Over the last couple of months I have been pondering and reflecting on the use of my mind mapping tools and how to best integrate them into my mobile lifestyle. More and more, I find that I am accessing my iPhone and iPad and need to have access to my mind maps for projects, to-do lists and brainstorming sessions. While I still rely on my desktop applications for doing the critical creation of my mind maps, I want to be able to access the information on my mobile devices wherever I am. Several years ago, I moved a lot of my mind maps to the web using Comapping, which I have used to teach my graduate courses. Comapping produces great embedding code and works wonderfully within Moodle. My students get the benefits of a prepared visual agenda-complete with links and file attachments which are easy to navigate. The only flaw in using Comapping at this time, is that it is Flash based and can't be accessed using an iOS device.
Mindjet MindManger user, I can use the desktop version for the mind mapping creation and upload it to my free Connect account which can be accessed from any iOS device with the Mindjet app. This is a new workflow for me but so far so good. My MindManager maps are stored on line and can be quickly accessed via my iPhone. Likewise, I can also choose to save my mind maps from my computer to my Dropbox account which is tightly integrated with the Mindjet app on my iPhone and iPad. One of the nice advantages of use the Mindjet Connect account with my iOS apps is that the maps are always synchronized and I don't have to be concerned if I am working on the latest version. In a pinch I can also access my Mindjet Connect account from any computer connected to the web and create mind maps which I can than access from my iPad or iPhone-which is really great!
I have also revisited MindMeister which I had used for a time several years ago and am very pleased with the features and the fact that it is web based and I can access my maps from my iOS devices. Unlike, MindManager, MindMesiter is all web based which gives me added flexibility of being able to create and access my mind maps with a browser and a connection to the web. With MindMeister, I can attach files and links which makes it a wonderful digital repository for my work. MindMeister creates a graphically rich mind map which can be embellished with icons and images to jazz it up. One of the really nice features of MindMeister is the ability to create embedding code which makes it easy to share out my maps-and works well in Moodle. Using the MindMeister app I can access my maps from any iOS device which has proven to be really helpful on several occasions.
Based on my workflow-I still tend to do more creation of my mind maps using a laptop computer which is just fine- but having access to the information and my files on the road from my iPhone or iPad is really indispensable. As developers of mind mapping application begin to think through their strategies for future product development they need to enter into the formula ways for users to access their information from mobile devices. I trust that some of the leaders in the mind mapping space will announce apps shortly that will give end users more choices so that they don't have to leave their maps trapped on the island of their desktop or laptop. As always, I'm interested in learning how the mobile platforms have impacted on your mind mapping workflow.
PS: I have just begun to utilize MindGenius and the MindGenius app on my iPad and will share my experiences in the next week or so.