Popplet People: Keith Goddard, Books Matter

Reading and academic success are closely linked – just ask anyone who has been to school! There is now strong evidence to suggest that readers – those who have developed the habit of reading regularly for pleasure as well as academic or professional purposes – also enjoy more success in their professional lives and in their relationships. Reading makes your life better. This chance of a better life through reading should be open to everyone.  Keith Goddard knows this, that’s one of the reasons he co-founded the charity Books Matter.

Keith GoddardBooks Matter is a Toronto-based charity that collects quality books, and then ships them to schools in Ghana, West Africa, where books are desperately needed. In their own words:

  • Literacy changes lives
  • Books are essential
  • Literacy is a basic right.

Keith recently posted a Books Matter Popplet on our Twitter page, and we were so impressed we wanted to know more. Continue reading

Two Minute Tutorial: Formatting Popplets in a Grid Layout

So, you’ve had a few ideas and your screen is starting to look a little bit cluttered. Like your thoughts, it’s time to get your popples in order. Maybe you are seeking fresh perspective, just cleaning house or perhaps you feel that your creation is approaching completion: whatever the reason, Popplet’s Organize Menu contains the tools to bring unruly popples into line.

Popplet’s Organize Menu is found by clicking on the cog menu, then organize as shown below. A list containing all the organizing tools appears:

Menu-Tutorial1(s)

Continue reading

Overcome the Fear of Change to Help Business Growth: Heroik Media

Popplet is a much-loved app amongst startup entrepreneurs, web designers, creative professionals and new technologists who need access to collaborative tools (online and on their iPads) that reflect how they think visually.

But what about more established and traditional businesses who are having difficulties incorporating new ways of thinking and new collaboration techniques into the ways they work? Can they benefit from using Popplet in their organizations?

Collaboration tools are being considered more and more essential in the business context. Research by the McKinsey Global Institute found that social collaboration tools are becoming essential for businesses that want to increase productivity and drive a new wave of innovation.

These businesses are looking for ways to encourage diverse teams to work together in realtime (across remote locations), and want to use online and iPad apps that can help ignite a sense of creativity amongst the project team. Businesses want tools that can be used across project planning, implementation, monitoring and review.

NIcholas McGillNicholas McGill is the Creative Director and Founder of Heroik Media, a business and innovation consulting firm. He leads a team of seven global thought leaders who work across a range of industries to help businesses communicate with their audiences and build their brands.

Nicholas and his team often work with established businesses who may have begun to stagnate or have gotten used to their current ways of doing things. …And they are using Popplet to create the transformational change that is helping these businesses succeed. Continue reading

Gamification, Meetup Note-Taking and Why Toronto is Fertile Start-Up Territory: An Interview with Mark Reale

Mark Reale is the Community and Culture Partner at Canadian tech company BNOTIONS, and has been using Popplet to organize his ideas, map brainstorming activities, and present at conferences since 2010.

Mark Reale

Mark Reale

BNOTIONS is at the center of the Toronto start-up scene, releasing an ongoing schedule of mobile and app products. Despite the hectic nature of being part of a business that is on Branham’s Top 300 list of best performing companies in Canada, and with an ever-growing catalog of mobile apps in development, Mark still helps host the weekly Lean Coffee entrepreneurs’ meetup, and manages the company’s not-for-profit initiative the YMC.

“We were 4 guys for a really long time, and now we’re around 60”, he says, explaining why BNOTIONS was ranked Number 5 on Branham’s Top 10 growth companies for 2012.

Mark recently shared a Popplet from the latest Lean Coffee meetup (see below). We asked him what Lean Coffee is all about, why the Toronto tech scene is getting some buzz, and where Popplet fits in to his creative, working life. Continue reading

Get Inspired: Popplet Examples To Get Your Brain Jucies Flowing!

Get inspired to create visual thinking maps and concept outlines that help you remember new information, make connections between ideas, and share your thoughts and unique perspective.

