Behind a really good idea, there may be a really well thought out plan or an extremely random chain of events and actions. For those with random thoughts and actions, move on, nothing to see here. For those who need to gather their thoughts or have a small rough sketch of what they’re going to do, there is MindNode, a free mind mapping app for Mac. The app is very basic, and is not meant for collaboration or sharing your mind maps with others. It lets you create a simple node structure with various parent and sub-nodes, which are color coded, so that you can easily distinguish ideas from the branch, and from one another.
When the app is launched or whenever you create a new map, a central node is already added. Add the name of your mind map to this central node. When you save a map, it will auto fill with what you entered in this node (you may edit it any time). The app has four types of nodes that you can add; main, parent, sibling and child.
The main node is the one that appears when you create a new map. All other types of nodes originate from it. The other nodes are named as per their relative position. A Parent node will be the first one to originate from the main node. Any nodes added before a node are parent nodes from this point onward. You cannot add a node before the main one. A sibling node is one that originates from the same node. A child node is one that is added after or as a sub-branch of a node.
To add a node, either click the small plus sign that appears besides a node, or go to the Node menu and add the type of node you want. To edit the color of a node, select it and click the Colors button.
The app’s preferences are meant for nothing except enabling or disabling the app animations.
A pro version of MindNode is also available, which allows you to add images and file links and export your mind maps for sharing. It is worth $19.99, which is rather expensive, to say the least. You might be better off using a web app if the free version fails to meet your needs. The free version is very minimalist and seems best suited for a quick brain storming session as opposed to long term use.