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Since the beginning of this blog in 2012, I have consistently — with each new version — concluded (from dozens of comparisons with other programs) that iMindMap is the single best program for developing mind maps. Period.
With version 8.0, iMindMap is no longer the world’s best mind mapping program. Rather, it is the world’s best mind mapping program PLUS additional features that make it the world’s best visual thinking environment (or VITHEN using my coined term). Period.
What makes iMindMap 8.0 so valuable as an overall mind mapping and visual thinking tool is that it encourages you to use iterative, hierarchical, nonlinear, big-picture, creative ways of generating ideas, communicating those ideas, and integrating the ideas with the data of images and statistics. There is no tool I know of that is better for these overall tasks and the building of creative models.
I use iMindMap between 3 and 10 hours per day on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone 6 Plus.
Version 8 exceeds Version 7 in that the program has been significantly speeded up both for computer processing and in general usability of all of its advanced formatting features. The increased speed with which advanced formatting can be done encourages more precise and creative visual thinking.
Did I mention it has a very good (becoming excellent) 3 dimensional display mode and provides a much better presentation tool than the PowerPoint standard? The new Brainstorming Mode (file cards on a corkboard metaphor) allows those who like to see words rather than images to brainstorm in the mode most natural to them. I’ll never use the mode but I project many will embrace it.
The iMindMap program has been the best tool I have had to allow me deal with a neurocognitive neurodegenerative disorder and continue to be productive over the past five years. The program permits me to think at a very high level which I cannot do nearly as well with other techniques or other mind mapping programs.
All seven maps shown here are identical except for their format.
[I intentionally did not use any clipart because I did not want distract from the basic creative thinking and model development-presentation functions of iMindMap that are the real core of the program. With any of the variations of this map, if you spend 10 minutes adding selected included clipart or icons, the map will be even more visual.]
The remainder of my review is — appropriately — presented as a mind map.
Click images to expand.
4 Custom Styles I Use in My Own Work and 4 Variations on the Same 3D Mind Map
For many years I have been a fan of the iA Writer app that is a streamlined and very fast text creation tool (as opposed to a bloated word proessor). The tool works seamously across the Mac, iPad, and iPhone and files are automatically available on all three Internet connected devices. This is also the only writing app I have found that works brilliantly on all three devices and screen sizes. The iPhone version is the only text creator I have found that really works well on the small screen of the iPhone.
A few months ago, iA introduced Writer Pro, a version that incorporates many new features while simultaneously retaining the simple to use, brilliant features of the original concept. If you are serious about writing text (as opposed to doing a fully formatted version at the time of the first draft), this is the app for you (unless you are stuck with a PC). In my experience, more creative and quality writing can be done more rapidly when you are not distracted by all of the formatting options floating around on the screen.
Writer Pro is simultaneously a 5-star app like iA Writer, a 5-Ferrari app, and a 5-tank app. The developer gets a 5-brain rating.
Warning. This app has a steep learning curve (15 minutes). Unless you are willing to invest the 15 minutes you may not figure out how this new model of writing (with four stages you can jump between) enhances the creative process. On the other hand, you will recover the 15 minutes of exploration during your first 30 minutes of “real” use.