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TheBrain Reviews

10.0.36.0
22 January 2019

Organize Web pages, notes and documents into a visual map.

Stickman67
22 April 2010

Most helpful

In the interests of transparency, here are the prices for PersonalBrain: * Pro US$249.95 * Core US$149.95 * Free US$0.00 I do not now and nor do I ever want to seem like one of those who come to this site and post complaints for the sake of it. I do politely request, however, that developers are more open about their "free" products. For example, what are the differences between these versions? What do you get for your $150 or $250 beyond what the free version offers? (Or, to put it another way, what's missing from the free version?) I don't like feeling like I'm being gulled into paying for something. To me this is a fairly low form of marketing technique, and very often seen in the Windows community. I'd hate to see it gain more traction in the Mac world than it already has. No disrespect, but could the developer of this software please take these comments on board.
Like (13)
Version 5.5.2.4

Read 31 TheBrain User Reviews

Rate this app:

Aargl
12 June 2018
At first sight, it looks like a good rival for Mindjet MindManager but it gives me errors when trying to import MMM's maps, so I couldn't push my trial very far... Will wait until they correct the import issue, hopefully in a future version.
Like
Version 9.0.264.0
Szeoli
08 December 2017
TheBrain 9 is the official release at this point, even thought the company stills says it is in Beta. If you go to TheBrain website, version 9 is what you will download. It is, for the most part, superior to version 8, starting with the fact that the developer has abandoned Java and has created native apps for both Windows and Mac. If you've tried TheBrain in the past, you should evaluate it based on version 9.
Like
Version 8.0.2.2
Prince-Isaac
20 March 2015
To the dev: That's a very minimalist image of your app above; couldn't you have chosen something containing a bit more visual information? OTOH, don't go overboard like the Tinderbox crew!
Like (4)
Version 8.0.1.5
Mikael-B
11 October 2013
There's no info on how data is stored and if it can be easily migrated to other environments. I can't waste time with a tool that locks in my data, so it would be wise for the the developer to state upfront the details about this.
Like (3)
Version 7.0.4.5
Kihoalu
23 November 2012
I've had this for awhile - as the individual free version. I really WANT to like it, but honestly don't use it a lot. That is partly because I expect it may evaporate as a "free for single use" app, though it hasn't yet. I'd like to own it, despite people griping that it is un-mac-like, but this price is insane, imo. No product seems to have hit mindmapping perfectly yet & the prices are outrageous for software that may turn out to be a bust. I haven't found the ideal brainstorming app which is within my budget. This one has a sort of pleasant interface compared to some competitors (who ALSO were originally targeting the Windows platform & keep a very ugly interface with icons which feel as though they were designed by 1st graders!) And who are more a subscription than owned software. At least that's the perception of this Mac user. I have price limits beyond which I would not drift these days.
Like (6)
Version 7.0.4.5
Antoontje
18 August 2012
As a Mac user, probably one of the first things you notice using this software is that it was not made for Mac originally. It is a bit clunky, but overall I must say it is stable and works the way it should most of the time. The most powerful and most anticipated feature of this software, the fact that it works 'like a brain' is a big disappointment. It becomes a big mess if you interlink too much thoughts, witch is why that feature is unusable. Unfortunately making it fancy-looking, overpriced and simple mindmapping software (with promise). Make it possible for users to interlink as much thoughts as they wich, without creating a big mess, and this software will do it's name (and price a little bit more) right.
Like (2)
Version 7.0.4.5
Bort1611
15 May 2012
This is a trivial comment I know, but is there a corresponding app called "PinkyAnd"?
Like
Version 7.0.4.1
John2011
10 May 2012
Hate trials,although love the app
Like
Version 7.0.4
Jimw
17 March 2012
While the download is free, it does not seem free to use indefinitely. When launching the product opening window indicates it is a trial version with an expiration. Checking the website indicates the paid version is a $100 or more. As such it might be more appropriate to list it as Commercial. Additionally it asks for personal information when launched as the App seems to be a portal so some kind of a social network. At this point I closed it and deleted from my computer.
