Do freeform and nonlinear ideas stimulate your best thinking?
Do you do your best work on a whiteboard? If your answer to these questions is yes, then today’s tool should be a good addition to your toolbox.
Scapple is described by its developers as a freeform, nonlinear, mind-mapping text editor. That is a mouthful. Don’t make the mistake I did at first when I read “mind-mapping”. It is simpler to use, almost zero learning-curve, and it can be used in a variety of helpful ways.
Scapple is an easy-to-use tool for getting ideas down on-screen as quickly as possible and then making connections between them all. If you’ve ever scribbled down ideas all over a whiteboard or piece of paper and drawn lines between related thoughts, then you already know what Scapple does. There are no rules, no structure and no walls to confine you.
The app starts you off with a blank canvas. Double-click anywhere to add a new note. To connect notes, just drag and drop one onto the other. If you change your mind, you can repeat that process to disconnect the two notes. Once you have completed your masterpiece, you can save and/or export in either a TXT or PNG format to send to others.
Key capabilities available using Scapple include:
- Write notes anywhere on the virtual paper.
- Connect notes using drag and drop.
- Stack notes in columns of related ideas.
- Customize the appearance of notes including font styles, colors and border styles.
Here is an example of the old way we captured our ideas and brainstorms and how they look when doing the same thing with Scapple:
I spent much of my career in technology sales. Many times I was joined in a customer meeting with a system engineer. Inevitably, the SE would be up at the whiteboard, laying out something that had my customer team nodding in approval. Using Scapple, I would have been able to save the work, and incorporate it into our activities and customer deliverables.
Or when I would be brainstorming changes to our sales process or deal flow with my management team. Having the ability to capture the ideas as they are flowing, freeform and fresh would have saved time and eliminated many an argument over what was actually decided and how it was to flow.
I am now using Scapple online, sharing my screen with multiple people in disparate locations in real-time. Some of the most provocative, productive and stimulating meetings I have had over the last three months were being captured using Scapple using a screen-sharing tool like GoToMeeting.
Consider the impact of including your Scapple creations in your proposals, project documents and presentations for your customers and prospects. I have found it to be an impressive addition to the information previously available, adding to your value in your customers eyes.
Scapple is a product from the creators of Scrivener, the writing and researching tool that I have been using for over a year while writing my upcoming book. I wrote a post about Scrivener in last years 30 Tools in 30 Days series. Here is the link to that post if your are interested. The ability to integrate Scapple creations into my writing is exciting, giving me additional ways to demonstrate the concepts I share in the book.
Purchase or Free Trial?
- Scapple is available for purchase for Mac at $14.99 or try it out first with the free 30-day trial.
- Scapple for Windows now available as of October 8, 2013. Same price, same function.
- Download a free trial of Scapple for Mac or the next available beta version for Windows
- Use Scapple for your next brainstorming or strategy session within your company.
- Once comfortable, use it in a customer setting and capture those powerful ideas for future reference.