Mind Mapping on an iPad

A few months ago I bought an iPad. Just like it’s smaller brother the iPhone it changed the way I do computing. I now do as much email on the iPad as I do on my desktop or laptop computer.

In addition I use it more for news than a newspaper or TV. I think the reason for this is the instant on and the quality of the display. With an iPad there is no waiting for the computer to load. Because it is instant, even if I only have a couple of minutes I can turn it on and see what is going on in the world.

For reading, the screen is really super and I can read BBC news, CNN, USA Today and others quickly and pleasantly. Remind me to talk more about some of the news apps in a future post.

Over the next few weeks I will comment on the iPad apps that I really like and that are useful for small business. There are an amazing number.

My big-time favorite at the moment is iThoughtsHD (www.ipadmindmap.com). At $9.99 it is an excellent and easy to use mind mapping application.

If you aren’t familiar with mind mapping, here is an example:

image of a mind map

Source: iThoughts

Mind maps are a great way to sort out your thoughts and communicate your thinking to others. With iThoughtsHD you can also export the map into an outline format which can easily be used as the basis for a PowerPoint slides (each outline level is a slide).

To create a mind map it is simplicity itself. You just type in your ideas into boxes in whatever order you happen to think of them. Using your fingers you can then move the boxes around and create groupings that make logical sense. You can also add notes, and chose from dozens of icons for each item. Each category of thoughts can be color coded and shaded as desired.

When I first used the product I had some questions about how to move a sub-item from one parent to another. I emailed Craig Scott the owner and he replied quickly with the answer so I can say support is good too.

For a small business, this is a must have tool in my opinion. It is a great for organizing your marketing plan and getting your thoughts together — practical, effective and inexpensive. Can’t beat that.


Mind Mapping on an iPad — 4 Comments

  1. I use Mindjet for Mac on my MacBook Pro. It is very liberating for the non-linear person. Have you used your iPad for presenting? Specifically with Keynote…. I am thinking about an iPad to use in presentations but have heard bad stuff about Keynote app for iPad.

    • Yes I am intrigued by the idea of using the iPad for presenting. I bought the VGA adapter but I haven’t really used it yet. I’d also love to hear from folks who have used Keynote successfully. I do use Pages for taking notes in a meeting and that is pretty good. I’ve realized how much I miss the tab key though as when I take notes I like to indent. Perhaps there is a hidden way to do this. I know I can do it from the tool bar but it is a multi-click process!

      What other iPad apps do you like?

  2. I have been a FreeMind (open source mind-mapping tool at freemind.sourceforge.net) user for some time now and have gotten used to manipulating that software on my desktop machine with its much larger screen. One of the things I like about iThoughtsHD is its ability to read my Freemind files (passed to the iPad via Dropbox). It’s a very useful combination of products and my mindmaps are always with me.

    • Hi Richard, I have not tried Freemind but I do have XMind which is mostly free but with an annual upgrade ($49) to get some additional functionality like Gantt charts. I haven’t used it that much yet as I just downloaded it prior to Christmas. Had family visiting from the UK so this week’s been a bit busy to have been able to play with it yet.

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