Scapple for Mac (née "TheBoard"/"Vellum") - feedback wanted

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MimeticMouton
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Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:38 pm Post

popplet. It aims a bit more for cute.

Like Popples! Does anyone remember Popples? (Is it even spelled like that?)

The aim for TheBoard should be suave and sophisticated. Like its users. 8)
Jennifer Hughes
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Br
Broken Thought
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Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:19 pm Post

I know I said headers, but I couldn't explain why. I think I got a better description about what I meant.

Create a "Parent Note," with all its meta-data (such as color, font, etc.)

Then you create a "child note," and when you link this note to a parent note it takes on all the parent note's meta-data.

It would also be a nice touch if when a child note is linked to more than one parent note it would take on a blend of color. Let's say that one note is linked to a blue and a yellow parent note, then the child note would become green.

Or half of the balloon will become blue and the other half yellow.

I don't know how difficult any of these scenarios would be to implement, but they would be a nice addition in my opinion. I'm not big on mind mapping myself, but I know a lot of people get some good use out of it.

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MimeticMouton
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Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:40 am Post

Broken Thought wrote:Then you create a "child note," and when you link this note to a parent note it takes on all the parent note's meta-data.

It would also be a nice touch if when a child note is linked to more than one parent note it would take on a blend of color...Or half of the balloon will become blue and the other half yellow.


Eh, to be a pain though, I think personally I would find it more frustrating if the meta-data always got copied--inevitably I would be linking ideas that weren't identical int the meta-data, and whereas if it starts out blank I know I haven't added anything yet so it's obviously "not ready", if it starts out with some data on it and I don't delete the wrong bits straight off, I'm likely to forget that it's incorrect. On the other hand, I guess the way I see TheBoard right now, there is no such thing as "child" or "parent" notes, so maybe that in itself would be a separate thing, and I would just never make parent/child notes but all siblings, and this would never be an issue.

As for the colors, interesting idea but what happens when you link to more than one with different colors? Ultimately everything would turn some ugly color of brown. Even with the split, you could end up with a rainbow background that would be somewhat distracting when trying to read the text. And with that, it may depend a lot on the individual user's use for the color--blending or combining the colors somehow in the child bubble may not work with the purpose of the background color.

nom wrote:Long term, this could be a nice entry onto the iPad.

Speaking for my un-iPad owning self, while I'm sure an all-out copy of the program for iPad would be the user ideal, for the simplicity of the program itself what might be nice instead is just a way of importing text notes. If you go with a split sort of feature where half of TheBoard shows the mind map and the other is just an indented list of the notes that you can rearrange and check for export, a way to import text into that list might be nice, especially if you could then automatically have them appear as unattached notes in the mind-map side (which you can then move around and link, etc., as you would with any new notes you'd just created there). I realize it's not the same as having the mind-map straight on the iPad, but it would offer a little more flexibility cross-platform to just bang out some ideas and then "map" them later.
Jennifer Hughes
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Broken Thought
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Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:58 am Post

MimeticMouton wrote:As for the colors, interesting idea but what happens when you link to more than one with different colors? Ultimately everything would turn some ugly color of brown. Even with the split, you could end up with a rainbow background that would be somewhat distracting when trying to read the text. And with that, it may depend a lot on the individual user's use for the color--blending or combining the colors somehow in the child bubble may not work with the purpose of the background color.


Yeah, It would be difficult to pull off with great effect. I honesty wasn't thinking of any more than two or three colors for one bubble at a time. Which for me, is more than enough to make my head spin in the first place. No pretty colors required.

da
dafu
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Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:14 am Post

I think it's a neat idea. I built a rough version of this 5 or more years ago. Recently, Curio does everything one could request for this sort of thing at a level that can answer every single feature request in this thread for the next 4 years or so. So, I vote for what's there now with some keyboard tweaks, maybe OPML export or something like that, and that's about it. A design like that would be really useful, you see, because the point is to get down thoughts in a mildly spatial way with no jangling bracelets on your wrists to distract you.

Dave

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AmberV
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Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:28 am Post

Full screen mode meets mind mapping! :)
.:.
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MimeticMouton
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Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:31 pm Post

Played around with this more last night for a design concept and having crazy fun, in spite of straining my wrist clicking the mouse all the time. Definitely feeling the auto-resize request people made earlier, as I had a lot of resizing really short notes so they wouldn't overlap others and their lines wouldn't be floating seemingly unattached. Really enjoyed the simplicity of it all and the insane drunken spawning spider layout I have going on. It's a little worrisome, seeing how I think mapped on the screen, but we'll ignore that. (Also that it turned me into an incomplete-sentence writer.)

