Which Mind Mapping Software

I may be far behind the ball here but need to ask anyway. Which Mind Mapping Software gives the best results when imported into Scrivener? El-Cheapo is great but do they do the job?
Have played with the Xmind freebie and it pretty well does what I need without all the pretty graphics, etc… I would like to be able to access and work with the outline once imported into Scrivener. The free XMind program does not allow export.

Freeplane seems to have a fairly decent outline view but haven’t had a chance to see it imported to see if I can work with it in Scrivener.

Thank you


The 1.5 version of Scrivener for Windows will support both OPML and .mm import, so you should be pretty well off. Freemind is both free and popular, but I don’t really use mind mapping software myself so I can’t give you any personal recommendations. If you’d like to try out the import with Scrivener, you can download the beta from the beta forum.

EDIT: Sorry, missed the part about wanting to work on it after import. That’s a different beast altogether, if you mean that you’d like to keep working on it in the mind mapping software rather than in Scrivener. To do that you’d either need to export again out of Scrivener, then re-import, etc. which is likely going to lose something in the process, or else just drop a link to the mind map file in Scrivener’s project references rather than importing it, so that you can just open it immediately in your mind mapping program. You’re not going to be able to view the .mm file or whatever it may be in Scrivener’s editor and open it directly in your other program the way you can for image or video files.

I have the new beta loaded and tried an import which only the mm version brought any data with it.
It merely loaded a long list of folders/files with what appear to be check boxes. While I can edit each file in the editor there was no import of a workable outline but merely fragments of the original program files. I suppose the Import > Export >Import > Export rigmarole would be of some value in sharing but it does not fit my idea of progress or productivity.

Oddly, I have copied an MS Word Outline of about 100 lines into Scrivener and can edit it at will, maintain the Outline form and save the results to Word where it is much easier to manage.

Perhaps we tend to believe all the little niceties will do our work for us.

Thank you for your prompt reply as it most probably saved me much wasted effort.


It probably seems I am belaboring this topic but am having a bit of a time establishing a productive work flow that is practical in assembling a wide variety of subject matter from many sources.

I have settled on Freemind and EverNote to supplement brain storming and data accumulation.
Word and OneNote are still in the picture as I have a mountain of data in those formats at this time. The doc files are no problem of course but the One files are time consuming to convert and the word processing ability of Onenote is quite clumsy.

I have found that Freemind outline files can be edited in Scrivener as can EverNote files if handled in mht format which takes an extra side trip to export/import them. Cannot find a method to gain the step back yet. Am I missing something with the EverNote export format options??

I would be interested to see how others handle the Freemind and EverNote files as they go through the motions of getting the data into Scrivener.

As an aside, I use a clipboard utility named Clipmate that replaces the clipboard and can handle an unlimited number of clips while storing them in a variety of collections which facilitates great sorted storage.

Hopefully someone can shovel some workable hints my way on this issue.

Thank you


I use three mind mapping sofware, and they are MindNode Pro on the Mac, iThoughtsHD on the iPad, Idea Sketch on the iPhone. Exchange with Scrivener (or any other wordprocessor/outliner) is done through OPML or ordinary copy and paste of text.

When a map becomes too complex, I import it as a diagram, since the visual part is, at that point, more important than the individual text components it contains.


Thanks for your input. It is much as I feared in there is no real method for direct interaction with Scrivener. This puts more credibility to OneNote as it also takes an extra action to make things available to Scrivener.

I do agree on the value of the visual rendering provided by the MindMapping programs. A simple outline in Word does a pretty good job there also.

Again, Thanks



I suggest you to also give a look at Tinderbox. I think you could like its integrated approach to outlining and mindmapping. Import from TB to Scrivener should not be a major issue.



I took a quick look at the Tenderbox ap and it does appear to be quite adequate.
Will give it more thought when time permits.




I don’t know whether it’s of interest for you, but you can easily import OneNote files into EverNote. I did this because I had project notes in EN as well as in OneNote and finally decided to keep working with EN.


Yep, I had that figured out and it greatly simplifies much of the consolidating of data while leaving OneNote as a great storage and sorting tool.