I can be a scatterbrain sometimes. With so many things going on at once, I find myself drifting from project to project giving each one some attention here and there. It’s not the best way to get things done but it works for the most part. Now that I’m using OmniFocus it does seem to be getting better, but I could use one more thing to help keep me on track, especially during the brainstorming and creative process. Thanks to MindNode, I’ve found an easy way to focus on a project via mind mapping while minimizing distractions.
Ease of Use
Overall, MindNode is very easy to use on both iOS and OS X. The iOS version does take a bit more exploring to find available options, which is expected given the small form factor of these devices.
Adjusting placement of branches in MindNode is very simple. When dragging a branch into a different position, intuitive adjustments are made so as to not interrupt the flow of ideas or concepts.
As you add more branches to any given idea, the screen doesn’t feel cluttered at all. Instead, spacing adjustments are made which are pleasing to the eye and free of distractions. As a project expands so does the canvas, all while keeping you focused and centered.
If you’re worried about adding too many details in a text box, don’t be. MindNode allows you to add notes to each section or branch so those good ideas are not lost.
When it comes to functionality, MindNode blows me away, and here’s why. I use Markdown Pro to format my articles for the web. Once editing is complete, I copy and paste them into Evernote to catalog, tag, and store information on all my work. The process seems a bit annoying, but I’m used to it and it’s just a part of the process.
Capturing and connecting ideas and concepts has always been a bit cumbersome for me. Sure I jot down notes and refer back to them, but MindNode allows me to see how everything connects and the notes section allows me to write exactly what it is I want to say. Having everything I need right in front of me in one application allows me to soar when it comes writing quickly and accurately.
MindNode presents a clear picture of how I want everything to flow since I’ve already brainstormed and mapped everything out. All I have to do is connect the dots, so to speak, and my projects are done in nearly half the time. I’m mapping out ideas so fast now, there are times I feel like I’m missing something.
Should a project require feedback from a developer or a question needs answered, I simply create a branch with a role or responsibility assigned to a member of my staff or contact. MindNode even lets you add tasks to Reminders for your iOS device. Simply use the share button to add tasks to Apple Reminders and stay right on track.
Lastly, you can even give your mind mapping projects some style by adding stickers or photos. Use this feature to attach images to concepts or ideas. You could even use these as a placeholder in lieu of text if that’s more your speed.
The iOS version is best to experience while using an iPad. The iPhone Plus models, which are what I use, are good at viewing and editing a project, but you’re still not able to see large expansive projects since you’ll need to zoom out to get an overview.
One feature you’ll enjoy on the iPad is split screen mode. This is great if you want to keep another app, like Mail, open for viewing while working.
Just like the OS X version, you don’t need to worry about clutter since the iOS version has all the same intuitive adjusting characteristics when adding ideas.
OS X Highlights
Of the two versions available, OS X is by far the easiest to navigate and interact with. iPhone and iPad have come a long way, but a mouse and a keyboard scream speed when it comes to productivity. iCloud syncing is also included for OS X.
Aside from it being easier to interact with, on OS X you’re able to keep the sidebar open or closed (sidebar is where most editing tools are located). On iOS users must click an icon to display available editing tools.
Full screen mode is great to use on OS X to help keep distractions to a minimum while working on a project. Just like the iOS version, split screen mode is available for OS X and a great feature to use when pulling information from other sources.
iCloud and MindNode
Sync your work across all your devices with iCloud. You never understand how necessary this feature is until you have an app that’s available on both iOS and OS X.
Start your work on your iPhone or iPad and pick up right where you left off on your Mac. iCloud does all the work in the background flawlessly and lets you focus on your projects.
Both iOS and OS X versions feature a self expanding canvas, custom font, style, and themes, ability to add photos and stickers, outline formatting, and sharing via MyMindNode services. Export options are great via PDF, PNG, markdown, CSV, or outline files.
MindNode on iOS has voice over, accessibility and gesture support, which are fantastic. If you own an Apple Watch, the iOS version also gives you access to viewing projects in outline form right on your watch.
With the iOS version of MindNode coming in at $9.99 (lowest price was $4.99 in May 2015), it’s a bit on the expensive side. Don’t let this scare you off though since it can boost creative thinking, brainstorming and overall productivity. Capturing and storing ideas is vital to the creative process and the iOS version gives you the ability to jot things down when you’re not by a computer.
Ideas can jump in your head at any moment and MindNode for iOS lets you jot them down quickly to see how they flow with your project.
With the OS X version priced at $29.99 (lowest price was $9.99 in January 2015), you really need to dedicate yourself to MindNode. It’s not the most expensive software in the Mac App Store, but it’s definitely something you should think about before buying. If you’ve never used mind mapping techniques before I’d suggest purchasing the iOS version first to see how you like it. You’re spending a third less money and you’re getting roughly the same product but on a smaller screen.
After using the iOS version you can make a more informed decision about spending money on MindNode for OS X. If you enjoy the iOS version, you’re going to love it on OS X. It’s easier to interact with since you have a keyboard and mouse to help you navigate through different menus and selections.
I discovered MindNode in reverse order. First I got the OS X version of MindNode before downloading it for iOS. I fell in love with it but needed the ability to input ideas in a project while away from my computer. My mind is constantly busy, so ideas and concepts just come to me and I must add them right away or they’re gone.
Mind mapping techniques are a fantastic way to quickly brainstorm idea and get the creative juices flowing. Thanks to MindNode I’m able to write much faster since all my ideas and concepts are right in front of me.
Owning both iOS and OS X versions, for me, is important since I like staying connected to MindNode even when I’m away from my MacBook Pro. With iCloud syncing my projects in the background my work is always up-to-date and waiting for me to start up right where I left off.
If I’m being honest I can’t really find anything to pick on MindNode about. If I want to be petty, I guess I could gripe about minimal stickers available to use for customizing projects, but this doesn’t impact my project. Actually going and finding a sticker to add to my project slows me down but it gives a project some life to it.
MindNode is a high functioning productivity application and it’s exactly what I need to help keep me on track during the creative process. Being able to see the flow of my work helps keep my scatterbrain in check. It’s great to see a project take shape, which helps keep the fire burning to get it done.
Price is a bit shocking at first, but I’ve been grinding out projects in record time. This fact helped me realized I would’ve paid a little more for MindNode. At the end of the day, software is only worth how effective it is at completing a goal. MindNode is well worth the money if you’re looking for a different way to brainstorm, view, and complete your project.
MindNode is available in the iOS App Store for $9.99 for your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. For $29.99 you can download the OS X version in the Mac App Store. Check them out today and start seeing your projects get done faster from a whole different perspective.