I’ve been using mindmaps on and off for at least seven years now. I wish I could find some of the first mindmaps that I ever created or site the source that got me started on it. It was probably Merlin Mann or some other productivitiy wiz. The truth is I love to try out new ideas and techniques, especially in the productivity pron realm.

I’ve used several different apps to create mindmaps. Initially I used Freemind, then was fortunate enough to have a license for MindManager Pro, which was really powerful, but was over $300. I even used an online tool, but I can’t remember the version I was using. My recent efforts to find a replacement have pointed out Freeplane and xMind, but neither were what I was looking for. [1]

Eventually I found iThoughtsHD on the iPad. The iThoughtsHD experience on the iPad is truely one of the most intuitive. Fingers are great at selecting and moving around nodes in the map. Additionally, iThoughtsHD import/export functionality is top notch. It supports most of the major mindmapping file formats. Additionally, it can produce markdown and other text formats.

And now, there is iThoughtsX, the OS X version of the app. It’s not quite as nice as iThoughtsHD on the iPad. It’s still only on its second release, so there is still room to grow. Additionally, the desktop metaphor supports functions that didn’t make sense on iOS.

I’m currently using a preview still of iThoughtsX, but expect to buy a license in the future. I like the polish and the compatibility with the iOS versions, so it puts it ahead of the cheaper and free options. And MindManager Pro is just way to expensive and has so much functionality I would never use.

I said in my last post that I intend to make more use of mindmaps in my day to day work. And I have, but I will share those thoughts in a future post.

  1. I really just use a Mac nowadays, so I’m not the best judge of Windows options.