Every so often I look up at the screen and see 5 or 6 Visual Studio Code editor windows side-by-side. In my codebase the implementation for a feature might be spread across multiple files. When I need to make sense of disparate information and try to see how they all work together, I ended up opening all the files in different windows so I can visually see the code and the connections.

I read about mind mapping tools that visually represent concepts and connections and wanted to try it out. Since I hadn’t used a mind mapping tool before, I had no initial criteria for my needs. However, the one thing I always look for in any tool that I use in my workflow is having the app on all my devices.


I had seen screenshots of MindNode before, but actually using it highlighted the sleak design and interactions. The mind maps look beautiful and visually appealing even when I’m just trying to see the connection between classes in my codebase.

Mind Map for Code

The infinite canvas encourages you to brainstorm without feeling the need to be mindful of how large the map can get.


MindNode also lets you customize every aspect of the mind map. You can start with one of their built-in themes and create your own. I made a custom theme using the Fira Code font. You can then also customize the individual nodes overriding the theme.

Focus Mode

Focus mode lets you select a specific node and only view it’s child branches. This comes in very handy when you are dealing with large mind maps.

Outline View

This was the killer feature that really sold me on adding MindNode to my workflow. It’s great to start brainstorming in a visual space and then see the structured hierarchy that almost reads like an article. For writing blog posts, I’ll start with the outline and then export it as markdown and continue writing in the Bear Notes app.

Mind map for writing

MindNode does what it needs to really well. It’s a mind mapping tool nothing more nothing less; I use it for brainstorming and usually delete the file once I understand the connection in my head or once I have the outline needed to begin writing.

Follow my thoughts, checkout projects that interest me, connect with me professionally or send me an old fashioned email.