Thank you Duy, Viet and the Notes Plus team for your commitment to making Notes Plus the great utility that it is. I purchased Notes Plus 8 years ago when it was first launched. It is by far, my most valued application. I have used it nearly every day over that entire period and I have tried all of its rivals — because no app is perfect — but I always come back to Notes Plus because of its intuitiveness, utility, usability and reliability. It simply is the best emulation and refinement of a paper notebook that I’ve encountered.
Over the years I’ve accumulated over 100 notebooks and more than a thousand pages of notes. This in-depth exposure has confirmed that Notes Plus emulation of paper and excellent HWR are it’s strengths and differentiators. I hope you never change that.
With this experience I have also found that the feature I need the most (and what could be a step function in utility for handwriting-oriented digital notebook users) is the addition of integrated task management capabilities. For me, notes and tasks are not separate use cases — they are intertwined: notes provides context for tasks … and tasks capture actions that result from dialogue that is persisted in notes.
I have also found through countless trials with numerous task management apps that switching between Notes Plus and task management app(s) breaks my concentration, impairs my active participation in meetings and reduces my productivity. This has led me to believe that simply tacking on a traditional task management interface would actually detract from Notes Plus intuitiveness and power.
Instead, I believe that extending the Notes Plus handwriting recognition interface to accommodate task entry (perhaps using Reminders as a Backend to allow integration with the iOS ecosystem) would both maintain the excellent, intuitive Notes Plus user experience and extend its utility to accommodate a traditionally separate class of functionality. Here’s an example of what I imagine as an ideal Notes Plus native task interface:
The first idea reflected in this example is to use handwriting recognition (HWR) to recognize a hand-drawn checkbox as an indicator that what follows is a task. And likewise a checked-checkbox is a completed task. Obvious extensions could include recognizing a date in the task task and using it to add a due date, etc. The HWR engine could simply recognize the task then use the Reminders API to create and manage the task.
The second idea reflected is the ability to review tasks through a Task/ToDo view under Settings or elsewhere. The option to see all tasks in the open notebook (or all tasks in all notebooks) in this view would be great. This view could serve as a simplified task management front end to the Reminders app.
I recognize that (a) this feature may not be useful to every Notes Plus user, and (b) the additional capability may require significant development. Both of these factors warrant an assessment of the economic benefit to the Notes Plus team of making such an investment.
To address this I suggest an in-app purchase to unlock the integrated tasks capability (priced to be competitive with top-quality task management apps such as Things, OmniFocus, Wunderlist and TickTick — yes, I would gladly pay an additional $20 subscription fee for this capability integrated in Notes Plus).
Thanks again for the love and life energy that you’ve poured into Notes Plus. I know that the team has many ideas for improving Notes Plus and I appreciate the opportunity to share this one. I look forward to other opinions and a productive dialogue on its merits.