I have interviewed many people, asked many users, and also gathered information from Chinese social media groups, gaining insights into numerous user perspectives. They have come to a rather pessimistic conclusion: Anytype is a conceptually advanced product, but it might not be a passable notebook. Therefore, they currently choose to treat it as a toy, occasionally checking to see what updates have been made, rather than truly entrusting their note content to Anytype.
I have interviewed many people, asked many users, and also in Chinese social media groups, learned a lot about users’ thoughts. They have come to a very pessimistic conclusion: Anytype is a conceptually advanced product, but it may not be a passable notebook. So they currently choose to treat it as a toy, just occasionally checking to see what’s updated, opening it, testing out the features, and then quitting, rather than truly entrusting their note content to Anytype.
Reflecting on my own actions, I realized that I also treat Anytype as a novelty. I merely marvel at its advanced concepts, but I have never really put my own data into it, nor have I integrated Anytype into my workflow. I began to question why this is the case?
I started to use Anytype purposefully, observing my own behavior and the actual experience of using Anytype in daily life. The result I found is that Anytype might really be terrible as a basic note-taking software.
There are objects that allow you to flexibly define attributes, but unless you put in a tremendous amount of effort to build your library purposefully, it is just a scattered mess, very loose sand, impossible to grasp, without any structure, parent-child relationships, or basis.
When we take notes, we prioritize content, not starting a project. Anytype makes everything complex. First, you have to think about what type of note you’re writing, then think about what relation your note has with other notes. When you only have a few notes, they sink into the ocean of objects, needing a strong effort to retrieve.
Besides, the editing experience of Anytype, the basic note document process, is also unsatisfactory. Below are the most frequently asked questions I’ve collected. These questions are not about advanced features, not about foresight, not about innovation, but about the most basic experience questions that arise when using it as a basic note-taking software:
When can we quickly delete unreferenced files? Some files do not exist as objects in the notebook. They only appear in the management files of remote storage. After the notes that reference them are deleted, they mix with a bunch of referenced files. And Anytype does not provide a download button for synced files, nor can they be referenced again. So they become completely useless files. Why not provide a function to directly delete them? It’s hard for users, as humans, to remember all file names and features.
After creating object hyperlinks, the format of the hyperlink text is too inconspicuous. It’s hard to distinguish from normal content. I think this is a basic problem that all note-taking software should solve.
On the mobile end, having only five buttons doesn’t make users feel simple and convenient. Instead, it greatly delays the user’s step of inserting block elements. Not everyone likes to input commands. Before they insert, they will first browse in the block elements, then choose the final element block they want to insert. But Anytype’s mobile end mixes operations and elements in a “/” button, requiring at least three steps to complete the operation. Anytype needs a “+” button to quickly insert elements. If Anytype has better operation, that would be great. But the current editing experience, I feel, is not good, even can be said to be not smooth.
The undo button on the mobile end is in an absurd location. It’s actually at the end of the menu in the upper right corner. We all know that when editing a document, if you make a mistake, you need to undo quickly. But clicking on the menu in the upper right corner, sliding to the end, and then clicking on undo and redo, completely disrupts our writing process and destroys the editing experience.
Tabbed browsing is really important. It can greatly improve browsing efficiency and work efficiency. When can we add tabbed browsing instead of a matryoshka-style interface? If you want to return to the nth level or the initial interface, you have to go back frantically.
When can the search interface be optimized to show where the keyword matches the document, rather than just showing a document title? In the search results, you can’t see any information related to the keyword. Then I have to click in and flip through where the keyword is in the article, which is a really terrible search experience.
When can a toolbar editing bar be added to the bottom of the mobile end and the floating window of the PC end to quickly insert or format any content?
When can the self-hosted mirror be simplified and the detailed tutorial for self-hosting be improved?
When can database views be exported as PDFs, CSVs, Markdown tables, or even Excel?
When can inline database views be displayed on the mobile end?
When can exports also be based on the parent-child relationship of collections, rather than just exporting one MD document at a time (creating a folder with the name of the collection to hold its documents)?
When can MD documents with the parent-child relationship of folders be imported, rather than just importing one MD document at a time (creating a collection with the name of the folder to hold its MD documents)?
When can the ghost files that still occupy space after all objects are deleted and the trash is cleaned up disappear completely?
When can support be provided for embedding a preview of a block from another note in one note?
When can multiple documents be selected, moved by dragging, and custom sorted?
When can the set filter out object type and template?
When will the calendar view be available on the mobile end?
When can the mobile end support Kanban?
When can the mobile end support graph view?