The OU course I am doing at the moment, TU812: Managing Systemic Change, involves a lot of visual thinking. A wide range of types of diagrams are used, from systems maps to sign graphs. That’s alright with me because I love working out ideas by scribbling. However, working on paper can be a bit limiting when you find the picture is stretching towards the edge of the page rather than the centre or that an element would be better shifted elsewhere. A certain amount can be done with rubbing out and redrawing sections but it often isn’t long since the palimpsest page needs to be be abandoned and a fresh version drawn up.
Therefore, since I’ve got the technical gubbins to make the most of it, I’m delighted to have found an app called Inkflow that allows me to work on the iPad with a wide range of (simulated) drawing implements, far more colour variations than I am ever going to need and, crucially, the ability to move and resize elements on the page. Moving too close to the edge? Just select the diagram and shift it over.
It still takes a bit of planning – if you put elements too close together, it is hard to select them cleanly. It also, at the moment at least, produces scribbly results – I haven’t got decades of writing and drawing with the Apple Pencil behind me so (when I’m concentrating) pen and pencil still produce better results. However, as a tool for visually developing ideas, for the course and beyond, Inkflow is proving to be a boon.