Use This for That: Inspiration Boards with Scapple


Scapple BoardDitch the tacks, stickies, and printer. Scapple is the most renter and environment friendly pin board you’ll ever use.

A lot of people use Scapple (from the fabulous folks who brought you Scrivener) primarily as a digital note board. Though the interface can be clunky, there are myriad options for writing, linking, and organizing your thoughts.

Lately, I’ve been using Scapple for another purpose. Inspiration.

The above is the inspiration board I’ve been using for a chapter set inside the Étoile du Nord. A luxury train that ran from Paris to Amsterdam starting in the 20’s. In the center, you can see that I’ve placed one of Scapple’s famous notes filled with some important info for the scene.  That’s not what I want to focus on. It’s the pictures I use most. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, I’d say they’re good for at least a dozen notes as well.

Photos in Scapple can be resized and layered with ease. They to can be linked and organized using the same tools that apply to notes. One feature, however, stands above the rest in making Scapple so useful for this task, drag and drop.

I know, I know, it’s not a ground breaking technological breakthrough but the ability to drag and dump photos off the web and into a holding tank rather than saving them to the desktop or, more likely, leaving a million tabs open in Chrome, is a life changer.

By utilizing a Scapple board, I no longer have to save link after link. I no longer have to create folders full of photos. I no longer have to click between photo files to view each one individually. The Scapple board let’s me keep them all in one place which means I have all that inspiration available in just one quick glance. Less time searching, more time writing, who wouldn’t like that.


Use This for That: Black Dry Erase Board Update- Neon Dry Erase Markers

Neon dry erase markers on glass with black paper background.

Neon dry erase markers on glass with black paper background.

Well, okay, that isn’t quite all.

Liquid chalk looks great but is a pain to clean and a pain to use and just a mess all around.

Neon dry erase markers also look great but are easy to clean and easy to use.

If you want to make semi-permanent signs, liquid chalk is the choice. If you are after a marker for a dark or black dry erase board, neon dry erase markers are absolutely the best choice.



Use This for That: DIY Black Dry Erase Board

Black Dry Erase Board

As a writer, I use a whiteboard as a catch all. From important dates to writing targets, to witty lines that I’ll undoubtedly find less witty when I get around to adding them to my manuscript, a whiteboard is like flypaper for my scattered mind. I’ve written about my whiteboard before here. There’s just one problem. I’d grown sick of using it.

Before I dove into the land of writing, I was a teacher and as such, used a whiteboard daily. I love the dry erase format but my office whiteboard seemed to function as a constant work reminder rather than an inspiration board like I had intended. It was almost as if it was standing over my shoulder with a coffee cup asking for my TPS reports. I just couldn’t take it any more. I needed something different but something that could still serve the same function.

I’d seen black dry erase boards online and had been pining over them for months. There was something about the bright neon writing on the stark, black background that just seemed right. Each note, an idea shining through the aether rather than jotted down on dirty white page. Here in Switzerland black dry erase boards are very hard to come by and world wide, they’re stupidly expensive. I spent a couple of months trying to justify the expense until one day I decided to put on my MacGyver mullet (figuratively, of course) and get inventive. Continue reading