I think Scapple has become part of my workflow

Mi
Mick
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Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:56 am Post

I have fairly bad eye sight; I avoid writing by hand as much as possible, because it gives me a headache. So most of my writing is done on computer. In the early stages of brainstorming a novel or story, I used to do a lot of scribbling by hand, but in the last 8 or 10 years the scribbling aspect has become more of a typing-with-a-keyboard-into-a-word-processor thing.

When I began using Scrivener, its corkboard and binder were a very good match for my new typing-on-a-keyboard brainstorming (and every other step in the writing process after that). Scrivener is, by far, my favourite piece of writing software, bar none. (And my favourite piece of software in general, alongside essentials like web browsers, email, and photo editing programs.)

When I heard about Scapple, I started researching mindmapping apps. (I'm a Windows user, so I knew I'd have some time before Scapple reached me.) I really like a program called Freeplane; it allows me to do something similar to what I used to do, back when I was doodling on paper, making notes, sticking them in balloons and drawing arrows all over the place. Still, Freeplane is a little rigid, and on one side it has a lot of bells and whistles I'll never use, on the other it's lacking some ease of use.

Now Scapple has arrived. THIS is as close an app has ever come, to the way I once brainstormed my work, by hand, noodlin' on paper, many years ago. It's bringing back memories. I like it because it is simple, fairly intuitive, and it doesn't give me a headache -- I can zoom in and enlarge what I've typed, which I can't do when noodlin' on paper. I don't have to throw out my piece of paper and start over when I've run out of room and crossed out bucketloads of bad ideas. I can drag files in from other sources, or drag notes over to Scrivener.

I know there are a lot of "feature request" threads on the Scapple forums (I'm keen on tabbed documents and the ability to more easily expand the working space outward*), but I just want to say (this is the main reason for my post) I *LOVE* the simplicity of this program and its emulation of scribbling ideas on paper. I love Scrivener for its six billion useful features, just as I love Scapple for its bare bones simplicity.

Thanks, team L&L!!

---
(* I know I can shove a note waaaaay up to the left and another waaaaaay down to the right, and that's a-okay, but it sounds like you guys might make it even easier than that, in the future, which is super cool.)

ga
gab
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Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:15 am Post

I agree totally. Scrivener and Scapple is wonderful software. I have a similar experience, I tried other mindmapping software also, but it is the simplicity and ease of use and lack of superflous features that enables me to focus on developing ideas. No other software of the like can do it. Scapple does what it is supposed to and does it perfectly. I am amazed at how stable the software is in beta-stadium already. It looks nice too.
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zo
zornhau
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Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:16 pm Post

Me too +++1

Anybody know if we're going to be able to launch Scapple from inside a Scriv project?

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AmberV
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Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:40 pm Post

Thanks everyone! We're really pleased with how the beta is going as well. There will probably be an update early next week with all of the bug fixes we've been collecting, and some behaviour tweaks as well.

Anybody know if we're going to be able to launch Scapple from inside a Scriv project?


Sure, in the same way that you would load a research file in any external software. Just select the Scapple board you have dropped into your Binder, and use `Documents/Open/with External Editor` or `Ctrl-F5`.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Br
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Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:18 pm Post

I am so very, very impressed with Scapple and I am sorry I delayed so long in trying it out.

I saw mention of the beta on a blog this morning and having nothing better to do than the work I should have been doing I decided to install it.

If I could buy it today I would. I have rarely been so impressed with a piece of software for being such a true and useful writing tool instead of an endless I.Q. test written in some unknown language.

Scapple gets out of my way instantly and lets me idea brainstorm. I don't have to remember cryptic commands, follow some fundamentalist doctrine of how a user should behave, or deal with one thousand a one silly formatting choices.

Over the years I have purchased just about every mind mapping piece of software out there for both personal and business use. I have spent hundreds of dollars on the programs. I have tried every freeware version out there, and none of them allow me the freedom to just think and create. I gave up on all of them because I was spending all of my time picking colors and fonts, making connection lines curve elegantly, and adding silly symbols and emoticons. All of that just stopped me from creating.

I went back to paper but that gets messy, is often lost or destroyed by the dog, and lives separate from the work I do in Scrivener. I got around that last part of the problem by taking a picture of my paper diagram and importing it to Scrivener as a research item but it wasn't a true solution.

I know that you are fixing the last of the bugs and you are not considering any additional features but just in case temptation gets in your way could I please just ask that the leave this piece of art alone just the way it is without bells, whistles, or gaudy banners.

Scapple is a godsend to me.


Rick Grant
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zo
zornhau
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Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:38 pm Post

AmberV wrote:
Anybody know if we're going to be able to launch Scapple from inside a Scriv project?


Sure, in the same way that you would load a research file in any external software. Just select the Scapple board you have dropped into your Binder, and use `Documents/Open/with External Editor` or `Ctrl-F5`.


Ah but I want to right click in a folder and select "Add New Scapple Diagram"

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AmberV
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Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:15 pm Post

Ah, we don't have a way of doing that yet. But we will. :) It will be part of the general document template system, where anything you put into a designated folder will be available for creating new copies. For now, just try putting an empty .scap file into your binder and hitting Ctrl-D whenever you need a new one.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

al
alwrite
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Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:03 pm Post

Me too ...
Love Scapple, been looking high and low for it - knew it when I saw it. Like others I've looked at mind map software and settled on Freeplane, pretty good.

The best 'thinking' tool I found was i2Brain - brilliant and very powerful but a bit clunky and somewhat high maintenance; it's even too hard to explain why! Another program with appeal was StickySorter, sort of had a lot of promise but somehow I couldn't connect and I read of limitations other people had found that pushed it away.
However, these last two programs had a feature which I have found powerful: the notes could be assigned properties, sort of behind the notes. This allowed notes to be color-coded and grouped by properties.
Perhaps something like this could be done with Scapple notes. To keep it Scrivener friendly allow notes to be assigned 'keywords' and then use the keywords as filters to see only those 'scenes' where Dan appears or which occur in Laura's office or which have 'lots of potential' and so on.

I tend to generate a lot of thoughts about topics and a keyword/properties filter could be very useful, but I'd be concerned about destroying the incredible elegance of what we have here already.

BTW, I'm buying this as soon as it's available; which I hope is before the beta period expires - I've already got addiction issues about this. (It seems wrong to be so in love with software.)

Well done guys on your brilliant work

nw
nw_scapple
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Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:56 pm Post

I know that you are fixing the last of the bugs and you are not considering any additional features but just in case temptation gets in your way could I please just ask that the leave this piece of art alone just the way it is without bells, whistles, or gaudy banners.


Another vote for keeping things simple without a multitude of toolbars etc to distract etc.

Cl
ClintRobertson
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Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:53 pm Post

Indeed! Though I haven't had the software for very long, it has already become indispensable for diagramming my stories (even with the few 'bugs' that need ironing out!).

Each time I open it, it reminds me that there are only a couple of weeks before the Beta version will expire. Rest assured, though, that it has become a part of the storyboarding and story process for me; it will be purchased!

Thanks for thinking of it, L&L. Keep up the good work!