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CRIMP Defined




Friction vs. Features

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Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Mar 18, 2023 at 05:44 PM


Stephen Zeoli wrote:
>But what exactly is friction? I guess it is anything that impedes the
>smooth collection or writing of notes. Having to select a folder, or
>decide on a tag, or lift fingers from the keyboard to format text or
>anything like that.

I have reMarkable (1) and I will usually think of opening it just when someone is saying something worth noting. If I want to keep my note in context, I have to navigate through the folder structure, find the right location, create a notebook which involves typing the name by pressing the virtual keyboard keys with the stylus, confirm, and then begin notetaking. By that time, I’ve probably missed or forgotten what was said; at least I have the notebook ready for the next notes.

Alternatively, I can just open a nameless “Quick sheet”, but I will then need to remember to move it to the right location once I’m finished, or I will never even remember that I have those notes.

That said, once the notebook is open, I find there is no ‘friction’ (in the sense used in this thread) at all in the actual writing.

>But it might be more than that. It might be your
>relationship to the interface.

Familiarity with the interface, as mentioned by others here is of course a key factor. I find Brainstorm absolutely frictionless but I’ve been using it around 20 years.

>Is it uninspiring?

I think the inspiration itself is most useful when initially getting acquainted with the interface. If it inspires one, they are most likely to invest in learning it, up to the point of becoming familiar with it, especially with time savers such as keyboard shortcuts or mouse/stylus gestures.

>Or confusing? Do you
>have to stop and think about what to do next, once you’ve made your

I think that in this regard, the importance of a powerful search function –so often emphasised by Bill / Madaboutdana– cannot be overestimated.

>Anyway, I am interested in other recommendations for low-friction
>note-management apps.

One programme I would call frictionless –at least in respect to note-taking; I’ve barely scratched its surface in coding, which is what it is intended for– is Sublime Text: fire it up (in less than a second) press ctrl+N to start a new file, and start typing. Don’t worry about saving it; ST will keep it and open it next time you start the programme. If you try to close it, it will warn you that the content hasn’t been saved and encourage you to do so.