Anytype Alpha: Two Months In

I’ve been using Anytype for around two months now and I want to unload all of the bugs, feature requests and general feedback at once so I decided a review would be a good place to do so and since the new version of AT is coming I also felt it was appropriate with the times.

First things first. When I saw the app I immediately fell in love with it. I feel like there is such a wide market for an app like this, especially catering towards students and people looking for a good note taking app. Notes come in all sorts of forms. Classroom notes, ideas, plans, projects, etc.

**And with this in mind here comes my first and most important feedback for the whole review.

If I want to move the main file where Anytype is stored to an encrypted folder I can’t, or even for the sake of moving it to another hard drive because the one it sets up in is the main SSD, which I have 2Gb left of space for.

If I in any way want to handle my data in a manner that is not inside the app its not recommended as issues may arise from it.

And whilst I don’t know the internal processes of the company and the hierarchy of the updates. I’d just like to reiterate that its kind of appalling to me that this feature along with the deletion of files has not been added yet.

To finish this off I read the articles regarding Privacy and Encrpytion and while I do agree that probably HDD encryption is a good workaround for this, its not viable for everyone, especially people with lower end laptops. I would argue that this feature is of utmost important in a hierarchical order from a user standpoint.

I feel like even a prompt to choose where to install it would be a great temp solution for this:)


As a heavy user of the app there are some things that I think could be streamlined a lot. So here are some features that I’d really love see implemented as well as some feedback on some of them:

**Feature Request:

  • I cant use the scroll wheel when carrying a block of text.** Itd be great if we could use the scroll wheel while holding a block / image / text.

Solution: This one I think is pretty straight forward, sometimes I need to move stuff up and down the page and I feel like a great implementation to make this quicker would be to have the ability of using the scroll wheel to do so.

Workarounds I’ve been using for this: I copy and paste the item to its corresponding place. Whilst this is a viable option as a workaround for not being able to use the scroll wheel. I feel like the scroll wheel would still be a fairly easy and simple implementation.


-AT has a really specific rythm to make the toolbox pop up. Its kind of annoying because you either have to highlight it all with the mouse (this is especially annoying for big chunks of text) or take your time and try it multiple times (at least in my case) to make it pop up.

Context to the solution: So basically how the highlight process works (from what I have experienced) is double click to highlight the word and depending on the speed of the third click is whether it highlights the whole block or it highlights the text. Then a fourth consecutive left click makes it go to text highlight regardless of whether it went into block highlight mode. (I really hope this makes sense I am so sorry if it doesnt)

Solution: It would be great if the toolbox could pop up with the fourth click or make it so that regardless of whether it highlights the whole block or text the toolbar appears. Or just remove the speed limitation entirely. Since the taskbar is such a non intrusive item in AT, I dont think people would be bothered if it appeared more often due to it disappearing after clicking any other part of the page.


And its kind of annoying that every time you come into a page its always prompting you to write something on it. As non consequential as this may sound, its kind of annoying to see such a well made UX but then you have this glaring block staring at you every time you enter the page and just not being able to modify it (aside from the highlight and color) or just straight up delete it seems more like a bug instead of a planned feature

Solution: Make three set font sizes for the Description box to fit the users preference and have the ability to delete said description box if need be.

Work arounds I have been using: I’ve just made the first line of text gray coloured to make it seem that its part of the description and using that instead of the description box


This is a really specific feature request but I feel like it would still be useful.

Sometimes when making bullet points id like to use “-” as a standalone marker for the bullet points. But every time I use it, it turns in the circle bullet point marker.

Solution: A good work around for this could be the ability for it to turn back into “-” when using backspace/delete on the bulletpoint. Another way to work around this would be to add a list of usable bullet points and have the circle on as the default but still having the option to change it to “-” or other ones.


I love the fact that you can master the whole basics of AT the second you step in. Everything is where its supposed to be when it comes to UX, the wallpaper greeting you when you come in and your files right there ready for use. And whilst this simplicity is good, I think its sometimes too simple, almost to a fault. This isn’t feedback because its still on alpha, so think of this next part almost like a wish list for features or ideas that might be useful in the long run:

(Also since these aren’t really feature requests and are more wishes for future additions I will not be going as in depth as the previous feature requests but still enough as to make the concepts understandable)

  • More costumization for the text. Colour, different sizes (even if these are predetermined a little variation of the size of the text would be nice. Because the only options right now are mostly use for headings and even if I try to use them they are locked in the Bold format)

  • Word counter for each page and then a total word and letter counter.

