We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Reference and education software Reviews
15,512 Reviews

Blumind review

FREE

Manufacturer: Blumind

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

Blumind is a free, tiny, portable tool for quickly creating mind maps, org charts, and logic diagrams.

Blumind (free/donationware) is a simple and friendly mind-mapping application. The entire package weighs in at less than 1 MB, and it is free and portable. This makes it diametrically opposed to TheBrain, which is large, commercial, and definitely not portable. What the two have in common, however, is the first thing you see when you start: a single node, or "thought". You can then start typing to change its content, press Enter to add a sibling node, or press Tab to add a sub-node.

Blumind doesn't pack much in the way of bells and whistles, but it does come with multiple colour schemes (you can also individually set the colour used for every element). Blumind is good for more than mind maps, too: You can use it to create org charts, logic charts, and tree diagrams. You don't have to decide in advance which format works best with your data; even after you've added nodes to your mind map, you can easily turn it into an org chart with a single click.

See all: PC Advisor software downloads

Much like with the MindMeister web-based mind-mapping tool, you can expand or collapse nodes, and you can create lines connecting different nodes (even if they're not siblings of the same parent). You can also add an icon for each node, from a range of built-in icons such as smiley faces, stars, and other clear and readable symbols. You can also grace any node with a progress bar, if you like to use your mind map as a project management system. One key feature MindMeister has over Blumind is versioning. Blumind contains an Undo function, but it is far less powerful than MindMeister's visual timeline.

The Blumind user interface is sparse, consisting mainly of a single toolbar at the top of the window and a property grid docked on the right. You can use the grid to change a node's colour, icon, progress bar, shape, and more. It is a powerful control and makes for a consistent user interface, but it doesn't make it easy to tell which properties are more important than others, and you may end up scanning the list over and over for whatever it is you're trying to change.

See also: The 20 best online collaboration tools

Blumind Expert Verdict »
Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Blumind is easy to get started with, and since it is free, portable, and tiny, it provides a gentle introduction to the art (and science) of mind mapping. And if you ever feel a need to graduate to a more comprehensive system, Blumind can export your creations using the Freemind mind-mapping format, which you can then import into MindMeister and other mind-mapping applications.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • XMind Pro 2012 review

    XMind Pro 2012

    XMind Pro offers powerful mind-mapping capabilities, if you can get over its interface oddities. Here's our XMind Pro 2012 review.

  • Matchware MindView 5 review - simple software creates, formats mind maps

    Matchware MindView 5 - simple software creates, formats mind maps

    MindView 5 is software that makes mind maps first-class citizens in the Office ecosystem. Here's our MindView 5 review.

  • TheBrain 7.0 review

    TheBrain 7.0

    TheBrain lets you keep and organize all of your thoughts and files in one central place.

  • SimpleMind Desktop review

    SimpleMind Desktop

    SimpleMind Desktop combines PC- and laptop-based mind-mapping software with apps for iOS and Android to let you take your brainstorming on the move. Here's our SimpleMind Desktop review.

  • ConceptDraw Mindmap 7 review

    ConceptDraw Mindmap 7

    ConceptDraw Mindmap is software that helps businesses brainstorm, create, and present mind maps. Here's our ConceptDraw Mindmap 7 review.


IDG UK Sites

Android One vs Android Silver vs Google Nexus: What is the difference?

IDG UK Sites

2014 Mac mini release date, specs, rumours: When's the new Mac mini coming out?

IDG UK Sites

Long live the internet fridge: the Internet of Things is coming

IDG UK Sites

How Prometheus' colourist Juan Ignacio Cabrera gave a tense, edgy feel to Chosen