NovaMind 5 has a unique and powerful checkbox system.
You can show checkboxes on the topics of your Mind Map. Just select the topics you want checkboxes added to, and use the checkboxes inspector. All checkboxes are three state checkboxes, meaning that they can be checked, unchecked, or in an indeterminate state, which is used to show that a task is partially done.
There are two types of checkboxes: Automatic and Manual checkboxes. By default, all checkboxes are automatic. Automatic checkboxes get their checked state by accumulating the state of the checkboxes on their subtopics. Manual checkboxes are completely independent of their subtopics. Automatic checkboxes are square, and manual checkboxes are round.
While it is possible to mix automatic and manual checkboxes, in most cases, it is best to stick with one type, especially within one subtree.
When you are using the default automatic checkboxes, when you alter the checked state of a parent topic, it will affect its subtopics.
If you collapse subtopics, the parent topic will still show the checked state of all the subtopics.
If you have a gap in the hierarchy of checkboxes, then the inheritance of automatic checkbox state is broken, so if you have a parent with an automatic checkbox on it, no checkbox on the selected topic, and checkboxes on the subtopics, then the checkbox on the parent will not be affected by the state of the children, and nor will changing its checked state affect the subtopics.
In NovaMind 5 you can synchronise your checkboxes with iCal to-do items.
First, we need to set up iCal syncing by clicking on the iCal sync item in the toolbar or using the Sync with iCal option in the File menu. In this example, we are running with a Platinum license key, so you can see that we have both the option to synchronise task information as well as the checkboxes. If you were using NovaMind with a Pro license key, then you would just have the option to sync the checkboxes.
For the purposes of this demonstration, we will just sync the checkboxes.
You can select any of your calendars for NovaMind to sync with by default, but you can override that on a topic by topic basis if you need to.
There are some options for how NovaMind handles syncing. The first option is whether to auto-synchonize before saving. If you turn on this option, it will cause the syncing to take place whenever you save the file. In MacOS 10.7 Lion, because of the autosaving mechanism, this will happen whenever an autosave occurs as well as when you manually save the file. If you turn this option off, then your changes are not synchronised to iCal automatically, and you need to come into this setup panel and click the Sync Now button to trigger synchronisation.
If you turn on the option to accept changes made in iCal, then the syncing becomes a two way process – when you update the to-do item in iCal, NovaMind gets the relevant changes.
If you have the “Warn before accepting changes” option turned off, then NovaMind will just automatically be updated with the data from iCal without prompting you. If you have this option turned on, then a dialog will appear asking you to confirm that you want the changes in NovaMind.
For the moment, we will leave all these options turned on.
Now if you click the Close button, your syncing options will be saved, but NovaMind will not sync immediately. If you choose the “Sync Now” option, NovaMind will sync with iCal immediately, as well as saving your settings.
Let’s get the syncing to happen straight away so we can see what happens.
Now we can see that these topics have been synced to iCal.
In iCal, to-do items are either checked or unchecked, so in NovaMind, if the checkbox is in the intermediate state, it will be unchecked in iCal.
You can see that if we add a topic note, and sync, it will be synced to the iCal to-do item. And of course if you want to edit other attributes in iCal, then those will be preserved. For instance, let’s put an alarm on the topic.
If you don’t want a topic’s checkboxes to be synced, you can choose not to sync it. Note that if you have already synced the topic to iCal, it will not delete the to-do item from iCal, because there may be other information there that NovaMind doesn’t know about. And if you want it synced to a different calendar, you can change it, and it will move it to a different calendar in iCal, while preserving all your existing settings.
So the combination of the checkboxes within NovaMind and the syncing with iCal gives you a very powerful way to manage your task lists.