Table Groups

Table Groups arrange cards in layouts like columns, rows and tables. With Table Groups it's easy to set up Kanban boards, level layer boards and something like contingency or cross tables.

Table Groups are an extended feature that require a one time purchase to be used. Limited size tables are free and can give you an idea on what you may express with them.

To try out and possibly later purchase this feature, double click the work area to create a new card. Then choose Editor > Listed Cards > Append. You'll notice two cards stacked on each other. That is what you already know as listed cards. Then choose Editor > Insert Cards > Right (or sure, any other direction). You'll notice a group with the dimension of 2x2. Again choose Editor > Insert Cards > Right to reach the dimension of 3x3. Now the standard functionality is reached. Adding more cards (to the right or breaking the limited bounds) requires an in app purchase. But within that limitation, you can play around with the new possibilities.

To move cards either use the menu commands or just drag them around.
To insert cards, either append them using menu commands or double click the spot where you want to insert a card. This can also be inbetween two cards.
To move cards between groups, Edit > Cut a card, click onto the location in the other group where you want to insert the card and Edit > Paste.
To change the type of table groups into columns, rows or table based, click and open the context menu on a group and choose Group > Layout.

The following shows more visual examples on what you can do with this feature:


Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard ShortcutCommand
↑↓←→select card in direction of arrow
⌘-↑↓←→insert (connected) card in direction of arrow (as applicable)
ctrl-⌘-↑↓←→move card into direction of arrow (if applicable)
Delete selected/hovered over card or delete hovered over connection
⌘-⌥-CCopy selection as image to Clipboard

Text Editor
Keyboard ShortcutCommand
↩︎enter and exit cards text editor
⌥-↩︎Insert line break within card text editor
⌘-←→Move cursor to start/end of text within text editor
⌥-←→Move cursor after next word in within text editor

Connecting Cards
Keyboard ShortcutCommand
escCancel while connecting cards
Make connection with alternate style

Moving Cards
Keyboard ShortcutCommand
escCancel while moving cards

How an I export my workarea into external applications?

BigHairyGoal provides the following possibilities to export your workarea or parts of your workarea to external applications:
  • User File > Export as PDF… to export the complete workarea as a PDF file.
  • Select any number of cards and use Edit > Copy to copy the text only contents to your clipboard
  • Select any number of cards, hold down the alt key and use Edit > Copy as Image to copy the current selection as an transparent image to your clipboard.

Difficulties between moving and connection gestures

Moving or connecting cards are two straightforward gestures:

Move: Simple click on a card and immediately start dragging it.
Connect: Simple click on a card and hold until the arrow cursor turns into a open white cursor, then drag away the connection line.

It may be that you need to practice a bit if you find this a bit tricky. The click and hold duration for connecting cards is based on the system setting for the so called "double click" delay, that is the time in finder that recognizes clicking a folder twice top open it. (slow clicking twice on a folder will do nothing, faster clicking will open it)

The "double click" time duration can be set in system preferences: Apple () menu > System Preferences > Universal Access > Mouse & Trackpad > Double Click Speed.
You may increase the time duration until you feel comfortable with it in Big Hairy Goal and Finder double clicking.

OS X El Capitan: Mouse & Trackpad pane of Accessibility preferences

Why are custom styles so limited?

BigHairyGoal has very few customization possibilities. This is fully intentional and subjective to my approach:
The minimalistic design features help you concentrate on the content and relations, not the formatting. Let's be honest, you can spend hours on formatting your content without adding a single new thought and still feel very productive. And I want to prevent this from you :-)

Basic Gestures

Add a card by double clicking at any location within this workspace.
Edit a selected card by pressing the keyboard return-key
Move a card by dragging the selected card.
Connect two cards with click and hold on a card until the cursor changes. Then drag to another card.
- Choose line style with right click on a connection line.
- Add Document, Image or web address cards by dragging anything into the workspace.

Open and explore an example document under the App menu Help > Open Example Document.
Learn more tips and features under Help > Big Hairy Goal Help

Working With Cards

Q: How can I edit the title of an item?
A: hover over the item and press the return or enter key. make your changes and press the return/enter key again. To insert a line-break into your text, press alt-return or alt-enter

Q: how can I insert a line-break into an item
A: press alt-return

Q: I have selected some items, how can I remove one or more items from the selection?
A: hold the shift key and click on any item to add/remove that item to the selection

Connecting Cards

Q: how can I add a connected item?
A: select a node and click and hold until the cursor changes and then drag away from it. a new node will be inserted as soon as you release.

