edraw vs. SimpleMind

Now that you have seen the three different ways of creating a mind map let us help you understand why Edraw has considered the best SimpleMind alternatives. Even though all these three are diagramming tools, they differ on a core level that we have mentioned here in the following table.





OS Compatibility


 (user has to use SimpleMind Pro to access Windows edition)



 (user has to use SimpleMind Pro to access Windows edition)




Language Compatibility






(but not on Android)

Mind Mapping Features

Add Floating Topics

Add Numbering

Edit Shapes

Available Shapes

Use one of the 15+ style sheets



Edit Branches

Change Background Color

Change Background Image

Apply Rainbow Style

Apply Hand-Drawn Style

Apply Outline View

Mind Mapping Themes



Layout Types

17 Layouts Five additional layouts in SimpleMind Pro version



Connector Styles



Built-in Templates


Template Community



Additional Mind Mapping Features

Main Idea









QR Codes

Vector Text


(Icons, stock, emojis, & custom icons are only available in SimpleMind Pro)


(Icons, stock, emojis, & custom icons are only available in SimpleMind Pro)




(Add media and documents only in SimpleMind Pro)

Can import images right from the system.

Can import images right from the system.


(Adding links to documents and webpages is allowed in SimpleMind Pro)


(Adding links to documents and webpages is allowed in SimpleMind Pro)


(Adding notes without cluttering your mind map is allowed in SimpleMind Pro)



Connection between two topics with a crosslink is available in SimpleMind Pro

File Import Formats


MS Visio



File Export Formats


(only allowed in SimpleMind Pro)


(only allowed in SimpleMind Pro)




MS Visio


Other Formats


Export in BMP, DIB, PS, EPS, MMAP


Viewing Option


Gantt Chart



Overall Comparison

Create Custom Template

Yes, but only with the pro version.

Number of Diagrams

Can only make mind maps



File Encryption

Password protection is available in SimpleMind Pro

File transfers are safeguarded with the highest level of SSL encryption

File transfers are safeguarded with the highest level of SSL encryption

Cloud Storage

Cloud sharing is available in SimpleMind Pro

10 GB for Lifetime Plan

10 GB for Lifetime Plan

User Interface

Not user friendly




Users can use a shared cloud folder in SimpleMind Pro

Price Range

Trial Version

30-days trial

Important Features you get in free version: Shape and branch formatting. Switch to Outline view. Changing Connector Style

30-day trial to avail EdrawMax features

Premium for Individuals

€24.99 one-time purchase for one device

$4.91/month paid annually $245 for Lifetime (Limited Time Offer)

$8.25/month paid annually $245 for Lifetime (Limited Time Offer)

Premium for Teams

€94.95 for 10 users for one operating system



Check out the detailed comparison between SimpleMind and Edraw when it comes to making mind maps.

Draw a Mind Map in SimpleMind
  • Not available for desktop users.

  • Can only have one main idea

  • No mind map themes

  • No icons, symbols, or cliparts

  • No outliner mode

  • Can only make mind maps

  • Limited export options

Draw a Mind Map in Edraw
  • Edraw is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Web.

  • UNLIMITED main ideas are possible

  • 33+ mind map themes available

  • 700+ cliparts

  • Comes with outliner mode

  • Create 280+ diagrams

  • Can export files in multiple formats

6. Free Mind Map Software

Now that you have seen the elaborated comparison between Edraw and SimpleMind, let us elaborate on those features we discussed here.

As discussed in the above section, EdrawMind is a great SimpleMind alternative offering many features. In addition, it is always advisable to use free mind map software to make a mind map instead of using pen and paper to work on the same. Some of the great features of this free mind map software are:

  • With EdrawMind, you can easily create multiple floating topics to ensure that you cover everything related to a particular topic in detail. This free mind map software can easily create a relationship between different floating topics.
  • Unlike other mind map tools that have limitations in modifying shapes, EdrawMind lets you customize the mind maps to the fullest.
  • This free mind map software comes with 30+ mind mapping themes, providing a great source for beginners and professionals alike.
  • You can create a mind map using the structure and layouts provided by EdrawMind without too much hassle.
  • This free mind map software comes with several online resources, video tutorials, complete guides about different mind maps, and more. It makes diagramming very easy for those who are just starting out.
  • EdrawMind offers 19 different layout types to ensure your mind map stands out from the rest.

As we saw some of the amazing features of EdrawMind, let us help you understand why EdrawMax is coined as the all-in-one diagramming tool. With this free mind map software, you can create wonderful mind maps and stop using pen and paper. Some of the astounding features of EdrawMax are:

  • In addition to mind maps, you can create 280+ diagrams in EdrawMax ranging from org charts, flowcharts, science diagrams, business diagrams, education diagrams, and more.
  • This free mind map software offers a very intuitive point-and-click interface for all the diagrams, making it extremely easy for beginners to create their first mind map for free.
  • With EdrawMax, you can easily layout different scenarios and work around them to create professional-looking diagrams.
  • The UI of EdrawMax is very familiar to MS Word, making it feel right at home when you are using this to make mind maps and other diagrams.
  • Unlike other diagramming tools that have compatibility issues, EdrawMax comes for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Web.
  • With several diverse functions, this free mind map software provides an excellent visualization tool that comes in handy when working on different mind maps.

7. Key Takeaways

Mind mapping comes in handy for students and professionals when they need to work on complex ideas and theories. For this, they require assistance from mind map tools that offer many features. Even though the SimpleMind mind map offers some intuitive mind mapping, the lack of features in the free version makes it hard for the students to use it. As we saw in the detailed comparison, SimpleMind lacks in several areas when it comes to creating mind maps for education and business-related purposes.

Instead of spending time with such tools, we recommend using Edraw, which comes with two free mind map software. On the one hand, EdrawMax has a vast template selection that helps create 280+ diagrams, and with vector-enabled symbols, you can visualize your diagrams, including mind maps, in the best way possible. EdrawMind, on the other hand, is a powerful mind mapping software that offers different structures, themes, layouts, and cliparts to make highly intuitive mind maps. With four built-in viewing options, you can easily check the outline, present the mind map, access it in Gantt Chart mode, and brainstorm it with onboard suggestions. Check out EdrawMind Online if you plan to have a powerful real-time collaboration with your team, making it feasible for you to manage your mind maps from anywhere.

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