Although many people I work with use mind mapping software, i am much more of a “draw it out on paper” person and it has never felt spontaneous to capture my thoughts using such a tool. I don’t like to lug my laptop to every meeting and when I got spontaneous ideas while walking or working out, paper always seemed to be the best approach.

So as I was browsing through new apps in the App Store, I saw the Mind Maker [iTunes Link] app developed by Ultravague, and the idea of having mind mapping software that is a lot more portable and always accessible might make the difference in usability for me.  So I decided to give it a try.

So for two days now I have had it installed on my iPhone and I have tried to use it for all my meetings (which are considerable these days!).  It takes some time to reorient yourself from linear written notes to the relationship-based tree concept but I like the end product.  Much easier to navigate through when you are trying to drill down and go back and add more detail later.

The tool is pretty intuitive.  It was easy to make new branches and nodes.  I kept trying to connect a node to more than one parent and I guess you can’t do that.  I think that  one of my problems with these types of tools is that my mind doesn’t always link things in an hierarchical fashion.

But my personal issues aside, I was able to create a tree really quickly and and organize it the way I wanted to.  I couldn’t figure out how to export it so after a quick browse at the web site I found out that the next version 1.1 (which they say is almost ready to submit to Apple), will support exporting mind maps to images and the following version 1.2, will allow mindmaps to be published to the web and exported in a variety of formats.

Features that I would like to see added:

  • The ability to associate a text, images, or url’s with the nodes, this will be especially useful when version 1.2 comes out and I can publish my mind maps to the web.
  • The ability to create cross associations (a node has more than one parent) so that I can map more complex relationships
  • The ability to name the relationships because connections are sometimes the most important thing to remember.

All in all it is a good deal at $4.99.