Napkin for iPad

Getting stuff done with Napkin

A note taking application that allows you to quickly put down your ideas in diagrammatic and textual form with nice arrows.

Why would you use it?

Speed - get the idea down fast. To free up your creativity, to make a point or an argument visually, or to help you remember a process.

How's it do it?

Napkin tries to balance ease of use - with the need for speed. For example, drawing lines or arrows with a finger is quick and intuitive. However to draw an object you still just drag it out in one motion, drawing properly a big circle or square is too slow.

What it is not!

Napkin is not an art program. It is not a word processor. It can do simple diagrams,text and relate them with arrows and lines. Any additional functions or capabilities are kept to a minimum in order to allow it to achieve its main goals of quick visualisation.


Pragmatic decisions have been made with Napkin to try help you put your ideas down quickly. So there is no free hand drawing - apart from lines/arrows, there are limited colours, limited styles, limited object types. The purpose of Napkin is to put ideas down quickly - not create art.
The idea of Napkin comes from that classic situation of people using napkins in restaurants to scribble down their ideas. The napkin is not supposed the final end product or the final implementation of the idea. It is supposed to be a springboard for later development. This classic situation helps us quickly understand what Napkin is for. Getting the idea down quickly - especially since your state of mind may be only transitory in its brilliantness. There are a few things with real world napkins which are actually not that conducive to putting down the idea - (some which don't translate to the iPad anyway for example soggy paper), such as illegible drawings and various scribblings over mistakes which can interfere with you being able to remember the idea flow later on. So there are some things in Napkin where we chose not to be too realistic. Drawings and text are not permanently part of the napkin - you can drag them places, edit them and so on two fingers tapping creates an object - usually a square. You don't trace out a big square - thats too slow and too ambiguous. Realism was sacrificed for speed and to avoid ambiguous command gestures. Similarly the way you interact with Napkin is not as elegant as one might expect - compromises have to be made - mostly because the figure tip is not a very accurate pointing device.

Buy Available on the App Store

Youtube video

Quick Start for Napkin