If you're a big fan of using index cards or Post-It notes for planning but want to share your ideas online, or if you're just looking for a more visually appealing alternative to standard list tools, Thoughtbox.es may be for you.
What's special about Thoughtbox.es? Sure, there are a lot of great to-do list apps and online note taking tools available, but one of the standout features of Thoughtbox.es is that it lets you see all of your notes or lists related to a topic in one spot and easily rearrange them. This is great for brainstorming and project planning, and you can also share your lists with others. The neatly arranged colour-coded boxes are also less complicated than standard mind maps.
So how does it work? Each topic or "train of thought" can contain an unlimited number of boxes that hold your lists or notes. To reorder the boxes or the items within a box, simply drag them where you want. When you share a train of thought, it becomes public for anyone to view but not edit (tip: if you want to keep a particular list within a train of thought private, you can minimise the box and others won't be able to maximise it). That's pretty much it. Thoughtbox.es is really simple and easy to use.
Of course, more advanced features like user sharing settings, a mobile app version, and more flexible layouts would be welcome, but the site was only recently launched in December by developer Matthew Stenback, and more features are sure to come. For now, it's still a pretty handy tool for index-card-like brainstorming online.
The free account gives you up to three trains of thought; you can upgrade to unlimited trains of thought for $US15/year.