Like (4)
Version 6.0.7.9
2 answer(s)
SickTeddyBear
SickTeddyBear
26 April 2012
From the developer's web site: "How the Free Download Works You get 30 days to try all the features of TheBrain Pro. After that if you want to keep using the advanced features you will need to upgrade to TheBrain Pro. If you don't upgrade, you can keep using TheBrain Free Edition. You will not lose any of your work and will still be able to access everything you created."
Like (1)
Khadrelt
Khadrelt
01 May 2012
The 'personal information' it asks for is to log in to a server that can sync your work between computers. If you don't want to use that feature, you can just click 'do not connect to a server' in the dialog box.
Like (5)
Szeoli
11 December 2011
I wanted to update my review from a couple of years ago. I continue to use PersonalBrain on my office PC and on my MacBook. Using WebBrain, I can keep "Brains" on both computers in sync. Beyond this, PersonalBrain is simply fun to use. It's one of the few applications I've found that inspires me. I think of it as a GPS system for my information.
Like (2)
Version 6.0.7.5
hous
19 April 2011
well, just not a cocoa application... it would be worth to transfer real OS X interface aka a real mac development
Like (3)
Version 6.0.6.8
Inge-Antonsen
06 October 2010
Bought and used Personal Brain Pro 4,great expensive application, bought upgrade to PB Pro 5, still a great but overpriced application. Have tried to buy the new upgrade, but the website payment routine now consistently tells me I`m not eligible for a paid upgrade to version 6. Yes, I have sent an e-mail explaining the situation, including my personal information and previous key numbers. No answer received after 3 weeks. Yes, I am disappointed!
Like (7)
Version 6.0.4.8
Stickman67
22 April 2010
In the interests of transparency, here are the prices for PersonalBrain: * Pro US$249.95 * Core US$149.95 * Free US$0.00 I do not now and nor do I ever want to seem like one of those who come to this site and post complaints for the sake of it. I do politely request, however, that developers are more open about their "free" products. For example, what are the differences between these versions? What do you get for your $150 or $250 beyond what the free version offers? (Or, to put it another way, what's missing from the free version?) I don't like feeling like I'm being gulled into paying for something. To me this is a fairly low form of marketing technique, and very often seen in the Windows community. I'd hate to see it gain more traction in the Mac world than it already has. No disrespect, but could the developer of this software please take these comments on board.
Like (13)
Version 5.5.2.4
3 answer(s)
Stickman67
Stickman67
01 October 2010
That's where I found it, but I think it should have been made clear here, on MacUpdate, by the developer. Not a huge fan of what I consider an ethically wobbly marketing technique! ;-)
Like (5)
Version 6.0.4.4
Appscout
Appscout
03 November 2010
Agreed. This should be categorized as demoware. As should Disk Drill.
Like (3)
Version 6.0.5.5
Bub1200
Bub1200
08 April 2011
And why do I have to activate JavaScript solely to read the FAQ? I consider this ungracious and I'm doubtful of the software ergonomics.
Like (1)
Szeoli
01 March 2010
PersonalBrain is an excellent application, but has a few faults. To adequately describe PersonalBrain would take more space than I have here, and there is no need to, because the developer provides wonderful videos and screencasts. Essentially, the application allows you to drill down to any level of detail in your information and still see the bigger picture, and it does so far more effectively than any other piece of software I've used... and I've used a lot of them. I also like the fact that I can run PersonalBrain on my PC at work and on my MacBook at home, sharing some of the same databases via Dropbox. I do wish PersonalBrain had a more robust note editor. Right now it is really only useful for jotting simple notes, not composing long text. But you can associate RTF documents with your PersonalBrain items, and quickly open those in your favorite word processor. Copies can be stored internally or externally, and are fully searchable. In short, PersonalBrain is a well thought out information manager with a unique and very powerful user interface.
Like (1)
Version 5.5.2.2
Steven-Goodheart
16 October 2009
Interestingly, their website says there's a new version 5.5 available, but the only download you can do is for a 5.0.4. The new 5.5 version does have some way cool enhancements: http://www.thebrain.com/site/personalbrain/download/PersonalBrain_5.5_Feature_List.pdf
Like
Version 5.0.4
Dragonce
02 July 2009
Overpriced for HTML export. No OPML, .doc, keynote, rtf export. Too long time to start. No service in text. Not too much responsive... Seem bloated like Word.. But a good tool !
Like (6)
Version 5.0.3.7
Wcitymike
29 May 2009
Um, this is not a free product ...
