Meryl recently wrote about the benefits of developing mind maps with pen and paper. However, what about those of us who are cursed with poor penmanship and want to develop mind maps on the go without having to carry around paper and a pen?
One option is MindJet for iPhone, a very easy-to-use mind mapping app. It also works with the iPod touch and is available for download from the iTunes Store for $7.99.
I downloaded this app because I was looking for ways to capture ideas on my new iPhone 3GS, and I regularly use MindJet MindManager on the Mac and Windows PC to generate ideas and other brainstorming activities (see Imran’s review of the desktop app). My big requirement for on-the-go mind mapping was that I didn’t want to have lug along a legal pad, or even a Moleskine notebook, so MindJet for iPhone seemed like a good choice.
Inside MindJet for iPhone
Let’s take a look at its more notable features:
Performance. Developing a mind map using MindJet for iPhone means you can enjoy the nimbleness of the iPhone/iPod touch user interface. Zooming in and out and scrolling around is a joy. While it took some time to get the hang of creating sub topics, it was easy once I got the hang of it.
Manage Topics. Perhaps the biggest strength of this application is how Mindjet adapts to the iPhone/iPod touch user interface for the creation of mind maps. While I am far from calling myself a mind map ninja, the app was easy to use because it stayed true to iPhone application standards.
Email Mind Maps. Perhaps it is just my personal experience, but my mind maps stay with me because they are part of my own composing process. However, if you are working on a project team where mind maps are a standard communications medium, you have the option of emailing mind maps you create with MindJet for iPhone to yourself or other team members.
Transfer Mind Maps back to your PC. While you have the option of using MindJet for iPhone as a standalone application, you can also transfer your mind maps back to your PC for further work. Choose Transfer and you have the option to use BonJour with Safari or Internet Explorer to transfer your mind maps back to your PC via Wi-Fi. The Transfer function presents you an IP address you can enter into your PC’s web browser where you can access and download the maps in either native .immap format or MindManager .xmmap format. You can also upload mind maps from your PC to the iPhone application via this interface. I was a little disappointed that there was no option to sync mind maps back to your PC via iTunes, but being able to save maps via Wi-Fi makes up for it somewhat.
You, Mind Maps and Your iPhone
If you are like me, your smartphone is a major conduit for your ideas, plans, and other random synaptic misfirings. MindJet for iPhone is an ideal application for this kind of a user because it is nimble, so you can be productive after a short learning curve.
Do you create mind maps while on the road? What tools do you use?