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iMindmap 10 Review – Mindmapping App with Task Management

In this iMindmap 10 review, we cover what may be the most visually stunning Mindmapping app on this planet, with task management features to boot!

iMindmap 10
6.7 Reviewer
• Visually impressive
• Lots of styling options
• Different views and interpretations
of the mindmap
• Droptask integration
• Fundamental usability flaws
• No 3D video export
• For advanced visuals, the Ultimate
version is needed
Bottom Line
iMindmap 10 is visually impressive with an overwhelming number of formatting and styling variants. However, while the visuals have been buffed to a gleaming shine, the usability of some iMindmap 10 features could do with improvement. In particular, Time Map and Gantt view. I noted multiple problems in these areas which would frustrate it's use as a daily task manager. So, impressive Mindmaps can be produced with iMindmap 10 but I would not use this tool to manage tasks.


Mindmapping apps are great for sketching out the bones of a new project. The idea is to start with an initial concept which forms the hub of your Mindmap. You add branches to this central concept to represent the different constituent parts of that concept. The idea behind this came from Tony Buzan, who incidentally has officially sanctioned the subject of today’s review, iMindmap 10.

This is now the tenth release of iMindmap, with tweaks to several of it’s features and the addition of a new Time Map view. It is not only one version of iMindmap 10 that will be released, but a triplet of varying features and prices. This iMindmap 10 review is based on the Ultimate version which has additional features compared to the most basic, “Home and Student”, version and is focused at business users. Now with a swig of Merlot and a swagger in our step, let’s get on with the review.

iMindmap 10 User Interface

Generally the main user interface is broken up into three distinct areas. Along the top we have the menu options, including the possibility to change the Mindmap view. The centre screen is where we will create the Mindmap and on the right, lies a window for different Mindmap editing options.

Screenshot of Mind Map view

Starting with the central area and the different views that can be applied. With iMindmap 10, several different ways of viewing the Mindmap information is possible. These include,

  • Mind map. This is the standard Mindmapping view. So, you have a central concept and branches emanating from it represent the constituent elements. All aspects of it’s formatting can be personalized with a myriad of different styles, fonts, colours, icons and pictures. One need never suffer the indignity of having the same Mindmap format as one’s colleague.
  • Brainstorming. If you typically like the look and feel of paper and pen when sketching out ideas then this view may be for you. The background is a cork board and ideas can be pinned to it in the form of post it notes or virtual paper lists. So, more of a human touch to the mindmap.
  • Capture. This view visualizes the mindmap elements as a set of interlinked circles. I guess the idea is to be able to capture ideas that occupy certain branches of the Mindmap. In this view, all other branches are hidden except for the selected branch.
  • Timeline. On paper, this sounds like Gantt view. The tasks are represented by bars that begin and end on certain dates. But, it is a little more than this as those bars can be grouped into “Swim lanes”. So, it is more like a cross between Kanban and Gantt charts.
  • Project. A Gantt view of the mindmap elements. In this view, dates can be assigned and the elements or tasks now scheduled.

With any of these views you can add and manipulate the Mindmap items.

Now let’s cover the different menu options in the top menu bar. There are a few buttons dedicated to switching between the views, as described above.

Many of the other functions are view specific and I will cover those shortly in the features and functions section. Finally, on the right side of the main user interface we have an additional window which enables several features, most of which relate to the visualization of the Mindmap and addition of information to the Mindmap elements. These are,

  • Addition of pictures
  • Links to files and websites
  • Outline view
  • Snippet
  • Tags
  • Formatting options

iMindmap 10 Features and functions

Many of the functions in Mindmap are view centric, so they tend to vary depending on which view you are currently using such as Brainstorming, Mind Map, Capture etc. So, let’s go through each of the views and the corresponding features and functions that accompany them.

Mind Map functions

Although mind map elements can be constructed in any of the views, the Mind Map view is the one most likely to be used for the creation and editing of the mind map. The reason being that this is where one finds the greatest arsenal of editing tools, as shown by the tool bar below. Also some features can only be accessed via this view, such as Project.

