Zen.Bonsai by Zenlogic LLC is a new entrant into the mind mapping and project management tools section of the App Store. Mind mapping, or brainstorming, is a great way to get your thoughts flowing – sometimes you just need to get some ideas on paper to start moving in the right direction. This is a tool that can help you do that. There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you have a deadline to meet but you don’t even know where to begin. Using a brainstorming tool like Zen.Bonsai is a great place to start. This is a free project planning app and it’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
There are other mind mapping apps available for download from the App Store, but usually these have very limited functionality in the free versions. They might limit the number of nodes you can use in your mind map or they may prevent you from sharing your map with others for collaboration purposes. It’s difficult to determine if an app is worthwhile if you can’t even use it properly. Zen.Bonsai does not limit the functionality of the app in any way in the free version – instead you are limited to only being able to work with one project at a time.
This app has a great set of instructions that opens by default when you first open the app to get you started on the right path. It also has a nice simple interface that’s easy to follow and easy to work with. Best of all there are no ads to contend with even in the free version. The developers of Zen.Bonsai clearly want you to see the app operating as it should without any distractions, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether or not the full version is worth it to you. Zen.Bonsai app will require 5.7 MB of available space on your iOS device.
Once you’re finished with the initial tutorial all you have to do is tap on the info icon in the top right corner to begin using the Zen.Bonsai app. By default there will be one node in the middle of the page for you to begin your mind map with. To add a node you simply tap on the existing node, and then tap on the plus sign that appears to the right and you’re new node will sprout from the original. You can change the location of the node by dragging it wherever you like, and to add a label to the node you simply tap and hold for a second and then type your label. You can add multiple nodes to the parent node or you can add notes to the offshoots as well. You can also change the colors of your nodes as well if you want to further distinguish them from each other.
In the bottom right corner of the project management app you’ll see tools to undo or redo an action and a copy tool as well. On this menu you’ll also find the sharing options available to you. You can send a copy by email, post it on Twitter, and you can also covert and send your project as a PDF document as well. There are a ton of tools in this app that make creating and sharing a mind map a breeze.
Free version allows you to create and share one fully functional project
Nodes can be color coordinated and labeled
Great set of instructions
Different sharing options
Projects can be converted to PDF
Free version only allows you to save one project at a time
If you’re looking for a great mind mapping app to help you build the framework for a great project then Zen.Bonsai is a great option. The free version of this app is fully functional, but you’ll have to upgrade to the full version if you want to be able to create more than one project at a time. It’s simple to use, and has a nice clean interface that’s a pleasure to work with.
Cherry is a hard-working writer and an aspiring web designer who can't go a day without using her favorite apps. She's always on the lookout for new apps and enjoys discovering ones that others have overlooked.