New app in development - YourNote, note-taking app


#1

Hi everyone,

I am developing a new app on Blockstack called YourNote. You can find it on yournote.app. It would be great if you can log in and test it out.

YourNote is a replacement for Evernote, Apple Notes and the likes. I am developing it because I am a heavy note-taker and over the years I have always struggled with the inconsistent format each note-taking app use to store their data. Because of that, if I moved from one note-taking app to another, I had to lose my notes.

In fact, I did develop something like this earlier but then I stopped using it because it couldn’t be ported for mobiles. When I found about Blockstack, I realized this could be the ideal platform to develop something like YourNote. A note-taking app that is in your control (how data is stored, where data is stored) and that syncs across devices. So here we are.

Currently, YourNote supports creating of notebooks and adding/updating notes to it. And it is only optimized for desktops now. Please test it out and let me know your views. :pray:

The next features planned are as follows (updated list) -

  • Search in notes (mainly because it is easy to implement)
  • Delete note with Trash feature
  • Export notes (export your notes in a tree-like structure)
  • Offline sync (so you can use the app offline, some part of it is already done)
  • Develop the sign-in page
  • Mobile optimization
  • Notebooks rename and delete

Any feedback on the above is welcome as well.

Thank you :smile:

yournote.app @yournoteapp on Twitter


Screenshots


#2

Wow! This is super cool, I’m excited to test it out more :heart_eyes:

Have you registered yet for app mining? I work on the growth team at Blockstack and would love to get you set up for the January payouts. :smiley:


#3


#4

Thank you, Gina . I haven’t registered for app mining yet. Will do that and let you know. :smile:
Btw, is open sourcing the code essential for app mining? I haven’t done that because I would like to add some features/improvements before doing so.


@nguyenloc Thank you. :smile:
What do you mean by a guideline? Is it like a tutorial or a roadmap perhaps?


#5

The app is looking good!

Small request: I’d like to create a new note without having to create a notebook first. From an introductory UX point of view, the creation of a notebook for me is a more advanced step in that my first impulse is to just start taking some notes, and only later when I have several, file them into notebooks so they’re better organized.

It’s fantastic to see that you have an export feature, as well, even though the data is stored via Gaia! We ought to provide a way for users to see their data directly in Gaia, but in the meantime, this is a great point of assurance and functionality.

Well done!


#6

@markmhendrickson,
Thank you. Your feedback is on point. But, at the moment, notebooks are an integral part of the application and notes can’t exist without it. But maybe we can have these types of notes and they can show up only in “Notes” section. I will think more about this.

Yes, if we can make it easy for users to access their Gaia storage, then it would be a major milestone for Blockstack. Can’t wait for this to happen. :smile:


#7

I agree with @markmhendrickson it is confusing to have to create a notebook to create a note. One reason it is confusing is that you show the New Note button it appears functional but this happens:

image

So, your app appears broken. A couple of ways to prevent this confusion.

  • Have your app instantiate a “first” notebook when you create a profile for a new user
  • Inactivate the button to indicate it is not ready to be used and then change state after the notebook exists
  • populate the new notebook with instructive text so users know they need to create a new notebook.

If the notebook is a container of notes your app design should use layout to teach people. So, if you rearrange the buttons a bit and label accordingly you get this type of “no-need-for-doc” design.

This redesign makes the “New Notebook” button primary – meaning the first step. The creation of a note is indicated by the +Pencil combination and is in the context of a Notebook.

If your app is capable of creating and loading an initial notebook, you could make this better. Create an initial notebook and preload it with “help” notes. Implement this, and you have a cleaner and self explaining app

By the way, I like your tag line on the login screen ( Because your notes should always be your own) but it may be a bit too literal. You could make it snappier with something about how people use notes:

  • Your thoughts should be your own.
  • Because your thoughts should be private.
  • Because what you think belongs to you.
  • Keep your thoughts to yourself.

YourNote – you may want something snappier there to. The word Jot short and sweet and unique. Literally means note but more fun. I’d love to have a note app called Jot!


#8

image


#9

Thank you for taking the time to share your views @moxiegirl. I like this (:arrow_up:) way the most. Making help notes should be the most reliable and fastest way to improve the interface.

I can do this but before that, I need to implement the feature to rename and delete notebooks. I will do it soon and then work on this.

