StorySkeleton, An Index-Card Story Mapping App That Works With Scrivener

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StorySkeleton is an amazing app that’s been around for a little while, but a recent update to add iPad support has made it even better. At heart, it’s a kind of index-card-based note and outlining app for writers (screen, fiction and non-fiction) to help structure and plan stories. But the design is fantastic, making it easier to use than most other alternatives.

Oh, and it exports directly to native Scrivener files.

I don’t know how I missed this app on my regular sweep of the app store, searching for index-card apps, but yesterday I found it. The app arranges your notes (scenes, I guess) as index cards, and you can reorder them by drag and drop or by using a special rearranging mode (this mode was designed for the iPhone version and isn;t really needed on the iPad).

You can color-code your cards, assign a “type” and a “plot point” to the header of each card (these are both customizable), and you can group the cards into stacks (and stacks within stacks if you like).

It’s beauty is in its simplicity, but that’s not to say there’s no power. You can import OPML files (from outliner and mind-mapping apps), and you can export in OPML and SCRIV formats. The latter goes straight into Scrivener to become part of your story, and it’s all done via Dropbox (or email for luddites).

Amazingly, StorySkeleton is fast enough to use as a not-taking app, too. Usually I jot anything directly into Drafts and go from there, but adding new notes to StorySkeleton is fast enough to be a good alternative for your story notes. I’d like to see URL scheme support added in a future version, though, so I could still use Drafts to draft drafts.

StorySkeleton is available now as a Universal app for $9, and worth every penny.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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