Zettelkasten Forum


Mindmap style drag-and-drop editing and branch hiding/revealing

I find mindmaps (iThoughtsX in my case) very good for quickly organising and editing lists because of:

  1. easy drag and drop movement and
  2. easy hiding and revealing of branches.

Most of the time I take notes in The Archive.

  • Is there any way to get this type of functionality within The Archive?
  • If not, is there an external editor that would be good for this?

Thanks!

IanH

Comments

  • I'm fascinated with mindmaps and have used them (intermittently) in the past. Can you expand a little on how you use them?

  • There are many past discussions in this forum about mindmaps.

    One choice that may be new since the last discussion is that Mermaid.js now has very clean mindmap syntax since September 2022, so Mermaid is now a nice way to create and edit mindmaps. You can test it in the Mermaid live editor. As for your desired features: 1. It is easy to drag and drop text as long as you are using a text editor that supports that; 2. There is nothing in the documentation about hiding branches, so that may not be possible.

    @ctietze wrote an old post on the blog about flowcharts in Mermaid, but it is not about The Archive. Perhaps he can provide a quick update here about how to use Mermaid with The Archive.

  • @mlbrandt said:
    I'm fascinated with mindmaps and have used them (intermittently) in the past. Can you expand a little on how you use them?

    I often use mind maps when gathering information from multiple sources that I want to later tidy.

    Let's imagine I am researching wines so I can write an article. I may set up a mind map with branches for the articles I am reading for the information. I often initially populate each branch by a simple cut-and-paste of bulk information from the internet.

    I create new sub-branches within each article branch for red and white wines. Perhaps also branches below this for location, chemistry, and so on. I dice up the information and move it to the correct branch, tidying each article in turn. This is easy because of the drag-and-drop movement of topics between branches.

    After I have gathered the information I rearrange it. Perhaps I want to focus on wines by colour (instead I might have chosen by location).

    I start a new branch called "my article". I then set up sub-branches for the colours. I drag all the information about red wines (from each article branch) to the "red wine" branch, and so on. As I move the information I structure it on sub-branches for red wine chemistry, red wine grape types, and so on.

    The mind map makes it very easy to structure and move the information, and also collapse branches so they do not distract you. Often you discover that it might be better to restructure the article by, say, location. You just drag the topics and rearrange them.

    So, in summary:

    • I use the graphical structure imposed by mind maps to help organise my data.
    • The easy drag-and-drop editing helps me do this quickly.
    • I use the quick hide-show of branches to help focus.

    Hope this makes sense.

  • @Haywire said:

    • Is there any way to get this type of functionality within The Archive?
    • If not, is there an external editor that would be good for this?
    1. There are the typical shortcuts like "cmd+ctrl+up/down" and "tab/shift+tab" to move items in a list around. It works and I use it regularly. In the second half of this year, @ctietze can focus more on "The Archive" and feature roll out will be accelerated. It might be that the plaintext-thinking-canvas feature complex will be started to be developed (awful sentence structure..)
    2. Currently, the by far best editor to move around items in a structured list is Bike. This is what I use currently to really focus on one note in my ZK.

    I am a Zettler

  • @Haywire said:

    I start a new branch called "my article". I then set up sub-branches for the colours. I drag all the information about red wines (from each article branch) to the "red wine" branch, and so on. As I move the information I structure it on sub-branches for red wine chemistry, red wine grape types, and so on.

    The mind map makes it very easy to structure and move the information, and also collapse branches so they do not distract you. Often you discover that it might be better to restructure the article by, say, location. You just drag the topics and rearrange them.

    @Sascha said:

    1. Currently, the by far best editor to move around items in a structured list is Bike. This is what I use currently to really focus on one note in my ZK.

    For years (I mean since the 2000s) the outliner app that I used for this purpose was OmniOutliner. I haven't tried Bike, but it may be a better outliner app than OmniOutliner today. I don't have much use for an outliner app these days since most of that kind of work I do in Scrivener, which has a kind of outliner structure.

    In outliners, the showing and hiding of "branches" is usually called folding.

  • @Andy The main difference is between OmniOutliner and Bike is that Bike is super slick and nimble. It does so by offering much less complexity.

    I am a Zettler

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