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Life Notes approaching gold release; changes name to Noteship

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Aug 16, 2021 at 02:39 PM


Sorry, folks, but for the time being, this is confined to macOS users ;-)

Life Notes is an interesting piece of software that’s now approaching release in the Mac App Store; there’s one final beta to go (can be downloaded from https://noteship.com/downloads/Noteship.zip)

The developer, who’s very amiable and responsive (as are all the developers on Outliner Software, of course!), has a particular vision that involves embracing all aspects of info management. Actually, the closest equivalent I can think of is InfoQube, although Life Notes/Noteship is nothing like InfoQube really. That’s mainly because of the ultra-flexible use of fields (similar to the use of fields in askSam, for those with memories stretching back that far!), which includes a special “spreadsheet” view allowing you to view notes by multiple fields. Life Notes also picks up tasks in multiple notes (like the latest version of Evernote), accepts attachments (with a very transparent approach to “resources”), and saves notes in HTML format, meaning they remain accessible even if you decide to jettison Life Notes – sorry, Noteship. It’s not the easiest app to describe, but my own beta experimentation (a few months back) suggests it’s very user-friendly (much more so than the broad range of features might suggest).

Many more details plus, of course, the beta at https://noteship.com



Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Aug 16, 2021 at 06:22 PM


I received the email from the developer too—funny how my CRIMPing seems to get me on the RADAR of developers I can’t remember.  But yes, Noteship does look impressive. Some of its attributes remind me of InfoSelect. But, yeah, AskSam too.



Posted by MadaboutDana
Aug 17, 2021 at 09:55 AM


One of its neatest features is the ability to pull together a summary view of all paragraphs that start with the same heading.

So if you’ve got 15 notes with a paragraph headed “Lessons Learned” in them, you can pull them all together in a single overview, and copy the whole thing if you need/want to.

The spreadsheet view, which creates a comparative table pulled from the relevant fields of notes with the same fields in them, is also pretty darn neat. Using a combination of both features, you can view a huge range of options from a list of selected notes (selected either using the search function, which is fairly basic but works well, or using tags).


Posted by MadaboutDana
Aug 27, 2021 at 04:13 PM


Okay, summary of my Noteship findings so far, after a couple of weeks of playing with it (this originally and mistakenly appeared in the “FSNotes” thread):

The more I use Noteship, the more impressed I am by the ease with which you can manage large amounts of data.

There are folders and subfolders. Top-level folders can be displayed as “sections”. Folders at any level can be twinned with a matching note, so the note appears when you click on the folder.

Folders and notes are displayed in a folding outline in the left-hand navbar.

There are tags (although not nested tags – yet).

You can select groups of notes by a number of criteria:
- in a section or folder (by clicking on the folder; notes are shown in a list view in the main editor field);
- by running a search (the results are shown in a list view ditto);
- by clicking on/using a tag (the results are shown in a list view ditto);

You can then easily run summaries using a couple of other views:
- spreadsheet view (based on fields you can spontaneously create in notes simply by typing a fieldname followed by colon + tab; this gives you enormous freedom to include/exclude fields from specific notes as/when you feel like it. No formal structure is required, although notes obviously have to share some fields in order to appear in a spreadsheet view)
- one-page summary view (which uses common headers across multiple notes; again, no formal structure is required, although notes must obviously share certain headers)

If you choose the one-page summary view, you are first offered a list of shared headers. The impressive aspect of this is that headers in notes can be hierarchised (as in H1, H2, H3); so you can have higher-order headers (which show more of the note, including subheaders), or you can decide to zoom in on shared lower-order headers.

Thus for example, I have put an H2 header “Task” at the top of each task note (I have several separate task notes, for Work, Home, Family, Hobbies etc.). Under those I have H3 headers for “do right now”, “do later” “do sometime”, and under those I have H4 headers for e.g. projects, my children, admin, meetings etc. This gives me a list of headers to view the contents of; if I select the top-level header, “Task”, I see the full contents of ALL my task notes. But if I select “do it right now”, I only see the contents of that particular section of each of my task notes, all pulled together (thus all tasks to be done right now in my Work, Home, Hobbies notes in a single list).

You can easily link notes by typing @ and then the first few characters of a note’s name – a list of notes automatically appears for selection. So I keep detailed notes of e.g. projects etc. in a separate folder, then link them back to the main Work task note so I can e.g. refer to the details of each project from a simple list under the “do it now” header.

Backlinks are automatically included in notes referred to by other notes.

Finally, the number of to-dos and/or dates in each note is shown in the left-hand outline; if you hide the notes in a folder, it will automatically display the total number of to-dos/dates in all the notes it contains.

None of these things are particularly unique in themselves (although the one-page summary of shared headers is awesome, effectively allowing you to imitate the Ulysses effect of multiple notes grouped together). But the combination, and the ease with which summary views can be generated, makes it an extremely powerful knowledge-management app.

The developer, Rico Gundermann, is very amiable and responsive, too. I have added rather a lot of things to his roadmap already!

The app should be released on the Mac App Store in around 10 days’ time (he’s already got Apple approval, he’s just got some marketing work to do).

Once it’s out, I’ll do a proper review with screenshots and post it somewhere.

I’m embarrassed to say that with a true CRIMPer’s infidelity, I’m hardly using NotePlan any more, because Noteship gives me a superior overview of my activities, project management, tasks etc. Even though it doesn’t have a calendar! It’s vastly superior to Things 3, too, and more flexible than Todoist.



Posted by steveylang
Aug 27, 2021 at 06:27 PM


This is interesting! Are mobile versions planned?


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