This year, we have some great new features planned, including tagging popplets to help you better store your popplet creations with key words and subject categories. We are also looking forward to offering you a new way to share your popplets with the world, with new popularity rankings of public popplets.

While we put the finishing touches on these features, you can get inspired to create new mind maps and concept outlines with our online, iPad, iPhone and iPod apps by viewing some Popplet examples on our new Pinterest account.

We admit, we have been a bit slow to jump on the Pinterest bus. It is a great tool for sharing images, but we love how a publicly shared Popplet is interactive and lets you move around it, zoom in and out, play videos and jump to links. We were worried that none of that interactivity is available through Pinterest.

But on the other hand, we know many of our users are on Pinterest, and sometimes, you want to get inspired by seeing other Popplet examples and learn from how they have been laid out, color coded, and organized. You might not be so fussed about the actual content, so you don’t need to move about so much or click on and watch a youtube video: what you want to get inspired by is the overall organization and mind map design. Well, if that’s the case, our set of Pinterest boards are ideal mind fodder for you! Continue reading

How To Increase Blog Traffic With Popplet #3: Seasonal Trends

Learn how to increase blog traffic with nothing more than a calendar and Popplet!

Recently, we have been looking at ways to generate website traffic using Popplet. We started by looking at how creative professionals are getting website traffic using Popplet and Twitter hashtags, and have discussed how to leverage current trends to create timely Popplets that spark reader curiosity.

But both of these techniques need you to be able to tune into the zeitgeist at the right time to add value to what people are already interested in. That can be hard work if you have been so immersed in your own creative process you haven’t really had time to see what people are talking about this week.

As a creative professional with a dynamic website aimed at attracting new visitors regularly, you have probably started to create a content calendar to help you map out your future blog posts. Here’s how to increase blog traffic by factoring in seasonal trends into your content plan.

Dates like Halloween and Thanksgiving happen every year, and are increasingly talked about in the weeks beforehand. In the graph below, you can see that Google searches for these holiday terms remains dormant for most of the year and kicks into high frequency as the date approaches:

Build your seasonal trend Popplet so it has a relevance to your business as well as to the holiday. For example, a chef or catering company could share a recipe or two and this year’s menu options for Thanskgiving on a popplet. A design company might share home made decoration tips or a swatch board for creating your own holiday posters.

When you have completed your popplet, embed it into your blog post so you are offering readers an interactive experience at your site. Don’t forget to tweet the link to your popplet regularly using the holiday term as a hashtag (such as #thanksgiving) and to post your popplet creations to other social media sites where you think readers will appreciate your work.

Schools could use this technique to create a relevant class activity based on the holiday date. Popplet user Mr Fornadel, for example, used Popplet in his math class. Students created a dinner menu and then used their skills in calculating fractions to determine how much it would cost for each person to attend the celebrations. General studies or foreign language classes could use the holiday season to discuss how these dates are celebrated in other cultures.

It’s not too late to share your Thanksgiving popplets with us. Post a link to our Facebook page or tweet us the details. Here’s ours:

We will be continuing this series on how to increase blog traffic with Popplet in 2013. In the meantime, we would love to know which methods you have used and what is working for you. Share your results with us on our Facebook page.

Generate Website Traffic With Popplet #2: Trendwatching

Have you tried to use Popplet to generate website traffic? Trendwatching can reveal what pop culture, politics and current affairs, or seasonal events, people all around the world are talking about. By creating a Popplet that looks at a current trend from your perspective, you can draw in a new audience to your website.

We know many creative professionals love using Popplet as a business and project production tool on a regular basis. Popplet is used to map game choices, outline story chapters, collect design ideas, structure websites and brainstorm in teams. But Popplet can also be used by creative businesses as a way to draw in a wider audience to your online presence. We’ve already looked at how to use Popplet with Twitter hashtags as a way of getting website traffic. Today, let’s look at using Popplet to ride the trend-wave to generate website traffic.

Popular culture trendwatching

If you keep on top of current affairs, entertainment and celebrity news, TV shows, shopping trends, or pop culture fashions, you may be able to create a Popplet quickly that summarises information and visuals around a topic that is currently trending.

