Another Another First Impressions

Wanted to preface: I’m not coming from another note app (except maybe Notepad). I recently heard notion could be good, and found anytype through a search for ‘open source notion’. I love the idea of linking notes, information, and media together like this, and I’ve enjoyed building databases in anytype. The concept addresses the trouble I have with my current text-file notes: organization, metadata, and multimedia.

I realize a lot of this may already be on the roadmap, and some has probably been said before, but these are some first impressions, from simple to abstract. I hope they might be helpful?

  • Duplicates I type faster than the autocomplete and I’ve ended up with many duplicate tags, relations, etc. Would love at least a confirmation dialog when creating a duplicate, if not outright prevention. (ie. no two objects of the same type can have the same name).

  • Keyboard Nav When you enter any non-document block (ie. a link block, relation block, picture, etc.) you lose keyboard focus, which is frustrating. Minor QOL, but I ran into this a lot.

  • Deletion Fully deleting objects is time consuming and breaks you out of your flow. It’s a really common task, especially because of duplicates. A “full delete” option (with a skippable confirmation dialog) right there would be great.
    Also, deleting relations, tags, and other objects that are currently read-only would be great. I managed to (create? find?) a completely un-deletable Page, and I don’t know how. I’m guessing it was one of the tutorial pages that I accidentally overwrote, but it’s just There Forever now lol.

  • Custom Types Every selection dialog (ie. relationship selection, object selection, tag selection, etc.) allows you to create a new one (ie. new relationship, new object, new tag, etc.) except the type selection dialogs (I assume to prevent duplicates), so I assumed you just couldn’t create custom types for the first hour. I was floored when I found the type window.

  • Legacy Tags Text-tags seem obsolete compared to object-relations used as tags. I’d love to be able to colour objects like the legacy tags. Changing the title colour works, but it doesn’t show in the graph or in Set views.
    I also had trouble with the concept of ‘relations’ vs the (more standard?) ‘fields’, it feels less intuitive (I assumed that ‘relations’ and ‘links’ were synonyms, and I was confused when relations didn’t show in the graph), but I’m used to databases, so that might just be me.

  • Enforcing Templates I’d love to be able to “enforce” templates, or update object canvases to match when i update the templates. I’ve basically abandoned the canvas for any type where I have more than 3-4 objects.

  • Graph/Navigation
    I’ve used enough tags that my graph has become a giant ball of yarn. This feels like a long-term problem with all 2D knowledge maps? I think it would be great to view graphs in context of criteria, or explore from a starting point outwards, rather than seeing the whole graph all the time.
    I also think it’d be great to be able to query data based on criteria, rather than searching for individual objects. The best way to do this now is to define a set and filter it, but I’d ideally like to be able to use a syntax or process from ie. the main search bar.
    This post also addresses this: Traversing the Graph via queries

And, to second stuff I said during the initial onboarding call:

  • I have no interest in backing my notes up to a public server, encrypted or otherwise, especially before the software has been peer reviewed. It’s just totally unecessary, especially when there’s no sharing etc. I’ll happily test syncing between local offline devices / backups if that becomes an option.
  • I look forward to open sourcing, self-hosting, and API.

Thanks for your time!