Index Card for iPad

Index Card is a non-linear writing tool for iPad. I’ve started this topic to carry on the posts found in the iPad as a writing/research tool thread.

I’m a long-time user of Scrivener who has bought into the iPad madness. I was hoping for a Scrivener iPad edition, but have taken the hint that’s not happening.

So similar to how Keith came to develop Scrivener to meet a need in his writing process, I’ve built Index Card to fill a need in mine. It allows the capture, organization and export of ideas.

It does address my basic needs for the iPad, and I hope some other folks will find it useful as well.

I welcome feedback in this forum or via my support form. Thanks.

Psst. What about Scrivener integration? Contact me if you’re interested (though I won’t get chance to think about much until after 2.0 now).

Good luck!

All the best,

Hi Keith. I would love to have Scrivener integration. Hopefully it’s within my coding capabilities.

Please let me know how we would get started on that. Thanks.

I bought a copy and like it, well written piece of software that makes my work a little bit easier.


Thank you. v1.1 just got approved and posted to the app store. Free update for existing users.


  • Export or mail projects in Indexcard file format
  • Import Indexcard files from other iPad apps (e.g Mail, Dropbox)
  • Draft setting allows you to omit cards from project export
  • Rename Project by tapping the name in the Toolbar
  • Activity indicator during file export
  • Removed Gray from user label option list
  • Card synopsis text now aligns to top
  • Carriage returns are now respected in RTF export formatting
  • RTF sent via Mail can now be previewed and launched for reading in other iPad apps (added .rtf file extension)
  • Updated Tutorial Project to include descriptions of new features

Wow, that looks impressive. But “each body of work what you want to compile”? (from the website)

Each project is considered it’s own body of work. So you could create a separate project for each of your movie ideas. When you compile, it is by project.

Just wanted to chime in and say thank you for this software! I’ve been looking for index card software that would let me put my chapter synopses in and shuffle them around, etc and your app is exactly what I needed.

I’m also a (tinkering) Objective-C developer, and had this as an idea written down to work on for the App Store and when I saw and bought your implementation, I crossed that off my “ideas” list. You created exactly what I wanted to make. :slight_smile:

Great app, I highly recommend it. It filled in a missing hole in my writing process for iPad, which is Pages (for more formal formatting), Elements for Dropbox for drafting (plain text-editor that has word count and some other simple yet nice features), and now Index Card for outlining and plot arc’ing.

I’ve just written the first review for the app on the Japan iTunes Store. I have to say that I think this is the best implementation of index cards I’ve seen anywhere, including on the Mac. I just love the fact that writing the content of a card takes you away from all other distractions, and that each card in the grid contains by default just enough text to make it clear what it is without having to open it or look in inspectors. The outline mode is also very nice, again with just the right amount of text to show a meaningful number of items while making it clear what each item is.

I do hope Scrivener integration happens. As far as I can see, that would remove any need for a Scrivener Lite for iPad.

BTW, in my previous message, I meant to suggest that the “what” in the quoted sentence (in the Projects section of the Index Card page on your site) was a typo, which was a pity considering how carefully you’ve crafted the text.

Thanks for the kind words and review.

Doh! Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve corrected it.

v1.2 of Index Card for iPad has just been released to the iTunes App Store. Includes several new enhancements based on feature requests. Free update for existing users.

What’s New in Index Card v1.2

  • Export files to Dropbox: Link your Dropbox account to Index Card and export projects to your Dropbox folder
  • Duplicate projects: Make a copy of a project (including cards with Draft set to OFF)
  • Landscape Card Control: Access controls by scrolling when editing card in landscape (used to be hidden under keyboard)
  • Brown label option
  • Tap corkboard to dismiss keyboard when renaming a project
  • Drop shadow for cards on corkboard
  • What’s New Project: Automatically created the first time you launch a new version. Explains the new features.

v1.3 of Index Card for iPad has been approved on the iTunes App Store. Many new features and improvements.

What’s New in Index Card v1.3

  • Forward and Back Buttons: Move between cards in a project without closing the edit view
  • Editing Control Placement: Card editing controls that are frequently used can be accessed in landscape without dismissing the keyboard
  • Special Characters in RTF: Preserves format of special characters (e.g. umlaut, tilde, accent, etc.) when exporting RTF.
  • Card Edits Save on Quit: If the application is exited, card edits in progress will be saved
  • Redesigned Card editing screen to have corkboard look

Thanks to those that have taken time to try the app and provide their feedback.

