Friday, October 30, 2015

Seven Reasons to love Scapple

I’m in love with yet another piece of writer software, known as Scapple. It helps with brainstorming, and is made by Literature and Latte, the folks who bring us that other fabulous piece of writing software known as Scrivener.
Scapple is like having an infinite-sized white board or an endless roll of butcher paper. In the screenshot above, when I go to print that out, it will take 12 pieces of paper. Yet I can have the fun of doing it all on my computer screen, in a readable size, until I am ready to print.
This is only today’s output. Because I am brainstorming ideas for a series of novels set in fictional Twin Forks, WA during the time period between 1910-1920, I expect I will quadruple the size of my Scapple board over the next few days. 
What I like about Scapple: 

  1. Unlike other brainstorming or mind-mapping software, nothing is automatically connected. I have tried similar software and that is my #1 complaint. I often don’t know what will be the center of my thoughts, and I don’t like having to organize and connect them around hierarchies–or at all, in the beginning. With Scapple, it’s all free-form until I decide I want to join them by stacking them or drawing lines or arrows between them. 
  2. It is infinitely expandable.
  3. Moving notes around is incredibly easy, as is re-sizing, coloring and deleting, besides a bunch of other fancy things you can do with the notes, if you are inclined to play.
  4. When I’m done brainstorming, I can print up my notes or I can export them to Scrivener. 
  5. I can also import things into Scapple, such as images and text. Most of what you see on the screenshot is text that I imported into Scapple from Word files. 
  6. Scapple is simple to use. If you’re familiar with Microsoft Publisher, you already know how to use Scapple. 
  7. It’s available for Mac users as well as PC users. I’ve found in the past that sometimes, the more artsy software (such as the latest version of Dramatica) is available only for Macs. I’m grateful to L&L for making this available to Microsoft users. 
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