OPML stands for Outline Processor Markup Language, and it is an XML format for outline, which has become popular for transferring one idea from one application to another. OPML has become very popular recently especially with Mac users and iOS developers. This is because it is very helpful for those in the writing business and those who need to have notes and documents moved around quickly. In other words, many freelancers and creative people have adopted this as the tool of choice.
OPML is a great way to layout your ideas and thoughts in a systematic manner so that you can find what you are looking for and compile reports and documents easily. As most people are not able to start with a blank sheet of paper and write the document in one sitting, there are often many ideas floating around on multiple locations (various laptops, hard drives, portable devices and so on).
As many people have different ways to organize their thoughts, and there are so many different types of mind mapping applications, it can become cumbersome to sort out all those ideas. On top of that, when it comes to creating your final product, these applications make it more difficult than it needs to be, and can often slow the process down.
There are now a number of developers that use the OPML code on Mac and iOS. One of the most useful is MindNode Pro, as it is very simple to adopt and can be used by anyone. The interface is very simple and intuitive to use, and the price is not very high. Another great thing is that you can export the mind map as OPML to use in other applications such as OmniOutliner or Scrivener.
Another very useful application is iThoughtHD, which is another mind mapping application for the iOS. This is great for use with the iPad as you can use your fingers to branch out the mind map, which is a very relaxing way to organize ideas. Again, you can then export the finished result into OPML.
If you want to bring your mind maps into fruition (into a final product), then you should think about Scrivener, which is a word processing software. It allows you to import OPML files and organizes your branches and sub branches into project folders. This will help your project to come together much more easily and naturally. OPML means you can generate ideas on any device, wherever you are, and then transfer it into a more complete document without all the hassle.
Pat Lindle is a the owner of a metal deck / steel deck company in Phoenix, AZ. He is also a published author working on his 3rd book on manufacturing efficiencies. Pat uses OPML for communicating between all his devices when writing.