Mind maps have changed the way we brainstorm ideas and keep track of our thoughts. They are visually appealing and help users connect the missing dots between their random thoughts. No wonder mind mapping iOS apps have taken off in the last decade. Let’s take a look at some of the best mind mapping apps for Apple users and what they have to offer in terms of features, pricing, mapping.
Also Read: 5 Best Mind Mapping Apps for Android
Best Mind Mapping Apps For iOS
If you are looking for a simple mind mapping app, that comes without the bells or whistles, MindLine is for you. You can create nodes quickly, search them, attach links, voice notes, and images and finally export them to various popular formats.
MindLine will cost you just $1.99 per year which is very reasonable for what it offers. Creating new nodes and color coding them is pretty easy and this app is not suitable for power users. Finally, there is also an option to take backup using cloud service, so you don’t miss your mind maps. Check it out.
MindNote is a simple mind mapping app which is powerful and comes with enough features to keep you happy. Most mind mapping apps allow users to have a single core idea, or a node, with sub-nodes. MindNode begs to differ and offers the unique ability to have more than one core or primary node.
Creating new nodes is as easy as moving and resizing them. There are a lot of ways to customize the look of your nodes with colors, icons, fonts (type, color, size), stickers, and themes. You can create new nodes with text, links, and images. Finally, you can add checkboxes to create tasks or add notes that can later be imported into other apps like OmniFocus or Reminders.
MindNode is also available on macOS and the pro account will keep your ideas and maps in sync. The free version is limited with no way to customize the look and the pro version will cost $14.99.
- Themes, fonts, icons
- Multiple layouts
- Multiple primary nodes
- 3rd party integration (tasks, notes)
- Only iCloud
3. Simple Mind+
Simple Mind takes a simpler approach which is powerful as well as easy to understand and use. I like the fact that the free version of the app contains no ads and doesn’t require me to create an account even. I did create an account because I like to store my work in the cloud and keep everything in sync. Unlike MindNote, Simple Mind supports other cloud storage sites. There are a number of themes available however font types are limited.
Simple Node supports a free layout where you can create a node anywhere on the canvas, not necessarily attached to a parent node. There are so many types of files you can attach like docs, audios, and even videos apart from links and images. Simple Mind offers more features where it matters.
One unique feature is the ability to create mind maps from PDF files. This can save a lot of time. Simple Mind Pro will cost you $6.99 for iPhone alone and they have apps for macOS, Windows, and Android too.
- More types of attachments
- Themes, icons
- Build mind map styles
- Limited font types (no color)
- Can’t export tasks
The biggest limitation of a mobile app is perhaps the available screen estate. Small screens can pose a problem but not to Mindly users. The dev team has found a solution by zooming in on the node in question. This way, you are always focusing on the node in hand, and easy to back to the main node by tapping on a shortcut.
I also like circular shaped nodes more but that’s a personal preference. There are color schemes for node but not fonts. In fact, there are limited ways to customize the text or nodes or even attachment types. Mindly’s whole selling point is its ease of use whether you are adding nodes, visualizing or editing text.
Mindly is available for iOS, macOS, and Android and will cost you $6.99 for the iOS version for unlimited nodes whereas the free version allows 200 nodes per mind map.
- Easy to use and edit
- 3rd party cloud storage
- Cross-platform support
- Limited customizations
- Limited file types supported
Tony Buzan is the man responsible for developing and commercializing the technique of mind mapping. iMindMap was developed with Tony behind the scenes. Needless to say, this mind mapping iOS app works like a charm. There are a number of layouts, some very unique like radial (nodes in rings) and timeline, to break down ideas further.
Just like layouts, there are a number of templates to choose from and you can customize nodes and fonts any way you like. There is handwriting support so you can sketch and draw to better visualize your ideas. You can add audio notes but not video. Just like iThoughts below, you can create tasks and add due dates to them.
iMindMap will cost you $4.99 for the basic version after which it will cost you $1.99/month. Plus, there are separate versions for students and companies starting $100 so check out their pricing page.
- Layouts, themes,
- Tasks with due dates
- Font customization
- Attachments include audio
- Handwriting support
- No video attachment
- No 3rd party cloud storage
Planning for a future endeavor is not enough, you also need to set goals that are SMART. iThoughts allows you to set goals which is a nice feature. iThoughts plays well with other mind mapping iOS apps like Xmind, Freemind, OPML and more, each has different formats, which makes it easy to export them. Not only this, you can export in different Microsoft Office formats too and tasks apps like Things are supported.
I was able to set due dates on tasks which kind of eliminates the need for a task manager for mind map nodes. It’s easy to get carried away with your thoughts and make random changes. iThoughts keeps track of your history and can revert back to an older version of the diagram if need be. iMindMap is very useful for analysis because of its unique layouts.
iThoughts will cost you $11.99 for iOS and there are separate versions for Windows and macOS.
- Version history
- 3rd app mind maps app support
- Multiple export format
- Tasks with due dates
- Goal setting
- Handwriting support
- Layouts, themes
MindMeister is one of the more popular mind mapping iOS apps available to Apple users. One of the salient features of MindMeister is the ability to collaborate with others across different platforms in real time seamlessly. This involves inviting others to your mind map, ability to vote and leave comments, and attachments that include live videos among other elements.
If this was not enough, they added a live chat feature to discuss and brainstorm ideas. MeisterTask is a project management tool built by the same team and needless to say, both of them integrates to create a powerful idea to planning stage tool. You can customize your mind maps with fonts, styles, colors, and much more.
The free version will let you create up to 3 mind maps with limited features, individual plan at $4.99/month unlocks all features, and $8.25/month allows advanced collaboration for teams.
- Live chat
- Advanced collaboration
- Vote and comment
- Customize font, colors,
- Different formats and templates
- Attachments include live videos
- Version history
People use mind mapping for all sorts of projects including creating flow charts. Having said that, not all mind mapping iOS apps are designed equal and suitable for creating flow charts. This is where LucidChart comes into the picture. With support for Visio and Omnigraffle diagrams and built-in templates, you will be up and running in no time.
LucidChart comes with hundreds of shapes and colors that you can use to create the perfect flowchart for your presentation. Looking to collaborate on that project with your team? Upload LucidChart diagrams in the cloud to invite team members’ input. As you would have guessed, LucidChart is more suitable for creating flowcharts.
LucidChart basic plan will cost you $29.99 for 6 months while the pro version, that unlocks cloud and collaboration support will cost $59.99 for 6 months.
- Hundreds of shapes
- Multiple flowchart options
- Cloud storage support
Mind Mapping iOS Apps
If your flow charts are your thing then you should go ahead with LucidChart. If you want the most feature rich app with support for tasks and a variety of attachments, iThoughts is good albeit a little expensive. More suitable for schools. If you are a team looking to collaborate then MindMeister will serve you well. Find working on a smaller screen a challenge? Mindly is the app you want.
So which mind mapping app are you using on your iPhone/iPad?