photo 1 Our introduction to “Thoughtree” was a beta version of a “personal thought network”, described by its award winning developer, Jude Abeler, as “drop dead simple”. That is an understatement. In its concept, Thoughtree is decidedly uncomplicated, and yet visually appealing. Its black and white design is the very essence of “simple”.

Each new entry is “tagged” by the user with one of thirteen clip-art style symbols, which are called categories. So a user might, for example, select the heart symbol for “matters of the heart”. The dollar sign might represent financial musings or grocery lists, etc. Once typed into the chalkboard area, the thought is added to the bottom of the opening screen, whose logo is a tree. By tapping on the tree in the tool bar, previous entries can be reviewed or edited. Thoughtree has a keyword search area and the entries can be sorted based on the category assigned. The familiar star icon registers a favorite and the gear emblem followed by a plus sign offers the user the opportunity to create a new category which would, apparently, be limited to the 13 symbols mentioned above.

Sharing thoughts is accomplished by tapping on an entry and selecting the preferred social outlet – Facebook, Twitter, email or text messaging are supported. Thoughts can also be starred or deleted from this area.photo 3What’s missing? That depends on how a writer defines journaling. There is no automatic dating an entry. In fact, there is no date at all. Each entry shows how long ago it was written in hours and days, but that could get a little puzzling 3 months down the road. If you want your journal dated or time stamped, it would have to be manually typed within “the thought”.

The fact that the new entry is added to the bottom of the journal, means scrolling to the end of all my ruminations. That is disconcerting at the very least. Email and iCloud are the only means of backing up entries. The finite baker’s dozen category symbols leave a lot to be desired. I don’t think I would categorize anecdotes about my grandchildren with a briefcase symbol. If I listed repairs to be made around my apartment, certainly the dollar sign symbol would be an appropriate category, however. There is no provision made for security –a really important requirement on my list. The user cannot change the font, its size or its color. And if adding a picture of those grandkids to my entry or posting it to Facebook via Thoughtree was high on my list, it cannot be done.

photo 2Thoughtree does exactly what its developer intended for this version to do. Minimalism has been an aspiration of mine, but it won’t do as my new journaling technique.

Note: Thoughtree is still not available in the App Store but should be this week. Follower the Facebook page to keep up with announcements.

 Written by Marianne- EJ Staff Writer