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:
- You're familiar with mind mapping
- 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.
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.
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:
- Bright colors for arrows mean they are important connections. If they are grey, I want them there though not the primary focus
- As nodes become important, I'll create them with a border so it's easier for me to see
- For sub-categories, I'll add images or use the icons in MindNode to help me break the information down a bit.
There isn't a wrong way to create a visual language. The best one is the one you'll remember and use.
Let's talk about some of the really nice features MindNode offers to help you organize information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.