At lunch on Monday, one of my friends showed me an iPad app for mind mapping. I’d heard of such things and hadn’t been too excited, but he insisted on showing me how he uses it in meetings with clients, prospects and other contacts to brainstorm … and then email them the picture immediately. So I downloaded it on Tuesday and by Thursday … here’s where I really want to write “it changed my life” but I’m instead going to say it is my new favorite iPad app and $10 very well spent.

I’ve been in the midst of an intense assessment all week, a combination of interviews, workshops and data gathering … the kind of week that invented the phrase “drinking from a firehose”. I’m a big believer in doing projects like this intensely, to move through quickly to hypotheses and get on to figuring out the solutions. The art of it is pulling out the top issues and then hypotheses for how to fix them from all the other noise. It is something my brain and our teams together have learned to do even more effectively over the years, but this is the first time I’ve found a tool that’s really helped support that thinking. Every time a new idea popped up this week, I just went into my master mind map and added it. Oh, and I used another mind map to storyboard the deck. And then I created a little example for this blog and I timed it. 5 minutes. Its extremely fast and even less disruptive than taking a note somewhere. It is great working individually or when brainstorming with others.

So check it out – let me know if you like it as much as me! Its called iThoughtsHD