Scapple (Flowchart software)

Scapple is a cute little program I was able to pick up on sale for about $10 (USD). There are a lot of options within the program (mostly of what I'd call the cosmetic type) which I haven't used much, if at all. The main way I use it is as a combination flowchart/corkboard.

The program is not very difficult to use. Basically, you enter 'boxes' of text. As you enter new snippets of text, you are able to 'connect' them to each other merely by a cursor drag-drop (which doesn't move the original text, but creates a connecting line. The text boxes can be moved freely around the working space (which can be expanded beyond your screen if you desire extra room). As you move them, any connections will also move to show the relationships.

You can set up a heirarchy with the boxes. You merely 'draw' a larger box to group items together. You can then connect that 'group' to another box/group.

I'm having an extremely difficult time trying to 'explain' it - however I think it's a program that could be useful for some of my fellow Knights: A flowchart program can help show relationship between characters, locations, chapters, or other items which you may want to track in your writing endeavors. It's somewhat like a hand-drawn spreadsheet I've seen of how J.K. Rowling tracked her characters, subplots, etc. across the seven Harry Potter books.

As I mentioned, I was able to find the program on sale, but even the current price doesn't seem too bad. If this seems at all like something you may use, I'd say take the gamble and try it out (there's a 30-day free trial available). It's available for both Windows and MacOS.

Comments

  • Thanks. sounds like a useful tool. I know it is designed to work with Scrivener so I may have to look back at that program. I use a plug in for word that gives it most of the features of Scrivener, because I found the Scrivener word processor lacking.
  • a plug in for word that gives it most of the features of Scrivener.

    This is relevant to my interests.

  • Its called Writing Outliner. It installs as a plug in to Word and gives you a very similar layout and tools such as the corkboard, the outline management sidebar, and the document properties/notes capabilities. writingoutliner.com/

    It costs $49, but since I really thought the Scrivener word processing capability (and dictionary) was weak it really gives me the best features of both. Someone that is really conversant in Scriv probably would find it a pale imitation, but I think it works well for my needs.

    Nice thing is that when you shut the plug in off, it goes back to being Word, just like normal.
  • I actually have been designing my own program based on Scrivner and other visual data organization software. At least just for note-taking and keeping track of ideas, characters and plot/sub-plots.
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