jotapa
Hi TB team,
one more suggestion to improve TB's information retrieval capabilities and increase focus on content (instead of linkages).

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Current View options include: Normal, Outline, Mind Map.

I suggest the addition of: Notes

Instead of showing thoughts, this view would maximize the notes box and display a longer notes section, including the current thought notes, and the child's notes as a single text. This would be optimized for reading but should also offer navigation and edition options (maybe having to press a button somewhere to activate those).

At the top, we could have a table of contents / index with child thoughts titles, allowing quick navigation to the different notes within the text. Each child thought title would also work as a chapter title - separating each note, allowing the reader to differentiate the different thought's notes within the text.

Parent and sibling thoughts (of the current thought) could also have an entry on the index (but not the notes text), to maintain full navigation capabilities.

Thought edit - including thought rename, add and forget - could continue to work within the Notes View. The user would be able to :
  • Change a chapter title would correspond to renaming a thought. 
  • Delete a chapter would be the same as forgetting a thought and its notes. 
  • Move chapters around would change thought sort order. 
  • Create a new chapter would be the same as adding a new thought to TB.
  • Edit parts of the text would reflect on the notes content of the corresponding thoughts.
Links to attachments could also be embedded in the notes.

One additional requirement would be better Thought sort capabilities - it would become more important than ever, to have the notes ordered properly on the aggregated notes view - so we can read the text chapters (thought notes) in the right sequence. We would need to be able to decide how thoughts are ordered, irrespective of thought name or creation date.

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This is easier to implement than a suggestion I made a couple of weeks ago regarding citations... hope this one gets through to version 9. It would be VERY helpful in my opinion.  

What is your take on this?
Is this relevant for the community?
Is it easy/possible to implement on version 9?

Best Regards,
Joao
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perry
jotapa wrote:

Is this relevant for the community?


It certainly would be a very powerful feature (similar to export with notes, but live), but I'm not sure it's where TB's core strength really is?

I too would be interested to see what the community thinks...
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korm
jotapa wrote:
Hi TB team,
one more suggestion to improve TB's information retrieval capabilities and increase focus on content (instead of linkages).
---- [snip] ----
What is your take on this?

Several mind map apps provide an "outline" view (not to be confused with TheBrain's Outline view) which lays out all the text in that outline in a hierarchical manner.  @jotapa's suggestion reminds me of that.

I think it's interesting, but I don't see ever using it.   Some of my brains are very large and organic (lots of links, lots of tags, lots of interrelations) and I would get lost trying to navigate a hierarchical outline.  In fact, I would be afraid of damaging the brain -- mine and the virtual one [wink]  -- if i used this feature.
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zenrain
I think this might be useful for specific instances. For example, if you click the parent thought of a weekly thought, you would also see all the compiled notes from the days under it.
If you click on a Genre, you could see a collection of all the reviews you've written on the books in that genre.

I think I would use this in certain cases. +1
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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mcaton
Notes view would be a bit of a departure from the type of structure that TheBrain is known to create.  I'm not certain about the "ease of implementation" on this type of structure - so the possibility of working into the release of v9 is questionable.  But certainly something worth sharing with the team and thinking about .  Thank you for the suggestion.  

If possible, it would be interesting to see a mock up screenshot of what you envision...

Thank you,
Matt
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perry
I wonder if a read only view would be possible as a first step?

So similar to Copy Text Outline with Notes, but displayed within TB in its own window... or in the Notes panel with a 'Show all children + Notes' function?

Then adjustment to the Thought structure would get updated in the 'Show all' Notes panel. This would then offer a WYSIWYG display for the "Copy Text Outline with Notes" [smile]

Just would need some styling around the textual elements: Thought Title / Label, Notes.
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jotapa
That would be very good as a first attempt to deliver this feature.

Second step could be the ability to edit the notes content but not the thoughts structure - no options to add, rename, delete thoughts.

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zenrain
Mock-up (yes, I realize I'm not the original envisioner, so please to take with a grain of salt [smile])
The child thoughts would contain notes:
MUNotes1.png 

MUNotes2.png 

On the parent thought the way I'd envision it is you check a setting on the thought and rather than that thought having it's own note, it would display the notes of the child thoughts in the order chosen:
MUNotes3.png 

It would be nice if you could click on the title to be taken to the child note.

