July 22, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
This is a review of the Mindomo visual mapping program. This program is actually a triple threat. It has a desktop application, it has a web interface, and it’s also available on mobile devices, although sadly not for the iPhone.
The Mindomo Mega-Review
In this review I’ll put Mindomo through its paces and I’ll let you know what I like, and what I don’t like. I ended up going a little overboard on this review and made a 17 minute video. At least you know it’s thorough. LOL.
July 18, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
The first review in this year’s visual mapping review series is Mindly. Mindly is an iOS based visual mapping tool. The basic app is free with a paid upgrade for more options.
You can follow this link to download Mindly from the iTunes Store.
YouTube Link (Length: 8:36)
00:46 – Benefits of free version
00:56 – Features demonstration
1:47 – Adding new nodes
3:05 – Adding photos and images
04:14 – What I like about Mindly
05:58 – What I don’t like about Mindly
Today want to talk about Mindly. It’s an iOS app that purports to do visual mapping.
And it actually does it in a bit of a neat way. I’m going to go through and review it. I’ll Tell you what I like and I don’t like, and maybe give you some ideas about whether this might be used for you or maybe not.
Hey everyone, Kevin here. I want to go through some of the things about Mindly. It’s an iOS app. There’s a free version and also a paid one.. It’s $6.99 to upgrade to the paid version.
So, I’ll talk about that in the little bit. Let’s go in. I want to show you a little bit about what it does. If you start with the free version new you’ll get three different maps in any . You can make the maps gigantic down below that, but you have three different topics. I’m going to go into my Mindly review.
The first thing I’m going to go over is how this thing works. Now you can see I’ve got my main idea, my Mindly review, and I’ve created three separate topics around it. I can grab it and spin it around. I’m going to go into the specs area first. I’m just going to tap it. You can see in specs, I’ve got a couple of things. I’ve got a little thumbs up sign… it might be a little small depending on how big your screen is. I’m going to click on specs.
I want to show you how deep this can go. So I’m going to click on next, and next, and next. You can keep going down, down, down. So when you get to the appropriate level of the node you want, you can go ahead and add more information if you want. You can tap on any of the plus signs around next.
I’ll click on that one, and type Hello. I’ll hit next. It’ll allow me to add extra information. Once you’ve finished adding your information, you can add some different colors, and then some icons. There’s tons of different icons. There are several different categories, and when you go into the categories, there are several more. How about this. Everybody likes a sunny day. There’s a sun icon in there. Then I’ll hit the checkmark to get me back then.
I just added my new space. If I want to get back in, all I do is double tap the blue dot. Tap, tap. It takes me back in. If I need to get back out, I just hit the checkmark again. Now, when I want to go back, I just hit the upper left hand corner, the next…
I can keep going up until I find what I’m looking for.
Something that’s pretty cool about this is that you can add pictures right into your map. So let’s go in, and we’ll add a picture to our map. They way to add pictures, is to go to the upper right hand corner. It looks like a little image. I’m going to tap on that. I”m going to say, “Take photo.” I’ll give you a picture of my keyboard.
And, Use Photo. And it inserts it. If you look in the upper right corner. you can see that now there’s this miniscule picture of my keyboard. If you’re using a phone, you can obviously see it better. It’s awfully tiny though. All we need to do is press and hold, and we can drag it down.
As I get close to the +, it turn blue. It’s telling me exactly where it’s going to go, so I’m going to release it on there. There we go.
From here, if I want to see the image, all I do is double tap. Tap, tap, and there’s the image. That’s good as well. To have the ability to quickly take images of things. Maybe you’re doing a product comparison, or you’re studying.
What I like:
I want to go over a few things that I do like about Mindly. Let’s go in and have a quick look.
Like I talked about. The ability to add notes, and I do like the ability (like I already mentioned) to have images added. There’s a little selfie (Even my selfie pouty face). I thought you guys would like that. I like the fact that you can spin
it. If you want to have a bit off a different direction, or maybe you want to have something at the top or the side. You can just grab and spin it. It’s a neat thing you can do.And it just looks cool too.
I do like how Mindly turned out, because it was designed to be used on a mobile device and the circles of do work well with limited screen real estate.
Something else that’s pretty cool is the working view where we can go in and see all the detail. They also have a mind map view. If we go down to the bottom right, there’s a little up arrow. We’ll tap on that and it’ll give us a couple options. The home button just takes us back to the home screen. When I click on the mind map button, it shows me my mind map in real time. I can come in here and zoom in and out, and have a quick look. This is a cool way to see relationships between different objects, as well as the depth that your visual map goes. Here’s the node we added a while ago. The hello node. It’s pretty neat. Then, when we’re done we can go back to the working view.
The Emoji’s. I already showed them to you. You can add a couple of things. Add a smelly face. Add some images. They’re pretty tiny, but it’s neat to have some of those things. It’s another way to say more with fewer words.
What I don’t like:
Let’s talk about a couple things that I’m not as big of a fan of.
The upgrade price is $6.99. That’s a bit pricy as far as app standards go. When you upgrade, what it does is it allows you to create more than three maps. The other thing it does is, when I hit share…It unlocks a few more of the ways that we can share. You can see with the free version you can either email it as a Mindly file or as a PDF. The text option is completely locked out.
If you plan on using this with a laptop, or with your home computer, you’re going to need the text option, or HTML option. Something to get this information out of here, because there’s no web interface. There’s no desktop client, so either you’re all on the phone or you’ve got no way across unless you go ahead and pay for the upgrade to get the option to have text or HTML.
