In a nutshell: FreeMind is opensource software useful for brainstorming projects, taking notes, and organizing, well, almost anything.

Useful for:

  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Writers
  • Nonprofit administrators
  • Anyone who needs to organize stuff

Why I Like It: I was skeptical about “mindmapping” software at first. What could this do for me and my writing that I couldn’t do in an outline? Well, it puts text into a visual framework which makes outlining in a non-linear form easy. Sometimes I have a great idea for the middle, but haven’t fleshed out the beginning yet – this makes keep those pieces straight and organized a cinch. Also, it allows me to see the plot unfold and all my characters, places, etc. next to it. No more forgetting that minor character’s name!

FreeMind Screenshot

FreeMind Screenshot (Click to enlarge)


  • Installation file is small and program doesn’t take up too much space or memory.
  • Software has a wide array of features, most of which I haven’t even used yet.
  • Lots of features, means lots of flexibility in how it can be used. The possibilities are vast and the main site has some suggested ideas, as well as working examples.
  • It’s one of those things you don’t know you need until you use it, then you can’t live without it.


  • Until I downloaded the sample file, I was completely confused. But once I saw it in action, it was cake.

Conclusion: If you’ve got something that needs organizing, be it class notes, the plot of a novel, or whatever, it’s worth a try.

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