Adding notes to notes

I’m a big fan of the mind map approach and am really enjoying the clean, intuitive approach of Scapple compared to some of the other feature heavy apps that I’ve tried.

One thing that I’m trying to figure out is what to do with research notes - i.e. background information relating to a node? For example, I might have a node for a location named ‘London’ and then several pages of text notes which detail a specific part of London.

Initially, I thought I could just paste all of the notes to a text file and drag that file into the Scapple document - but Scapple is clever and imports the text from that file as a new (very large) note.

Is there a way to ‘associate’ text with a note, which can be viewed if selected but does not take up lots of space in the mind map?

Many thanks!

You can use hyperlinks for this, which will allow you to open the associated file in its default application. Edit > Add Link… will let you type a file path or drag in a file to link, and you can also just type the link directly in the note and then select it, right-click, and choose “Make Link”. The syntax is “file:///Users/nightwriteruk/Documents/example.txt” for files on your local drive. If you drag the link, make sure you manually add “file://” to the beginning before creating the link. To open a link, double-click in a note to enter editing mode, then click the link.

Jennifer - thanks so much for such a detailed reply! Great instructions and now I’m working just how I wanted :slight_smile:

I have just started to use Scrapple for Mac. One of the first things I noticed was the inability to make background notes. I appreciate the response, but it seems rather cumbersome to me, which kind of defeats the purpose. What I would really like to see is the kind of feature that exists in Index Card for iPad, where you can add background information to “back” of a card.

In spite of the foregoing, I believe this product has real potential.


David Lyon

Scrivener would be a better choice, if you are looking for something more like Index Card on the Mac. In fact Index Card was inspired by Scrivener’s corkboard interface to begin with. It has two main text editors attached to every card, not including the title and synospis, both easily accessible and easily hidden on demand.

Scapple is intentionally flat, and has a design that at every point is opposed to the concept of hiding data within data. It instead encourages us to spread our information outward on a two-dimensional plane so that they are not only visible, but always continue to use the bulk that is required to construct them, never allowing their information structure to be subordinated or obscured by others around them. This is very much on purpose, and I would say that reneging on that would in part dilute the overall concept and cause it to drift back into the already well trod realms of diagramming software; realms that Scapple was made as an opposing answer to.

The trick supplied above strikes me as a good compromise. For one a hyperlink does not conflict with what I have described, in that it can be used to route one to external information. However it can be used to create a more dimensional data structure (I hesitate to use complex vs. simple in this description, as a flat data model can be quite complex, it just doesn’t try to say all of the complexity out loud with UI straps and bolts and features).