So that’s your decision. Whether you want to leave it on the phone. You can make three gigantic maps.
Something else, that I’m not a huge fan is zooming. You can’t zoom in. I wish I could just take two fingers and just drag it out. You can’t zoom-in while in the work view. I think it would be neat sometimes for some of the images or Emojis, instead of having to double click on an image and look at the image I can just zoom in a little bit and see a bit more. I understand they’re trying to make it as simple as possible and still make a functional.
The obvious limitation to the free version is that you can only save as a PDF or a .Mindly file. This will be OK if this is the only place you’re going to have it, but whenever you wan to transfer information out, this this is going to hamstring you, unless you go ahead and upgrade to the full version.
That’s my initial impression of Mindly.
I like it. It’s a really neat app. I just think that if it was in the $3 to $4 to $5 range, I’m more likely to call it a buy, because everyone likes cheap apps. But for $7 it’s not that big of a deal. If you want to go ahead, and this works for you, check it out. Drop the $7. I think you’ll actually be really happy with going with it. It’s a neat app.
July 17, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Here’s a look a what to expect from the 2014 version of the Visual Mapping Review Series. I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements in products from last year, and also at seeing what else it out there.
YouTube Link (Length: 2:34)
00:35 – At least one day with each
00:55 – One size does not fit all
01:06 – Last years reviews
01:32 – How you can get involved
Transcript of Video:
Would you like to have an over-the-shoulder look at how to get real work done using visual maps? That’s the whole point of the visual mapping review series.
June 25, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
We’re starting this year’s set of reviews
In Episode 44 of the You’re Making Me podcast, I’m going to look ahead to this year’s visual mapping review series. I’ve given it a new name, and I’m adding the year because I plan on keeping this going as long as it provides value to people.
The official name is The Visual Mapping Review Series 2014. I’ll probably also use the abbreviation VMRS too, so keep an eye out for that.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking into several visual mapping programs for your PC, mobile devices, as well as Internet solutions.
In this episode you’ll learn:
- What I’ve heard that makes me think visual mapping is the coolest part of my business
- Which review from last year upset the most people.
- Why one size doesn’t fit all with visual mapping tools
- How I plan on doing each review
- The 4 main categories for this years reviews (Including 2 new ones)
- The first two videos I’ll be recording
Other items mentioned in the podcast:
- [YouT ube] Plalist of Last year’s Review videos (XMind, Freemind, Mind Meister, Mind Jet, Mind 42, Bubbl.us, The Brain)
- Mindly (for iOS)
Do you have a favourite program?
If you have a specific visual mapping tool that you absolutely love, feel free to live and leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to have a look at it. Unfortunately, I can’t promise that I’ll do a video review since there’s so much out there, but I’ll do my best to look at as many visual mapping solutions as I can.
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This podcast episode was originally published on YoureMakingMe.com.
June 16, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Yes, you read the post title correct. This is a review of the Surface Pro 2.
Surface Pro 3 is already out!
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Kevin, are you crazy? Don’t you know they’ve already released the Surface Pro 3.”
Aaaah, yeah (here’s where I begin blushing).
I was going to review the Surface Pro 2 in January
I had a chance to review the Surface Pro 2 back in January but never got around to it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have the opportunity to check out what Microsoft had to offer.
I’ve thoroughly tested it
I used the Surface Pro 2 as a second screen during the Winter Olympics in February, and was happy with that.
I also spent a lot of time over the past two months trying to figure out whether my new every day device was still going to be a laptop, or whether I’d switch to a tablet. I look at a number of different tablets, including Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2.
I also talk more about my likes, dislikes, and other observations in Episode #43 of the You’re Making Me Podcast.
You should still watch the video
So, in a nutshell, even though I’m reviewing something that’s already obsolete, a lot of what I talk about applies to most tablets (Including iPads, Android devices, and others).
I always look at things from a productivity perspective, and that’s the exact approach I’ve taken in this review.
May 22, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
Note: This episode was recorded before the Surface Pro 3 announcement, so I won’t be mentioning it during this episode. I’m still happy with my observations, so I haven’t added anything to what I’ve said.
In this episode I’ll go over my thoughts on laptops versus tablets.
I’ve had the opportunity to play around with a lot of the newer tablets and I’ve made a decision as to whether it’s time for me to leave my laptop and go with a tablet for my main machine.
My current laptop works fine, but it doesn’t have enough horsepower to edit 1080p videos effectively. That means I’m stuck producing 7 20p content for my YouTube channel.
Part of my decision for a new device is based on portability, but my goal is to choose the most effective machine, that will meet all my needs.
What went into my decision?
I go over a lot of the deciding factors that I believe are important, and I talk candidly about what I like and what I don’t like about the Surface Pro, iPad, Ultra Books, Net Books, and Laptops.
I’ll also explain why I’d rather have one main device than several that I switch back and forth on. [Continue Reading...]
April 23, 2014 Kevin Achtzener
I was thinking about an awesome quote I remembered from the show, The Unit. I binge watched all of the episodes a while back, so I forgot where the exact quote was. Luckily, I was able to do some “Research,” by re-watching parts of some of the episodes.
This quote has probably stuck in my mind because Dennis Haysbert has an amazing voice, and can make anything sound good.
“They’re ready for someone, but they ain’t ready for us.”
Snake Doctor (Dennis Haysbert) in The Unit
In The Big One, we’ll go over why you shouldn’t believe signal lights, but what you can do instead to show you’re committed to taking action.
Then, we’ll talk about 4 reasons why simple strategies are often more effective than complex ones. [Continue Reading...]