It's rare that I write about a piece of software I've never seen, much less used. But I've been reading about Scapple, a new note-scribbling app for Mac from Literature and Latte, the people who brought us Scrivener. Because it is only available for Mac and I'm a Windows and Linux user, I haven't actually tried this, but from what I've been reading, it is an intriguing tool for writers.
Scapple is like a blank piece of paper on your Mac. You can add a note anywhere on the paper by clicking on a spot and typing. You can join notes with a line by dragging one note on top of another. There are other shortcuts to help you work out your ideas too.
It's not quite like a mindmap. Mindmaps are useful for planning a story, but can be frustrating because you can only have one central node, and everything has to branch off that node, or be connected directly to another node. Problem is, when you're planning a project, you often have ideas that do not immediately connect to your other thoughts. Traditional mindmapping software does not allow for these disconnected thoughts.
It's kind of like whiteboarding software with mindmapping advantages, but it's more like a big zoomable sheet of paper that you can use how ever you want. Make that a piece of paper that lets you move your doodles around on it. Then, when you're ready, you can import your Scapple sheet to your Scrivener corkboard.
It sounds like a simple tool without extra bells and whistles that get in the way. You just use it to do what you want to do and youd on't have tow ork around and between unwanted features to do it.
It's not enough to make me go out and buy a Mac, but if this works as well as it might, it will create a rare pang of Mac envy.
Update: A Windows version of Scapple is in the works. No availability date has been announced.
Other Tech News
And in other news, this week's software update for the Nook HD and Nook HD+ readers, available now, includes the entire Google Play App store, transforming what was already a great reader into a full-fledged tablet. One of the more interesting things about this news is that the Nook can now run the Kindle App for Android, which means you can now read your Amazon books on the Barnes & Noble Nook. I already loved my 7" Nook HD. I now love it even more.