Scapple, A Writers’ Mind Map App From The Maker Of Scrivener


Not Scrapple, not Snapple.
Not Scrapple, not Snapple.

Scapple — a cross between scabs and Snapple? Thankfully not: Scapple is in fact a brand new (as in beta) mind-map app for writers. What’s that, you say? There are already a ton of mind-map apps out there? That’s true. But none of them comes from the developer of the awesome Scrivener.

Scapple (which I keep mistyping as Snapple or Scrapple) comes from Literature and Latte, the developer behind the ultimate long-form writers’ tool, Scrivener. As I said, it’s a mind-map app, but this one is geared more towards getting ideas out of your head and less about structuring them. To begin with, at least.

The metaphor is a sheet of paper. A big sheet of paper. You can click to start typing anywhere on the page, which expands to fit all of your snippets. You can link ideas and draw lines between them, but crucially this isn’t required, unlike a regular mind map app which requires that you organize yourself in trees.

There are a few neat tricks. The z key will zoom out on a long-press to show the whole canvas, and for a beta version the export options are legion. You can even drag and drop a note over to Scrivener and add it to the latter’s corkboard.

The good news: the app will probably be around $10 when it makes it into the Mac App Store. The bad news: it’s for OS X, not the iPad. This seems a little ass-backward to me as the iPad is the perfect place for this kind of brainstorming and idea generating. I guess I’ll just have to stick to actual paper index cards for a while yet.

Source Literature and Latte

  • mr_bee

    Looks interesting, but I agree that this is something that should be an iPad app from the start. I would never sit down in front of my desktop computer for this kind of activity. It’s the kind of thinking you might do on the couch with a pen and paper, or in a restaurant on a napkin.

    I think it’s overpriced for what it is also, and to be honest, Scrivener is a bit over-rated IMO as well. It’s too rigid in terms of how you must work with it, and the only really good feature is the index card trick.

  • ripleyvanders

    This review is very premature and also wrong-headed. The product is an early beta, there’s NO price on it at all, and who cares if it’s not for iOS, which is no platform for serious idea development or writing. The commenter’s extra slam at Scrivener is pointless and superficial, since “Mr. Bee” has obviously never used it much at all. Anyway, a lazy review and comment hardly add up to a trend, and I hope that real users of Scapple will soon write in their impressions. I happen to think that Scapple is a fast, elegant, and powerful free-form outliner, and I’m already using it on a daily basis.

  • robraden

    I’ve tried a ton of these apps and, frankly, I find the iPad to be an even better tool for mind-mapping than my Mac. For me, THE mind-map app to own is MindNode. It works on the iPad and iPhone, and there’s a Mac version too. They all sync (as of recent updates, anyway) and I find the app a joy to use. It’s really worth checking out.