MagicalPad is a free-form notetaking and outlining tool that enables you to capture and organize your ideas on the iPad. It enables you create multiple sets of hierarchical outlines, and to arrange them in a free-floating workspace that resembles mind mapping.
Adding and embellishing information in MagicalPad
Within a work space you can create any number of titles and nested topics, as well as free-floating topics by tapping and dragging them into whatever arrangement makes the most sense to you. Indenting and outdenting of topics is done with a finger swipe to the right or left, respectively. You can also customize the text and background color of each title and item – which gives you a way of visually classifying your information, in much the same way that you can use topic shapes and colors to group related topics together in mind mapping software.
MagicalPad’s freeform layout makes it easy to prioritize items, create notes and format items to capture your ideas and organize your thoughts. To prioritize ideas and actions in MagicalPad, you simply drag list items up and down a list. You can create unlimited hierarchies within a single list, merge lists or split outlines to add more details on separate lists. You can also expand and collapse content to focus on the right level of detail. MagicalPad has some task management capabilities built into it as well. You can easily transform any item in an outline into a task by simply single tapping its bullet point – simple and quick.
Workspaces add flexibility
What makes MagicalPad even more powerful and flexible is the ease with which you can create and clone multiple workspaces within the app. For example, you could create workspaces for your work, your personal life and any major life roles, plus one to serve as a dedicated idea file. You can switch between these workspaces with just 2 taps, making it easy to move quickly from one set of information to another.
Once you have collected and organized your information, you can export it to Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox and e-mail in PDF, RTF, OPML and MPX file formats. OPML and RTF both support outlining, so your ideas will maintain their hierarchical format when exported. Many mind mapping programs can import OPML files, which means you should be able to convert your information into a visual map for further development. You can also import RTF, TXT, OPML and MPX files into MagicalPad from other applications.
The developer recently launched a community called MagicalPad Xchange where users can share MPX (MagicalPad Xchange, MagicalPad’s native files format) templates, similar to the mind map galleries on the web. Users can download others templates and upload theirs to share with others. As with mind mapping software, this gallery is a great place to go for inspiration and to see how others are using the app.
The future of MagicalPad
The developer of MagicalPad has ambitious plans for its future. Features he will be working on in the next year include:
- Photos and icons
- Enhanced task management
- Tagging, searching and filtering
- Mind-mapping capabilities
- iPhone app
If you look at some of these planned features, it appears that MagicalPad will start to take on more of the functionality of a mind mapping program, where each topic or node serves as a “container” for other content – such as links, attachments, notes and images.
I’ve spent some time playing with MagicalPad on my iPad and am very impressed with its elegant design and ease of use. I’m also excited that the development team has a compelling vision for the future of this elegant outlining solution, and that their vision for what’s possible extends beyond the iPad to other types of devices.
MagicalPad costs US3.99 and is available in the Apple AppStore.
If you’re intrigued by this very cool app and want to see a visual demonstration of it, be sure to check out this video review of it by the Daily App Show on YouTube: