Quick Résumé of Anytype 0.23.5

Thanks for having me in the Alpha group. I stumbled upon Anytype when searching for an alternative to Evernote. I have all my private documents on Evernote (certificates, bills, contracts, letters - anything!). I also have a lot of work related documents there as well as a little Wiki about various things.

Evernote is incredibly slow when opening/moving/copying notes, it’s also slow when opening PDFs and even though my data is said to be encrypted in transit and in rest and I do consider Evernote a trustworthy company I don’t like the fact that they have the key to decrypt my data (they could be hacked).

Having said that, here’s a few things I did not like about Anytype and that would keep me from switching to it (roughly in order of severity):

Import: well, Evernote import is coming soon, it says. As I have dozens of notebooks and thousands of notes there, an automated import feature would be mandatory for me.

VPN Communication: I am on VPN very often. However, while on VPN the app just does not work. I was not able to login as long as I was on VPN. This is a killer use case for me - sorry to tell.

PDF Support:

  • Good: Embedding PDFs in Documents is easy (just drag & drop)
  • Good: Loading & scrolling within PDFs is fast (I’m used to slow performance e.g. in Evernote)
  • Bad: Full Text Search - As already mentioned, I have digitalized all private documents, 99% as PDFs. I need to be able to find these documents by simply typing words from within the document. So indexing the contents of PDFs embedded in Anytype documents is crucial for me.
  • Bad: Document layout seems to limit the width of the document to a narrow colum in the middle of the window. If maximized this is roughly 1/3 of the screen width. I want to be able to view the document (especially a PDF) in max width without leaving Anytype.
  • Would be nice to have: Evernote has a feature to display PDFs in three different modes: Attachment/Single Page/All Pages. Attachment does not load/preview the document, just shows it as an attachment to the document. Single Page shows one page of the document, user can scroll page-wise (just like in Anytype). All Pages displays all pages of the PDF in a long, vertical sequence - that would be nice to have in Anytype, too.

Portability & Local storage: I would prefer being able to specify an arbitrary location for the Anytype binaries and my personal data so I can have it e.g. on a USB drive or an encrypted volume (e.g. Veracrypt)

Passphrase: I consider it a huge advantage of Anytype that my passphrase is only known to me and if I lose it, I lose access to the notes. I understand how this actually makes my notes more secure as no one, not even Anytype, has access to the notes (except me). However, I would rather specify that passphrase myself instead of having to remember a passphrase generated by Anytype as this would help me to pick a scheme that I’m able to remember.

Relations: I’d love to add my own (but that’s not really a problem, currently)

I’ll also look at the iOS app soon and will add a separate thread for this, if I have additional feedback.


PDF: +1, I would like these features as well.

Portability: “Custom local storage path” is on the release plan, but without an ETA.

Relations: You can create your own.


Relations: You can create your own.

Neat! Thanks for sharing!

You can increase the width of each objects. Hover over the area where the cover image would appear → Layout → Set Layout Width

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Hi, I use a VPN on macOS and Anytype seems to work fine through it.

I’m sorry, but I don’t see the Layout option. I’m probably hovering the wrong area. Could you be more specific, what “the area where the cover image would appear” is? I hovered everything on my screen, no Layout option there.

Indeed, the issue seems to be resolved after initial login. However, it was there as long as I was not yet logged in to Anytype.

To be more specific: I created my Anytype account in the iOS App. Then I installed the desktop app and (while on VPN) tried to login with the keyphrase from the iOS App. This did not work repeatedly over a period of serveral hours. I did not screenshot the error message, but it indicated some kind of connection problem. Only after I quit VPN I could login. After this I did not try working with Anytype again while on VPN.

Here is a video.


Got it! Thanks a lot!

I think attachment handling is one of Evernote’s last remaining real “killer features”, not replicated or surpassed by almost any other tool. So I can understand your desire for many of these features! Your overall feedback here is great, and for some of the specific PDF feature requests, I suggest you see if there are existing topics and upvote, or create new ones if not. Here’s one for PDF indexing/search: