I can't promise I am going to be able to do this every Tuesday, but I am jumping on-board with Bret Terpstra's App Review Tuesday concept. I am going to start posting mini review of apps I use as often as I can on Tuesday's. I say mini review because my review isn't going to be a super long review of every little aspect of the app. I am going to focus on how I use the app and why you might also find it useful. That is, after all, what you are really looking for when considering whether to purchase an app.
So first out of the gate is my most recent App Store purchase...iThoughtsX. iThoughtsX is the Mac version of ToketaWare's mindmapping software package iThoughts. There are a quite a few mindmapping applications out there. I bought this one for iOS (iThoughts HD) because at the time it was the most highly rated mindmapping app for iOS. I have been happy with it ever since and have had no reason to look for an alternative.
So I have been using the $9.99 iOS version of iThoughts for years now, what made me fork out the ~$50 for the Mac OS X version? I am taking the last few classes for my Masters degree in Systems Engineering and I am doing this while having an incredibly busy work travel schedule. So I am taking advantage of all the time I spend in an airplane seat and getting my projects and term papers written. Mindmapping is an excellent tool (at least for me) to get my thoughts down so that I have all of my major points and references laid out so all I need to do it follow the path and write. My last trip to Denver I was able to read through all the references for my term paper and map the entire paper out using iThoughts HD for iOS. But when I got back home I wanted to use my mindmap and outline the project in Scrivener so I could start writing. The iPad is great for getting thoughts down, but when you want to display that map and use it nothing beats a 27" monitor. So I needed iThoughts for my Mac so I could use iThoughts and Scrivener at the same time. It's pretty obvious going forward that I am going to be doing a lot of work on airplanes in the future so I might as well invest in the desktop version of the software. I'm glad I did. It was so nice having a large version of my mindmap up on the same screen as my writing tool.
So that's it. That's what pushed me over the edge to finally purchase the Mac version of iThoughts. I also want to start using mindmaps more at work to plan out my week (list the major things on my plate and how best to deal with them and even more importantly how they are connected). Just having the iPad version of iThoughts has been a barrier for me to really use it at work so I'm hoping this helps me to start using it more.
My recommendation is to start with the iOS version if you have an iOS device. $10 is nothing compared to the amount of time this app will save you. Mindmapping isn't for everyone. Some people work with just plain outlines better and if that's you then stick with that. But if you think mindmaps might be for you start with iOS and if you like it then purchase the OS X version.