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EdrawMind review | TechRadar

Mind mapping is a key element of project management and development. Including mind mapping within your workflow helps team members to visualize ideas and understand data. This in turn can help to generate ideas, explore connections between them, and ensure everyone involved in a project understands the target, and their own contribution. 

Pen and paper, or pen and whiteboard, is one way to get to grips with mind mapping. However, a better option is to rely on software. Mind mapping software tools are useful for ideation and brainstorming. They have purposes in business, education, project management, marketing, and strategy and planning.

While some generalized tools have been used over the years, dedicated mind mapping applications are a better option. One such example is EdrawMind, available with free and paid plans, from Edrawsoft, and recently acquired by Chinese company Wondershare.

Known for bloatware and other frustrations, Wondershare has a bit of a bad reputation. Is EdrawMind free of these issues?

EdrawMind AI prompt

(Image credit: EdrawMind)

EdrawMind: Platforms

EdrawSoft has ensured its software is available pretty much anywhere you have access to a screen. EdrawMind can be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux (DEB and RPM). Windows 7 or later, Mac OS X 10.10 and later, and pretty much any current Linux OS will run it. iPhone and Android versions are available, along with a dedicated iPad app. EdrawMind is also available as a browser-based version.

This is EdrawMind Online, which gives you a good feel for the software. However, it is a little similar to Canva Flowchart Maker, and you’ll need to create an account. Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter/X, and PayPal are all login options for EdrawMind Online.

(Image credit: EdrawMind)

EdrawMind: Plans and pricing

Various plans are available for EdrawMind. These encompass single product and bundles with other efficiency tools in the same stable.

Most significantly is the EdrawMind lifetime, available for $118 (£98.99). This compares well with the annual plan, $59 (£49) every 12 months. Both plans give you access to the software on 3 PCs, 3 mobile devices, and online tools. 10GB of storage is also available. (A semi-annual plan of $39 (£32.99) every 6 months might suit if your requirements are short-term.)

Could more tools be beneficial to your project? If so, EdrawMax, EdrawProj, and EdrawMind are available in a bundle, with a lifetime price of $245 (£203.99).

The software comes with a free version, but unsurprisingly, this has limitations. Key among these are the use of just 2 sheets, the lack of a formula editor, fishbone diagrams, circular, bubble, and sector maps, and custom themes. Check the EdrawMind free vs pro comparison for full details.

(Image credit: EdrawMind)

EdrawMind: Features

EdrawMind’s collection of features is intended to provide all the tools you need to create effective mind maps. 

It starts with a sleek functional user interface, with ready made templates for basic and advanced purposes. You can work in an infinite canvas, choosing custom themes and layouts relying on 22 structures. Various integrations are provided, too, with Pexels, Iconfont, and support for built-in clipart and emojis. User templates can also be created.

EdrawMind also boasts an AI idea creation tool. This is available in some versions of the app (not Linux) and on the web version.

EdrawMind: Ease of use

Mind mapping with EdrawMind is pleasantly straightforward. Simply select a template and begin mapping. After entering a label, tap TAB to create a subtopic, and build the mind map that way. Alternatively, an Outliner tool is included to create the mind map from a list.

Standard formatting tools are included in EdrawMind, along with different theme colors, styles, and background images and textures. EdrawMind projects can be exported as slideshows and PDFs, and even converted in Gantt charts. Clip art and other visual elements can be incorporated into mind maps.

It’s all as simple as click, drag, and label. Within a few minutes, a useful mind map can be created.

EdrawMind: Creating a mind map with AI

Generative AI provision in EdrawMind is effective. Using a simple prompt, we were able to generate a mind map of 49 individual topics/subtopics. The prompt, “create a mind map for the steps of evaluating software,” required some formatting, but generally had pleasing presentation.

An estimated 30-45 minutes was saved by relying on AI to create that mind map. Generation took less than a minute, making this a significant feature of EdrawMind. It essentially saves time by automating repetitive processes, and is a smart addition to the software.

EdrawMind: Customer support

If you run into any difficulty using EdrawMind, a collection of resources are on offer.

These are available using in-app shortcuts or browsing directly to the online resource. Here, you will find a live chat tool, an FAQ, user guide, video tutorials, and a direct contact option. The EdrawMind support team can handle technical issues as well as account and license questions, renewals and refunds, and sales.

We were particularly impressed with the built-in chat tool, which offers swift responses to conversational messages.

However, a couple of things are worth considering. First, Edrawmind doesn’t have a good Trustpilot score, either pre-Wondershare acquisition or since. Second, and perhaps most important, is Wondershare’s reputation for installing software that you don’t need. 

EdrawMind: The competition

Plenty of other mind mapping tools are available, so what makes EdrawMind stand out?

With existing tools such as Mindmaster, Mindmeister, Freemind, and Scapple, Edrawmind really needs to offer something new. The AI feature pretty much covers that, and while important, it is comparatively minor.

While all of these tools offer solid mind mapping, EdrawMind keeps things focused. Generative AI saves time, but the user interface is so pleasing to use you might forget about the AI option.

EdrawMind: Final verdict

Installing EdrawMind on your PC or phone puts you in control of a simple and reliable mind mapping application. It has clear controls, mind maps are easy to edit and style, and AI generation from a single command. If you’re looking for a mind mapping tool, EdrawMind is one to place at the top of your evaluation list. You’ll get a good flavor of what’s on offer from the mobile version.

Although not cheap, the customer support options are good. The only strike against EdrawMind is Wondershare’s existing reputation of bundling crapware. If you want to risk it, EdrawMind provides a good mind mapping experience.

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