Laddice is best classified as a PKM (personal knowledge management) environment with emphasis on insight and creativity stimulation. Laddice achieves this by implementing two crucial features:
Laddice allows note entries to be connected to each other with various relationships. Rather than continue to call each entry a “note” we prefer to call them “nodes” since this term emphasizes that each entry is a potential piece of a network (modeled after the neuronal structure of the brain). Nodes can have several kinds of relationships to other nodes. Some relationships are created by the user while other relationships are implied indirectly by other user inputs or relationships. The relationships are as follows:
Parent: a parent node is one which is above its child node in a hierarchical sense
Child: a child node is one which is below its parent node in a hierarchical sense
Sibling: a sibling node is one which is related through common parent nodes
Laddice can easily display other implied relationships and we are open to discussing this aspect in particular with our early users. Being able to navigate nodes through relational connections is the core functionality of Laddice.
Laddice treats nodes as live links that can be visualized in multiple ways and in multiple locations, all of which are synchronized. Each view can be repositioned, hidden or shown as the user desires. In this way a user can set up their preferred work environment based on their particular purpose. Some of the views that Laddice implements are:
Detail: create new nodes or view/edit node details
List: a linear list of nodes and their corresponding various properties
Filter: provides a series of advanced options for filtering through your library of nodes
Tree: a mind map using the relationship hierarchies of the selected node
Connections: a list view showing children, parents and related connected nodes
Activity: a history of your actions
Notifications: social interactions with other laddice users, including shares, comments and pins
Each view has advantages and disadvantages depending on the users purpose. That’s why Laddice allows the user to see any combination of views. Laddice is the environment where you have the ultimate freedom as to how you choose to organize, browse and visualize your nodes. Perhaps most interestingly, each view is interactive with the others.
The detail view is where you create new nodes and add/edit details to nodes including tags and relationships. A node can be just like any other note but tends to be a piece of information or thought that is brief and stands alone. Nodes can be formatted and include the ability to add hyperlinks. This is where selected nodes will also pop up when you want to see details or edit existing nodes. Perhaps most interesting about this view is that you can see and browse through related nodes simply by clicking them in the “Connection” area of the the detail view.
As you can see above, the Node Detail view is a place where a nodes properties can be viewed, edited or created. We have put a great deal of thought into what type of properties are most useful. This is something we are constantly experimenting with internally but the current iterations of Laddice has the below options:
Custom tags: the user can create any tag and apply it to a node
Task: the user can mark that the node is an incomplete task and easily mark it as completed at any time
Time created: the date and time a node was created is automatically stored with each node
Time updated: the date and time a node was last edited is also automatically stored with each node
Connections: the various relationship types are treated as a property of that node in relation to the connected nodes
As discussed in the Node Relationships section, Laddice emphasizes the connection of one node to another node. For this reason, Laddice allows “embedded connections”. An embedded connection is a node that exists inside of another node. Allowing embedded nodes has very powerful and useful consequences.
This is the primary place to view existing nodes and other entries in the Laddice environment. The List View is at the heart of Laddice because it allows the user to see the full picture of their existing nodes in a spreadsheet-like form, easy to navigate, with the ability to filter to specific types of nodes or to reorder by various attributes.
Laddice provides advanced filtering options for navigating through a potentially large library of nodes. The user can filter by tags or combinations of tags using boolean logic (AND/OR at this time). The user can also pin a particular node or multiple nodes and this pin attribute can be included in the filtering. Task nodes can also be treated in the same way for filtering.
It is also notable that Laddice allows for hierarchical tag relationships. That is, the user can group tags inside of other tags (nesting). Unlike other note taking software, Laddice nodes automatically inherit the tags which they are nested inside of. Example: If the user applies a tag called “consumer psychology” to a node and that tag exists nested inside of a tag called “psychology” then the node could be located by filtering either “psychology” or “consumer psychology”. Multiple levels of nesting is allowed in Laddice so the user can easily organize and navigate their library through hierarchical tags.
This is effectively an automatically generated mind map (or more precisely a tree map as it stands). Laddice uses the relationships that the user created between nodes to generate mind maps for any node you select. From this view, the user can explore their nodes and visually see the node relationships, both created and inferred.
The map view displays the content of the node, any applied tags and whether the node is a task (red box = incomplete task; green box = complete task). From this view the user can select any node and view its details in the detail view pane. Additionally, the map view allows for collapsing and expanding of node trees to provide a better user experience for navigating complex trees.
This overview has captured the essence of what Laddice does and the features it implements. However, as Laddice is still in development, all of the features above are subject to change based on what is most useful to you, the user. The founders of Project AMPLE strongly encourage you to subscribe for Laddice Beta to evaluate our product upon the beta release. Laddice Beta is currently free for all early subscribers so sign up now.
At this stage, we are eager to get direct feedback from you on what you find most useful as well as not so useful. This feedback will be fed directly back into our development. This is an amazing opportunity for you to influence the development of what can be the single best Personal Knowledge Environment in existence (we benchmarked many PKM and notetaking software before deciding to develop Laddice).
If you have questions, thoughts, suggestions or just want to chat about related topics, please feel free to contact Project AMPLE directly via my email:
You can also make comments on our Laddice Forum.