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Hierarchal, multi pane, collaborative, web note-taking app

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Posted by Magnus Rex
May 31, 2018 at 08:43 AM



I have for many years been looking for a note-taking app that would suit my needs:

With a thousand notes, I needed some kind of organization. I always liked the Workflowy idea of recursive lists, but not everything is a list.

I also often need to share subsection of my notes to be able to collaborate with others. Hackpad made this really nice, but they lost some of the charms when they rebuilt the app for Dropbox (Dropbox Paper).

I also think it should be easy to bring up more than one note at a time. In fact, most of the writing I do, I do in the context of other things that I have already written. This seems to be a really rare feature even though it is super useful (imho).

Anyway, long story short, I decided to make my own at http://www.rexpad.com.

- Notes are nested within notes. All you have got is one root note and a tree of sub-notes.

- It is real-time collaborative. Share any subtree and work together. The full history of every change is kept.

- You can bring up as many panes as you want (side by side).

A lot of things are still missing, but it is quite usable. Please have a look! I am very curious what you might like and what you think I should add/change.



Posted by MadaboutDana
May 31, 2018 at 03:40 PM


That looks rather good - I thoroughly approve of the side-by-side approach. I like the outlines as well (especially with the breadcrumb support at the top of each page). If I’d love to see one extra feature, it would be folding headers in the actual text, but as everybody knows, I’m a bit of a folding freak…

You seem to have covered all the bases very thoroughly, with a first-release product that looks, at first sight, very professional. I shall have to sign up, just to experiment. HOWEVER…

... I don’t use online notes apps, personally: are you thinking of publishing these as apps, eventually? Maybe for macOS and iOS? ;-)



Posted by MadaboutDana
May 31, 2018 at 03:45 PM


A lot of people here should be pleased by your inclusion of a “focus” mode, whereby you can make a particular note in an outline a topmost note while you’re working on it or its dependents. That’s nice.

Something I’m missing as I play around, however, is a simple “back” button that would take you back through previous notes - particularly useful if you’re jumping from note to note using e.g. tags. However, the breadcrumbs feature is exceptionally useful.


Posted by MadaboutDana
May 31, 2018 at 03:47 PM


Slight bug in right-hand menu next to each note title; tends to open the note rather than generating the menu (which in Safari appears on the left of the screen).

The ability to open up multiple notes side by side from a single URL is very neat. Your kanban board example is perfect.


Posted by Magnus Rex
May 31, 2018 at 07:00 PM


Thanks for good feedback!

Yes, I know that not supporting offline is a showstopper for many. I have started the with online-only as I wanted to explore collaborative features first, but the protocol that I use also support offline, even for edits. There are also new standards (Progressive Web Apps) that can make an online app behave much like an installed app including starting from the home screen without an internet connection. I hope to explore that further on.

Regarding a back button. The browser back button works well except it affects all open panes. I could at least add a back keyboard shortcut to go back in just one pane. Have to think about that.

I have to investigate the menu bug. Thanks for reporting!

You might want to know that I support fully deleting accounts, so there is no commitment signing up. :)


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