When comparing XMind vs Zim, the Slant community recommends XMind for most people. In the question“What are the best mind-mapping apps for Linux?” XMind is ranked 1st while Zim is ranked 4th. The most important reason people chose XMind is:
XMind, except for Plus and Pro features, is open source with code available on [GitHub](https://github.com/xmindltd).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
XMind, except for Plus and Pro features, is open source with code available on GitHub.
Pro Clean, easy to use UI
XMind's interface is uncluttered and easy to overview. It allows for quick, intuitive navigation and use. For example, Enter adds more items to a node, Tab adds a child node, all commonly used shortcuts works as expected, etc.
Pro Extremely flexible
XMind is capable of displaying information in a multitude of ways (classic mindmaps, charts, timelines, decision trees, etc), it can add labels, clip-art, notes, files, audio recordings, it can then take the project and export it in a variety of ways including an synced gantt chart.
Works on Windows, OS X and Linux.
Pro A wide variety of templates available
XMind has preset templates available that allow getting started quickly. There are templates for project planning, status reports, dashboards, organizational charts, swot analysis, timelines, decision trees, weekly plans, among others.
Pro Built-in Gantt view
XMind has a build-in Gantt chart view and with the pro version, XMind allows synchronizing it.
Pro Can copy entire hierarchy to/from Word with a simple copy/paste action
XMind allows quickly copying over structure of the mindmap as a tab-indented list starting at the node selected. It can also take a tab-indented list and create a mindmap from it.
Pro Local Network Sharing
Pro XMind Plus & Pro adds more export options
XMind Plus & Pro can export to Word, PowerPoint, PDF, SVG & MindManager.
Pro Task management (pro)
Pro Audio recording (pro)
Pro Very good performance
The app is incredible complete, flexible, and fast.
Pro Allows for organized, wiki-style navigation
Notes can contain links to other notes, allowing you to reference important information when needed. This way the user can connect and reference many different pages in the app, keeping things clean and structured, unlike Evernote, which makes this a good Evernote alternative.
Pro Plain text data format rather than proprietary
If/when the app is no longer developed (or if the user simply decides to no longer use the application or view/edit it on a non-supported platform), this can still be done with any plain-text editor.
Pro Automatically manages files and folders
Zim will automatically create a folder structure that fits your page hierarchy and adds/removes files such as images to/from appropriate folders.
Pro Good export options
Zim supports HTML, LaTeX, Pandoc Markdown, and RST. This allows ones documents to be easily used in a wide selection of other apps.
Pro Support for multiple platforms
Windows, Linux, and BSD are supported with their own clients. This is nice for those that use multiple operating systems but still want to use the same app on each.
Con No offline capability
If the Internet goes down, you cannot use this XMind. This is painful on the iOS phone where data link must be online before you can use it.
Con Newer versions become heavyweight and bloated
Even though there are more features, starting with version 8 application is very unstable. A lot of users still prefer version 7.5 or 6.5.
Con Used to offer their NOT-free products
Con FreeMind files sometimes don't work
XMind claims it can read FreeMind files, but certain .mm file saves from Freeplane or MindMup generate an error on open.
Con No native sync support
Zim notes don't automatically synchronize with other devices or offer built-in cloud sync support. Of course the user can add the files to Dropbox, or something similar, to then open them on another device with the app installed. But this is more of a work-around than a built-in solution.
Con No mobile app support
This is a desktop app and there are no mobile versions available. This can make it more difficult to use on-the-go if using cloud storage to store files from the app, as there is no mobile app version to access those files.
Con Looks ancient
Zim has a very plain and outdated interface.