For an in-depth look at Ruminate's functionality, check out the help menu found by tapping the icon on the lower right-hand corner of the canvas. There you'll find a quick rundown of Ruminate's functionality, a hands-on guide to the features, and a detailed guide for advanced users.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or problems with Ruminate, contact us through this form. Or, if you don't like filling out little boxes on websites, get in touch with us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: So, what exactly is Ruminate, anyway?
A: Ruminate is a research and outlining app for the Apple iPad. It combines the fluidity of mind-mapping with a robust system for finding, viewing, and tracking references that allows users to research their projects as they plan them.
Q: So... it's a mind-mapping app with a web browser?
A: No! Well, yes, kind of. But it's so much more. We didn't just slap the browser in there haphazardly—it's an integral part of the process. When you find a website that has information you want, you can add it as a reference to use later, cite it immediately, or directly quote it in your outline simply by highlighting the desired text. Doing any of these things will cause Ruminate to remember that website and set it as a reference (including using any applicable metadata as reference title, description, etc).
And Ruminate isn't limited to websites: you can cite and track pdfs, Word docs, spreadsheets, and much more. Ruminate keeps track of all your references while you're outlining your paper, and when you're ready to move from the outlining to the writing phase, you've got a full bibliography waiting for you.
Q: So you find a source, you quote it in your outline, and Ruminate automatically creates the reference for you? You don't have to do anything?
A: Pretty much! Ruminate pulls as much information about the website or the file as it can, and automatically fills that data into the reference entry.
To be fair, though, in some cases you will have to add some bibliographical information. Ruminate is very good, but it's not magic. Many web pages include metadata like author and title, but not all do. And for some kinds of files, Ruminate may not be able to pull down much more than the title. Additionally, Ruminate also gives you the ability to create references from hardcopy sources (for those of us who still actually go to the library), and you'll obviously have to manually enter that information.
However, once you enter the bibliographical information once, it will be kept as a reference until you delete the file, so you'll never have to enter it again.
Q: So it's kind of like a tiny research assistant?
A: I suppose that's one way to put it, sure. A research assistant who is excellent at remembering all of your references, exactly where they are, and where you've used them. But is terrible at fetching coffee, unfortunately.
Q: Sounds like it's great for researchers, but who else could use it?
A: Everybody! Well, everybody who wants to write anything. Because it's specifically designed for text-based projects, you don't run into the problems of trying to plan textual projects in many other mind mapping apps. And because the interface is so simple to use, it's a perfect tool for every writer: from young students learning how to plan papers, to novelists outlining their next story arc, to a manager planning next week's staff meeting agenda. We're constantly amazed at the feedback we get from people using Ruminate in so many different ways. We've heard from students, parents, professors, writers, lawyers, businesspeople, public administrators, and so many more, and we're always amazed at the new ways people find to use Ruminate.
Q: That's great and all, but I don't do a whole lot of research. Well: none, actually. I write a fair amount, though. Is Ruminate still worth my time?
A: Very likely! Ruminate's reference capabilities are only one of its strengths. Unlike many mind mapping and outlining programs, Ruminate doesn't limit the amount of text you can store in a given node. You're not trying to cram sentences and long notes into a limited space: Ruminate's bubbles store unlimited amounts of text.
That means a lot more flexibility in planning and outlining any text-based project, whether it involves research or not. It's perfect for planning narratives, outlining short stories, laying out essays, and so much more. And if you're collaborating with anyone on a project, Ruminate's sharing feature lets you send the outlines back and forth between colleagues.
Best of all, with Ruminate's ability to export directly to a text file, you can move directly from planning to writing without skipping a beat.
Q: What can you do with the outlines?
A: Plenty! As mentioned already, you can export them directly to text files... letting you move directly from outlining to writing, with all your references brought along for the ride.
But that's not all! You can share your outlines with other Ruminate users. You can send the outline alone or bundle any files included with it. So if your outline cites a few PDFs, Word docs, or other supported file types as references, you can bundle those files up with your outline and share it with your friends, colleagues, or teachers... so when they open your outline, they have access to all your references.
You can also export your outlines as images, for display or printing.
Q: How much is Ruminate?
A: Upon release of the iOS7-optimized version of Ruminate, the price will be $.99 for a limited time to celebrate the release of the iOS 7-optimized version. After the temporary release pricing, Ruminate will return to its full price of $4.99.