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Curio 25 released

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Mar 17, 2023 at 09:37 AM


Yes, he’s lovely – and he’s priced NotePlan at a level that can only appeal to NotePlan enthusiasts. It’s a shame, I used to use it a great deal, but I now use Obsidian instead (plus TickTick for multi-user project management).

I very much like Obsidian’s stripped-down aesthetic, but I suspect it works better on Mac than on PC because the standard system font on Mac is so attractive. Actually, I’ve just found I can change Agenda’s font to use the standard San Francisco font, too, so I’m taking another look at Agenda ;-)

I love your idea of software djinns!

Friction for me is at least partially aesthetic. If I enjoy working in an app, it’s because lots of little cues and details make me feel happy. In this sense, while I admire TickTick and regard it as one of the most frictionless task management apps (especially given its plethora of features), I don’t enormously enjoy working in it. I can work very fast in TickTick, but its aesthetic doesn’t thrill me.

On the other hand, while I do need to think harder about working in Obsidian, I very much enjoy doing so. Just as I enjoy working in Bike – because it’s attractive, has some beautifully executed features (notably linking), and is fast and easy to use.

Obsidian’s great advantage is that it’s fundamentally a text-based platform (also NotePlan’s great advantage). This means that you can experiment in all kinds of amusing ways (when you’ve got time to do so) without doing permanent damage to complex internal structures or software formats. I’ve installed and – sometimes almost immediately! – uninstalled many different plug-ins, and gradually honed down my selection to ones that really work for me. And in the process, haven’t lost or damaged any of the underlying data, even though I’ve now imported my enormous NotePlan repository into Obsidian (and regretfully abandoned NotePlan).

Friction, as others have already remarked, is much more than just “ease of use”. It’s why so many of our clients have taken to describing their software and processes as “intuitive” – a usefully vague word that covers the emotional/haptic response to software as much as it does the structural/logical aspects.

It’s why Curio is cool – complex, vast range of features, but gorgeous and enjoyable to use.

Paul Korm wrote:
$99.99 PA for NotePlan !?!? 
> >I’ve given NotePlan a try every few months since it first arrived in
>beta several years ago.  The developer is a very nice person. 
>However, using NotePlan always seems like a penalty for some minor
>misdemeanor.  Agenda does too, but less so.  At least Agenda is pretty.
>  I think it’s a problem with the paradigm for these apps.  As soon as
>notes become attached to tasks and calendars and reminders, motion
>sickness starts.  It’s the friction.
> >I’ve never thought of Curio as note-taking software.  It’s a different
> >Maybe someday software will include little AI djinns that will pop open
>polite messages such as “Excuse me, you’re using the wrong software for
>what you’re doing.  May I suggest other options for you?”


Posted by satis
Mar 17, 2023 at 11:25 AM


satis wrote:

>Given that Agenda gives you a permanent unlock for all features offered
>within one’s $35/yr subscription period it’s a much better deal than
>NotePlan, which is a shame because I liked NotePlan a lot before v.2
>introduced its $99/yr subscription.

Follow-up: Agenda just simplified its tiers, adding to its preexisting yearly Pro subscription a one-time forever purchase price of $119.99. This makes it a deal not only for those who would use the app for at least three years, but makes it a screaming bargain compared to NotePlan, ClickUp and the like


Posted by Amontillado
Mar 20, 2023 at 07:48 PM


Looping back on Curio, I’ve discovered an interesting workflow.

I like the idea of notes flying in close formation. If I make a note about a magic lantern in chapter 1, I want another instance of that note anywhere else the magic lantern plays a role.

Standard disclaimer applies. I’m a wanna-be novelist spending all my writing time on documentation for work, and I don’t write full time.

In Curio, I can have a corkboard (an Idea Space) for magic houseware where I can put notes about the magic lantern.

I can tag the magic lantern with Chapter 1, Chapter 8, etc.

I can create Idea Spaces for Chapters 1 and 8, and put queries there to list everything with the appropriate chapter tags.

Cool, but I don’t get to control the order or layout in those query results, much as in Obsidian’s Dataview. There’s an interesting thing available, though.

Everything the query found is represented as a synced instance. When you create another instance off a synced instance, there is no chain of dependency. The third instance is tied to the original, not the secondary instance. It’s like replicating a replicant in Devonthink.

So, the list can be like a menu of things with a given tag. I can copy elements as synced instances into individual notes or nodes in a mind map.

That kind of clutters things up, but there’s a solution.

Curio supports layers. I can put the automatically generated list on one layer and sync copies from it to a second layer. Turn off the layer with the query list, and I’ve just got my mind map, or constellation of note cards, or whatever. Turn the query layer back on, there’s my menu of ideas.

Fun stuff.


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