Like (2)
Version 5.0.3.4
Dragonce
24 March 2009
Excellent product but : Overpriced Some features missing for Mac version : export to format OPML export to Word document. It is a shame to overprice the possibility to export in HTML format.
Like (5)
Version 5.0.26
Bluloo
16 February 2009
Interesting app. WAY too overpriced. Too bad.
Like (8)
Version 5.0.24
Jarosia
14 November 2008
Application obviously isnt designed to be on mac, looks horrid! There is a crippled trial version and grossly overpriced paid versions. I would suggest using Selenium for research and MindMap Pro for mindmapping. Both look nice, great price and work well
Like (7)
Version 5.0.0.5b
2 answer(s)
Strob
Strob
22 November 2008
"I would suggest using Selenium for research and MindMap Pro for mindmapping. Both look nice, great price and work well " Well, I might try Selenium except that the developer cut there own throats and require OS 10.5, but I have Tiger and I don't want to downgrade. As for MindMap Pro, there isn't any listing at MU.
Like (2)
Version 5.0.0.6b
macupdate-robert-dreamcore
macupdate-robert-dreamcore
28 November 2008
I'm guessing he meant MindNode Pro...
Like (1)
Version 5.0.0.8b
Musubana
28 February 2008
The free version is nice, but it is rather limited when comes to usefullness, as you can only see three "generations" at a time. This makes it very hard to supervise anything but the most minuscule charts. Sure, you can click your way through'em, but you miss the "bird's perspective" which is really needed if you want to find unexpected connections between ideas. I must admit the price of the paid version is a ... no-brainer. I can't think of any other app where the leap from "free" to "share" is that steep.
Like (7)
Version 4.1.3.4
2 answer(s)
Syed-Ali
Syed-Ali
09 August 2008
I agree. The upgrade price from free to paid version is too much. Considering you can get the Mac OS X cheaper than the program. If they sold is cheaper, a lot more people would purchase it. The price is definitely too much for home users like me who just want something for personal management.
Like (3)
Version 4.5.0.9
Nessuno
Nessuno
10 September 2008
I agree, too. 100%. Way too expensive. They should have added it to the MU Bundle; I would have bought it right away. :-)
Like (2)
Version 4.5.1.2
FixMySadMac
18 November 2007
I started working with the free version of PersonalBrain a couple of months ago, and it is absolutely phenomenal. There is, simply stated, nothing else like it. To the reviewer who was upset that the next version up from the free version was $150, and then the pro version is $250, I must respectfully disagree with your negative impression. I think it is absolutely unbelievable that there is ANY free version of this software at all, and I think it is a serious gift that there is. Even the free version is tremendously useful. About two weeks ago, I upgraded to the pro version. Visit their website... they offer video tutorials to get you going, and they have frequent, live, free webinars where you can get a great demo and get your own specific questions answered. This product is fast, stable, and unbelievably useful. Spend an hour with it... get to know how to use it... there's just no turning back!
Like (3)
Version 4.1.2.7
zo219
01 September 2007
Perhaps it should be mentioned, amongst all these raves, that, yes, the Free edition is free ... and the next upgrade is $149.95 ... and the Pro version, $249.00. I hate it when developers do that.
Like (6)
Version 4.0.9
3 answer(s)
Anon-Bud
Anon-Bud
01 November 2007
I couldn't agree more. And it's useless without file link support!
Like (1)
Version 4.1.2.5
Nessuno
Nessuno
05 March 2008
Well, developers can do what they want - as long as customers buy. :-) I won't. Far too expensive for what it brings me.