For example, the comedy TV series Happy Endings started its 3rd season this week in the United States and Canada. This comedy about a group of friends has been building a loyal audience over the past few years. The latest season continues to star the ensemble comedic actors including Damon Wayans Jr, Eliza Coupe (from Scrubs) and SNL alumni Casey Rose Wilson.

You can see from Twitter analytics grapher Topsy that more people have started tweeting about the show in the past two weeks, as anticipation for the season opening peaks. You can use Twitter’s search functions to see what is trending currently or a trend app like Topsy to test your own choice of topics.

Trendwatching graph of Happy Endings

Trendwatching graph of Happy Endings created with Topsy Analytics

We created this popplet about the show’s cast and crew and worldwide appeal to share with fans as the new season commences. Of course, we included a link to this blog article about why we created the popplet.

You can see that here we are using Popplet as an example of how to reference a trending pop culture topic. For your website, you will need to link the trend back to why you are talking about it. For example, if you were a fashion designer, your Popplet might be about the fashions the characters wear on the show. If you were a life coach, you might create a Popplet showing the relationship networks between the characters and talk about the value of building friendships in the related content at your site. Remember, you will need to make a link between the trending topic and the main topic of your website and creative business.

You can then share your Popplet on social networks, including relevant Facebook pages and of course on Twitter, using the trending hashtag that matches your popplet creation.

More tips on riding the pop culture trendwatching wave

Be ready to enter conversations and share your popplet as new comments are made about the trending topic. Keep a search open for mentions on Twitter or other social media and perhaps set up a Google alert (so you can share your popplet in relevant blog comments).

Be prepared to update your popplet or to add to it if a particular perspective or question arises which you can offer some insight into with your Popplet.

You can promote your popplet and have a link in it to your website and the corresponding webpage with your discussion of the topic, or you could promote a link to your website page and embed the popplet in it as infographic content.

Schools could use this technique to explore two sides of an issue, such as the Presidential debates, or to explore a topic that has captured the attention of students, for example, by creating a popplet on the science behind Felix Baumgartner’s recent skyjump.

Next: Using seasonal trends to create Popplets that generate website traffic

Creating A Sitemap Using Popplet

For this month’s Popplet People, we interviewed website design professional Adam Iscrupe about creating a sitemap using Popplet.

Adam lives and breathes website design through 3 complementary roles:

  • He works at Hats Off Creative where he designs custom websites and print materials as part of a team of design professionals
  • He volunteers on the Board of Directors for AIGA Charlotte, where he coordinates a monthly breakfast meetup to inspire the next generation of design creatives entering the industry, and
  • He writes and edits for the forthcoming design blog Pixels & Picas, sharing his love of typeface design and website inspiration.

Adam has been using Popplet with his design team during website creation projects with clients looking for a new approach to their brand. We asked him about why he used Popplet for creating a sitemap and what features were useful for this type of design project.

Sitemaps present all the webpages – and links between pages – of a website in the one place. “A designer is a visual person, and in order to interpret the mechanics/hierarchy of a website, a visual presentation of how the website will look helps me tremendously,” explains Adam. “What I mean by that is a sitemap helps organize mass amounts of page content for a website in a clean, simple interface for a clear understanding. Without a sitemap, confusion without a doubt will set in.”

creating a sitemap

A sitemap example from a forthcoming project by Adam Iscrupe’s design team

Q: Why use Popplet for creating a sitemap?
Popplet is one of the most friendly user interfaces I have come across in terms of online apps for building sitemaps. The design of it may look simple, but it is beautiful how each popplet can be easily resized, moved, or linked to another. Popplets can be color coordinated to correspond with other popplets if the user wishes (perfect for distinguishing navigation, an optional secondary navigation, and internal pages or external links), and my favorite aspect of the design is that each popplet snaps to a grid when moving them around. For me, it is also a huge plus that Popplet has developed an iPad app since the website is flash. This is another feature I don’t see a lot in other sitemap apps.

