“It’s only for content consumers, not content creators.”

That charge was leveled at the iPad even before it hit the stores. Now that it’s in all our grubby little hands, there seems to be some truth to the argument. My husband has gotten great mileage out of his iPad as a content creation tool, using his Pogo Sketch stylus to create cartoons without having to schlepp his Cintiq.

In my own life, however, content creation is 98% about text, and only 2% about image, so trading a real keyboard for a touchscreen definitely sets me back as a creator. The iPad has its place in my life, I’ve found, but I didn’t think content creation would constitute much of a use case.

Until Popplet. Popplet is a mind mapping tool that has a very nice iPad app. And unlike text entry, mind mapping — which is a core part of my work process — actually does work better on a touchscreen. Being able to quickly create and link related ideas, or rearrange ideas on the screen, ┬áis what makes mind mapping an effective technique. Popplet takes that to a new level of fluidity on the iPad’s screen.

And does it beautifully. Check out this screenshot of a Popplet I created in about 5 minutes:

The only downside is that Popplet is a little too much fun to use. I started jotting down a few ideas in Popplet during a meeting yesterday, and at first it seemed perfect — just the trick for illustrating the vision my colleague and I had arrived at. Then he pointed out that I’d become so absorbed in arranging and re-arranging my Popplet screen that I’d brought our conversation to a complete standstill.

Ah well. Just doing my part to provide a use case for paper now that it won’t be needed for the Yellow Pages.

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