Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scapple Beta

Thanks to my friend Jim, I just became aware of this new application by the Scrivener folks. It looks very interesting:
"The idea is simple: when I'm "brainstorming" ideas (I hate the word "brainstorming", by the way, so please feel free to suggest a better alternative), especially for writing but to a lesser extent for programming too, I tend to take a piece of A3 paper and just write down ideas all over it, in no particular order, making notes off of one idea and drawing lines between them where necessary. So the concept was to take that process and put it in a really simple application; something that wouldn't be any more difficult to use than paper."

Put differently, it is a mind map program that does not restrict you to a single min map, but allows you to have many different centers of interest (or ideas) in one sheet that can be connected or unconnected. A short list of the commands is in the blog post. But I have only played with Scapple so far.

The simplicity of the program appeals to me. Most other mind map programs are too bloated and ... well ... aim at replicating fancy visual mind maps. Scapple has a text-like fee. The developer says: "I wanted an easy way to then take all those notes and dump them into a text file in some sort of order, and I have yet to implement that, so I'd be grateful for any feedback on how that might best be achieved. (It's therefore currently of limited use for real-world work.)" There are, of course, already, suggestion on the board for putting all the feature in that would make it a mind map program like any other (with shapes and garish colors). I hope the developer will resist those suggestions and keep it simple.

This sounds like a great idea. Furthermore, since it is created by the developer of Scrivener, it will interact with future versions of that program. Apparently, it already works with the recent Beta.

Even though I have played with it only for a very short time, I like it a lot and recommend very highly that you take a look at it.


PS: As to the price: "We haven't settled on a definite price yet, but I'm thinking that it will be around $10 or just under." $10.00 seems more than reasonable.

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