With that being said, I feel like there are several features and QoL improvements that are missing from Scapple that would help round out and expand its functionality which would be of great benefit to the app. Its worth noting that although Scapple is touted as being freeform and structureless, this ultimately proves to be just as much a hinderance as it is a boon to those who use it. Some structure is needed in all programs and projects if only to ensure the program works as intended and to allow the user some degree of stability. As such, scapple should have some form of structure, albeit one that is incredibly flexible and adaptable enough to maintain the intended niche and design philosophy.
In light of this I have decided to compile a list of features and additions that would ultimately prove to be benificial to its users. Some of these ideas are my own, others are popular ideas that others have come up with or which were similar enough to the kinds of things that I was thinkg about that I felt they were worth mentioning. To keep things organized I will divide them up by subject matter.
1.The ability to nest entire sets of shapes, bubbles, and notes would be invaluable (IE, create multiple thought maps within thought maps in a single project).
2. Currently, Pasted objects appear in areas where other shapes are. This is a pain in the butt if magnets are on as it can mess up the layout I spent a half hour painstakingly setting up right before.
3. The ability to create templates for the layout of notes within a shape for later use. Also, a few default templates would be nice. That way I wouldn't have to copy and paste the same layout over and over again, but could just rightclick, select add template, and then select the layout from a dropdown list.
4. An optional snap to grid feature that can be turned off and on at will. There is seriously no excuse for not having this, as it allows for quick, intuitive, and easy placement of notes with relation to one another. Including this would be brilliant and would help with organization of ideas. Its a tool, not a restriction; if implemented properly, such a feature wouldn't tarnish Scapple's intended design goals if it the user could toggle it on and off.
5. Ability to pin some shapes and/or notes (and all content organized within) in place by simply checking a box while they are selected.
6. Intellegent reallignment (IE notes and shapes moving slightly to improve layout) is a must have. I shouldn't have to manually realign everything that I move after each drag I make. That's just tedious.
7. The ability to add panes to the background.
Notes & Note Stacks:
1. Notes that have stacks of notes under them should function similarly to folders. IE, stacking should be a persistent characteristic.
- Stacked notes shouldn't have to be restacked just because you adjusted their size or moved them (IE there should at least be an option to have stacked notes "glued" together). They should remain attached to their parent note in the same relative location even when the parent note is moved or has its size adjusted. As it stands now, each time I find myself moving lists of notes, I inevitably find myself having to drag each one individually to the desired area of relocation... especially in compact areas where box selecting isn't really an option.
- All notes in a stack should retain the set alignment the user originally specified when creating the stack or folder, and should automatically adjust their size and position relative to the parent note (there should be a checkbox to turn this feature on and off) accordingly. Of course, the alignment and relative size should be able to be changed and modified as needed.
- Notes should be able to be added to a stack simply by dragging and dropping them into the stack. In addition, notes in a stack should be able to be rearranged in a simmilar manner without having to manually set and recreate the stack each and every time.
- Lists of notes should be able to be minimized and/or hidden under the parent note. Nested stacks of notes should also be able to minimize, expand, and be hidden as well. This helps clean up visible space and makes things easier to organize and view. When a user doesn't need certain information, they can simply minimize it and open another "folder."
2. The ability for notes to crossreference note cards from Scrivener and sync changes between the two.
3. The ability to create a hyperlink in a note that takes you from one note to another when clicked on. This would have to be added as a seperate form of connection. The ability to add hidden arrows would be a nice side addition.
4. Expanded list of default formats for notes.
1. Background shapes should automatically adjust in size to accomidate the addition of new notes (if needed) and should also do so when stacks of notes are minimized or hidden.
2. When the size of Background shapes are changed, notes should have an option to automatically adjust their alignment and size along with that of the shape. This allows the user to change the height and width of a background shape without having to manually realign and readjust the size and position of all notes contained within each and every time, just to compensate for the change.
3. Notes inside a background shape should be able to have their relative size and position inside the shape locked to prevent accidental edits.
1. The abillity to have greater control over the format, the look, and appearance of arrows would be incredibly useful. You could color code the arrows to indicate the type of connection.
2. Being able to label arrows (and be able to show or hide the lables) would be incredibly handy as well.
3. Arrows that are able to bend and manuver around and between notes is absolutely essential. Currently arrows just take the shortest path to the indicated shape and will be hidden behind any shapes or notes in the way, making things confusing and messy in organization. As a simple solution to this, I suggest adding the ability for users to add multiple points on an arrow to allow it to change direction, yet still have the lines be straight between each of the points. Ya know, kinda similar to a polygon tool in an art program. This would allow a fairly simple method of creating arrows that can manuver around other notes and shapes without it compromising the simple and freeform nature of Scapple.
In conclusion, I hope you take the time to seriously consider these changes and additions, as I feel that they would vastly improve the user experience and versatility of Scapple.