Tag Archives: mind mapping

MindGenius – iPad App of the Week

MindGenius – iPad App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive.

This week’s App is MindGenius for iPad.

MindGenius for iPad is the perfect tool for capturing information on the go.

Use it for taking notes in meetings and seminars, creating quick to do lists, and anywhere else you require a fast, intuitive method to collect ideas and information and think things through.

MindGenius for iPad can help you improve your personal productivity and can be used in conjunction with MindGenius for PC. Open maps created in the desktop version and vice versa.


Within my college the standard mind mapping application on the desktop is MindGenius. Though there have been various mind mapping apps for the iPad, I have been using iThoughts HD for a while now (see the review), it wasn’t that simple to transfer mind maps from the iPad to the PC and back again. As a result when I was told that there was a new dedicated MindGenius app for the iPad I was pleased as this would mean that it would be much easier for staff and learners to transfer mind maps between their iPads and the PC.

As you might expect, the app makes it very easy to create mind maps, adding text, child and siblings is simple and quite intuitive.

Using the sidebar it is possible to add more information to the mind map, information on each part of the mind map, add tasks to the nodes and add notes.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t change the default colours of the different branches.

Where this app falls down is how you can share your mind map. You can either e-mail the mind map or save it to Dropbox in the native MindGenius .mgmx format.

You can’t export as a PDF or PNG (image file), neither can you export in a different mind mapping format. You can’t print your mind map either. As a result the only way to do any of the that is to e-mail it to a PC and open the mind map on the PC and then export, save or print.

As a result as a standalone free app, it’s fine for making notes, but you won’t be able to do that much with your finished mind map. As a result, even though it is free, you will find it quite limiting. However if you already have MindGenius on your PC then you may find this app useful for making mind maps on your iPad on the move or in the classroom.

Get MindGenius for iPad in the iTunes App Store.

MindNode – Mac App of the Week

MindNode – Mac App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at various apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Originally this feature focused on iPhone and iPad apps, however I have now expanded to include Mac, Windows and Android apps.

This week’s App is MindNode.

MindNode is an elegant and simple-to-use mindmapping application for collecting, organizing and outlining your thoughts and ideas as mind maps.

Mind maps can be used for many different tasks – including to-do lists, brainstorming, holiday planning, research, writing, project management – and in many different environments – school, meetings, workspace.


  • Node Well: New nodes are created directly on the canvas. There is no need to access the toolbar or the application menu.
  • Multiple Mind Maps: The ability to create multiple mind maps on one canvas makes MindNode an ideal tool for brainstorming sessions.
  • Constrain node width and resize nodes: MindNode allows to automatically constrain the width of a node and to resize the node directly on the canvas.
  • No file format lock-in: MindNode support a variety of file formats. You can import and export FreeMind and OPML documents (used by many outlining applications) or export the mind map as PNG image, TIFF image, PDF, RTF or HTML document.


This is the first time I have ventured away from iOS apps. This is for a range of reasons, people often ask me which apps I use on my Mac or on my Google Nexus One. Apple have launched the Mac App store which makes it easier for people to get apps, or at least more confident in getting different apps. Finally though the iPad and iPhone are great for doing some stuff, sometimes you need a “truck” and trucks need software too.

MindNode is a simple mindmapping application for the Mac. I like it because it is simple, elegant and works for me. However I suspect that if you are a mindmapping junkie then this is too simple for you. For others who are looking at the potential for mindmapping or for learners who want a free tool then I think MindNode fits that need.

You can very quickly and easily create mindmaps with multiple nodes and sibling and child nodes.

However to take it the next level you really want to go with the MindNode Pro. This enhanced version has many more features and extends the functionality, and at £11.99 is good value. Whether you should do this does depend on what or if your institution already has mindmapping software. We use Mindgenius so I think I will use that if I need to go beyond MindNode, however you may not have that choice.

MindNode is a nice simple elegant app that is a great way to start using mindmaps.

Get MindNode in the App Store.

iThoughtsHD – iPad App of the Week

iThoughtsHD – iPad App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone and iPad Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will work on the iPod touch or the iPad, some will be iPad only apps.

This week’s App is iThoughtsHD.

iThoughtsHD is a mind mapping tool for the iPad. It is based on and compatible with iThoughts for the iPhone.