Mind Map Tools

In addition to the tools listed above, you also have direct access to formatting tools in the form of the branch drawing tool. These are little icons that take up residence at the branch node and enable common functions to be applied such as drawing new branches, creating relationships and opening the formatting panel to the right side of the Mindmap.

Capture view functions

in a “Fast Capture”, system do you really want to be waiting for dozens of bubbles to achieve steady state equilibrium before adding another idea?

The idea of the Capture view is to be able to quickly capture thoughts. If images are used in the Mind Map, they can be disabled in this view leaving text only. There is also the option to show/hide ancestors which means you can show all the Mind Map elements in that branch or only those in the immediate node. My advice, hide them. As you can see in the image below things can quickly get out of hand when you show ancestors. The other thing about this view is that the little bubbles are not static. They bounce around all over the place. Now, I love virtual bubbles that obey Newtonian laws as much as the next man but in a “Fast Capture”, system do you really want to be waiting for dozens of bubbles to achieve steady state equilibrium before adding another idea? So, fancy visuals but I am not sure this is the appropriate place to be deploying them.

iMindmap Capture View

Time map view

The idea behind the Time map view is to take tasks from your Mindmap and slot them into a time frame for completion. It is not unlike a Gantt view. One notable distinction is this concept of “Swim lanes”, that has been introduced. You can move your tasks up and down between these lanes. This is an interesting idea and it strikes me as being somewhat like a Kanban table, where these Swim Lanes take the place of the Kanban columns. Normally Kanban columns are along the lines of “Pending”, “In Progress”, and “Done”. The title of the swim lanes however is not defined and so is completely configurable to the users needs. In principle, I see some mileage in this idea if it could be implemented well.

iMindmap 10 Time Map View

But, at present there are still some teething difficulties. Personally, I struggled with the Time map view. I could not get the functions to work as portrayed in the slick video outlining it’s functionality, shown below.

Firstly, when I tried to stretch the timelines of tasks they behaved like rubber bands and bounced back in the opposite direction.

Second, my expectation would be that all tasks would be in this view when I switched across from Mindmapping. This was not the case. Manual addition of the tasks onto the Time Map from the outline view was needed.

Lastly, I even had difficulty to even see the tasks. If you zoom out slightly, they become invisible to the naked eye as you can see on the show below when I viewed the tasks over a two week time frame. Also in the screen shot above the Swim lane titles overlapped which does not assist legibility. Such basic usability issues need to be addressed.

Time Map visibility problems

At present there is little help available on the support page for this feature. Clicking on Help within iMindmap 10 brings you to the Support page for iMindmap 9, which does not have this feature. Hopefully, the Help section of the iMindmap site will be created soon for users of the new iMindmap 10 version.

Brainstorming functions

The brainstorming view is more about the look and feel of the interface than the features on offer. There is but a few icons to add different kinds of notes on your cork board – post it notes of different sizes and “paper”, lists.

3D View

This essentially does what it says on the tin. It transforms your two dimensional mindmap into a three dimensional representation, which can be panned and rotated to whatever angle you desire. I think this view is less about brainstorming and creating content as presenting it later perhaps in a document to add a touch of pizazz. When combined with the presentation mode and it’s animation, it is especially impressive.

iMindmap 10 Three Dimensional View

Presentation mode functions

Visually, the Presentation mode is the most impressive part of iMindmap 10

Visually, the Presentation mode is the most impressive part of iMindmap 10. While the other views are very flexible in terms of themes and styles, the Presentation mode smoothly animates across the different elements of the Mindmap. You would use this feature when presenting the mind map to other people, with the Mindmap branches substituting for the bullet points that you would find in a traditional PowerPoint presentation.

It is also possible to export this to a video file. However, there is another problem here. The cool animated 3D presentation cannot be exported, only the 2D version. That’s a shame. You can see the videos below of how each of them look. I had to record the 3D one with my camera so you get some feel for it.

