Mac/iOS: Regardless of the type of work that you do, brainstorming is an important part of generating new ideas and new approaches to getting your work done more efficiently. Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique that helps you get all of your interconnected thoughts out in a diagram, and there are a number of complicated tools designed to help you do it. MindNode for Mac and iOS is pricey, but it's one of the best tools we've seen for the job.
MindNode is like many other mind mapping applications: you create visual "nodes" that represent ideas, topics, tasks or steps in a process, anything you want to get down on paper. Then you can draw lines between those individual ideas or steps and their logical related ideas and steps, or things you have to do in order to make your idea reality. MindNode simply makes the process of building your mind map less of an exercise in finding the right tools or menu options required to draw lines between items and more an opportunity to just get your thoughts out and connect them easily.
The app supports dragging and dropping images and files from your desktop into your mind map, and supports Mac OS's Quick Look on those files, so if you add a document to a node, you can highlight it and press space to preview it. Plus, MindNode supports most popular file formats, so you don't have to worry that an image or document you want in your mind map won't be visible.
MindNode is available for free in the Mac App Store. For $19.99 you can get MindNode Pro, which offers additional features like full-screen mode, visual file links, additional images, and more. If you'd prefer to brainstorm on the go, MindNode for iOS is available for $9.99 in the iTunes App Store.
Video: Mind-mapping with MindNode