Q: how can I insert a new item between two existing
A: double click the connection. Or drag from the middle of a connection to an existing item.

Q: how can I delete items or connections?
A: Hover over an item or connection and then press the delete keyboard key. You can also select a range or items and then press the delete key to delete them.

Q: how can I cancel making a connection when I accidentally dragged away from an item?
A: press the Esc key on your keyboard

Q: can I connect two items with a different kind of connection?
A: keep holding the alt key down while making a connection to get a dotted "relation" connection. Additional connection styles can be chosen by right-clicking onto a connection.

Q: When I remove an item that has a parent and child item, do I need to reconnect the original flow?
A: no, once you remove an item, the flow is being reestablished.

Arranging Cards

Q: How can I move items?
A: Select one or more cards and move them around.

Q: How can I move an item and all its followup items (sub items)?
A: Select one or more items and the use File > Select including Followups. Then move these around. (or use the context menu on an item)

Q: can I move cards in one direction only?
A: dragging with held shift key constraints the move to multiples of 45°

Q: Can I move items by cutting them out and pasting them somewhere else in my document.
A: Yes, that's an easy way to move several items at once. When you first click on the target location before you paste, the items will be copied to the new location.

Working With Groups Of Cards

Q: how can I group items?
A: to group items, select some and choose editor > group. Note that each item can only be in one group at a time.

Q: Can I move a group of items?
A: Click and hold on the colored background area of a group. Keep holding clicked until a shadow appears. You now can move the group around.

Q: how can I add an itm to an existing group
A: drag the item over the group and rest for about one second over the group. The item will then pop into the group.

Q: how can I remove an item from an existing group?
A: select the item and use Editor > Remove fom Group or the context menu to ungroup the selected items.

Working With Urls

Q: how can I add cards containing a link to a website?
A: in Safari, drag an the url address from the address bar into BigHairyGoal. Or even drag images.

Working With Images

Q: can I use images within nodes?
A: select an image or single page PDF file in finder. Edit > Copy in Finder and then click & paste into your big hairy goal workspace to insert that image at the clicked location. Or use the system screenshot shortcut cmd-ctrl-shift 4 to select a range in any application like safari and then paste the screenshot into your workspace.

Q: I have added images but they are being displayed smaller than the original, can I see the image in the original size?
A: Select an image item and press the space key to view the image in the MacOS Quicklook panel. Select more than one image to browse all of them within the Quicklook panel.

Managing Your Workspace

Q: how can I align cards to each other?
A: you can align a selection of items in a horizontal or vertical layout. Choose editor > align horizonally to stack the selected items in a horizontal layout. Moving one of the items within this alignment group will also move the connected items. Note that each item can only be in one aligment group.

Q: can in zoom out of the workspace to get a better overview?
A: use trackpad two finger gesture to zoom in and out of the workspace
double tap on trackpad to inteligently zoom onto the tapped card, double tap again to zoom out
use comand +/- to zoom in and out

Q: Can I navigate with the keyboard, to select items within the workspace?
A: You can navigate with the arrow-keys to the nearest item in the direction of the pressed arrow key. Holding the shift key extends the current selection to that next item.

Q: How can I move the workspace?
A: Use your MacBook trackpad or click and hold in an empty area of the workspace to pan the workspace around.

Working With External Applications

Q: How can I copy items into other applications?
A: Hover over or select one or more tasks and use Edit > Copy (cmd-c).

Q: to copy an items text content, do I need to enter edit mode and copy the selected text?
A: no, you can just hover over an item and copy the text using cmd-c

What are the limitations of the trial version

The Big Hairy Goal trial version is fully functional until it expires.
After that period, you will only be able to view your data when you buy the full version from the Mac AppStore.
In order to validate its expiration status, the trial version requires an internet connection.
To protect your privacy, no personal data will be sent to the license-server but an anonymous key identifying your trial version.

Are there any online reviews available?

You may find the following reviews helpful:

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