Workflow and feature tips with MindNode

October 17, 2020

I am a huge fan of mind mapping. It's one of the primary exercises I do when (quite literally) working on anything. If you're reading this, I'm assuming two things:

  1. You're familiar with mind mapping
  2. You use MindNode

I'll start with sharing some tips around my workflow. This is less feature-related and more around how I like to approach creating the mind maps.

Workflow tips

I've been using MindNode for about five years now. Over that time, I've learned a few things that make it very useful to organize your maps.

Use multiple main nodes

When I first started mind mapping, I felt like I tried to map my entire cerebral architecture. For me, it felt too forced to make the connections. I recommend starting with a few main nodes.

Screenshot of the app MindNode: Three main nodes on the canvas
A few main nodes will let you start exploring multiple ideas.

As you observed more related connections, you might consider infusing some of your main nodes into another main node to organize. It's difficult to pre-plan this, so I recommend letting them organically happen.

Extending to other apps

I use MindNode as my primary map and launch point for work. The links feature (described later) is really helpful to connect your maps to other apps.

Create a visual language

I recommend creating a visual language that helps you navigate the mind map. Some examples I've created for myself:

There isn't a wrong way to create a visual language. The best one is the one you'll remember and use.

Feature tips

Let's talk about some of the really nice features MindNode offers to help you organize information.

Connections

A nice feature that helps you connect one node to another. This is great for making visual correlations to other areas of your mind map without cluttering it.

Screenshot of the app MindNode: Nodes that have branches on them with arrows connecting them
Connections are great to make correlation without overwhelming

Notes and links

Notes are a great way to add detailed information without cluttering your nodes. Another handy feature is linking to local files. I often find myself linking to other MindNode files, markdown files, or even Xcode projects.

Screenshot of the app MindNode: Popover with the text "Inspiration from Ehsan Noursalehi's | https://whydoweinterface.com
Notes help you keep important things that you might want to expand on

Focus Mode

Every great app has a focus mode. Similar to iA Writer, MindNode has a focus mode that. This feature is also another reason why starting with multiple main nodes is helpful.

Screenshot of the app MindNode: The main node "Side project ideas" is highlighted
Focus mode will highlight a specific node you have selected

Tags

As you build out mind maps, you'll notice some classifications of items that you might want to organize, and this is where tags are useful. For example, I can create a tag for people as a way to see how many people are mentioned throughout the mind map.

To add a tag to certain nodes, drag the tag from the right panel to the node.

Screenshot of the app MindNode: UI showing a tag with the title "People" being dragged to a node with "Polina Marinova"
Drag and drop to add tags on specific nodes

Give it a try

Hope you found this a bit helpful! You can download MindNode at mindnode.com. I've been using the product for about five years and really recommend it.

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