Lost when using anytype for the first time

Hi! I’m Jonathan. I’m an animator so use of anytype is, hopefully, for reference and info management as well as knowledge base for personal reading etc. I have used a ton of different services, most recently mem.ai, but tend to go back to onenote. I am excited about learning to use anytype but I must admit I am pretty lost.

A use case example of how lost I am in this program. I want to make a task with a due date. So I type “[]” and it makes a task and I type “/date” and the only options I have are dynamically created creation date, etc. There seems to be no way to make a due date (at least on desktop), or associate any sort of future date to a text block. So I try to make a task tracker, because maybe I need to do that in page like that. So I follow the instructions on the tutorial but it doesn’t pull in my pre-existing task. Does that mean that I can only make tasks in this specific page? I can’t have a page that pulls in all tasks in Any type? So then I decide I will try to build out some information pages about some ideas I am researching. But as soon as I start I try to add a hashtag, but there is no such functionality. So I try just making individual objects for each topic I would have used a hashtag for, but, I cannot add a link to a page inline. It can only exist in it’s own block. At this point I stop and write what you are reading but I honestly am unsure how I am supposed to use this app and am certain that I am completely clueless as to its intended use.

A numbered list:

  1. How do I simply add a date to a line? For instance, I want to make a task, so I type"[]" and want to put a due date, how do I do that? How do I search my notes by date? how do I make a list lf notes from a certain year, month, day?
  2. what “[]”? I can’t seem to search for it, I can’t seem to figure out how to make a set with all "[]"s. I am not sure what the difference is between “[]” and a “task object”
  3. There are a variety of things in anytype that I have no idea what I am supposed to do with. For instance, what is “healthy eating relationship”? How would I use it and what is it for? as far as I can tell searching for healthy brings it up, click on it opens a page that says “Healthy Eating” and that page is added to my history and that’s about it.
  4. What is the significance of a full screen page and a windowed page. I am guessing a full screen page is a template or type? There is no page that lists all my pages though.
  5. There is no way to see all my types or manage them, is this correct? The only list I seem to see favorites and history. But if a page falls off the history, and isn’t saved in favorites, is searching the only way to find it? Is there a way to browse all my pages?
  6. Hashtags are not supported. Inline page links also seem unsupported. It seems hard, if not impossible, to mark out important linked ideas in a block of text.

That’s been my experience in the last few days of trying anytype out. I feel like I am missing the basics somehow.

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You cannot relate a date to a line. You can add date in a line by using @1/1/2022 or @today, etc, but it is not related to the line since blocks don’t have relations. You can only add relations to pages. So what you can do is to create a task object inline using the / command. Type /task and create a new task object to which you can then add a due date, starting time or any other built-in / custom relations to it. You can even create your very own custom task type and use that to track your tasks if you feel that the built-in task object does not suit your needs

A [] creates a simple inline checkbox block. Sets are used to collect pages / objects of same type. If you create task objects from several pages, you can then make a set of task to collect all of them. The easiest way to create a task object is to use the / menu, i.e /task. You can tell the difference between a normal checkbox and a task by looking at the shape of the checkbox. A normal checkbox block will have a circular shape whereas a task object will have a squircle shape

The healthy eating relationship is a built-in relation provided by the anytype team. Say you create a receipe object and you want to denote if it is healthy or not, you can then use such a relation to mark it as either healthy or not healthy and then in a receipe set, you can then use the filter to display only items which are healthy or such. This is just an example, it is not necessary to use the provided relation at all and create a new one for yourself. Relations are basically attributes which can be added to a page, you can use the built-in ones if they suit your needs, if not, you can ignore them and create one for yourself. Check this page for more info on Relations.

There is no difference between a full screen page and a windowed page. When you open a page from a set, it generally opens it in a windowed view to quickly glance them

This is sadly true as of now. There is no separate view to list all pages created by the user. There are workarounds for now (Dashboard → Store (Squircle Icon near your profile pic) → Relations → Creation Date). The team is aware of this and is already working on something AFAIK. You can upvote the following request in the forum.

You can however, can check all your types, relations and templates from the Store (Dashboard → Squircle Icon near Profile Pic)

Hashtags / Tags are indeed supported, but they are available for the whole page and not block wise. Tags are also a relation so you can create one or add one to your page.

Inline page linking is also possible. Select the text you want to link to a different page and click the link icon in the popup or press <Ctrl + K> to make it as an inline link


The team is planning to make the docs page open source for collaboration soon and a lot of community members are already preparing contributions to be added to the docs. With more video and examples, hopefully new users will have an easier time migrating to the workflow of anytype.


Welcome to the community :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Kindly use the #general-discussion tags for questions and queries instead of using the introduce yourself thread so as to keep conversations tidy and limited to particular categories and threads

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These posts are important. It’s nice that @lynxlove replied to everything. But a new user should be able to do/understand most of those things without needing to ask or look for help.

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Hello,

I would generally agree that new users are a bit lost.

I can speak for myself here :wink: since I didn´t know how to start and don´t feel like reading a manual or having to understand Notion beofre I can start.
I would call me techy but not a programmer. As an Evernote user I feel lost too ;(

I would recommend to work on the Personas of your users and suggest an offer like a quick start with a pre configuered dashboard that might make sense for new users?

This would make my start much easier and also give me the feeling of succes a lot faster.

Best
philipp

3 Likes

Thanks for the in-depth response. Sorry about posting in the wrong section, I wasn’t sure where it should go.

My takeaway from this is that anytype is more like notion in that the primary object model is page sized, not line/block sized. This is in contrast to something like roam or mem.ai, as I understand them. And any sort of duplicated functionality between objects and lines (e.g. checkboxes/tasks) should be expected to fundamentally act differently as they are at different levels/scopes. Is that accurate?
#general-discussion

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Yes. But an object of specific type can be pulled into a common set view from anywhere across Anytype. So you can add a task object inline from anywhere and still will be able to display it in a set view. Same goes for images / music / files etc. Whereas plain checkbox, codeblocks, text block objects are page specific.

Backlinks feature is available in the roadmap and there are feature requests for block portals (Transclusion) so Anytype would probably have more block level features as well when it comes out of alpha or after that, through plugins

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