Mind Mapping Apps
The iPhone and iPad provide several avenues for organizing your ideas and thoughts. In addition to text editors, list organizers, and outlining applications another category exists for Mind Mappers. If you are a visual learner then you may be familiar with the technique of Mind Mapping. Mind Maps are diagrams containing a central idea with branches for related topics. So if you need to solve a perplexing problem or plan the next big thing, one of these Mind Mapping Apps may be just what you need.
iThoughts for both iPhone and iPad offers an incredible feature set for creating and sharing Mind Map diagrams. With built-in support for Box.net and Dropbox and a wide range of file type options for exporting your diagrams, iThoughts is an essential addition to your mobile planning needs. In addition to PDF and OPML export, iThoughts supports many mind-mapping desktop packages including FreeMind, NovaMind, XMind, Mindmanager, iMindmap, and Mindview. Branches may also be copied and pasted into other iDevice apps as simple outlines. iThoughts also keeps track of your changes and you can revert back to an older version of a diagram if needed. Icons, colors, and shapes can be easily formatted within the iThoughts interface. If you want a mind mapping app that is easy to use and works with many destkop apps, then iThoughts is for you.
MindNode excels at producing easy-to-create mind map diagrams, including the unique feature of having multiple main idea nodes in a map. The user interface is simple and effective. To create a new branch, just drag and position from a node, then start typing. Having the companion desktop application, MindNode Pro, makes using MindNode on your iDevice even more useful. It will also export OPML, PNG, and FreeMind files for those who don't want to purchase MindNode Pro.
iBlueSky has been available for the iPhone for a while now and in many ways was the mind mapper to beat. It has great support for desktop mind mapping applications and when projects are emailed iBlueSky includes many popular formats automatically. From PDF, PNG, and OPML to support for NovaMind and FreeMind, your diagrams are available to share in a variety of ways. One lacking feature for iBlueSky has been an iPad version. I am pleased to report that an iPad version is coming soon, so stay tuned.
Popplet uses a very unique and fun interface for mind mapping. With large idea boxes called "popples," text, drawings, and even photos may be easily added to your diagram. Popples may be resized and added with very touch-friendly gestures. Finished Popplet diagrams can also be exported via PDF or JPG, and even displayed on the big screen via VGA. Popplet lacks exporting to mind map desktop applications for further editing, but the unique interface makes this a notable app to unleash your mind mapping creativity.
iMindMap Mobile Pro
If you are serious about mind mapping then you are probably familiar with Tony Buzan and his official mind mapping application iMindMap. If you already own the desktop application then you will be interested in the mobile version for your iPhone. iMindMap Pro Mobile allows you to use Buzan's unique interface for creating mind maps on the go. However, the iPhone app only exports as PDF, PNG, and as iMindMap compatible files. An iPad version is coming soon. For most users the costly expense of the desktop version will prohibit them from using this app on their idevice, but if iMindMap on the desktop is an integral part of your workflow then iMindMap Pro Mobile will appeal to you.
SimpleMind for iPad (mind mapping)
When your needs are simple, SimpleMind for iPhone and iPad makes it easy to get your thoughts organized quickly. It lacks many of the exporting features of other apps but will sync with SimpleMind Desktop. It lacks fine control over formatting and copying outlines to other apps, but if all you need is simple then SimpleMind fits the bill.
Think Tree (mindmapping)
Think Tree aims to make mind mapping fun with a highly graphical look and interface. The best way to describe Think Tree would be that it is a "cute" mind mapping app. With cartoon pictures and cloud-shaped pop outs, Think Tree allows for creative planning in a light-hearted environment. Finished diagrams can only be shared as pictures, so this isn't for the hard-core mind mapper needing desktop collaboration. However, Think Tree is an inexpensive mind mapper in a fun atmosphere.
ThinkDigits - mindmapping calculator
Have you wanted to combine the power of mind mapping with the ability to crunch some numbers? If so, then you will find ThinkDigits intriguing. With ThinkDigits you can visualize mathematical formulas and equations. It is not advanced enough to replace Excel, but it is a unique app that any number lover will find interesting.
AnotherView supports import and export for FreeMind files and is a decent iPhone mind mapping app. Its interface lacks the simplicity and polish that other more capable mind mapping apps employ. For example, Items can't be freely moved around within the diagram. It does allow for custom colors and icons.
ThinkingMap - mindmapping
ThinkingMap is an inexpensive mind mapping app for your iPhone. Maps are easy to create and this is one of the only mind mapping apps to include MobileMe iDisk support. You can import FreeMind files from your iDisk to further edit. Items cannot be moved independently, and the app lacks zoom and undo support. If you are not sure about mind mapping and want to give it a try, then ThinkMap is an inexpensive way to start.
Total Recall - Mind Map
Total Recall is a modest mind mapping app with simple features. Maps are easy to create and edit. Colors are limited but functional. You can email your maps to others, but they must have Total Recall installed in order to view the graphical version of your map.