The Exported 2D Video Presentation

A 3D Presentation (which cannot be exported)

Gantt Tool

It is pretty fashionable these days to include Gantt chart functionality with Mindmapping apps. Other offerings from Mindjet and Mindgenius also include such features and I look forward to reviewing those products at a later date. Any hoo, so yeah, back to Gantt charts. On the face of it this seems a reasonable extension to the Mindmap. You can imagine the typical scenario. A young whippersnapper of a Project Manager whips out his Mindmapping app. He quickly brainstorms all the elements of Project X. He then switches to Gantt view, adds his resources and dates and has a fully-fledged project plan before his second cup of earl grey tea that morning. I expect this is the vision that iMindmap is aiming at, but not quite meeting with the Gantt view. As you can see from the screen shot below, the general format of it is right but there are a few flaws. These include,

  • The task relationships created in other views are inexplicably not reflected in Gantt chart task dependencies.
  • The indented task titles cannot be read. The column is not wide enough and it cannot be widened further.
  • To add dependencies, you have to scroll through the list of tasks and identify that. You can imagine this will be rather tedious with hundreds of entries and multiple dependencies.

So, from a quick look I already see problems with trying to use this for day to day task management.

Gantt View

For the task relationships in particular I would have thought it logical, even novel that quickly joining tasks in the brainstorming view would automatically create the links in the Gantt view but alas that was not to be.

Relationships in the mindmap are not reflected in the Project Plan

Import and export

There is a myriad of options when it comes to the export formats for your completed mindmap. Those include,

  • Image
  • MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel
  • Droptask
  • Outline Processor Markup Language (OPML)
  • HTML
  • PDF
  • MS Project XML files

To name but a few!

The app with the closest relation to iMindmap is of course Droptask, as it belongs to the same parent company. Droptask is an application which is used for team task management and can generate tasks based on iMindmap file inputs.

So, you can create your Mindmap and then send it directly to Droptask. All of the elements of your Mindmap become actionable tasks in Droptask and of course Droptask’s own task management features can then be applied to the tasks. This includes being able to share the tasks among team members, re-arrange the tasks as you wish using their novel circle user interface, integrate task management based chat and attachment of files. You can find out more details in this Droptask review.

iMindmap Price

There are three price packages for iMindmap 10. The most basic Home & Student offering will cost $100 and for that you get the Mindmap editor and Brainstorm view. Coughing up $235 for the Ultimate version will give some additional functionality in the way of the Fast Capture view, 3D view, Presentation builder and Integration with Droptask and MS Office. For the Ultimate Plus+ (for once this is not a typo, on their website it states Plus+. I had to double check I was not looking at a McDonalds Menu). Anyway, for this uber positive Ultimate version with a price tag to match – $310, you get an additional 2 x DVD’s and three books.

If I had to pick one of them it would probably be the Ultimate version. People come to iMindmap 10 for the visuals and some of those functions are only possible with the Ultimate version. For business users, file conversion is likely a must and this also requires features from the Ultimate version.

For the other two versions. I am not sure there is a place for a Student version as other free/lower price Mindmapping apps are out there for the price conscious.

For the Ultimate Plus version, my first thought was, I don’t have a DVD player. I would have to dig out my decade old laptop for that one!

iMindmap 10 Review Summary

Ostentatious is alive in kicking in the Mindmapping world in the form of iMindmap 10. If your reports need a bit of glamour then iMindmap 10 would fit the bill. There is a large choice of formatting and viewing options for the mindmaps. Beyond this core competency, iMindmap is also going in the direction of task management in both the Time Map and Gantt views. However, my feeling is that the usability for both of these could be improved. I would find some of the problems highlighted in this iMindmap 10 review simply too frustrating if I were to be using this every day for managing tasks. In conclusion, for impressive visuals, iMindmap 10 is certainly one of the best. However, I would not currently recommend iMindmap 10 for task management.

