Looking for a way to quickly develop outlines for your writing?

We all have great ideas but sometimes can’t get them on paper.

Start With Brainstorming to Get Those Ideas Out!

Brainstorming has different meanings for different people. For me, I take the term literally. It is a storm in my brain and storms aren’t really controllable. That meshes with the purpose of brainstorming, to record as many thoughts as possible without any analysis or screening. That comes later.

What will I miss if I stop and try to categorize everything I write? That’s in the forefront of my logic regarding brainstorming. Anything goes and can be sorted out later.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice to Have An App for this!

Mind mapping helps you see your ideas in a visual but not all mind mapping apps are created equal. To be useful, there are some basic features that MUST be included.

MindNode 5 finally did it!

Why MindNode 5?

Wow! That’s the first word I think about when using the newest version of MindNode! I have used versions of the app off and on for a few years but could never really stay with it as it didn’t have the right feel for me. I start most projects with a brainstorming session and have relied on OmniOutliner to do that and it does it well. I would then export the outline as an .opml file and open it in some mind mapping application. That has worked for years but I have continued to look for a mind mapping app that would do all of that.

Somebody was thinking when MindNode 5 was developed!

That’s not to say other developers don’t try but I do wonder sometimes what they think about when using odd keys and unnecessary steps. Kudos to the ones who developed this app!

Everything about MindNode 5 screams productivity first!

Okay, so it lets me do brainstorming to create a map but it goes a step further. Anyone who writes knows that ideas can pop up at the strangest times. I might be in the midst of a paper review or researching for a new paper when I get a new idea.

The old way to write it was to use a sticky note, open OmniOutliner, or make a voice note.

Now, all I do is click on the toolbar and start typing everything about the idea without trying to sort or analyze as I type. The coolest part is when I finish, I can create a mind map with one keystroke! All of that might take me 2-3 minutes and results in a visual that I can add to later. I have so many things to remember that being able to take those few minutes and then put it aside knowing it is ready for more ideas later is priceless.

What I just described is the Quick Entry feature in the new version 5. If I stopped right here, that would make the app worth the $39 bucks for the MAC app ($14 if upgrading from an earlier version). What if you don’t have a MAC? Do you use an iPhone or iPad? Get that app and get the same features for less.

So what else does this app do?

Pretty much everything. The maps (done with MindNode 5) gives an idea of what it can do. These are my favorite features discussed earlier:

  • Creates and imports .opml files
    • Has quick entry feature across all devices
      • ◦ Brainstorming tool
      • ◦ Creates a mind map from the list

But it does lots more.

  • Syncs with iCloud
    • If you start something on the iPhone, you can finish it on the iPad or MAC. Same in reverse and the sync is fast.
    • A map allows lots of things to be added:
      • hyperlinks
      • images
      • notes
      • icons
    • App Relationships
      • Outliner
      • Other mapping apps
      • RTF documents
      • Drag file and drop files
        • Makes new node with the filename
        • Includes the hyperlink to file
        • Attachments
    • Can share in many ways
      • Can send in various formats to various apps.
        • Mail
        • Pdf
        • Image
        • Markdown
        • Text
        • …and of course, opml, which opens sharing to any app that works with opml files!
    • keyboard commands for external keyboards and on MAC
    • Autosize nodes or manually change
    • Outline format so you can see a different perspective.
      • Can open or collapse parts of the map (nodes) from the outline view.
    • Open-ended structure for maps; not bounded by screen size!

One more little goody!!

If you use Reminders, Things, Taskpaper, or OmniFocus, you will love this one! If you have a large project mapped out, it's nice to make tasks of everything then sync with Reminders, Things, Taskpaper, or one of the best task managers for MAC: OmniFocus.

You can add tasks:

  • Share with Reminders
    • Syncs with reminders as items are completed
      • Syncs with OmniFocus
        • Creates a new task list in the Inbox

Avoid the Main Productivity Killer!

The worst thing you can do when you are in the zone and getting things done is stop, open another app, and click a bunch of keys to record an idea or several ideas. MindNode 5 keeps you focused and productive. No unnecessary keystrokes and saved ideas in a map for later work.

Save Yourself Some Time and Improve Your Papers!

Get MindNode 5 and get to work!