jmopish
there are a number of everyday usability issues that i am hoping to see improved/fixed in version 6.  any chances for:

1: give real control to user in expanded view;  not have thoughts auto-expanding after they have been closed. stop the tendency to have some expanding thoughts 'explode" all over the screen requiring going back to normal mode to start over. etc. i looked forward to using expanded view when it first appeared, but after numerous attempts, abandoned it. judging from comments in the forum, i am not the only one.

2: in normal and outline views, be able to reorder thoughts the user wants. as opposed to the current options.  ordering according to personal priority, scheduling, keeping similar thoughts together, would be helpful.  it may also alleviate some of the movements in thoughts, when new thoughts are added, which, frankly, feels disruptive.  i get used to seeing thoughts in physical relation to each other. seeing everything move around, disappear, etc, when adding a thought detracts from my comfort level.  i realize that this might strike at an underlying program design component, but it might be good to hear about how some user(s) feel about all the movement. i like being able to link a thought to multiple parents, but all the screen movement can be off-putting.

3: in normal view, ability to expand and collapse individual thoughts.  (currently its all or nothing)

4: ability to see notes from several thoughts, on screen, concurrently.

5. improve moving links.  eg: it is often difficult to simply move a thought to a different parent. the link wants to jump to every place other than the child gate of the desired parent.  i  often wind up  creating a link to the new parent in the recently used thoughts list then unlinking from the current parent. or some such workaround.  it shouldn't be so difficult.

i realize that these are changes in functionality that may not make a big impression on new or prospective users. but they may make current users happier and improve likelihood that new users will love the program and want to stay with it.

thanks for all the hard work.

jeffrey

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HanBav
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rhodes
Thanks for raising these issues, I couldn't agree more. However, I doubt that many, if any, are likely to be fixed in v6, which is just going through fine tuning at present. We will probably have to wait till version 6.5 or more likely 7.

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i looked forward to using expanded view when it first appeared, but after numerous attempts, abandoned it.


Same here. Trying to use Expanded view wastes time I don't have. To get used to it I should be able to start off with everything staying firmly anchored and nothing drifting or "exploding" as you put it, and only then introduce auto-positioning. The other things I dislike about E view is that saved views are not automatically linked to the corresponding active thought in normal view, and name shortening is worse than in Normal view. Frankly I'd rather have overlapping text - at least I can drag them apart.

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it may also alleviate some of the movements in thoughts, when new thoughts are added, which, frankly, feels disruptive.  i get used to seeing thoughts in physical relation to each other. seeing everything move around, disappear, etc, when adding a thought detracts from my comfort level.


An interesting point that I don't think anyone has raised before. Many have requested manual reordering of child thoughts, but I don't recall anyone else saying that for this to work, new child thoughts would need to be added to the end of the list, out of alphabetical order. Good one.

I too find the way thoughts waltz around each time one changes the active thought confusing and distracting; luckily this animation can be "turned off" by setting the speed to as high as possible.

I'd also like the minimum number of columns displayed in Normal view reduced from 2 to 1, so thoughts can appear in a list without having to go into Outline view. You can see how this would look if you squeeze the plex sideways. A single column of 4 child thoughts looks much better than 2 columns of 2.

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in normal view, ability to expand and collapse individual thoughts.  (currently its all or nothing)


I read that as a request to have an extra generation of thoughts in Normal view (when required). I agree Normal view doesn't show enough. It's a good suggestion. Another possibility is to expand only all children (i.e., we see grandchildren too) or only all parents (we see grandparents). 

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ability to see notes from several thoughts, on screen, concurrently.


This might be difficult to do without hiding too much of the plex. But maybe if we could (as an option) see more than one thought or link label at a time (say, all the labels surrounding the currently active thought), you could put additional info in them to help you.

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improve moving links.  eg: it is often difficult to simply move a thought to a different parent.


If a thought is a child of the active thought (let's call it parent A) and then you hold the Shift key down while dragging a new link from the child's parent gate to a new parent (B), PB automatically makes B the "exclusive" parent and cuts the link with A. This may solve your problem. However, the danger here is that if the child also has links to parents C and D (which mightn't show if C and D are not visible in the plex), they get cut too. You can only link exclusively to another parent, so I discovered.

It would be nice if the developers could advise us when some of these issues are likely to be addressed. They may already be in the pipeline.
Alan Rhodes
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jmopish
rhodes, thanks for your comments. i would have responded sooner but the forum didn't notify me of your post, though i have it set to do that.  i Was notified of the first thread reply.

re: expanded view.  its odd. i get the feeling that people at thebrain don't use it themselves. i have asked about its quirks in the past, either in support emails or during webinars and the responses indicated that they were unfamiliar with the mentioned actions. perhaps if they tried to use it more, they would understand the problems and fix them.  if these problems with expanded view aren't fixed in ver 6 (i haven't tried using it, and it is hard to tell what is different from the list of changes) then this reflects rather poorly on the company; adding a feature, and going into a new version with it still not working correctly.... not right.

re: notes from several thoughts. if the notes were detachable from the plex one could either put them together on a single screen (perhaps not being able to see the plex at the same time), or put them on a different screen. eg:  i have 2 monitors.

re: moving links.  other mindmanagers don't seem to have problems with this. i have used mindjet mindmanager and it is very easy. no extra keys needed.

the principal feature that keeps me using PB as opposed to other mindmanagers is the ability to link an idea to more than one parent. there are other things about PB that i prefer compared to other mindmanagers, but this is the principal one. mind manager programs still do not have a huge user base, and among those users, i don't see PB mentioned as much as others. i wonder if this is because of simple day to day usage concerns that new users find difficult to work with, or,  because PB has a very different concept behind it (which keeps it the way it is, functionally) such that it isn't going to appeal to as many users.  i can understand how thought movement and inability to control individual thought placement and expansion would have a negative effect on new users. gosh, it still has a negative affect on some of us older users.

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jmopish
i want to correct a statement from my previous post. i Did try using ver 6 beta for an hour or so. i did like the changes in creating new thoughts.  i don't have any use for the newer syncing or uploading features. and during the time i played with it didn't see how transparent mode would help me, though maybe i would find a use for it later. since ver 6 changes the data files, and i don't know that it will have enough improvements in things that are important to me, i stayed with using 5.5.
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dthompson310
I tried 6 beta yesterday and was surprised to find that some of the things I thought I would never use, I found a use for.  The transparent mode I found could be useful.  I thought it wouldn't be useful because I didn't think you could add any links, but I found that while I was going through a document with the Brain in transparent mode, I was able to summarize the document in point form more easily than if I had to go back and forth.  While on the internet, I was able to add weblinks more easily.  
In expanded view I found that it really helped to slow everything down.  It took a bit of getting used to, but it was good to check my overall organization.
Personally I liked the idea of syncing with Google, just to be able to keep my information in one place.  I find that the more places I keep things the more confusing it can be and the harder it is to find things so I am always looking for a good suppository for all of my info.  I like to be able to sync my palm pilot(still old technology but it works) and the Google calendar syncs with iCal. I tested it out and the sync works well from the Brain to Google, but not as well from Google to the Brain.  

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rhodes

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I am always looking for a good suppository for all of my info

Can't go past PB for that.

Alan Rhodes
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