11 Mindnode Secrets Every Mind Mapper Should Know (2010 Review) [Video]
(Photo via Mercola.com)
Have you ever had the experience where you’re so frustrated with trying to get your thoughts down that you don’t write anything down at all? You say to yourself, “This will never capture what I’m really thinking. It’s just so hard to use.”
On the flip side, have you ever used a program or tool that’s been so easy to use that it’s actually hilariously fun and amusing to do empty your head into it? (Enough that you look forward to doing it?)
Mindnode Pro is one of those simple, easy to use mind mapping programs that shows how small time programmers like Markus Muller (and friends) can and will do incredible work to help you empty your head. And it truly brings value to you unlike many similar programs I can think of on the market.
There are a lot of great things that Mindnode and it’s Pro version can do. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Automatic Saving
It’s wonderful to know that you don’t have to waste time hitting save for your mind map constantly. Saving is automatic, you don’t have to think about it. That means there’s less stress when something (perish the thought) crashes for some reason. (This is the iPad version though)
2. Easy to Use
This is especially true for the iPad version though it applies to its Mac version too. Few other mind mapping programs are decent looking and easy enough to use. Mindjet Mindmanager for the iPhone/iPad could definitely take a few pointers on design (even its computer version too now that I think of it).
On the iPad the pinch and zoom capability makes mind mapping one of the most pleasurable and fun activities for the tablet (pinch and zoom is available on the Mac trackpad). Mindnode is particularly well suited to the iPad tablet.
3. Easy Syncing
Sharing your mind maps between computers can be a real pain in the back side. Mindnode Pro is the easiest on by far in terms of sharing mind maps. Mindnode Pro does OPML format (outlining program markup language – thank god!) making it easy to turn outlines from Omnioutliner into mind maps and vice versa. If you want a bad example of mind map sharing, try the clunky setup from Mindjet Mindmanager.
4. Instant Tidy Up (Re-Organization)
I’m glad to see that the “Re-organize Nodes” command moved to a menu that makes more sense — the Information menu instead of the Export menu. Alas, Markus, my brain and finger are trained to clicking Export so it will take some adjustment. It is wonderful to have the feature because it makes the mess of mind mapping readable after 2 hours of doing it.
5. Find the Right Mind Maps Fast
As of version 1.5.3, Markus and friends added a search function to the mind map listing. That’s fantastic because it makes finding mind maps much easier. This is especially handy if you’re a writer, researcher blogger who has as many as 6 drafts of a single project on the iPad or computer.
The ability to find the latest draft fast and quickly is important (you’d hate to miss an important point buried in a new draft because you couldn’t find it).
These are things about Mindnode Pro that could be improved to make it even better. None of these are exceptionally terrible flaws — they just leave something to aim for later on.
6. More Wireless Keyboard Control
More integration and control with the bluetooth wireless keyboards could be handy for the mind mapping program. Right now you can cut and paste text inside of bubbles on the map — doing that for the bubble itself is impossible. In addition:
- Hot keys for fast or useful actions like “Re-Organize Nodes” would be handy.
- Allow the wireless keyboard to do the Delete command would be useful.
- The Copy command would be really useful (for entire bubbles not just text).
7. Making Smart Layout the Standard
Smart Layout automatically organizes your thoughts as you type them out so it always looks neat and tidy. It’s available only on the Mac computer version of Mindnode Pro. In fact you can set it to the default for all new mind maps in the program (in the latest version).
On the iPad, you can only wait for the default Smart Layout option to appear. As you read already, you have to hit the “Re-organize Nodes” command in the Information menu to tidy things up.
8. Moving Thoughts Between Mind Maps
The ability to move the nodes between different mind maps would be a huge advantage especially if a thought might work in 2 different projects you’re working on. Combine this with wireless keyboard commands (cut and paste) and improvements and this could be quite easy.
9. Syncing Could Be Taken Up One More Notch
With 1Password, passwords are automatically synced between its database on the Mac and the iPad (i.e. they’re made the same and backed up) the moment they find each other on the Wifi network.
If Mindnode Pro could automatically backup mind maps on the iPad to a folder in Documents for example the moment the iPad and Mac detect each other (and the programs are open) that’d be fantastic.
Of course that may require extra encryption setup before hand.
10. The Wireless Keyboard Glitch
The only issue that keeps popping up is that if you’re using a wireless keyboard and you activate the built in keyboard (by accident) you can’t get rid of the built in keyboard unless you restart the whole iPad.
It’s quite annoying because the keyboard steals half the screen.
Another way to deal with it is to disable the wireless keyboard’s ability to activate the onscreen keyboard
11. The Folding Nodes – Seeing Only What You Need and No More
The Mac version on the computer already has this option. The iPad version is still missing it. With Re-Organize Nodes command it makes this missing feature less painful on the iPad. The only thing that would be interesting would be to have Expand/Collapse All Nodes work for subsections of the map by clicking on the parent of that section.
In a few short months since the iPad came onto the scene this year, Mindnode as a Mac and iPad application has come a long way. It’s ahead of Mindjet Mindmanager by a far margin and blows the rest of the competition out of the water (as far as I’m concerned). Congratulate Markus for an exceptional tool that will help you clear the mind, organize your thoughts and write better — every post I write starts (and is nearly finished) in Mindnode Pro — it’s just that good a program.
PS. Have anything else you’d like to see in a mind mapping program? Drop a line through email or in the comments below.
PPS. Markus – “Small is beautiful.” And maybe “Please don’t ever go big.” (unless you really have to)