First impressions - Is it quick and intuitive?

TASK: Observe how quickly and intuitively I can create new notes.
REPORT: Clicking the “+” button on the dashboard to create new notes is fast and intuitive. Entering text using slash commands and the block method is fairly fast to learn. I have a little experience with Notion that makes this familiar.

TASK: Observe how quickly and intuitively I can close and find new notes again.
REPORT: Closing notes is easy. Finding them again is not easy. They are not accessible from the Favorites tab on home screen. They are not accessible from the History tab which was my intuitive expectation. The Sets tab doesn’t work either. Visually the Notes button in the Sets tab appears to be an automated collection of all objects with the “Note” type. It looks like it would provide a basic list of all notes created that could then be filtered. But this is not the case. I’ve created three different notes so far and none show up here. The only way I can find them is by using the search function, requiring me to remember keywords from the title or body content. While that is not unreasonable to expect me to remember, it is also not my normal way of finding things. I create hierarchies of organization to find things intuitively based on a visual layout of categories and labels. The search function does not use that.

TASK: Observe how quickly and intuitively I can build a dashboard page for a specific topic to organize notes in relation to that topic
REPORT: I have not had time to try this much yet but first attempts are not obvious or intuitive because I cannot access my notes from a list. Because I cannot see all my notes in one place, it is difficult to envision how I want to create a dashboard as a visual thinker. Additionally, I see no functionality for opening multiple Anytype windows. I almost constantly use a double-window (and dual monitor) setup which allows me to see big picture and details side-by-side. If I could see both note detail and the home screen / other high-level views side-by-side, that would make the ability to visually build hierarchies much easier. There is no clear function in the interface to open notes in a separate window.

TASK: Observe how quickly and intuitively I can build a dashboard to manage multiple broad topics, each relating to specific notes.
REPORT: Because I cannot build low level dashboards yet, I cannot build high-level dashboards.

NOTE: For an explanation of my approach that leads me to this TASK / REPORT approach, please see my intro below.

Firstly, I want to say that I really appreciate the amount of thought and care that has gone into the concept of Anytype. It is very clear that Zhanna and the others are passionate about building a system that both stands on the shoulders of the last 40 years of software development and breaks down artificial walls that have hindered new development since that time. I love this vision and I can see that it is a huge undertaking. I am so impressed with the courage and passion demonstrated to do that!

Secondly, a little background about me–I am coming here as a paid Evernote user for the past ten years. I have over 6000 notes and a hierarchy of pages, notebooks, and groups developed over those years to organize my life. That paradigm is extremely ingrained into the way I think.

The primary features that attract me to Anytype are the ability to work offline and the privacy. While I am very open to adopting new frameworks for thinking, my default mode of learning is to take new ideas and apply them in a way that first reflects what I am already familiar with, even if that means I am not using the new idea to its fullest potential. In this case, it is clear that there is a powerful new paradigm for relating objects that Anytype is proposing and implementing.

I believe the fastest way for me to learn this new paradigm is to build a working model of my existing paradigm used in Evernote and, along the way, observe the differences in the experience as well as the possibilities for doing more. While that might seem slower than starting from scratch and building from the ground up in the new paradigm, I believe it is actually faster because I can more quickly understand and apply the new tools to the use-cases I know so well, allowing me to deeply understand that portion of their functionality very quickly as well as providing momentum in building a small scale version of my existing system from Evernote.

The momentum I am referring to is actually the most important part of the approach I am taking because it will provide the fastest emotional buy-in for me as a new user of Anytype. If I can create momentum by replicating my existing Evernote setup into Anytype, it shows me that it is at least able to duplicate my existing functionality. If I get that momentum quickly, I will believe in the system’s ability to provide value quickly and my trust will be won. Then, I will have maximized emotional energy to explore new possibilities with the new paradigm that Anytype is proposing.

However, if I cannot build momentum with Anytype by quickly replicating the functionality I already have, I will not trust its ability to do the bare minimum. I will stagnate in my emotional energy to explore new things, and I will not trust that it is worth my time to invest additional hours learning how to use new functionality to relate objects because I will not see value in terms of my existing system.

It is apparent that Anytype developers understand this idea of buy-in and creating momentum for incoming users because they have created three use-case scenarios that resemble familiar uses of Evernote–the book list, the student notes, and the Task Tracker.

To summarize my approach to using Anytype:

Goal #1: Determine Anytype’s ability to replace Evernote as a note-taking / life organizing system, using the existing paradigm that is already ingrained into my life.

How I will measure Anytype performance against this goal:

  • Observe how quickly and intuitively I can create new notes
  • Observe how quickly and intuitively I can close and find new notes again
  • Observe how quickly and intuitively I can build a dashboard page for a specific topic to organize notes in relation to that topic
  • Observe how quickly and intuitively I can build a dashboard to manage multiple broad topics, each relating to specific notes

I will post my initial report of these metrics now, 24 hours after my onboarding session. I will come back and add to my report as I spend more time in the system.




Hi @Bric_a_Brac did you have some more time to play with Anytype? I’m curious what did were able to do and what kind of issues you ran into.

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Amazingly organized and well-articulated report, thank you! I’m also curious to see if you will be able to update this as you test Anytype further. :slight_smile:

Report #2
Task: Create pages quickly in iOS app.
Report: Difficult because the default is notes. Notes are not very helpful because they don’t have titles. No clear way to convert a note to a page. I thought I saw it some where but it’s not obvious.

@Bric_a_Brac thanks for your additional input. I’m not sure whether the same setting is available on iOS, but in the Android version it is possible to set the default Object type for newly created Objects:

Go to Settings and select Personalization:

Then choose the default Object type:

Uploading: Screenshot_20220518-094931~2.png…

You should also be able to change the type after creation:

I hope this answers your question/remark. Let me know if I didn’t get your point right :wink:

Thank you @sambouwer ! That is super helpful!

Update on Report #2: I figured out that if I tap the object type name, it pops out a menu to change the type. So I can change a Note to a Page, etc. Cool functionality now that I know about it. But it took a while to figure that out. Maybe I missed it but I don’t remember seeing anything about that in the documentation.

Thinking towards a solution: @Bric_a_Brac would a little downward facing arrow make it clear that there are more options “below” the text that shows the object type?

@sambouwer , not a bad idea! I’d be open to trying any kind of visual indicator. Even just an outline around the word would show that it might behave differently which would create curiosity to try tapping it.

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@Bric_a_Brac great to hear! Are you willing to write up a feature request for the clarification on how to change object types on the mobile platforms? (probably useful for the Desktop, too!)

@sambouwer Sure. Happy to. I’ve never done one before though. Is there a particular resource describing how they want those to look? Or a template?

Yep, a template will be loaded when you select the category to post in (feature request, bug report)

We need handwritten text , only reason i will stick with one note.Microsoft Loop probably will come with this feature.