Like (2)
Version 4.1.3.5
Mikaelf
Mikaelf
11 September 2008
And what exactly do you guys do for FREE all day? /Mikael
Like (1)
Version 4.5.1.3
Stanhoffman
01 September 2007
This program has completely captivated me in a way that very few others have. For years I have tried every personal information manager, and mind mapping, and file management tool I could find. At first I found it a bit awkward, but as I used it it quickly grew on me--so much so that I upgraded to the Pro edition (at first I thought I'd just stay with the free edition...). Here's why: - The learning curve was surprisingly fast. I didn't expect this because the app is still relatively new to the Mac and there are some very un-Mac things about it. However, after a few initial puzzles, I quickly found myself breezing through reorganizations of large clusters of thoughts, establishing relationships with things far separated in the network (hierarchy doesn't really apply), moving files into and out of my Brain, gathering quantities of data (links, files, images) from the internet and keeping it all manageable, viewable, and most importantly, findable with very little effort. - It actually allows me to organize thoughts and files the way I think rather than the way the operating system thinks. Establishing and changing relationships among thoughts is easy and fast. Though it's possible to mimic conventional, two-dimensional mind maps, this is not what PersonalBrain is designed for. In cases where full control of the visual presentation of information is key, I use other apps to create documents which are then stored inside my Brain. - At first I didn't like having 100% control over how the information was displayed on the screen. Now I am continually delighted and relieved not to have to deal with this sort of thing. Whenever you activate a thought, the entire display shifts around so you can see as much of the structure as you want in relationship to that thought. In the fully expanded view you can move things around a bit in case an area is extremely dense with thoughts, but I am finding that the more I use PersonalBrain and refine how I establish relationships, the less I need to do this. The beauty of not controlling the layout is that you don't have to maintain the layout--PersonalBrain takes care of it elegantly. - The biggest drawback to PB lies in some of the un-Mac-like aspects of the interface. It's a very small price to pay for functionality which, for me, has replaced several other apps. The developers are putting a lot of attention to the needs and concerns of Mac users, so this area will only get better. - The learning curve would have been even faster if there were a really good manual for version 4 (there's a manual for version 3 and a "transition guide" for version 4). Hopefully they will finish the version 4 manual soon. (8/31/2007, Version: 4.0.8.9)
Like (2)
Version 4.0.9
Mira4bai4
25 August 2007
As a user since version 3 and been frustrated for years when I shifted over to macs, I was really elated to get back to my trusted friendly brain and get on with life. I have used it for mapping out every aspect of business projects and concepts, for mapping out a database in a format that I enjoy rather than the linear squares of present life. To me TheBrain provides for design structures and cohesion in so many ways that its uses are so broad if just played with. What i like about it most is that it does not take much to learn it, its simplicity makes it what it is, useable and as uncomplicated or as complicated as your thinking is. So the potential messiness of the Plex is just a reflection of our thinking and yes maybe some layering to cover this up may well be a wonderful advancement and take away much of the distraction that thoughts provide. I do not use any other programme, i have tried them but they just don't suit me. The Brain does and I am happy.
Like (1)
Version 4.0.8.9
1 answer(s)
Stanhoffman
Stanhoffman
31 August 2007
This program has completely captivated me in a way that very few others have. For years I have tried every personal information manager, and mind mapping, and file management tool I could find. At first I found it a bit awkward, but as I used it it quickly grew on me--so much so that I upgraded to the Pro edition (at first I thought I'd just stay with the free edition...). Here's why: - The learning curve was surprisingly fast. I didn't expect this because the app is still relatively new to the Mac and there are some very un-Mac things about it. However, after a few initial puzzles, I quickly found myself breezing through reorganizations of large clusters of thoughts, establishing relationships with things far separated in the network (hierarchy doesn't really apply), moving files into and out of my Brain, gathering quantities of data (links, files, images) from the internet and keeping it all manageable, viewable, and most importantly, findable with very little effort. - It actually allows me to organize thoughts and files the way I think rather than the way the operating system thinks. Establishing and changing relationships among thoughts is easy and fast. Though it's possible to mimic conventional, two-dimensional mind maps, this is not what PersonalBrain is designed for. In cases where full control of the visual presentation of information is key, I use other apps to create documents which are then stored inside my Brain. - At first I didn't like having 100% control over how the information was displayed on the screen. Now I am continually delighted and relieved not to have to deal with this sort of thing. Whenever you activate a thought, the entire display shifts around so you can see as much of the structure as you want in relationship to that thought. In the fully expanded view you can move things around a bit in case an area is extremely dense with thoughts, but I am finding that the more I use PersonalBrain and refine how I establish relationships, the less I need to do this. The beauty of not controlling the layout is that you don't have to maintain the layout--PersonalBrain takes care of it elegantly. - The biggest drawback to PB lies in some of the un-Mac-like aspects of the interface. It's a very small price to pay for functionality which, for me, has replaced several other apps. The developers are putting a lot of attention to the needs and concerns of Mac users, so this area will only get better. - The learning curve would have been even faster if there were a really good manual for version 4 (there's a manual for version 3 and a "transition guide" for version 4). Hopefully they will finish the version 4 manual soon.