Brendan Toner

Let me welcome you to this alcove of the internet. In this little productivity blog, I detail the trials and tribulations of trying to use my time more effectively utilising the latest productivity tools and techniques. I hope you enjoy the articles, cheers! Brendan Toner, author of Done Before Brekky

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22 Responses

  1. Goran Madjaric says:

    Trank You. This Software is the biggest B* I have ever seen. I have a wasted a lot of time and money. Don’t buy this software.

    • Brendan Toner says:

      Hi Goran, thanks for dropping by. What problems did you see? What feedback did you get from iMindmap Support team on the problems?

  2. Terry Robb says:

    I have to agree the timeline and Gantt views aren’t ready for business use. I spent a frustrating few hours with the new timeline view, watched all the videos, and concluded that it works pretty well if you are starting from scratch without an associated mind map.

    I use iMindMap only for personal use; it is perfectly good. As a project manager, use MindManger; it’s good at translating mind maps to Gantt charts. In my opinion MindView is the most business ready, though I haven’t asked my employer to spring for it.

    • Brendan Toner says:

      Hi Terry. I think there may be some mileage in the Timeline view if I can be implemented well but as you have seen already, some improvement is needed. You mention that yo use Mindmanager for PM. Are you happy to stick only with that one tool or do you migrate the plan across to a dedicated tool such as MS Project? The idea of an all in one tool is appealing but often it comes with significant usability compromises.

      • Terry Robb says:

        I use MindMapper for specialized PM tasks, for lack of a better term. I use it for developing the WBS with the client, project kick-off meetings, and even video status meetings (with Adobe Captivate). I use Innotas for heads-down project management. I have also used MS Project. (We were a Project Server shop before moving to Innotas.)

  3. emonterog says:

    I have used and invested on several mimdmapping tools looking for the 4×4 of this category. During my 18 yrs working with these tools I have not yet found the perfect software with all the features I need in one app, however I have to complement based on the task at hand. As the review mention, iMindmap is the best visual mindmap tool out there, no question. It is very flexible and it allows you to be very creative with your maps. It may not be that strong on other features but they keep innovating and hopefully keep polishing the software. Mindjet in the other hand works very well with task and projects but it is too rigid and lacks flexibility while moving branches and customizing the information the way you want or need. Significant upgrades and innovative features are less common in the past 3 versions and they seem more enhancement of existing features rather than helpful changes to the tool. I hope now that COREL acquired this company they make a positive impact for mindjet and deliver more value to their customers which I still consider in the top of this range.

    With some variations from creativity and functionality toolsm, are others like iMindQ (great SW compared with Minjdjet and less expensive). xMind and Novamind. Novamind was my favorite a few years ago and they were doing some great improvements until the owner changed his strategy and things didn’t go as expected and now it changed hands. There are many options out there but as I say is difficult to get all you need in one tool. It is strange someone mention that iMindmap does not deserve a try and degraded as a B* software. For me it is easy in the top 3 mindmapping software in the market along with mindjet.

    • Brendan Toner says:

      Hi, thanks for stopping by. 18 years is getting to the point of historical! I agree that iMindmap is great visually. I wonder if encompassing Project Management functionality is the best path. They have a twin product, Droptask, tailor made for collaboration and task sharing with integration between the two products.
      Mindmanager is pretty well established and from what I remember had a reasonable PM capability. A few years go I also tried Mindgenius and at that time favoured it over Mindmanager but my memory, terrible as it is!, cannot remember the reason behind it. I think I will need to review both again in detail.
      Thanks for the other tips to follow up on! One other thing coming into view also is iThoughts with a Beta version for Windows.