This one I feel would fit great somewhere within the tab that is in the three dots at the top right of anytype. It’d be great if you could click on the option and a window pops up with the word and letter count.

I left a small image slideshow to try and portray this idea as best as I can

This is a good space where this option could be placed

This is a representation of how the window would look and inside we’d have all of the information regarding the word and letter count



  • This is another really specific feature request, hence why I left it for last, but since I use AT heavily and have pages within pages within pages it sometimes can be hard to find specific bits of information. And whilst this can be attributed to my organization within those pages.

I feel like the search icon in the main page could be used as a good workaround for this and to search for any specific words or terms to find information more quickly and efficiently. Sort of like a CTRL+F but make it search the whole repertoire of information stored within AT.


With this said I really can’t see myself using any note app. AT is literally everything I wished for in an app that is catered to this type of niche. The only major thing holding this software back (as of this moment and also taking into account that its still in Alpha) is the storage / deletion feature along with some minor improvements that could be made here and there.

I’d like to thank the developers for the opportunity to participate on this Alpha and I can’t wait to see how Anytype grows.

Also im sorry if I wasnt really that clear in some parts of the text. English is not my first language but I tried my best to make it as easy to read as I could:)

4 Likes

Im really really loving the app, and I really really appreciate the efforts that all of the people working here are putting into it. This is no more than me putting my thoughts out there. I am not that profficient at technical language when it comes to the front and back end of development so I’m mostly sharing my thoughts about the UX and UI topics. I just wanted to clarify because I dont know if the post sounded rude in any way hahaha!

Also im sorry if some of these issues were already adressed in previous forums topics. It totally escaped my mind when putting this small review together

2 Likes

A great overall review, But I feel it would be great to bump the corresponding feature request & bug report threads already available with your upvote to provide better visibility of the bug / interest in the feature to the developers.

  • Custom location for Anytype:

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/994

  • Removal Description field of Page:

You can already do this in the next version of anytype :wink:

There is also a similar request:

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/1267

  • Different Style Settings:

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/1091

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/1335

  • Page Real Estate:

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/977

  • Improvements to Navigation:

https://community.anytype.io/t/-/976

https://community.anytype.io/d/563-moving-recent-pages-inside-search-popup (Shameless Plug)

It’s great to see your summarized review, but also upvote the corresponding bug reports as well, or in your next review, include the links to the corresponding reports so that the one’s who are reading your review can easily upvote the feature / bug report :grinning: .

Also create separate feature request or bug report for each one of your requests and reports that are not already raised so that others can easily show their interest and upvote them as well

4 Likes

@lynxlove Thanks so much will do, I should keep things better organized for proper usage of the developing staff. I put this out way too early just bc I had it on my notes for so long I grew desperate lmaoo. Thanks for the help on this:D

Thanks for all this feedback! It’s great to hear that overall you are really enjoying Anytype. I just want to reiterate what lynxlove already said, which is that it is really helpful if you create a separate feature request or bug report for each issue that comes up for you. This lets other people vote on each idea or problem, for one thing, but it also makes it much, much easier for the developers to track each request. Otherwise things can easily get lost. I know you’re already onboard with this now, but I say it also so you and others in the future understand the reasons why it’s important.

As an example of how someone might approach such a big overview in the future, I would suggest making a quick list (in Anytype maybe? :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:) of all your feature requests and bugs, then go through, search the forums for existing requests, and and if necessary create a new topic for each one first. Afterward you can create a topic more like this one, where you give your more overall thoughts and impressions, and optionally link to all the more specific requests you’ve just made. That would be really great!

We don’t want to lose the overall feedback that you’re giving here, and generally a Feature Request or Bug Report is not the right place to include those thoughts. So you did the right thing sharing that part here, and I encourage you and others to do so from time to time ongoingly as well.

So with that in mind, please do go back through your feedback here when you have time, check the existing topics lynxlove linked to, and create any new feature requests or bug reports that are needed. I’ll be leaving the Feature Request tag off of this topic, so it won’t be tracked as such at this point.

Thank you again for your feedback and enthusiasm! :pray:

This is a feature under the Layout menu, ‘Set Layout Width’:

2 Likes