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Harness Your Creative Potential with ideaWallets

Harness Your Creative Potential with ideaWallets

After downloading and installing ideaWallets, take the time to explore the 14 tutorial "cards," which help to familiarize you with the many ways that this app can be utilized to gather, develop, innovate, and create new ideas, as well as document and organize those ideas.

The key concept to remember when using ideaWallets is that every individual idea is stored on a separate virtual index card. On each card, however, you can associate as much content as you like, including text, audio, sketches, and photos. Each virtual card has two sides, and cards can be viewed in vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape) mode.

Cards can be linked together to organize a project, solve problems, or connect ideas during a brainstorming session. Cards can be stored and organized within "project cabinets."

As you begin to develop a new idea, you can utilize one of the app's built-in thinking tools to help you better formulate that idea. You can also view your idea cards on your iPad's screen in a handful of different ways, customizing the appearance of the screen as desired.

To begin using ideaWallets, start by tapping on the New Card icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. The Card Info screen will appear, as shown in Figure 1. At the top of this screen, you can name the virtual card, giving it a unique title.

Figure 1 Add content to the front and back of your ideaWallets virtual cards.

Near the top of the Card Info screen is the Card View area, which shows thumbnail representations of the card's front and back. Toward the center of the screen is the Card Content area, which starts off as a blank region of the screen with four associated tabs: Text, Photo, Sound, and Sketch.

To begin entering text to be associated with the card, tap on the Text tab, and then tap anywhere in the Card Content area. Text is entered using the iPad's virtual keyboard. Here you can enter single words, lists, complete sentences, paragraphs, or even entire pages of text. You can also cut-and-paste text; for example, from other iPad apps or websites.

To associate photos with the virtual card, tap on the Photos tab, and then tap on the Pick Photo icon that appears. You can now import any image that's already stored on your iPad. The photo(s) you associate with virtual index cards can be viewed as thumbnails within the card, as shown in Figure 2, or in full-screen mode by tapping on the Full Screen icon. The front and back of each card can include one photo each.

Figure 2 When words can't say enough, add a photo to your ideaWallets card.

If you prefer to dictate your ideas verbally, as opposed to typing them, tap on the Sound tab within the Card Info window. This action reveals a digital voice recorder with Record, Stop, and Play buttons, as shown in Figure 3. Tap on the Record button and start speaking. The iPad's built-in microphone records your dictation or any other sound that's present. When you tap on the Stop icon, your audio clip will automatically be saved and associated with that virtual card.

Figure 3 By combining text and photos with audio clips on your ideaWallets cards, you can help to document and organize your ideas and brainstorming sessions.

If a shape or drawing comes to mind, and you can create it quickly using your finger on the iPad's screen, tap on the Sketch tab on the Card Info screen. This action displays a blank sheet of "digital paper" on which you can draw your sketch. This sketch tool is rudimentary, in that you can create only black lines of a single thickness, but it's a useful tool for quickly documenting shapes or simple designs, such as basic maps, drawings, or rough logo concepts.

Once you've added all the content you want on your new virtual card, access the Tags area at the bottom of the Card Info screen. Tap on the green-and-white plus (+) icon and enter a handful of short, text-based tags you want to associate with the card. Adding tags makes your virtual cards easier to find and sort later.

When you're done, tap on the Save icon in the upper-right corner of the iPad's screen. If you want to discard your work and start over, tap on the Delete card icon in the lower-left corner of the screen, and begin creating the card again from scratch.

After you've created multiple cards, you can begin to organize them into projects. As you create a new project, you'll need to fill in the Project Info screen, which includes a title for the project, a text-based description, and an optional photo or icon. You can also associate a specific color with the project. Each project can be used in conjunction with one of the app's thinking tools, built into ideaWallets. These tools encourage you to mix-and-match cards and other content, viewing this information in different ways in order to generate and organize ideas. Using the Free Thinking tool, for example, you can add and view text and graphic shapes on the iPad's screen, using a freeform style in order to help you brainstorm (see Figure 4).

Figure 4 Once ideaWallets cards are created, organizing them is easy.

Following are some of the more useful thinking tools built into ideaWallets:

  • Free Thinking. Allows you to use cards, text, and notes, displaying them in a freeform format on the screen. Using your finger, you can move elements around freely, as well as customize the look of the screen.
  • Brainstorming. Use this tool to generate a large number of ideas; for example, when trying to discover a solution to a problem.
  • XY Axis. Position and categorize your virtual cards on an XY axis table, which is basically a simple graph.
  • SWOT Analysis. This is a strategic planning method that can be used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) associated with an idea or project.
  • IS / IS NOT. Designed to encourage "team thinking," this tool helps you to define issues into which you want to delve deeper and explore.

As you create and store ideaWallets projects on your iPad, you can easily share them with other people via email, or sync them to your desktop computer.

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