Special thanks to Megan Smith, University of Maryland Dietetic Intern, for this post.
Searching for a unique way to brainstorm, research, and organize thoughts and ideas? Look no further. MindNode, an app for iOS and Mac users, has arrived.
What is MindNode?
MindNode is a tool that allows its users to create mind maps—virtual representations of thoughts and ideas. These mind maps start with one central idea and then branch out to form countless new thoughts and ideas. These ideas can be connected in any number of ways, not only through a hierarchical structure.1
Understandably, this is an app that is easier to understand with visuals. The basic layout of the app looks like this:
The center of the mind map is your central idea. From there, you just click the plus sign to add more thoughts and ideas. This mind map layout can be used to create to-do lists, plan events, brainstorm for a research paper, organize a room, and much more! Additionally, the tool bar at the top allows you to customize your mind maps. Here you can change fonts and colors, add media files such as music, movies, and pictures, and attach documents and websites for easy access.
How much does it cost?
MindNode for iOS (iPhone or iPad) can be purchased for $9.99. For Mac computer users, the app is referred to as MindNode Pro, and costs a flat rate of $19.99. The apps are virtually the same, but this table2 outlines some small differences between the two. MindNode Pro can also be used for free, but mind maps are limited to up to 30 nodes and cannot be saved to iCloud
How can this be useful to a Nutrition Professional?
This app provides an outlet for creativity that can be used by Nutrition professionals in a variety of settings and ways. I brainstormed ideas for the use of MindNode by a Registered Dietitian. These ideas include:
- Client assessment, goals and planning charts
- Planning a conference or event
- Nutrition education
- Menu guides for clients
- Writing a research paper
- Organizing a kitchen
- Developing a database for nutrition charting in a clinical setting.
Additionally, the app allows for easy sharing. Mind maps can easily be shared, imported (to
Dropbox, blogs, and more) and exported in many different formats (pdf, png, etc.) This is an essential feature for the information-sharing RD. Below are two examples that I created to help visualize how nutrition professionals could use this app.
This mind map is a basic layout of healthy heart education given to patients who had surgery for congestive heart failure It contains links and files that could be opened by the patient on his or her own computer (limiting the use of paper). The mind map is not fully complete, but it provides an example of how MindNode could be used for nutrition education.
Client Planning and Goal Setting
This mind map provides a way to visualize how the RD could organize client assessment information, and then use this information address client goals and concerns.
- MindNode Pro 1.11 User Guide. MindNode Website. http://mindnode.com/support/MindNodeProUserGuide.pdf. Accessed January 15, 2015.
- MindNode Feature Chart. MindNode Website. http://mindnode.com/support/FeatureChart.pdf. Accessed January 15th, 2015.