Mind Mapping Goes Mobile

by Roger Parker on April 20, 2012

Good news for authors and marketers: Mindjet’s MindManager mind mapping software, the indispensable writing tool I frequently referred to in my ActiveGarage Author’s Journey series, is now available for iPhones, iPads, and Android mobile devices.

Mindjet’s MindManager app for the iPad has quickly become an important part of my workflow for all types of writing projects…saving me time and helping me get a head start on my projects before I begin to write, no matter where I am.

Mind mapping on an iPad is a liberating writing tool that far exceeded my expectations

Background

Perhaps like you, I was initially doubtful that mind mapping on an iPad. I was happy with the mind maps I created on my home and office computers, plus my laptop. I was comfortable carrying around yellow legal pads and felt tip markers which I’d use to plan my articles, blog posts, and client marketing materials.

I was used to the ritual of deciphering my handwritten notes and recreating my hand-drawn mind maps on my computers when it was time to get down to work. In addition, I couldn’t see how it would be possible to use the iPad’s virtual keyboard to type extended amounts of text.

I also couldn’t imagine how large maps would fit on the iPad’s relatively small screen.

Planning versus writing

What I was overlooking, of course, was the difference between planning and writing.

Although I recognized that the hard work in most writing projects is planning what you’re going to say, I was overlooking the fact that mind maps don’t have to be large and detailed to provide an efficient guide to writing an article, blog post, or book.

Edit Topic screens

Mindjet’s use of Edit Topic screens also played an important role in my transition from yellow legal pads to MindManager on an iPad for planning my writing projects.

The issue of type size and readability on the iPad (or iPhone) screen is not an issue. This is because, when you select a topic or subtopic by tapping it, MindManager opens a large Edit Topic screen that provides all the space you need to enter topic and subtopic text.

The Edit Screen not only is large enough to make it easy to add subtopic and topic information, you can also add Notes—as much text as you want, if sentences and paragraphs occur to you during the planning stage that you want to immediately jot down—as well as links to URLs.

Using MindManager’s Edit Topic screens also allow you to insert icons indicating category and priority, as well as photographs and graphic images. You can also format topics and subtopics to indicate category and importance.

Workflow

Without a doubt, mind mapping on the iPad is a here-and-now reality, one that has saved me well over 100 hours during the past 3 months—and, probably, a heck of a lot more. I now spend less time planning my articles, blog posts, and books, and, I know from my time logs, that I’m spending less time writing them.

There’s no duplication of effort, no wasted time trying to decipher my handwriting, and I can include as many links to blogs and web pages while planning. Using the Notes feature, I can copy and paste text from online resources into my maps, saving me time later on.

Mind mapping on an iPad has given me more freedom than I’ve previously had. I spend less time tethered to my computers than before. As a result, I’m fresher and more relaxed when I sit down at my computer for an extended writing session. I now spend more time planning time in a Barnes & Noble café, at my favorite window table at the Dover Public Library, or riding the Downeaster toBoston.

And, for better or for worse, more blog posts have been planned in bed or in front of a television than ever before.

Where this is all going

My experiences mind mapping on an iPad has not only energized me, but it’s helped me realize just how basically inefficient desktop and laptop computing can be.

I reluctantly came to iPad ownership, but was amazed at how quickly I’ve adapted to using my fingers to select, zoom, and move around a mind map. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to “read” any “documentation” to get things done.

Most of all, I quickly grew to love the freedom from having to worry to save files and go back and forth between programs to share files between computers and send them as email attachments to clients.

The future, of course, is in the cloud, and I’m quickly getting used to backing-up and files using MindJet Connect or Dropbox which eliminate the need to Zip-compress and e-mail mind map templates with clients and webinar attendees.

The future, of course, is “hands-free” syncing of mind maps between computers. Syncing is a fast-approaching reality. Already, I can end my day reading a book on my Amazon.com Kindle, then pick-up my iPad the next day…and it will open to the page I was reading on my Kindle!

Soon, I’ll be able to begin to plan an article on my iPad, edit it on my main computer, finish it on a client’s computer, and all copies will be seamlessly updated.

Getting started

Currently, Mindjet’s MindManager for the iPad is still available for free for Apple iPhones, iPads, and Android mobile devices. This offers a great opportunity for you to discover the power of mind mapping as a writing tool.

  • If you’re already using mind maps for writing, downloading one of Mindjet’s mobile apps for the iPhone, iPad, or Android device, will add capabilities and convenience and pave the way for enhanced file sharing and syncing.
  • If you’re not yet using mind mapping for writing, the free mobile apps provide an easy way to get started.

Either way, once you get started, I invite you to download my free (no registration) 3-Step Writing Jumpstart Map or 20 Questions to Ask Before You Write a Book mind map templates to explore mind mapping’s contribution to your writing success.

rcp-heming-picRoger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles
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