Curio Professional 6 full review

Mind mapping

The last major figure is the mind map. Mind mapping is a brainstorming and note taking technique that eschews linear, monochromatic writing in favor of a hub and spoke diagram with liberal use of color and images. Curio has all the major components mind mapping software requires: easy creation of nodes, automatic layout, and ample formatting options to customise the shape and colour of the nodes and lines.

Mind map nodes, like most Curio figures, can be assigned one of five priority ranks from “very low” to “urgent.” Figures can be rated from one to five stars, flagged with a variety of icons, and have a checkbox attached. Each of those attributes can be searched against allowing you to find, say, all the flagged figures with a three-star rating marked urgent.

Zengobi touts Curio’s project management capabilities, though they mostly amount to the ability to assign start and end dates to figures. Start and end dates for items in a hierarchical figure like a list or mind map can be chained to the items above and below. A status tab in Curio’s inspector pane lists all the figures with dates assigned grouped by due date.

The project management sleeper feature is the project dossier. A dossier is simply a list of questions to answer about your project. When thoughtfully filled out, the dossier can be an excellent tool for defining a project and become an anchor that keeps it on track and in scope. Curio comes with about a dozen customizable dossier templates for projects including lesson plans, creative briefings, and science experiments.

For those who frequently reuse content, Curio offers no fewer than four ways to store them. Stencils in Curio are the contents of an idea space. Once dragged into the stencil list, the figures of that idea space become available to all your Curio documents.

Why not call them templates? Well, Curio has a separate tab for idea space templates, a scrapbook tab for storing frequently used text, image snippets, but has yet another tab to access online scrapbooks via the Evernote service.

Flexibility is fine, but four different storage spaces is cumbersome. All these repositories call for copious dragging and dropping. Unfortunately, items dropped into Curio sometimes went to an inactive idea space. Other times drag and drop stopped working completely until the application was relaunched.

[Stuart Gripman is a columnist for Advisor Basics of FileMaker Pro magazine and founder of Crooked Arm Consulting.]

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