If you're totally new to mind mapping then it's worth having a quick look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map - but basically it's a great way to visually organise your thoughts and ideas in a broadly hierarchical format.
Some terms used throughout the app and this website:
- Topic = one of the 'bubbles' or 'nodes' on screen. A topic can contain text, images, icons etc. and can have a shape and colour.
- Parent topic = topic which has child topics. A parent topic can have multiple children but a child topic can only have a single parent.
- Child topic = see above.
- Sibling topic = a topic which shares the same parent as another topic.
- Cousin topic = a topic at the same 'level' as another topic (i.e. when both topics have 3 levels of ancestor then they are considered cousins.)
Creating a map
To create a new map, tap on the 'Bookmark' button #1 and then on the + button #2 in the lower right corner of the map list window. You will be asked to supply a name and the new map will be created and opened.
Anatomy of an iThoughts screen:
- Bookmarks button. Tap on this to reveal the list of your maps and folders. TIP: Press and hold this button to forcibly close the current map.
- Options button. Tap on this to reveal a menu of options which apply to the current map and system as a whole (e.g. change the map background canvas and link styles.)
- Search button. Search for text within the current map (or across all maps.) Tap on one of the results to open that map.
- Undo/Redo buttons.
- Share button. Tap on this to share the map via email or upload to the cloud etc.
- Create Child/Sibling buttons. Tap on these to create new child or sibling topics (of the currently selected topic.) TIP: Press and hold one of these buttons for more options.
- Create Callout. Tap on this to create a 'callout' topic. A callout is intended to be used like a sticky note to annotate a map. TIP: Press and hold this button to set the default colour for callouts.
- Relationship button. Create a link line between two related topics (see #15)
- Boundary button. Create a boundary around a branch to emphasise the grouping (see #22)
- Inspector button. Use this to set the attributes for the selected topics (e.g. colour, shape, icon etc.)
- Notes window. Attach long textual notes to a topic.
- SHIFT button. Press and hold this whilst tapping on topics to multi-select. Press and hold this whilst dragging the canvas to create a 'selection marquee' to select multiple topics. TIP: Press and hold SHIFT whilst dragging a selected topic to duplicate it.
- Notes window button. Tap or drag this to show/hide the notes window.
- Word and character count for the text in the notes window.
- Relationship link line (see #8)
- Edge icon indicating that the topic has a hyperlink attached to it. Tap on this to reveal the link details.
- Edge icon indicating that the topic has a note attached to it. Tap on this to open the notes window.
- Resize grab handle. Drag this to resize the topic. Drag left/right to adjust the size of the topic and up/down to adjust the text font size.
- Task details. Progress, start/due date, effort and resources will be summarised here.
- Expand/collapse button. Tap on this to show/hide a branch. TIP: Press and hold this for more options (such as show 2 levels deep.)
- Icon attached to a topic.
- Boundary. This helps to emphasise a group of topics.
- Image attached to a topic. This can be a 'stock image', photo or finger draw doodle.
- Full path for the map (name and folder)
- Full screen mode. This will hide the toolbar and place the map into 'read only mode'. Good for presentations.
- Word and topic summary counts.
The inspector is used to assign attributes (colour, shape etc.) to the currently selected topic(s)
- Toolbar button to show/hide the Inspector window.
- Icons page
- Colours page
- Shape page (rectangle, oval etc.)
- Text attributes page (font, colour, numbering etc.)
- Task attributes page (start/due date, progress etc.)
- Attachment page (image, hyperlink etc.)