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Scapple

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Posted by IAP
Nov 28, 2012 at 07:46 AM

 

> For that early stage of planning, brainstorming, what-have-you, I’ve
>found nothing works as well as paper and a few of my favourite fountain
>pens, well fueled with Noodlers ink.

I would say, in fact, that Scapple is more targeted at *this*, than the mindmap or concept map usage. The idea is to present a small suite of frictionless tools for mimicking the process one goes about with on a sheet of paper or a blackboard. It is almost better thought of as a freeform text editor, where text can be written anywhere on the “page”. You can draw lines or arrows between things if you wish, or enclose bits of text in informative bubbles like you might circle an item on the blackboard for emphasis—-but it has no concept whatsoever of depth, in the outliner sense. Connecting two things together is not an act of declaring semantic ownership (you can pretend it does, but the software will still think of a line as declaring a mutual equal connection between two thoughts). That’s where it deviates most strongly from mindmapping, which tends to have a rigid approach in encouraging information to be developed into a hierarchy. It’s a bit closer to the concept map idea, but lacks the explicit typed connector philosophy that this type of software encourages.

As for integration with Scrivener, it can be picture based if you want. In fact if that’s all you want you could just dump the whole Scapple file into the binder and on a 10.7+ Mac it will show the canvas as the Quick Look preview. It could then be interacted with like any other research item in the binder. The other form of integration is where a Scapple page develops into a pre-structure, and you’d like the individual bits of text to become discrete items in Scrivener. Then the aforementioned technique of dropping the notes into a corkboard, or into the binder, is what you’d want. When doing so on a freeform corkboard, the original spatial properties of the map will be preserved as closely as possible.

So in a nutshell,this software is intended for folks who prefer pens and paper because there isn’t any heavy interface between the idea and the capture of that idea, but at the same time would like to have the benefits of digital power on the way out (not to mention the added editing one can do when the act of putting something into a certain position is not relatively permanent).

Anyway, thanks for posting the software here! Glad to see it has some interest in the outlining community.


Ioa Petra’ka
Literature & Latte - Scrivener
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/