Back when our only neighbors were grass, and the backyard wasn’t the escape route of choice for the preteen shabu-addled posse, I spent afternoons stalking dragonflies. We called them “tutubing karayom,” needle dragonflies. Like needles, they were hard to see. And like needles, the other end could sting.
Capturing ideas requires two things I learned when catching dragonflies: patience and pounce. Sometimes it is an empty-headed patience. Wait, wait, scratch back of neck, wait some more. Then there is a glimmer that could be the sun on the edge of a dragonfly wing. Then pounce! If I am lucky, there is a dragonfly in between my thumb and index finger, which then bends its body to place its legs near my thumbnail. Then it bites me.
That meandering introduction will make sense as I talk about Skitch. People who earn a living from coming up with ideas need to make sure they have a) a lot of ideas and b) a way of keeping those ideas in a form that preserves their rawness and vitality. Skitch, from plasq, helps people catch dragonflies.
With Skitch, I get ideas down in whatever way possible. Screen grab plus annotation, doodle, doodle with text, scribble, iSight capture plus scribble, they can all go into one screen. In the beginning cleanliness and order don’t matter as much as pouncing on the idea before it flies away.
Other favorite things to do with Skitch:
1. Comment on layouts. I work a lot with other people’s layouts. It’s easier to doodle directly on the layout (which I just drag and drop into the Skitch window) and indicate changes, then upload to mySkitch or email directly.
2. Create quick presentation graphics. A hastily-scribbled arrow is better than a clipart arrow. Skitch can do transparent backgrounds and save in .png, which both Powerpoint and Keynote can understand. There are too many boxes in presentations. Images are in boxes, text is in blocks. Curves and rough edges are sexy. Sketches make presentations personal and have been shown to reduce audience boredom by 7.2%.
3. (New!) Share Skitches on Twitter. I hadn’t realized until yesterday I could do that. I can do it via web (a “send to Twitter” button now appears on the right side of the screen) or my phone through a posting email address. It’s like Skitch is now Skitchr.