I discovered this fabulous outlining and mind-mapping tool which actually works! Ok, no need to get offended, if you are a hardcore user of other outlining tools and mind-mapping apps.

So What works in ixnote?

All other outlining and mind-mapping tools have failed me when transitioning from mac to iOS. With ixnote it seems they have built iPad first and the same UI has beautifully been replicated on the mac. The iPhone app, is a bit different due to limitations of space, but nevertheless it works for me.

What kind of notes can you write?

ixnote has a small text window which is perfect for very short ideas. I use it to write my book notes, brainstorm project ideas and task, record insights about my relationships, write my daily expenses, jot down meeting notes. The founder of ixnote told me that someone was using it to learn a new language which seems like a great idea.

The note format is a title, a subtitle and body of the note. Of course you can just type a title and other fields are optional. All you need to do is insert | to separate a title| Sub-tittle |body between the same. The visibility of the note is such that the app encourages you record one “ sub-atomic note ” idea or insight by per note in the above format.

Screenshot 2022-08-20 at 3-11-34 PM

You then slide any note to the left or right click to connect it to the working note in the view. Remember the note which shows right at the top (check above screenshot) is the working note. This might seem confusing but you will eventually get the idea.

Screenshot 2022-08-20 at 3-12-23 PM

Colored Edges

Another thing which takes time to understand is the orange and blue lines in the 2nd column. The notes in the 2nd column are the direct child notes of the working note. The notes in the 3rd column are the child notes of the notes in the 2nd column. So you have this orange and blue lines crossing from 2nd column to the 3rd and vice-versa.
The orange edges are the first degree connection. (Direct connections), the blue connections (or edges) are the second degree connections (indirect connections).

Screenshot 2022-08-20 at 3-14-42 PM

I think it is a refreshing take on outlining and mind-mapping.

Normally in outlining, when you can infinitely nest your notes but the problem is when the notes become too huge you lose the picture of connections with other notes in ordinary outlining softwares. Mind maps also face the same issue, unless it is a sophisticated mind map software. But with sophistication comes complexity and a steep learning curve and expensive softwares. Imagine how much trouble it to see a huge mind map on the iPhone screen. ixnote does all that linking in a compact space but the best experience is on the iPad and Mac app. The app seems rather new and is a free download. I saw a tweet that they just crossed 100 downloads.

Coming to Import and Export.

It supports csv import and for export it support csv, MD and freemind .mm format. I wish they had an OPML export and import options as all my other outlining apps support OPML formats. I was bit surprised and disappointed that they have no export and import support for OPML so far.

Go give it a try here and I would love to hear any feedback of the app or this small review. You can send the feedback to manoj@toolsforthoughts.com

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