By Martin Stut, 2011-06-25

After having decided to more regularly publish blog posts, I started looking for a method of collecting ideas and editing drafts on my Android smartphone.

Standard text editors won't do it for me, because rearranging portions of the text (sentences, paragraphs) feels so clumsy and error prone. I consider it very hard to precisely select a certain range of text on Android. I'm still on 2.2 ("Froyo"), because HTC didn't yet publish the update to 2.3 for my HTC Desire, bought in late June of 2010.

So I'm looking for an Android app that can manage a bunch of text fragments (thoughts, "items"), rearrange them in a manually selected order and then somehow move that sequence of words into a draft post on

First Round

I searched the Android Market for a number of words (mind map, subnotes, note tree, subtasks etc.) and found quite a number of candidates. I did include ToDo managers, because they also tend to cater for ordering ideas.

Trying them briefly resulted in these findings, in the order of test:

The apps that seemed worth a second look got into the

Second Round

All apps that made it though here have sub-items and manual sortability as pre-checked properties.

In this round I'm checking on

Thinking Space

The mind map classic on Android. As a mind map app, it enables powerful arrangements. Needs learning, but quite good then. Not quite ideal for quick notes. Export only as mind map file, so it requires a full PC to copy into a blog post.

Live List Checklist

Very fast UI, but separate title and description. No useable export, except copy & paste (which may be acceptable).


Ads, to-do oriented, separate title and detail, multiple lists, drag and drop of notes within the list. Too slow, moved out within the second round.

Noodles Todo List

Beautifully simple, fast UI, title and details are in a common field (which I consider good) but absolutely no way to export, except copy & paste item by item (which may be acceptable).


No ads, user definable categories, manual sort order of notes available. Export to SD manually, xml only. Interaction required to see details.

Final Decision

After having tried all these apps, my preference for collecting and arranging ideas on Android is Thinking Space, because the arranging possibilities are by far the best.

Unparalleled switchable visibility of details.

Entering and modifying items is a bit slow, but with a bit of learning it should be as fast as the thoughts are flowing.

Because Thinking Space is capable of storing the results in Freemind format on the SD chip, it is one of the few products that are capable of exporting all items in one single go, although that requires the help of a notebook/desktop PC running Freemind.