Instaviz, from Pixelglow, is designed to take your mind places it may have never been before. This app belongs to a group of applications called mind mapping, or what most people think of as flow charts.
What mind mapping aims to do is make it possible for you to organize concepts and time-management projects graphically and in a way that is easier to understand.
I did a round-up of mind mapping apps in December. All of them did the job and featured a good deal of flexibility, but none was easy to use right out of the box as Instaviz.
Instaviz is one of the best mind-mapping apps that I’ve come across. It’s dead simple to use and works quite well.
To create a map, working from the starting page, tap the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen. To create a square, use your finger to draw a square (or circle, triangle, rectangle, diamond or ellipses). Instaviz is that easy.
To connect squares or other nodes, draw a line from one to the other.
To adjust the properties of your node — to enter text, change the colour and thickness of its borders, fill the node with colour and more — double-tap the node and you’ll be transported to a configuration screen with a wide variety of options.
Using a slot-machine type of scroll menu, you can select dozens and dozens of colours for your node’s borders, its labels and background.
I have emojis enabled on my iPhone and I have hundreds of icons I can use for my nodes if I choose.
To delete a node, highlight it with a single tap and shake your handheld. To delete the graph, tap its background once, and again, shake.
To configure the entire map, double-tap the background and you’ll go to a screen where you can give it a title and label, fill in the map’s background colour, change the map’s layout, duplicate it or export it to a Box.net, an online storage service, iDisk or via WebDAV, which is supported by Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Mac users can download Instavue from Pixelglow to make using WebDAV the process easier (see a comment from the developer below).
The built-in help for Instaviz is mediocre. Pixelglow also provides a bit more help on its support page, but it’s still not much better. Watch this Instaviz video for more information.
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