Your favourite Mind-Mapping software?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by eclipse, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. eclipse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    Hi all,
    I'm interested in brainstorming software and have played with Freemind a bit, but find it a bit ugly. I don't like the 'sticky' twiggy look as the branches move out. Mindnode has sweeter curves and branches out more attractively and feels more Mac, but is it powerful enough? (I haven't bought Mindnode Pro yet).

    I'm interested in mind-mapping complicated plots for a novel I'm working on. Any recommendations on software, and especially any recommendations on how to use mind-mapping symbols or hints and tips for actually mapping a novel's plot? Traps to avoid? etc?
  2. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    You might want to consider Curio. I use it for my writing projects, and I've written about it here and here. Curio is much more than a mind mapping program (and because of that, its mind mapping features aren't as sophisticated as those of dedicated mind mapping apps), but I like how it makes it easy for me to integrate mind mapping, outlining and brainstorming into a broader project work flow for larger writing projects.

    I also use NovaMind. I haven't used it enough to really give much in way of in depth comments, but I generally like it and so far it's been a solid app for me.
  3. printz macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2012
    May I ask why people are supposed to pay $20 or even much more on mind mapping software? What are they anything more than fancy note-taking apps?
  4. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    That's awesome! I'll have to think about it. Cool!
  5. joshgardner macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2013
    New app

    Have you checked this new Mac app?
    It's called Delineato Pro and it has some pretty interesting features.
    I've bought it (just $6...) and was surprised. Hope they keep developing it.

    Taken from the MAS:

    Delineato Pro is the professional edition of Delineato - the italian word for "outline". Designed using the WYSIWYN paradigm - What You See Is What You Need - this carefully crafted application is targeted at creating simple diagrams, mind maps, brainstorming, to-do lists, architectural diagrams.
    A clutter-free interface allows you to concentrate and focus on the essence of your work.

    Don't forget to check our website for the video-teaser and video-tutorial!

    Features List:
    * Infinite canvas and retina-displays compatibility;
    * Multiple shapes and connectors;
    * Drop any image from the Desktop or other app;
    * Edit directly, drag-and-drop shapes and connectors from a palette;
    * Fullscreen mode;
    * Themes;
    * Dark mysterious mood or Light grey stylish mood;
    * Text on links, shortcuts, full customization;
    * Grid, smart alignment guides, smart resizing guides;
    * Share: Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, Airdrop, etc.;
    * Export transparent or opaque diagrams as PDF, EPS, JPG, etc.

    Link to Mac App Store

    Check their website here. They have a cool video tutorial and teaser.
  6. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    IMO, mind mapping and outlining tools (I've written more about outlining tools here) are very useful compared to a rich text format for note taking, because they making it much easier to chunk, structure and reorganise large amounts of texts. For example, as a researcher I have several really large research overviews that are organised around different themes, different authors and different concepts, and where I create relationships between the different chunks of text in different ways. Working with such documents is much easer in mind mapping or outlining tools, because something like a regular text document imposes a mode of organisation that is too linear. I also think mind mapping is very good for brainstorming and initial set up of writing projects - again, ideas are not linear at that time, so you want to work with your material in ways where you can lay it out, move stuff around in different directions, and place different bits of text in different kinds of relationships with each other. YMMV, but that's my take on it - and I find that this is worth the twenty dollars.
  7. printz, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013

    printz macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2012
    Good point there. Personally I prefer mind-mapping applications that have as little chrome (widgets) on screen as possible, and are easy to use. For that purpose, I really like MindNode (and I have the Lite version, which is free). Maybe I should consider buying the full version when TextEdit becomes too limiting… Usually with mindmapping I'm afraid of getting lost in the ever-growing tree of information that builds up.

    Though still, isn't the best mindmapping program the one which you can carry on your Android/iOS device as well as all the computers you use?
  8. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    Exactly! When I'm brainstorming the plot for a book, I'm just chucking ideas out there and seeing how they fit together. Over time, I expect my Mind Node map will drift right like a storyboard, with branches interacting with dotted lines and various symbols as different plot threads are developed, taken up, resolved, put to bed, etc. Having a 'thread' just hanging out there still shows visually that it has not been resolved yet. If that were text just hidden in some paragraph in some anonymous document hiding away under a thousand other plot or character or location summary bits of writing, I might easily loose it.


    I think MindNode is heading in that direction, has cloud sync, and all that jazz. I've decided to go with them because, even though Freemind is free, I feel cleaner and tidier using MindNode. I am prepared to pay $20 for that feeling, as anything that helps me get into that creative zone is worth it's weight in gold! (I also want to encourage the best of the best apps out there; simple, beautiful, workable).

    MindNode Pro has the drop & drag child nodes onto parent or Main Nodes feature that Lite doesn't have, so that's pretty important. It doesn't have a good note storing app, but I'm using this for mind-mapping, not note taking. It can link to web pages and PDF's, and if we all decide we like Mind Node but need a notes app I guess we could band together and write to the developer?
  9. ijohn.8.80 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2012
    Adelaide, Oztwaylya.
    I'll put my suggestion forward for MindNode Pro also. Well worth the $20.99 in the Aussie App Store.

    I don't use it personally, I have no need, but my wife and son use it, she uses it to plan her University essays and using it on her thesis currently. My son is a budding writer also, he uses it exactly as you mentioned and swears by it.
  10. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Dec 9, 2011
    Yes, I use iThoughtsHD on my iPad, it's a good little app.
  11. janej macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2013
    Mind map

    Its totally great information. I began to use mind mapping two month ago and I suppose that it is a great invitation. There are a lot of information that help me to understand deeply what mind map is. I looked for a lot information about this topic. I liked the public mind map you link. But I find very interesting article. This article is about free mind mapping that helps me to organize thoughts or study materials in a way that is more comprehensible. In my opinion only self-organization can help people not to be lazy.
    With best regards, Jane
  12. komatsu macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2010
    I never do brainstorming on a computer. Just not the same.

    My "software" of choice for brainstorming is a Muji jotter pad. No batteries required.
  13. Jason Lewis Suspended

    Jason Lewis

    Apr 8, 2015
    I like using Coggle to brainstorm and turn ideas into steps. When finishing a map, I can download it as PNG file for saving.
  14. Easttime macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2015
    I use MindNode to think through the start of complex research/policy concepts. Easy to drag around twigs and branches to see how best to think about the concepts and their relationships. Integrated on Mac and iDevices. I've used it for several years and appreciate the ongoing updates.
  15. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    SimpleMind for me. I appreciate having cross-platform access to my mind maps. iOS/OSX/Android
  16. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 18, 2005
    I like the last 2 quotes, as I use Mindnode and really like the simple graphics interface and tidy way it presents, but on the other hand there really is something to be said for cross-platform, isn't there?
  17. e93to macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2015
  18. JD2015 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2014

Share This Page

17 April 8, 2013