Pinning • The Context

How a blurry use case turned into a clear vision. Here is some context about which apps inspired me to get started with developing Pinning. What I like about them and what I still miss.

From Brain to List

Omnifocus I use Omnifocus on a daily basis for managing to dos and appreciate its powers. However brainstorming and creating lists in Omnifocus doesn’t work for me. It’s not fun. It’s not as visual as my thoughts are. It feels like work. WORK! To be fair the interface is not terrible, but I feel like it gives the items you enter too much of an own face. I really like apps that consciously take a step back in that regards like Writeroom or Clear and let your thoughts and words speak for themselves as much as possible.

Mind Maps. Yes. Strings. No.

MindMaps I dig the concept of mind mapping. A lot. However I actually don’t use it that much. Mainly because it’s hard for me to deal with the connection strings attached to notes by default. I see the benefit from having an automatic serial outline of your graph without additional effort. Magic. However I find myself rearranging thoughts a lot until I get to a final structure. Until then these connections just get in the way. But yet I really like mind maps and find myself returning especially to MindMeister again and again once in a while.

At Night

Night I like apps with dark color schemes, especially since I am using Twitterrific for iOS. I like it when the screen disappears and the app merges with the surface of the physical device – granted it’s a black one, yes. But really the best thing about a black background is that it doesn’t blind your eyes at night. Ever tried to quickly note a thought using the Notes app or Simplenote with all lights in your room turned off? It can hurt.


Boards Nevermind what the people tell you, the best tool to capture thoughts and do brainstorming is a blank black board. An empty but clearly dedicated canvas for ideas (and coffee offers). I also like the approach of not only using boards as a way to capture and organise items but also to add additional layers of meaning to the spacial arrangement. Remember the Eisenhower method of using the alignment on the X axes for conveying the urgency and the Y axis standing for the importance of a task. And suddenly prioritisation becomes fun again.

Swiss Army Knives

SwissKnife I really like minimal and focused apps that do a single thing well. However I also do have a weak spot for apps that try to unravel the full potential of a platform by using all its possible connections and put the user into power to choose his/her own path. Drafts, I look at you. With Pinning I am not trying to address all these fields and problems at once. The apps I mentioned already do a really great job in their dedicated areas. However you will find bits and pieces being inspired by these findings. These apps also stand for some sort of ideal context I can see Pinning being used within as extension, not as replacement. An ecosystem I would like to integrate with nicely going forward. Cheers.
Projekt 24.03.2013