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Think Different – essential apps for visual thinkers

There are plenty of note taking apps out there to help you gather and arrange your thoughts, but their usefulness can be rather limited if you’re a visual thinker.

Thankfully, there’s a whole range of apps out there aimed at those who respond better to vivid imagery than words. These are the four of the best iOS apps for visual thinkers.

Uptime [$19.99/£14.99 per month]

Uptime is a visual learning app that takes full-fat books and condenses them down into bite-sized, image-led 5-minute ‘Hacks’, split into three clear insights. By essentially turning text-heavy textbooks into Instagram-like stories, it can make even the knottiest of subjects easy to parse for visual thinkers. As a final aid, it’ll even read out said books for you, should you wish to dive a little deeper without having to read.

MindNode [$2.99/£2.99 per month]

One of the best tools for any visual thinker is a decent mind-mapping app, and MindNode sits somewhere near the very top of that tree. It offers a powerful yet user-friendly system for constructing branching mind maps, with facilities for focusing on relevant branches. Meanwhile, themes and custom stickers let you make your sprawling mind maps look beautiful. It’s an easy matter to share, export, and collaborate with others, too.

Hypernotes by Zenkit [$7.99/£6.99 per month]

For visual thinkers who still need to make use of good old-fashioned text, Hypernotes uses a clever “semantic network” system to connect up your written notes in a semi-automated ‘mind mapping’ fashion. You’ll type out notes as you would normally, but along the way you’re encouraged to add in linked words using the hashtag (#) symbol. Pretty soon, you’ll have a properly referenced and interlinked roster of living documentation, organized into visually appealing notebooks, that can be literally mapped out in front of you.

Miro [Free]

Miro is described as an “online whiteboard”, and that pretty much nails its whole appeal. It’s a collaborative tool that lets you visualize concepts using virtual Post-it notes (you can even scan in actual sticky notes), uploaded images, spreadsheets, and any other form of media. It lets you run live meetings through the app, and you can draw attention to particular areas of the board using a live highlighter feature.