Friday, March 18, 2011

iPhone App Review - iBlueSky MindMapping Application

iBlueSky is a mindmapping tool for the iPhone and iPod Touch. A “mindmap” is basically what you would get if your brain could throw up an lightbulb everytime you have an idea.
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If you suddenly have this great idea but you’re not sure of how to translate it to paper or some other visual medium, you mindmap it! Start with a word or a concept, branch off from that concept with lines and circles that hold related ideas, draw more lines, more circles etc and eventually your original idea starts to take shape in a big mess of words and bubbles.

iBlueSky is very similar in operation to Mind Maker, another popular Mind Mapping application for the iPhone. You are able to use landscape mode and the addition of branches is very straightforward and anybody who has used a Mind Mapping application would be able to pick ip up in no time at all.

There is a default map already installed for you to play around with. The map I created got quite big, quite fast and I found it easy to add new branches, sub branches and also to navigate around the map.

Everything you put into your mindmap is editable, and you can even copy, cut, and paste in case you realize that things need to be rearranged. It’s really a pretty sweet app for brainstorming, and when your mindmap is complete you can send it off in an email that will include the map in several different formats including PNG, PDF, and a couple of weird formats (OPML and MM) that are specific to other desktop mindmapping software programs like Freemind.

There are only two areas that I’d like to see improved, the first being the project list. Projects titles are the same as the text in the starting bubble, but I’d like to be able to edit the title in case I want it to be more descriptive. The other improvement would be in the formatting of the bubbles themselves… a return button would be good so that text could be arranged on more than one line, and it would also be nice if I could highlight certain bubbles with a fill color.

Overall, iBlueSky is a great way to map out your brilliant ideas. Inspiration can hit you at some weird times, so having an app like this on the iPhone seems like a perfect fit and a worthy use of $7.99.

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