Like
Version 4.0.8.9
Sherip
24 August 2007
Personal Brain is amazing. I am a single mother of a teenager, I'm getting my house ready to sell, buying a new-build across country, and have all the other stressors of everyday life. And if that weren't enough, I also have PTSD and bipolar disorder. I have always thought "I wish I could have a new brain!" (the one I have doesn't work all that well), and now I have it. I actually fall asleep quicker because I don't have all kinds of things I need to remember floating around. I can see everything I need for a task in one place, and I can easily connect tasks without having to duplicate tasks on different but related lists. This is so much more than mind-mapping or to-do lists.
Like (2)
Version 4.0.8.9
Zenrain
24 August 2007
PersonalBrain is not as useful for mapping workflows as some other mindmapping software, and I really have a hard time comparing it to other mindmapping programs because it's in it's own class. I think of it more as a note or file browser. It allows me to link seemingly unrelated things to each other, and store them in a manner that is relevant to me. There are multiple views available, the Normal view is what I consider the "micro view" which allows me to only see items related to the active though (be it pictures, files, text, hyperlinks). For brains with hundreds of thoughts, this keeps the information overload to a minimum, and you can't really customize it's layout, just the notes and other tools around it. The Distant Thoughts view allows you to see thoughts one more link away, and the Expanded view allows you to move thoughts around, collapse, or expand some to really get an idea of the relations and your brain layout. There's rumors on the forums that we may be able to save expanded views somtime in the future, which will open up new avenues of viewing your brain. As PersonalBrain is so "out of the box" it's really hard to describe effecively how to use it. Here's a link to a website using the Brain interface to hopefully explain it better than I. http://sociate.thebrain.com/brainekp/
Like (1)
Version 4.0.8.9
Punkmonksf
24 August 2007
So interesting to me the number of people who judge solely based on UI standards rather than on functionality. I have been using this software the moment the beta came out for the Mac. I find the paradigm for managing thoughts deceptively simple and amazingly useful. The developers are very responsive to UI enhancements and feature requests. While there are certainly ways in which the program can be enhanced for the mac experience (the developers are strongly committed to this and have much in store), I am tired of hearing the whining that invariably comes whenever a Java app is released because of some misguided attachment to Apple interface standards. Simply put, while UI is nice, functionality trumps it. And I find the functionality to be very promising even if not fully enhanced for those of us dedicated to the Mac platform.
Like (2)
Version 4.0.8.9
adfasdfasdfasdf
24 August 2007
I agree with the critics above re. the flaws. But its automatic focusing on what you are working on is a huge advantage compared to apps like Novamind. All you don't need at the moment is out of the way. All the flaws in mind, I wonder if there is an alternative with the same concept (interactive auto-focusing) and without the weaknesses (look-and-feel, partly obtrusive and illogical behavior...)? Thanks a lot for a hint!
Like (1)
Version 4.0.8.9
8bit-Wintermute
23 August 2007
I tried using this software to sort out some notes for an ARG we're planning and I can say hands down that it is one of the ugliest and most un-mac like pieces of software I've used for a while. The interface completely gets in the way of actually storing anything. Whilst the features seem good, and the concept is nice, the terrible interface makes this absolutely useless.
Like (1)
Version 4.0.8.9
Zenrain
17 August 2007
I've been using PersonalBrain since 2.x and with the 4.0 release it's now available for the Mac. It's based on the mind map concept, but instead of having single documents with a map on them (for example MindManger) the software is the map and documents, notes and bookmarks can be stored within it. Some of the more useful features are only available after upgrading to core or pro (like a calendar, file attachments). What makes PersonalBrain so powerful to me is it provides context to tasks, files etc. For example, if I have a "Thought" for a project, I have related thoughts for files, resources, websites attached to the original thought as parent or children links immediately available. Searching is also easy as it indexes the content from websites, yuour notes, .pdf's etc. Hard to explain, but easy to use. Currently it's missing some of the OS integration I've come to expect from Mac programs, but the developer is very responsive and the software has improved in leaps and bounds since the beta realease.
Like (1)
Version 4.0.8.8