Literature and Latte has released the beta of a new app called Scapple, and being a mind map/idea map junky I had to try it out.Scapple is mind mapping software that’s designed to map your ideas out on your computer the way you would on a piece of paper. Most mind map apps that I’ve used start with a central theme in the center and then have branches better thought of as themes radiating out. That’s great if you think that way, but for those of us who find the creative process more messy, such a regimented approach can be a drag.
Oftentimes small ideas become bigger. A project that we may have thought would only be a few hundred words turns out to require a few thousand. Our small and big ideas tend to need very different kinds of nurturing. While a small idea might flow freely, our bigger plans require better planning.
When it comes to my writing, I have two distinct workflows. A freeform process for exploring smaller ideas and a more structured approach to larger projects (I go into both of these at length in my Writer Workflow post over on Gabe Weatherhead’s Macdrifter site). Smaller projects always start the same way. An idea occurs to me and I just start writing (or I revisit a previously captured idea). Larger projects, start in iThoughts HD. I think about what I want to say and use this excellent mind-mapping application for the iPad to flesh it out. Once I’m happy with the outline, I import it into Scrivener and have at it. Most of the time, I’m able to discern the best possible path for an idea. Occasionally, I guess wrong and need to adjust accordingly.