(This is another in a series of posts evaluating smartphone apps that aid the creative process.)
What It Is : MindMaple Lite is a mind-mapping application that allows you to create detailed mindmaps. It has a version for devices running on Apple’s iOS system, as well as Windows desktop systems.
How It Works: Download the app and review the sample mindmap. You start with a central topic in the middle of your map and add branches and sub-branches off of that topic. You can shift the location/position of your branches, add notes, links and images to the map, and export to a variety of platforms, including Google Drive, email and your phone’s camera roll (as an image).
- Compatible across platforms (You can exchange/update maps across iPhone/PC versions of the app)
- Full versions for iPad and PC offer ability to export to Microsoft Office, save maps as PDFs, etc.
- Easy, intuitive interface – no real “training” needed to get started making maps.
- I love that it works across platforms – I had “test driven” other apps and disliked that I couldn’t work on a map I had started on my iPhone when I got home to my home PC.
- Export to Google Drive is very easy and helpful for saving your map to create an off-device archive.
- Saving the map as a camera roll image and emailing to myself = I could print easily and map components were clear.
- To save maps as PDFs, you have to purchase the paid version of the app.
- The paid version of the app is not yet available for iPhone.
- Lite version offers a limited number of color/theme options. (But the ones that are offered are nice enough.)
MindMaple Lite has exceeded my expectations as a mind-mapping application. I’ve become quite enamored of mind-mapping as a tool for organizing my writing assignments, as well as mapping out other complex tasks or brainstorming options that may have inter-relationships or just benefit from being displayed visually. The other key to love of this app for me is that it offers PC and iOS versions – I had a very hard time finding any other system that operated as well, produced as nice a map, and worked on my Windows 8-based PC and my iPhone 4.