I’ve been sharing recently about the system I use for capturing and developing ideas (see part 1 and part 2), and at the heart of this system is a mind mapping habit. Mind Mapping helps me develop my ideas so that I don’t deal with writer’s block and saves me a ton of time by making it super easy to get started whenever I sit down to write.
Mind mapping is my secret weapon when it comes to creativity. It’s an absolutely essential part of my workflow. It’s also one of the best intentional uses of technology I can think of, and with the release of MindNode version 7 last week, it got even better.
MindNode 7 adds Visual Tags, a feature that helps you easily group and organize nodes inside your mind map. But it’s not just slapped on, it’s extremely well done and thoughtfully implemented. For example, you can view tags in the Outline view in MindNode as well as the canvas, and you can even add them using text shortcuts via Quick Entry. This kind of polish is why MindNode has been our favorite mind mapping app for a long time.
While tags doesn’t add a ton in terms of functionality, it does open up a lot of creative doors. For example, I’ve developed my own emoji-based symbol system for my mind maps that I create when taking notes on books that I read. A quote bubble indicates a quote I want to remember, a light bulb is a point that inspired me, a key is an essential point the author is making, and so on. It took me a long time to come up with it, but honestly it would be better using visual tags because it would allow me to quickly find and highlights everything in a particular category. If I were starting today, there’s no question I’d use tags. It’s just better.
Most of the noise around MindNode 7 will be in response to the switch to a subscription pricing model. In our opinion, it’s very reasonable ($2.49/month or $19.99/year) and they’re handling the switch the right way by giving all users of MindNode free access to version 7 without a subscription. Personally, I think there’d be less backlash from the switch to subscription pricing if more developers handled it with a similar grace that the MindNode team has.
Check out our updated review here. The pick hasn’t changed, but we’ve expanded the review significantly to highlight some of our favorite MindNode features like Quick Entry, Tasks, and Focus Mode.