      • emonterog says:

        My early start with mind-maps was when I first read a a book from Tony Buzan that referenced the use of mindmaps for learning and improve memorization, so I started drawing mindmaps first before I moved to software. Freemind I think was my first SW I tried which is a open source free app and then I moved to Novamind and Mindmanager. Since then I have tried several others including Thebrain, Xmind, eDraw, Lucidchart, iThoughts, iMIndQ, Mindmaster, Total Recall and more but my top 3 I use are Mindjet, iMindmap and Thebrain which I consider each one have their unique capabilities and functions. I agree with your review and I think mindmanager is one of the best for managing task and projects but is terrible for saving space and doesn’t allow a comfortable “big picture” of the information while iMindmap is kind of the opposite. What I like more about iMM is they are committed to innovate and provide more alternatives than mindjet. Since I have been paying for upgrades each year on both applications I feel I have received more value and benefits from iMindmap than Mindjet which I consider a very expensive software. I am looking forward with the new management (COREL) if something is going to change for good. I have uploaded a few of my maps for both apps on biggerplate just to give an idea of what talk about visualization of information:

  4. It’s a pretty waste app.

  5. R. Klont says:

    Practical: iMindmap 10 is not compatible with the Mac OSX (Dutch localization) despite what Thinkbuzan writes on its website: it crashes within a few minutes. After a few updates this has not been solved. It appears to have been written with only Windows users in mind.

  6. Martin says:

    I love mindmapping software since I know of its existence. I started with Mindmanager version 1.0 long time ago. So, I gave iMindmap a try, and I see one more disadvantage that is not listed in your report: While it is without a doubt capable of creating the most beautiful mindmaps on a PC, I did not manage to import the exported data into another mindmapping software without some extra work. I must admit that is a feature that I used quite often with freemind and it’s forks, Xmind, Simple Mind (on Android+Windows), Mindmanager and others. For some reason I like to transfer the data between programs, as I like to switch the tools from time to time. If they had an export format such as .mm, an xml- or opml-format that could be imported more easily into my other mindmapping software I’d already own a licence for iMindmap. But, now I hesistate to get a licence, because of this one reason.

    • Brendan Toner says:

      Thanks for stopping by Martin and for highlighting this issue. I agree that export and import can be a minefield, especially when you consider embedded images. For that, I have had the best luck with Mindmanager.

      • Martin says:

        There are essentially two parts that i like in iMindmap: the brainstorming mode, and the graphical capabilities to beautify a final map. All the editing between the first draft and the final result seems to feel more convenient in XMind or Mindmanager.

        Yesterday I found a workaround to open the iMindmap export in XMind (currently I do not use a recent version of Mindmanager):

        If you use a text editor to replace in the exported opml file the string <outline name=" with <outline text=", importing the branches and all assigned notes in XMind seems to work. Opening Xmind files in iMindmap works really well. But, I still did not try it with images or more complex notes that contain tables etc.

        I still have some days left to test the trial version and consider to get it as long as they still offer a 40% discount on their website.

        • Martin says:

          P.S. another cool thing I forgot to mention is, that you can export editable svg files, that I could use as a part of infographics or other visual designs that I create in Illustrator, or Corel Draw or InkScape. In other words you can get high quality results sufficient for printed products. 🙂

      • Martin says:

        Finally today, I decided to stop using this software forever, as I do not need a new cloud-collaboration-task management-mindmapping tool as a subscription based service… 🙂

        • Brendan Toner says:

          Hi Martin, for single user mindmapping I am with you on that. However, for “collaboration tools”, subscription is often the sales model.

  7. John Brooker says:

    I agree with your task management views. I upgraded to 9 but am probably not going to bother with 10. I wish they had a stripped down version without the task management tools. This would make it a great mind mapping tool and would hopefully start faster.

    • Brendan Toner says:

      Hi John. No doubt most people are interested in the core mindmap functions. But, to justify the high price loads of bells and whistles need to be bolted on. Unfortunately few mindmapping apps manage to implement them well.

  1. December 26, 2016

    […] Brendan Toner provides a detailed review and examples of what we project managers can do with iMindMap. […]

  2. December 4, 2017

    […] This may be project management functions, fancy brainstorming templates, research tools or even fly through 3D animations of your completed mind map. Haven’t they come far since mind maps were first envisaged since […]

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