Q: How does the rest of your team find using Popplet for web design projects?
Our team uses Popplet as an internal tool in order to collaborate on developing a website. One of our team members is always travelling so he has the Popplet iPad app, which is a great tool for him to continue to update a sitemap remotely in real time. Since we are typically working on one sitemap as a team, Popplet has developed a great feature that labels each popplet that a team member has created, which makes it very easy to distinguish who has created what and has the ablility to leave comments for one another.

Thanks to Adam for sharing his insights into using Popplet for creating a sitemap. You can keep up with Adam’s work at his website, follow him on twitter, or keep your eye out for Pixels & Picas when his team launches the site in September with more design related articles.

Have you used Popplet for creating a sitemap for your web design projects? Share your sitemaps and website examples with us on our Facebook page or tweet us your links!.

5 Ways Creative Professionals Are Using Popplet

Popplet lets creative professionals and their teams think visually to generate new ideas and create new concepts. You can collate images, video, photos and text onto a popplet board, share comments and invite feedback, build new links between ideas, and move information and notes around until you see things from a fresh perspective.

While Popplet has been embraced by the education sector – as was evident in our recent award as one of the 2012 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning – Popplet also has the potential to support uses in other industries and amongst other professional users. Here are 5 ways that creative professionals are using Popplet in their daily work:

creative professionals using popplet 1

Popplet mentioned on http://maketecheasier.com

1. Map content ideas in an outline

Popplet allows writers, film-makers, game designers, and other creative storytellers to outline their ideas and to order the main points between each paragraph or storyboard frame in order to create a clear and flowing story. Last year, Laura Tucker from Make Tech Easier showed how she uses Popplet to plan her articles and create an outline in which her content flows smoothly in each blog post she writes.

2. Store research

While there are a heap of note-taking apps available for the iPad and for online use, and a pile of mind map software tools to choose from as well, only Popplet brings together the best of both types of applications to offer you an ideas platform that lets you review your research on the go and make new connections between ideas. For example, Business coach Edward Hamilton has written about how he uses Popplet for market research collation, and we have shared an example of how you can store research related to your target audience by using Popplet as a buyer persona template.

creative professionals using popplet 2

Popplet mentioned on http://freegreenbeans.com

3. Consult audiences and gain feedback

After you have researched your target audiences, you can use Popplet to speak with them directly! Popplet allows users to make individual popplet boards public so they can be shared over the internet with anyone, even readers who don’t have a Popplet account. We recently interviewed singer/songwriter Abi Robins about how she used this functionality to undertake fan polling for audience engagement. The results helped her decide which new songs to include on her forthcoming album.

4. Collaborate across a creative team

In Popplet, sharing allows users to make their popplet public and viewable by anyone via a URL link, whether they are a popplet user or not. Collaborating allows you to make your popplet boards available only to specific other users, and permissions can be set to allow teammates to view and add to a popplet or to have full access to editing anything you have already created. This allows your creative team to share ideas privately amongst yourselves and to add ideas as you progress. Shared popplets can include nametags so that team members can see who added information every step of the way. Collaboration is only available to other popplet users, but if a team member does not have an existing account, popplet creates a free user profile and provides password and login details directly to each team member’s email that you list.

5. Present creative concepts to clients

Popplet makes it easy for creative professionals and design teams to use a presentation format to show creative concepts to clients. You can send links of the prepared popplets to your clients for viewing and can also create slideshows of pages for use in presentations with clients. The presenter format allows two modes: a full page mode in which the popplet board is shown in its entirety and an animated mode in which a presentation can be created that jumps from popple to popple in sequential order to walk through a story or workflow process with the client. Videos and images can be embedded into popples so that your presentation takes on a multimedia style.

Do you use Popplet for your projects? Share examples of your work on our twitter feed or contact mark@popplet.com to be interviewed for our blog post series “Popplet People” on how creative professionals use our web, iPad and iPhone app.