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.
- I am sure I read in one of the FAQs (https://community.anytype.io/knowledgebase/272-storage-deletion and https://community.anytype.io/knowledgebase/271-privacy-security) that moving Anytype’s files is going to come soon. I feel like even for an alpha this is a feature that should be engrained already into the software. It kind of defeats one of the main selling points of the app which is privacy and security.
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:
- 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.
- This isnt much of a bug as it is a feature request but I feel like its kind of annoying that you can’t remove the description part of a page and coupled with the fact that the font is ever so slightly larger than the one of the text (or at least it appears that way since its above the body of the page; makes a non pleasent experience for the eyes. If I dont need a description block I should be able to delete it from the page but the delete button is nowhere to be found
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
The ability to make the text take more real estate on the screen. What I mean by this is basically to use more of the space in the page instead of making the text stay all at center point. An option to toggle this on and off would be great!
- 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:)