As I thought about the implementation I realized for my workflow, I wouldn't need or want the ability to edit the notes of the child thought from the parent thought. For me that would be confusing, and fits into my mental model better that the parent is just a vehicle to collect and show the sub-thought notes. I realize that's different from the original request. It would be nice if you could copy and paste the notes displayed.

I think this could be useful in some circumstances, but for me it doesn't rank up there in the "gosh I want this right now" category. [smile]
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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jotapa
That's perfect, zenrain. Thanks!

Let me describe a few use cases where this feature really helps.

Use case 1: Research Writing
When I am working to publish a document I have to research different topics. I create thoughts with links to web sites and file attachments. Then I write my notes on each thought.

Finally, I would like to pull all those notes into a single text (let's call it Summary Note - the aggregated notes view), and flesh out the final write up. That is why it's important to be able to edit the notes in the Summary Note.

Being able to move the different thought notes around (change custom sort order) would also be useful.

Use case 2: Student taking notes from classes or preparing for an exam 
That's an easy one...

A student takes notes on every class - one thought per class to keep things organized, searchable and understandable.

At the end of the semester (week, month) he wants to read through the notes, add additional information that he collected while studying, and do what students do - study / memorize his notes.

Being able to see the full picture - Summary Note view is a key feature. The ability to edit the summary note is also very helpful, saving a lot of clicking and navigation to go back and forth. >>> it could be manageable with a "Back" button, or if we used the backtrail links shown by TB but it's not the same as simply focusing on a single / linear text. 

Use case 3: Project Manager attending team meetings to prepare a weekly project update
Same idea - the project manager writes down notes on each meeting - one thought per meeting or even topic during a large meeting.

At the end of the day or week, he will want ready access to the full range of notes to prepare the project update report. Being able to assemble a range of notes (summary note) as chapters of a larger document (note) will help a lot.

======================================================

Three things come to mind after writing this:

[Feature Request] Multi-level note 

We should be able to select how many levels of notes to include on the Main Note. It should work as an outline, with child properly aligned under their parents, for as many levels as required. This would help write more complex documents with different levels of headers.

[Feature Request] Note selection/exclusion

We should have the option to include / exclude notes from the Main Note by clicking on the plex. Not every note under a single parent might be relevant. Another way to do this would be through tags or a checkmark on each thought maybe...

[Feature Request] Optional Child note Edit

Maybe we just want to summarize the detailed child notes in the summary note, not really update them.

The edit feature in the summary note could offer an option to update child notes or just keep the edits/changes at the Summary Note level, keeping child notes as is.

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Does it make more sense now?
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perry
zenrain wrote:
Mock-up (yes, I realize I'm not the original envisioner, so please to take with a grain of salt [smile])
    
[snip]  

It would be nice if you could click on the title to be taken to the child note.

As I thought about the implementation I realized for my workflow, I wouldn't need or want the ability to edit the notes of the child thought from the parent thought. For me that would be confusing, and fits into my mental model better that the parent is just a vehicle to collect and show the sub-thought notes. I realize that's different from the original request. It would be nice if you could copy and paste the notes displayed.

I think this could be useful in some circumstances, but for me it doesn't rank up there in the "gosh I want this right now" category. [smile]


Pretty much my thoughts exactly [smile]

Though I do use "Copy with Notes" and this would simplify that whole task...


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korm
Nice demo, @zenrain. I can see this could be useful -- especially if the combined notes were exportable as a single doc. The concept reminds me of the so-called Scrivener view in that app, or what Ulysses does with "sheets".
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mcaton
Again, all great thoughts and discussion on this topic.  I've updated the documentation and even held a meeting last Friday to discuss this Notes view in more detail.

Thanks everyone!
Matt
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jotapa
Hi Matt,
Thanks for listening to the community.

Joao

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Moltaire
I just discovered Workflowy, which sounds similar to the Notes view discussed here. Might be useful to check it out for inspiration.






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mcaton
Interesting.  I'll share this link on our documentation of this feature for further reference.

Thanks,
Matt
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