Shoutout to Mindnode

Just wanted to share my newfound love for Mindnode. Not that I wasn’t convinced by the software nor by the idea of mind mapping, but I have always been more of a freeform (read: messy) thinker and I have always thought mind mapping was too structured for me. I used to be a big fan of Scapple, but Scapple isn’t available on iOS and I want my tools available everywhere as much as possible.

I have found a few very simple (that every user of the app probably knows already) useful tricks that allow to “break” the box of mind mapping when you just want to capture ideas everywhere without bothering to think about how they fit (like Scapple does). If that was useful to me, thought that could be useful to others:

  • Option-click creates a new central node anywhere on the canvas – awesome for ideas you don’t yet know where to put
  • Shift-drag creates an arrow from an idea to the other - for starting to build relationships
  • I am using lots of emoji to immediately visualise things to do, to dig deeper, random ideas, such as :bulb:(idea) :question:(important question) :exclamation:(thing to do) :x: (dropped idea) and so on. Using TextExpander is awesome for this

Dragging nodes to others and attaching them is an incredibly simple and powerful workflow, of course. Here is (blurred) mind map of the whole ending of a novel I’m working on at the moment:

This is all effortless, thanks to the simple aforementioned shortcuts above. If you haven’t tried it yet, I would heavily recommend giving it a serious spin. Thanks @MacSparky for insisting so much through MPU on your love for this app.


I’ve got heavily into mindnode in the last few months. I used to use omnioutliner for all my planning and learning, but drifted away due to pricing and other issues.

Mindnode has some of the absolute best keyboard shortcut support I’ve come across on iOS; the speed and smoothness with which you can create, edit and move around large workspaces make it an absolute joy to use.

Another feature I use heavily is hyper linking nodes to documents in iCloud Drive or relevant webpages and quite frequently other mindnode documents.

I’m using it for continuous learning/CPD for my profession and the app actually makes me want to sit down and work in it; which is high praise.


I concur, I use it constantly and it is a delight to use.


Have used this app for years, but those three great tips were new to me! Thanks, never stop learning…

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Feel the love for MindNode over here, too.

I frequently outline all the steps in a project and export the whole set of tasks to OmniFocus for tagging and scheduling. MindNode and OF play very well together.

In fact many of the export features are excellent. Another favorite is File > Advanced > Open in Marked, to facilitate making a clean document from the MindNode map.


Mind node has been an absolute game changer for me, not only for getting the jumble that is my thoughts out of my head and in a format others can enjoy, but also as a meeting notes all (give it a try) and also birding on GTD tool. I’d love to see some form of collaboration between things and MindNode.

Love it.


It’s there (at least, one-directionally) from the File > Share menu command.


This is actually a huge benefit of digital mind mapping, the ability to enable quick capture and rudimentary organization on first entry. Anything can be moved and reorganized later, so you don’t need to slow down because of uncertain structure in the moment.

A “messy mind” can often also be a “fast mind” so speedy capture is essential.

That said, a well organized and embellished mind map can be easily read and understood years from now. A second and third pass over the information can be well invested time for essential notes / learning. Emojis and other visual elements are super helpful in all contexts.

MindNode is my current tool of choice too.


Totally agree! Mindnode excels at fast capture (option-click for life!) but also makes reordering thoughts a breeze and it’s well worth the investment to clean mind maps that are designed to last. I am amazed at how deceptively simple and yet deep this tool is. Polished in every way the way the Omni apps are – that’s why I love the Mac :slight_smile:


The user stories (including one from @RosemaryOrchard) and Screencasts (by @MacSparky) are useful for learning, review, and discovery.


I actually use iThoughts every day for my work as a teacher. I use it to plan and as a presentation tool in my classroom. I tried Mindnode a year ago, but it lacked a lot of features compared to iThoughts. May have changed now though.

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Could not agree more! I use it with our teams during process improvement sessions and everyone is amazed at how easy it is to spot bottle necks during current state reviews.

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Are you all using the subscription model?

I have Setapp and I had bought the previous versions so at the moment I have all features on Mac and iOS for free.

SetApp version for me, also.

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Great feedback. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Some other somewhat hidden features you might enjoy:

  • Force touch on a Trackpad will also create a new main node
  • You mentioned that you can create a new main node and a connecting by dragging shift: if you also hold the option key, you can reverse the arrow so it points back to the original node

I find MindNode visually quite pleasing. The fact, however, that it forces the use of hierarchy by having a central node that behaves differently from the rest of the nodes (the link between two central nodes is not the same as the link between a central node and a child node), makes it hard for me to actually come to use it (despite the fact that I have it available through Setapp). I find it easier to organize thoughts and ideas with a flat structure first. In Scapple, for instance, I can throw anything at the canvas and slowly build the structure (where it is needed). If I build a map with just central nodes in MindNode, I can’t even align them properly.

Thanks for those tips !

You need to disable auto layout for you to be able to put nodes anywhere. Otherwise, indeed, they won’t stay in place when you move them around.

Sure, but then how do you align the nodes? There is no option to align to top edges, align horizontal centers, align vertical centers and so on.