return to the popple

Adding Text Heavy Documents to a Popplet: Two Minute Tutorial

We are always excited by the myriad of ways that people use Popplet. For hobbies and personal interests, for education and classroom learning and for creative projects and business, Popplet is the go-to app for brainstorming, organizing ideas, outlining concepts and thinking visually.

This is great for “thinking out loud” on projects that require you to show videos, collect images, organize weblinks, and connect ideas. But sometimes, we want to use a Popplet as a complete project resource, which means getting text heavy.

For example, Adam Iscrupe talks about how he uses Popplet for creating a sitemap. What if he wants to add to his Popplet with the text for each webpage in his site structure?

Or if a classroom activity wants to include a downloadable worksheet?

Or if your Popplet is a collection of all your research notes on a particular subject?

For anything longer than a paragraph or two, including text in a popple begins to look cumbersome and destroys some of Popplet’s ability to help you get a global view of all the connections between various concepts in your overall idea.

Our Twitter follower @Raff31 recently had this same problem and asked:

Are Word documents uploadable to Popplet?

Here are two solutions if you want to include larger text documents in your Popplet.

Solution 1. Ask yourself: Can I break this information down?

If you are using a longer text document as the basis for your Popplet, perhaps it is an opportunity to “unpack” your idea further. You could cut and paste each paragraph into it’s own popple and for each paragraph, add connecting popples with images, video research, and bibliography links that help you explore each concept in a new and more nuanced way. If you are working collaboratively on a document, you can also use our comments feature to add background notes or to discuss better ways to present each paragraph in your document.

Solution 2. Link to your document online

Step 1. Create a Google Drive account

If you have a Gmail account, it is easy to set up Google Drive. Simply click the Drive menu option in the black menu header banner from your Gmail account. Your account will be used to give you access to Google Drive immediately.

Otherwise, go to and click the red “Sign Up” button in the top right hand corner.
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Step 2. Upload your document to Google Drive

a. Click the red upwards arrow button on the right hand menu.

b. Select “Files…” from the menu

c. Now choose the Word or text file from your computer hard drive.

d. You can also choose to convert the file to a Google Docs format. This means anyone who wants to access the file will be able to read it even if they don’t have Microsoft Word on their computer. To convert the file, click on the Settings menu option in the upload box and choose “Convert uploaded file to Google Docs format”

e. Now set the share options so that anyone can read the document: click on the “Share” option in the upload box. A pop up set of options is shown.

f. Click on “Change” next to the setting “Private”.

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g. Now set the level of public status you want for the document. For example, you could choose “Anyone with the link”. Then when you have the link in a Popplet, anyone who clicks on the link will be able to see the document. This makes it easier than revisiting the Google Doc and adding individual emails each time you want to add someone to the list, and gives you a bit more privacy than “Public on the web”

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h. You will return to the previous popup box. Right-click on the yellow highlighted link and select “Copy”

Step 3. Add the link to your popplet

Now return to your popplet. Create a new popple and paste the link.

Additional Tips

  • When you have finished your popplet, you can decide whether you want to share ideas with others or offer your work up as a public popplet. This will allow anyone who sees your popplet to also be able to link to the background documents.
  • If you already use an online storage service like Dropbox, you could use your Dropbox account instead.
  • If your Popplet is to go public (either by sharing with specific collaborators or via our Public Popplets feature), make sure you have set the permissions of your document in Drive or Dropbox to allow public viewing. That way, when you create a link in your Popplet, your readers will be able to access the underlying document.
  • This is a great way for educators to use Popplet in classroom activities. You can use the Popplet to discuss an assignment and then include handouts and worksheets as downloadable documents.
  • This is also great for research. You can map out your ideas and concepts in a popplet and then have all of your research documents saved in a Google Drive folder, and link to each of those documents in your popplet.
  • It’s great for using popplet for a website structure map. You can keep a popplet clean with the site map and then have links to the text for each of the webpage. This lets you keep popplet as a visual representation of the website, while also being able to access the actual content to be added to each individual webpage.

How do you handle text heavy ideas in your popplets? Let us know on our Facebook page