Mindmapping enables you to visually organise your thoughts, ideas and information.

Product Highlights:

• Import and Export Freemind, Novamind, Mindmanager, XMind, iMindmap, Mindview and OPML format maps.
• Export as PDF or PNG images.
• Wirelessly upload/download mind maps using a web browser.
• Email maps as attachments (in all supported formats.)
• Open email attachments in iThoughtsHD.
• Integrated with box.net online collaboration service.
• Topic attributes (colour, icon, shape)
• Topic notes (with hyperlinks)
• Task Management (due date, percent complete.)
• Relationships (links between topics)
• Collapsible branches.
• Cut, copy, paste, move and merge topics and branches.
• Auto align and arrange topics relative to each other (automatically if desired.)
• Pan and Zoom (out)
• Work in landscape and portrait mode.
• Support for very large maps (with a canvas that is 600x the standard screen size)
• Configurable canvas backgrounds.


I will say at this point that I am not a great mind mapping user. I don’t generally use it, but that’s not say that what I personally think matters. We have MindGenius at work and this is used by learners and practitioners. One of my team does all the training for that.

However I did buy iThoughtsHD, which is a mind mapping App for the iPad. There is also an iPhone version. This is though a separate App rather than a single Universal App that you can install on both your iPhone and iPad, so you will need to buy it “twice” if you have both an iPhone and an iPad and want the App on both! Now this is not a “cheap” app, at £4.99, but I do wonder why we think £4.99 is expensive for iPad software, but £100 is cheap for PC software!

Now as I am not a mind mapping expert or heavy user it is difficult to say whether this is excellent or rubbish, which is one reason why I included the list of features from the App description.

I do find it easy to use, very simple to create branches, colour them, add icons. You can add relationships too.

You can change the colour of the canvas too.

One feature I would like to see is an Undo button, sometimes you can create multiple branches accidentally, you have to select and delete each one, rather than just click an undo button. Likewise if you accidentally delete something, you can’t get it back.

It is quite simple to export the mindmap, either into another mind mapping format or in PDF or an image format.

I also like how I can export over the wireless network.

From my limited mind mapping expertise I like the app and it may even get me using the technique more often. Would be interested to know what mind mapping users think.

Get iThoughts HD in the iTunes App Store.

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #006 – You say Asus and I say Asus…

This is the sixth e-Learning Stuff Podcast, You say Asus and I say Asus…


Download the podcast in mp3 format: You say Asus and I say Asus…

Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

In this show, James is joined by Nick Jeans, Kev Hickey, Dave Foord, David Sugden and Lisa Valentine.

The discussion starts off looking at the role of the Asus EeePC and other netbooks on e-learning on colleges across the UK. The discussion also looks at the variety of presentation software now available from PowerPoint to Keynote, Open Office to Google Docs. Then there is other stuff as well…

e-Learning Stuff Podcast #006 - You say Asus and I say Asus...


  • The Asus EeePC is one year old.
  • Case Study: Using Mobile Technology to Encourage Independent Study (John Leggott College).
  • The ZoomStorm FizzBook which has a handle like the OLPC.
  • ZuiPrezi is a zooming presentation editor which allows you to easily create stunning presentations. With the help of ZuiPrezi you can create dynamic and visually structured zooming maps of texts, images, videos, PDFs, drawings. ZuiPrezi has a very intuitive interface and support for online sharing.
  • Create professional video for the classroom with the click of a button! Animoto combines your images and music to produce video with the visual impact of a music video.
  • Using Flowgram you can create interactive guided presentations by combining web pages, photos, Power Point and more with your voice, notes and highlights.  Viewers can control the pages, scroll, click on links, view videos and more. An example Flowgram that was made by James.
  • Wikipedia definition of a mind map.
  • Mindomo is a versatile Web-based mind mapping tool, delivering the capabilities of desktop mind mapping software in a Web browser – with no complex software to install or maintain.
  • Pecha Kucha is a presentation format that allows just twenty slides and twenty seconds for each slide. The presentation from James he delivered at the Pecha Kucha session at Handheld Learning 2008.
  • Dave Foord’s excellent cameraphone!
  • Nice article on how to use web based office tools offline.

Photo source.