Btw, I just updated the disabled New Note button with a different color scheme and also added a tooltip. I hope it improves the UX even a tiny bit.

10%20PM


My main reason behind choosing that tagline was that it described the problem that Your Note was solving the best. And the most important problem that it solves is that it gives people control over their notes data.

With other apps like Apple Notes, Notion, you might have good data privacy because these apps can sometimes be end-to-end encrypted but then you don’t know where and how your data is stored and if you can access them without the client app or not (in case you don’t like the client app anymore).

So the two main pros of Your Note are -

  1. It gives you control on where your data is stored. (your own Gaia storage)
  2. It gives you control on how the data is stored. (in this case, it’s simple markdown with YAML frontmatter and a nice export feature to aid that)

And I am trying to convey that with the tagline. What do you think? Does the current tagline make more sense now?

I have a story behind the product too, maybe we should write it nicely in a separate page and link to it on the homepage (maybe users will understand the product better then).

You are right. YourNote is too literal but “your note app” sounds kind of like, to the point :laughing: . I will think more on the name as we will have to find a corresponding domain name too.


#10

Oh, I understand why the Blockstack Ecosystem is wonderful in that it gives people control and independence. In my personal opinion, you don’t sell a car by extolling the virtues of the road/tolls/bridges. Blockstack is infrastructure but your DApp is the car.

Purely utilitarian descriptions of what something does not engage, does not tell a story the way other words do. Think of these two ways of pitching a chair:

CHAIR!
You sit on it.

or

CHAIR!
Take a load off.

Same number of words. Entirely different engagement. The first is exactly what a chair does. The second is funny, fun even, and it perfectly describes why you use a chair. The second even says something about the user of the chair…they are encumbered, they can be free of a heavy weight.

That said, your product, your story. These were just suggestions. Looking forward to your completed work.


#11

You are right. It’s important to consider this angle too when you are looking to sell something (here, the app). That being said, I will stay very open-minded on this and experiment with different variations to see what goes best for the product. Thanks for your suggestions again! :smile:


#12

Yes, it’s like “how to” tutorial. It took me 2 minutes to figure out how to add a note.


#13

Sorry about that. As @moxiegirl and @markmhendrickson suggested, I am going to work on this on priority. Thanks for your support. :pray:


#14

Hi, I did some major changes to YourNote and would love some feedback on it.

Notebooks are still required to store notes but YourNote creates a default notebook for new users. And we have a new concept called “default” notebooks now which means if a user clicks New Note button when they don’t select a notebook, the note is automatically created in default notebook. So the ambiguity pointed by @markmhendrickson is solved hopefully.


New users (users with no notes) also see a guide with some basic information about the app (thanks @nguyenloc @moxiegirl ).


Also, some UI changes which hopefully make the app more straightforward and pleasure to use. I took some ideas from @moxiegirl’s design. :pray:

01%20PM


#15

Awesome, looking forward to giving this a spin!


#16

Let me know what you think! :smile:


#17

Your icons — plug could be “in” as well as “out” if you want to use this might want to check with a visual designer. If you know a visual designer you may want to chat them up or join up with them to punch up your visuals and color combos.


#18

Classic “feature versus benefit” stuff here. FWIW, agree with moxiegirl. Early enough to, as you say, experiment with variations. Will think of few of my own. Have been an avid Evernote user for years and will follow this and think about other suggestions.

And love what you are doing and where it’s headed.


#19

Looking good! I like this solution for creating new notes out of the gate.

One more bit of feedback: I’d love to see a new note immediately appear in the notebook’s list even before I save it. I’d even like saving to be automatic. Basically, I’d want any of my changes to be automatically saved into the app. And if I make a mistake, have a feature for unrolling changes historically.


#20

You are right. I will be honest, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it. Need to do some research.

TBH, design is my weak point. I will look for help with this. Thanks for the feedback.


Right. Feel free to suggest anything as I will keep them in consideration. Thanks for the love.


True, this is the standard. I have been avoiding this for a long time because I wasn’t sure of the best way to do it. Will think more about it.

Interesting. I am not sure what would be the best way to do in Blockstack gaia given the current APIs. As far as I see, Graphite doesn’t do it too. Maybe I will contact their team for ideas after solving all the smaller issues pointed above.