Just checked your app in the iTunes App Store …

It’s enough to make me wish I had an iPad and that I was writing fiction or drama or something.

Sadly, neither of those is true — I edit translations and lecture at university — so until I retire and manage to persuade myself that I have something creative to contribute to the world, I will just carry on wishing!

It looks brilliant.


You could plan lectures with it. They’re creative, too, right?

Possibly, yes, but with a 17" MBP and an MBA, an iTouch and now an iPhone, an iPad is hard to justify, and my preferred workflow for preparing lectures combines Scrivener, OmniOutliner Pro and Keynote, along with OmniGraffle for preparing diagrams.
And using an iPad for keynote would have no advantage over controlling keynote on the Mac with Keynote Remote on the iTouch or iPhone, perhaps might have disadvantages.
But thanks for your interest.

Wow, sounds like an interesting workflow. If you write about it anywhere, please link to it from here!

Tell you the truth, I want to refine the workflow and then might write it up, but the translation-editing side of my job is taking up so much of my time and energy that I spend my time muddling through.
Originally in the era BS, my workflow started with OmniOutlinerPro, clipping information or writing up information in a rather basic outline. OOP has the great advantage that, provided you keep it simple, it can export to a basic Keynote file and to RTF. So I’d put together the content of the lecture in OOP, making any diagrams in OmniGraffle Pro, then export it to Keynote where I’d tart it up suitably for presentation, and also to RTF, which I’d open originally in InDesign, but following 10.5 upgrade in Nisus Writer Pro — I couldn’t afford the upgrade from ID CS1 to more modern versions — to fill out and write up fully and format, then print as PDF which I made available to my students. The great thing about OOP, NWP, OGP and Keynote is that they all support Linkback, so having copied and pasted the graphics into any of the others, if necessary, a double-click on the pasted version would open it in OGP for any amendments.
Having since started working with Scriv, I wish to go from a .scriv, exported to RTF for NWP on the one hand — only formatting to be done — and to OPML on the other to open in OOP and subsequently pass on to Keynote. But, as I say, on the one hand, my translation-editing work is taking over, and on the other, fortunately, most of the work on my lectures comes down to refining the content and presentation of the previous year’s lecture.
This year there have been changes to my courses, so I hope to implement the new flow as a result, but for the moment, I am totally, but totally, swamped with editing, so any new lecture material has to be done on the fly using the original flow.
All of which said, I do think this would form a good basis for a “Lecture series” template for Scriv 2.0, and there are those on this forum who would be able to contribute to that even more significantly than me.


Key addition is the ability to write Notes on the back of cards. Unlike card title or synopsis, notes are not included in export or searches. A few minor tweaks, and a couple bug fixes as well. Thanks.

Version 1.4 of Index Card for iPad should appear on the iTunes App store any moment. Many enhancements. Free upgrade for existing users.
Index Card v1.4 - What’s New
Here’s a partial list of improvements. Many addressing user requests:

  • Sync with Scrivener 2.0
  • Expand Outline: The height of rows will automatically expand to display longer synopsis on screen
  • Duplicate cards on the corkboard
  • Move cards between projects
  • 6 new color label choices (14 total) and made pre-existing colors more vibrant so they are easier to distinguish on screen
  • Projects sent to Dropbox now appear in their own “IndexCard” folder
  • Importing projects now asks if you want to Replace an existing project or Save New project
  • Increased the width of the project title field on the toolbar to accommodate longer names

Hi Den

I thought you’d like to know that your app (and its ability to sync with Scrivener 2.0) was one of the deciding factors in my buying an iPad a few days ago - Index Card looks gorgeous and is already proving a cornerstone of my NaNoWriMo 2010 preparations!

I don’t know if this is the right place for this question, but when syncing with Scriv 2.0, do the contents of the index cards go into the synopsis (the logical place, at least from a user’s point of view) or the main part of the document? I guess I’ll find out when I get my hands on 2.0, but I was just wondering…