Web Development

Create a wiki on your iPhone with WikiTouch

WikiTouch puts a wiki on the iPhone. Will Kelly shows us how to create a mobile wiki with this new class of note-taking application.

When mobile workers need a bit more in a note-taking app than what's offered with the typical App Store offerings, it's time to turn to a mobile wiki like WikiTouch to get the job done. This is just like the wiki you use in your corporate enterprise, but for the iPhone.

Features

WikiTouch brings all the features of a wiki to your iPhone, including:

  • Support for multimedia, such as photos, videos, audio, and major documents formats, like Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF)
  • Synchronize wiki notes across multiple iPhones, iPads, PCs, and the cloud
  • Links between notes so you can create a more book-like experience
  • Upload files, including photos, videos, and documents to the WikiTouch Internet server for sharing between multiple iPhones, iPads, and PCs
  • Cloud-based management interface useful for workers back in the office
  • Export notes as Adobe PDF files, without needing another app, like Adobe CreatePDF
  • Password protection over notes

Create a wiki note

While AgileTouch, the makers of WikiTouch, do a credible job of taking traditional wiki features to the iPhone, it isn't without some compromises. Creating a wiki via a touchscreen beats arcane menu commands and coding syntax, but the small screen real estate of the iPhone feels limiting sometimes to me as a user.

Here's how to create a wiki note:

  1. Tap WikiTouch to open it
  2. Enter your email, and choose a password at the prompt
  3. When you tap Join, the WikiTouch Welcome screen appears
  4. Tap Touch here to continue
  5. Tap + to open the Create Note screen
  6. If WikiTouch asks to use your current location, tap Don't Allow or OK
  7. Type in a title for the note (see Figure A)
  8. Figure A

    The Create Note screen spares you from wiki coding in its compact interface.
  9. Type in text for the body of the note
  10. Optionally, you can add the following to your note page:
    • Tap Photos to add photos
    • Tap Audio to add audio
    • Tap Attach File to attach a file
    • Tap Contact to insert contact information
    • Tap Link to Note to insert a link to a note
    • Tap map link to insert a link to an address on a map
    • Tap email link to insert an email link
    • Tap Web Links to insert a link to a web site
    • Tap Bold Italic prior to a word you want to appear in bold or italics (type the word in between the brackets)
    • Tap Online Album to link to an online photo album (on a site like Picasa or Photobucket)
    • Tap Phone to insert a person's phone number on the note page
  11. Tap Save to save your note, and it will appear under Notes

Expand your wiki

Now that you've created some note pages, it's time to build out the wiki you've been wanting. The two options for building out pages work very similarly to creating pages on traditional hosted wikis:

  • Embed your note title into brackets -- for example, [About Will Kelly] (see Figure B)
  • Use a WikiWord (two or more words written as one word, with each word starting as a capital letter -- for example, ProductPricingInformation
Figure B

After embedding the note title in brackets, it turns into a link to a blank page.

Sync notes

Syncing notes is a feature that may get lost in the small screen real estate of the iPhone's, but it plays an important role in keeping your notes updated across devices.

Follow these steps to sync notes:

  1. Tap Sync on the main menu, and a screen will appear that outlines the synchronization process
  2. When you select Tap here to start synchronization, the synchronization process will run and return a dialog box that tells you the synchronization is complete and the number of notes updated across devices

Share wiki notes

Putting a wiki on your iPhone may require sharing your notes with other users. WikiTouch offers options for sharing notes with other users, even if they don't have an iPhone (or other mobile device) or aren't a WikiTouch user.

Tap the Action button. From the menu, perform one of the following options:

  • Tap Share note with friends to open an email that include a welcome message and link to the note you want to share. Add recipients to the To: field and tap Send. Recipients can then access your note from any device.
  • Tap Export note to PDF. A pop-up confirms the creation of the PDF and its location under WikiTouch's File tab.

You can also share wiki notes in real time with other users. Here's how:

  1. Tap More | Account
  2. When you select Tap Live Session Invite, an email opens with a prewritten invite for a user to join a live session on WikiTouch
  3. Enter an address in the To: field and send the email.
  4. The recipient clicks on a link in the email to view your wiki in real time, even while you're editing

Is that a wiki in your pocket?

Even as a die hard Evernote user, it's easy for me to see the value of WikiTouch for more specialized uses, especially for reference documentation that's accessible on the go. It's definitely another class of note-taking app because of the structure and linking options that lend it so well to personal knowledge bases and system cheat sheets.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

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