In depth review of ThinkBook Outliner
ThinkBook is a very useful and innovative application, but it does need a little more work to make it a really good or an excellent iPad application. Not bad as an alternative to iThoughts HD. I have been working with it over the last couple days to actually do some outlines. Sometimes to really understand an application you have to give it a real job to do. It is then when you get into this real job, that you find the limitations and foibles of that application.
Problems with ThinkBook
One of the problems I’ve had is that I wanted to download and use a template from the ThinkBook website. I have managed to download files to my iPad, PDF files from websites and you would think that to bring in a text file would be very easy. I have been struggling with the process a little. In truth, this problem is not necessarily something directly to do with ThinkBook. I can say this because downloading files to use on the iPad can be done. The problem here partly arises, because I wanted to use the ThinkBook application to open open a text file. I have quite a lot of text editors available on the iPad and also when I click on the link to the text file it actually opens up within the browser. What I want is, to have the context sensitive menu that says Open In and to have ThinkBook within those choices. It seems that there are a maximum number of applications you can have in this list and the one you want just might not show up.
Splitting up lumps of text in Thinkbook
Another difficulty with ThinkBook is that when you have brought in a body of text that you want to use to make an outline, there doesn’t seem to be a way to easily split the text into sections. What would be nice would be to put the cursor in front of a word where I needed a split and to have a command which would take whatever was underneath that note and make a new note out of it. The only way around this, is to do a select and cut, make the new note and paste in from the clipboard. If you have a large lump of text that you want to break up, it will be necessary to find another way around this problem. Or it could take you ages to do something that should be simple.
Another way to get around this difficulty would be to edit the text in an external application and use the special ThinkBook text markdown characters. Then you would go back into ThinkBook and import that text file that has been formatted specifically for the application.
More note options needed in this outliner software
Within the note options dialogue that pops up, you have the ability to turn it from an ordinary note into a note that is a to-do item. This is done with a switch that is either on or off for a checkbox. What about though, if you want to change a question type of entry into a note. Once again the only way around this is to do some copying and pasting of your text from the question type of note, to put into an ordinary note. Or once again, you could do the changes in an external text editor. Certainly the options that are present within ThinkBook now, are insufficient for what I want to do with the application. I could see myself checking out other outlining applications for the iPad, perhaps even OmniOutliner, even though the price of it puts me off.
ThinkBook iPad app review
Even though I have found a number of things that either don’t like or I’m certain could be improved within the ThinkBook outliner software app, overall I still think it is a useful application. So long as you understand that there are limitations and you know how to get around those difficulties. ThinkBook is still a good application for outlining purposes. The slider on the right-hand side of the application is without a doubt very innovative and works great. The slider gives the application functionality that would be difficult to do in any other way, possibly. I think what I need to do is to make contacts with the developer of ThinkBook through the support forum. Without a doubt, I would like to ask him what he plans to do in forthcoming updates.
ThinkBook iPad app gets the love
The ThinkBook iPad app has been recommended recently on the popular This Week in iPad podcast. It was recommended in the podcast which was specifically to direct students to applications that might be helpful for the learning process. I wouldn’t mind betting that the show hosts for the podcast only had a cursory amount of time using ThinkBook. And if they had spent more time using application, they might have found the limitations too. If you are looking for outliner software for the iPad, then spending $1.99 for ThinkBook would not be a bad thing to do. Also have a look at MagicalPad.