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Discussion Forum > Simplemind has addicted me to the iPad

Until i found this, my iPad was occasionally used as i couldnt hack it for notetaking and so it was just videos and reading except usually id use a computer.

Simplemind is just a basic mindmapping tool but it's extremely fluid and in it I discovered a very powerful fact: It's not just for mind mapping. It's actually a whiteboard for writing short notes and organizing them with lines and circles and colors. And you can move things as easy as post-its but the connectors stay with them.

So it now replaces my whiteboard chart of values-goals-projects-schedule as it can do the same thing with things organized into columns. And I can take it with me.

It also serves as a project planner following the Mikado technique/Barbara Sher's goal mapping tool. Start in the corner with the goal (the root) and add what you need to do to get there. Then add the tasks you need to enable those to be done, and so on until you are at the elementary tasks that you can do. This is the process I outlined in my notebook thread but in diagram form instead of book form. I think I prefer this new form, as I can see and navigate the project. But it only works because of the digital implementation makes drawing and editing it fluid. I still retain the book for writing my thoughts and working things through, but the project plan goes on the iPad.

I think it shall also host my general todo list for AutoFocusing just because it keeps things together. It's not especially good at checking things off but I can imagine ways to do this.
September 17, 2013 at 20:23 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan, will that lose the "closed list" part of AF? Other than that, it sounds good. I quite often wish I could just open up a bit of space and add a line here or there, or move a section around.

Have you tried MSWord outlining? TreeSheets also looked promising, but I don't think it's being worked on anymore.
September 17, 2013 at 21:58 | Registered CommenterCricket
I used to use ithoughts when I had an apple device. Its a fantastic app as well.
September 17, 2013 at 22:00 | Unregistered CommenterGMBW
Cricket, I'm not actually considering this as a system but as simply a canvas to draw on. As such any outliner isn't remotely the same thing. As far as closed lists, I haven't really applied this to listmaking at all so far. My big aha here is simply that the right mindmapping tool can draw all kinds of things that don't even look like a normal mindmap, like an org chart or a 43 folders thing, or the 3 examples I listed above.
September 18, 2013 at 4:18 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
And it's available on Android too.
September 18, 2013 at 12:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I finally figured out a workable Autofocus-type system in SimpleMind; in fact it's the same one I successfully used in years past. Everything I wrote above remains valid. In fact, many tasks have a link to other maps for planning details.

Any mindmap is also an outline laid out differently, and any outline is mainly a list of lists so I shall describe things in these terms. The system below is essentially the same as I've done before, except I now lay it out on a dynamic canvas instead of a notebook. The layout drives me to small daily lists versus page-sized lists.

1. Each day start a new list. Date it, and divide it into two parts for New items and Active (Unfinished) tasks. All previous lists are closed.

2. In addition, I have a list for Recurring tasks and a section for Future (dated) tasks.

3. Whenever any task anywhere is worked on, it goes to today's active list. New tasks, and tasks brought in from Recurring or Future go on today's new list.

4. Work in this order:
a) Yesterday
b) Today's new tasks
c) Today's active tasks. (Stay here until done, or tired of these tasks)
d) Skim recurring tasks and future lists.
e) The oldest dated list. At least one task must be selected and processed (by working a little, filing away or deleting). This requirement only applies to the oldest dated list.
f) All other dates in order.
September 27, 2013 at 15:19 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
As you work through it, do you just use the AF1 "standing out" rule to choose what to do? And keep cycling through each list till nothing stands out?
September 27, 2013 at 17:25 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
I use the standing out principle.

As for cycling, these are really short lists of only what comes up in a day. Also I myself don't write out tiny details here; just big rocks, and/or key tasks. And since it's done in a mindmap, it looks more like a cluster of tasks than a list. So there's no linear way to go through them, and thus no cycling. I just see them all at once and keep picking things to do until I nothing more stands out.
September 27, 2013 at 18:31 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I tried the free iPhone app and it is very well designed, very easy to read and to use. So I've been tempted two or three times to give your idea a try. But then the simplicity of a sheet of paper in my front pocket rushes back to me, and I resist the urge. The paper works so well and is so simple.

The one area where I am looking for a new tool is for moderately complex projects that need a bit of disciplined tracking. I typically just use a paper manilla folder or accordion folder with notes and stuff, but would like a tool that's more mobile. Evernote is totally overkill for me. Have you used SimpleMind for that kind of thing?
September 27, 2013 at 22:44 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
I think I would find the iPhone too small for comfort in this app. I am using SimpleMind for tracking complex projects, yes. It can include pictures and capture notes associated with each node. I find it's superior to anything else for giving an overview you can intuitively follow for planning purposes. Only I would switch to something else (OneNote?) when it comes to detailed documentation.
September 28, 2013 at 13:30 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Can someone here answer a SimpleMind question for me? Is there a forum dedicated to just the SimpleMind app?

Thanks to whomever might reply.
June 5, 2017 at 20:52 | Unregistered CommenterJane
June 7, 2017 at 1:36 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I assume you've already asked Simplemind themselves?
June 7, 2017 at 11:17 | Registered CommenterMark Forster