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Sep 25 2008

MindMaker – Mind Mapping for the iPhone and iPod Touch Review

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MindMaker
Being an avid Mind Mapper, I was excited to see the release of MindMaker, the first Mind Mapping application on the iTunes store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

I have been using the app for a couple of days and thought I would post a little review of my findings of the app. I am quite experienced in using Mind Mapping applications having used them for around 8 years. My current favorite is Mind Manager from MindJet which works like a dream on my Mac. Mind Mapping works for me and has helped me pass many exams and helps me plan important events.

MindMaker initially presents you with a list of Mind Maps that you have created on the device. When you first install it there is a demo map that helpfully shows you some of the features of MindMaker.

MindMaker

Clicking on an existing Map name will take you straight to that Map in the map view mode. Clicking on the + icon at the top right of the screen starts a new Mind Map with a blank center map piece.

Once you get to a Mind Map the navigation is very simple and exactly what you would expect if you have experience of other Mind Map applications. Adding branches to your map is very intuitive making large maps very easy to produce. The ability to drag branches is nice and the animation of the branches moving is very slick and smooth.

So, what are my thoughts about the app. Well, it is a great concept but I have questions as to how much I would use such an app on my iPhone. I personally use Mind Maps for project planning as well as to brainstorm an idea or technology. I then use them as memory joggers when I need to refresh my knowledge on a subject. The killer for me is to be able to view Mind Maps on my iPhone rather than create them. I am more than happy to create the Mind Map on my Mac and then save it as a PDF and view it on my iPhone using the AirSharing app or similar. This works for me.

MindMaker

Note taking on my iPhone and idea collection is covered off pretty much with OmniFocus and Evernote. I cannot see myself using MindMaker to replace either of these functions.

Version 1.0 is lacking some very important features such as the ability to view the map in landscape mode and the ability to export and import maps. Luckily, the developers of the application seem to have covered these shortfalls in their roadmap.

The current version is 1.0. The developer has announced some features that are coming in later versions.

Version 1.1

  • Mind maps can be saved as images
  • Support for Landscape mode
  • Translucent hideable interface

Version 1.2

  • MindMaker will be able to upload mind maps to a web application from which users can download it in different formats.

Future features

  • Cross links between nodes
  • Reordering of nodes
  • Editable colors
  • Export to different formats

In summary, MindMaker is a great little iPhone app but I do feel that it is an app that has limited usability due to the input constraints of the iPhone.

I will update my iPhone with the latest versions as they come out and I will ensure that I follow this review up when the updates come out.

  • 10 Comments... What do you think?
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  1. ikd said on September 25th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Andrew,

    thanks for the report. I like the iphone flexibility and the ability to gtd while on the move.

    I.

    Reply
  2. Andrew Mason said on September 25th, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    @ikd,

    Glad you liked it. The iPhone 3G and App Store have made my GTD system much more dynamic. I can now GTD on the go and I carry my full GTD system in my pocket, awesome!

    Reply
  3. Hinchy said on September 25th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Cool,

    I’m definitely gonna give that a try.

    Thanks,
    Hinchy
    ——————-
    http://www.plainsight.info

    Reply
  4. Andrew Mason said on September 25th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    @Hinchy,

    Cool, be sure to come back and tell us all about how you get on.

    Thanks,

    Andrew..

    Reply
  5. John B. Kendrick said on September 26th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I also found an application that allows me to view my entire GTD at work on my Win machine, at home on my Macs and even on my cell phone. And another app lets me call in tasks to my GTD without any writing or typing, great for those thoughts that hit me while driving. I’ve written about my experiences with GTD in a blog post at http://johnkendrick.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/more-getting-things-done/ John

    Reply
  6. Andrew Ebling said on October 13th, 2008 at 5:18 am

    I’ve recently released an alternative to MindMaker, called iBlueSky, which adds a number of the missing features you mention. Please let me know if you would like a review copy.

    Reply
  7. [...] recently did a review of MindMaker, the first Mind Mapping tool for the iPhone and iPod Touch. My review outlined a great concept but [...]

  8. Another iPhone App Sold: MindMaker Goes To MindMeister said on January 26th, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    [...] MindMaker, on sale for €3.99 (or $4.99), allows you to structure your ideas and concepts visually using a fairly intuitive program even when you’re on the go. The app is relatively limited in functionality but offers an experience that suits Apple’s mobile phone perfectly. You can find a good review of the app over here. [...]

  9. [...] MindMaker, on sale for €3.99 (or $4.99), allows you to structure your ideas and concepts visually using a fairly intuitive program even when you’re on the go. The app is relatively limited in functionality but offers an experience that suits Apple’s mobile phone perfectly. You can find a good review of the app over here. [...]

  10. ????iPhone????????MindMaker?MindMeister? said on January 27th, 2009 at 12:44 am

    [...] MindMaker?3.99????$4.99?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Apple????????????????????????????????????? [...]

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