This organizational method focuses on the relation of ideas, or nodes, to one another. It’s more visual and freeform than a traditional, linear outline. Some people find it very difficult to construct and process information this way; others find it essential to thinking clearly.
The iOS app is extremely capable while being easy to use. It has most features of the macOS version; you can compare the feature set using this chart.
- Themes: There are several pre-made themes to choose from, but you can also create your own from within the app.
- Colors: There’s a decent palette of colors to use; you can also set a node’s color using hex codes.
- Fonts: You can change the font of individual nodes.
- Linetypes: You can vary the thickness and continuity of lines and arrows. You can also choose from a few shapes for your nodes.
- Styles: Once you’ve applied these options to 1 node, you have the option of applying the style to all nodes or selected ones.
As you build your mind map, MindNode builds an outline off of the content. This is something that really appeals to me. The mind map layout forces me to minimize my words, but this mode allows me to quickly see the ideas in a more linear way when that’s more useful.
There are about 15 different exports; here are a couple surprising, extremely useful options.
- Markdown outline: Create a mind map, then export it as Markdown to Ulysses (i.e. your Markdown app of choice) to flesh out a post/essay/novel.
- OmniFocus: Plan your project in MindNode. Mark actionable nodes as tasks. Export to OmniFocus, and items are added to your inbox with hierarchy and completion status intact.