After a decade+ of putting it off, I jumped back into school to finish up a degree. I figured that I'd use some technology to my advantage this time around. In my search for apps to help me along and get my brain primed for information, I found iThoughtsHD.
iThoughtsHD is an excellent app for mind mapping. I've done traditional notes my entire scholarly life, and they all tend to be huge, disorganized piles of jumbled information that I may (or may not) recall when needed. I looked into mind mapping as a different way to take notes and found that it worked out excellent for me, though I seemed to go through way more notebooks. The app is fantastic at giving a huge amount of organization while displaying a very visual path to connect concepts and ideas into usable notes.
I know, that's a jumbled mess, and the potential failing of this review may be my inability to explain mind mapping in a clear and concise manner. Don't let that discourage you from checking out this kind of app, especially if you are in school and tend to be a visual learner.
Right from the start, the iThoughtsHD presents you with the help information laid out in a colorful manner. I found it an excellent way to not only get information on all the functions, but also an instant hands on of how the software actually works in use. Each of the colors, icons, and expansion points gets you familiar with using the app and setting up information in a usable manner.
After a quick trip through the FAQ and information map, I began setting up my own map. This one, as labeled, for my Medical Terminology map. The map is still a work in progress as I continue to add to it, but the separate colors immediately help to group like topics, while keeping the train of thought going. Moving the bits and pieces around is a snap, and the collapsible fields lets me focus on specific topics without getting lost along the way. Given the intense amount of data for my Medical Terminology class (as well as Anatomy & Physiology), the ability to get all the information in one area while avoiding massive clutter is a huge advantage. A problem I've always had while taking notes has been coming across important information that relates to things I've taken earlier in my notes and having to find a way to cram it onto a page already full in order to keep that connection. The ease of adding information to the relevant topics at any time is a tremendous help.
I really can't speak highly enough about this app. I go through different apps all the time that do different things. Most of them get deleted after about two weeks, or just never get used. This isn't one of those apps. I hold iThoughtsHD in the same regard as the email and messaging apps. It's vital. The $9.99 price initially kept me weary of downloading, but knowing what I do now, and the amount of use I've gotten from it in less than a month, I'd happily pay for it again, and would probably pay more. If you're a student or someone who thrives with visual note taking, I would definitely recommend this app. Once you overcome a slight learning curve, it's invaluable for information gathering and note taking.