Voice Dictate a Mind Map (MindNode+Drafts+Siri=Whoa.)

You can make a mind map with no hands in just three steps on an iPhone.

To voice dictate a mind map, you need:

  • an iPhone or iPad with Siri
  • the amazing app Drafts 4
  • mind mapping app MindNode

The Drafts action you’re going to need is “Open in….”

I’ve given this action (which comes already installed with Drafts) its own “Run Action” key on the customizable Drafts keyboard, with its own icon from the emoji keyboard. My keyboard in Drafts looks like this:


Voice MN_Keyboard


Now the amazing part, and it’s just three steps:


1. Outline the text of your mind map in Drafts.


Here’s a bit of voice-dictated text:


Voice MN_Draft


To get going, use Siri to record what will be your first node.

To get to a second node, simply say, “New line, new line” and say what your next node will be.

If you want to do sub-nodes (i.e., “children”) after you have dictated your main/parent node, say, “New line,” and then have Siri indent your sub-node with the “tab key” command. Then dictate that sub-node or child.

You can add more parent, child, and sibling topics similarly.


2. Run your “Open in…” action in Drafts.


I simply tap my “Run action” key, which automatically triggers the “Open in…” action:


VoiceMN_Open in


Select Mind Node and…


3. View your mind map in MindNode.


Voice MN_Map


Because of MindNode’s iCloud-enabled sync setup, you can now view (and modify) your mind map in iOS or OSX platforms.

Joey Lawrence put it best:





The above is an adaptation/re-posting of a previous post on voice dictating a mind map. That post used the app iThoughts, but I learned shortly after posting that even though MindNode doesn’t have the x-callback-url support that iThoughts does, Drafts’s “Open in…” feature makes the same process possible with just one extra tap. Rad.

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