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Paper Now Autotunes Your Whiteboard Sketches To Look Like A Million Bucks

An update to Fiftythree’s preeminent iPad sketching app beautifies freehand flowcharts like no other.

Fiftythree’s Paper is an app that made iPad sketching great. Then it made iPad coloring great. Then it introduced a stylus that made iPad styluses great. Then it made sketching with other people great. And now?

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Now Paper wants to take on the flowchart.


Today, Paper gets a free update called Think Kit. It’s a collection of three new tools that give Paper’s traditionally loose, sketchy aesthetic a hard edge. You can draw a quick circle, and it will transform into a perfect circle. You can draw a square, oval, rectangle, skinny triangle, equilateral triangle, arrow, or parallelogram, and see the same transformation. There are 30 recognized shapes in all, each which appear perfect–albeit with a marker-like edge–after you sketch them.

Fiftythree CEO Georg Petschnigg calls it “autotuning” for whiteboards. “Figuring out the math and algorithms to do those distinctions was ridiculously hard,” he says, but the advantage is more than just visual harmony. Watching Petschnigg draw a flowchart with the app is like watching Derek Rose perform a crossover; it’s a fast yet fluid movement that is its own forgone conclusion.

“Our idea of productivity tools has been one of hunt and pecking for the right shape, arrow, in the right setting to get the idea out,” Petschnigg says. “It’s up conforming to the computer, not the computer paying attention to what we were trying to do.”


As he says this, he draws a circle overlapping another circle, taps each once to give it color, and creates an impromptu Venn diagram. I begin considering everything in my life that might need a Venn diagram.

I say that only slightly in jest. Over a 20-minute demo, Petschnigg makes a great case for Think Kit, wielding the app to diagram his own musings with a proficiency reserved for the Silicon Valley elite.

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So go, download the Think Kit update, master the flow chart, and go score yourself a few mil in VC before the bubble bursts. Or, just use it like most of us normals will: To sketch up a presentation that we forgot about in 15 minutes, export it straight to PowerPoint (the app’s best feature), grab a box of Munchkins on the way into work, and secure yourself that slightly-lower-than-the-rate-of-inflation raise you’ve been dreaming about.

Think Kit is available for free today as an update to Paper.

Download it here.

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started Philanthroper.com, a simple way to give back every day.

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