Thinking about exporting the note text and the whole split pane idea, here's something: would it be possible to link the notes from the map to the text list such that if you select a note on the one side, it gets selected on the other as well? This would make organization in the list so much easier for large maps, as the user could select groups (just by dragging the mouse or cmd-clicking) and then pull them together quickly in the text list. Possibly this could even be done by selecting on the map side and then dragging to the list side (where presumably the notes already exist, but they now gather and all drop together wherever you lift the mouse). But even just selecting them on one side and having them selected in the other so you can switch panes and then drag or keyboard them there to move together in the list would be helpful.

That lets the user deal with smaller related sections and organize mini-groups rather than having to sift through a list of hundreds of items and move them one by one. (I'm assuming here that notes get added to the list in the order they're created, so while sometimes that might group them naturally, it will also lead to randomly placed items as things get added here and there to the map.)

The reverse movement, from the note side to the map side, might be less necessary, since an actual regrouping would probably be against the point of the whole thing; but just having items appear selected could be great. I can imagine going through a large list and clicking an item or two to "see where it is" on the map, so having a corresponding selection in the map then would be helpful to quickly find a lost list item.

So the idea of all that is just to add a helpful tool for the user--nothing is done automatically, but it makes the manual list organization much easier. And I fancy the drag-and-drop is Mac-intuitive! But that may also be a lot of work.
Jennifer Hughes
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Scylax
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Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:21 am Post

Trying to revise for an exam, I was making a map in the Tinderbox trial, and getting very frustrated. I come here to look for advice, and what do I find? You've come up with something that solves all my problems :) So thanks!

I love this app already (and the suggested name), and would certainly use it. I love the paper-like simplicity and the method and style of links.

Two things I would *love* to see (apologies if others have said them already-it's late and I haven't read all the posts):

1) Notes having borders by default-Maybe as an option in preferences or something?

2) Ability to drag images into a map-(I know this may be a step more than you want)

Also, if someone can tell me how to stop using the pretty patterns made by links as an excuse to procrastinate... :D

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bargonzo
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Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:41 pm Post

Just saw your retweet of the iThoughts & Scrivener demo. Isn't that a conflict of interest with TheBoard?

Seriously, though, it looks like that form of importing would work perfectly with TheBoard, too. Now all you have to do is keep the cost under $10.00.

;-)
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ku
kurwi
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Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:39 am Post

This is what I need to jot down my ideas: no fuss, just plain spacial thinking. It doesn't get in the way when I'm thinking, and that's what it's all about for me. My creativity flows at its best when I am in front of a whitebord and cluttering it with ideas while explaining them - this is as close as it gets. OmniGraffle is fancier of course, but it drains my mental CPU too much.

Features to long for:

(1) I'd like to expand/collapse the notes, like in the post-it-app.
(2) Transformation to a text document, maybe. One could number the notes and the transformation could follow that numbering.

If I could get that, I'd happily pay for it (and take care of the swedish and/or german translation).

Ve
Vermonter17032
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Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:49 am Post

Nice application, Keith. One thing I'd like to see is the ability to create a tabular structure with rows and columns. This would be a handy way to add some structure to the notes created after "boardstorming." Then the notes could be exported as either children of the column headings or the row headings. It would only provide one level of hierarchy in the exported notes, but that would be okay with me.

ma
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Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:54 am Post

Hi, Keith! I really love this idea, since I've found iBluesky on my phone to be helpful. As a result, I've been looking for a similar outlining/brainstorming tool for my Mac, and haven't come across anything as elegant and simple - simple being the operative word. So I was very happy you had drafted a program. But - I just tried to download it on my old eMac G4. It doesn't seem to do anything. :? Is this a universal app? Or is there some reason why it won't run?

When I say "It won't run," here's what's happening. The app downloads and unzips. I doubleclick it and see the icon in the dock and the menu at the top of the screen. But, when I click on "File" and choose "new", absolutely nothing changes. I don't see any virtual paper that I can write or draw on.

Maybe the eMac is just too old? If so, will it run on my iMac G5, I wonder? Am proceeding to try it there-

bl
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Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:44 pm Post

mary--it works fine on my G4 Powerbook, for what that's worth. Maybe just try re-installing it (i.e., trashing it from the applications folder and re-downloading)?

ma
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Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:57 pm Post

Thanks, Bluebird! I downloaded it on the G5, and it worked just fine. Will try reinstalling it on the G4 later tonight. I think I like this little program!

ma
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Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:51 am Post

All right - downloaded it again on the eMac g4 700. No luck. What happens is that I can see the icon for the app, and also the app menu on the top of the screen. But there is no board - nothing for me to click in.

It's just fine on the G5, which I'll be moving to, anyway, in a month or two.

But that's rather strange, isn't it?