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Author Topic: IDEA - Anyone want to take a Gander on this Goose? (Google Notebook Alternative)  (Read 4757 times)

Paul Keith

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So Google stopping development for Notebook is big news lately and everyone's looking at UberNote or EverNote as the prime suspect and Mashable has created a list of alternatives here (I'm a fan of Helipad's markdown formatting myself though the size allocated is small) but I think there's two services that's not quite being noticed here.

Alone, they aren't enough but together I think there's some potential market here, not much different from when Remember the Milk took to-do lists by storm. I don't know how to program and code so I'm just posting this combination up here:

ManageMyIdeas + Snipd

http://www.snipd.com/

Snipd not only has superior clipping to ClipMarks and Google Notebook by only needing a bookmarklet but it's KISS as web clipping can be.

http://www.managemyi...eas.com/welcome.aspx

ManageMyIdeas not only has a more minimalistic interface than Notebook but it gets alot of ideas right by allowing a demo login where you can easily see how it has some pros over Notebook as a pure text notetaker but it sheds away all the document editing stuff that slow down Google's Notebook. Sadly the service is abandoned and it probably couldn't gain much traction with a name such as ManageMyIdeas.

I might be wrong though and most of you may feel this is a horrible money making idea but I think the key to online notetaking apps is to create a small enough basic application like this, have an API and let the twitter-like developers hack the rest.

Probably some other overkill stuff I think that would help pump the app would be:
1) ShareTabs capability
2) Flowgram/Slideshare integration
3) Diigo/Delicious/Simpy sync and export
4) Keyboard Shortcuts
5) RTM/Toodledo/Todoist integration
6) Google Notebook importer
7) Export Options

In general though, I think it just needs to be fast and stable at this point and not stay in closed beta for an eternity to raise some eyebrows.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 05:14:56 PM by Paul Keith »

IainB

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Well, as one of the "early adopters" of Google's Notebook, I was sorry to see that it was about to be discontinued. Hats off to Google for the idea of Notebook, but, though Google had seemed to keep adding new/improved features, I always found the thing a bit kludgy - and it had a poor response time. My use of Notebook therefore faded away, and finally went to nothing after I started using Scrapbook to save my precious stuff to my laptop's hard drive - I often want access to my stuff offline.

The suggested online alternatives to Notebook might be all well and good, but because I often want access to my stuff offline, Scrapbook is just right for me.

Paul Keith

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Precisely IainB.

If you're in the market for developing an online notetaker, two questions should jump at you:

1) Why is it that an inferior clipper like Google's gets more attention than a full featured desktop syncing tool like Evernote 3 or a richer featured offline clipper like Scrapbook?

2) Why is it that an inferior kludgy notetaker like Google's beat out better offline and online notetakers?

Here are my theories for question A:

a) 99% of people using Google's clipper don't clip full pages.
b) 99% of people using Google's clipper love the ease of sharing their clips to their friends
c) 99% of people using Google's clipper DON'T want a heavy bulky feature-rich application like Scrapbook or Evernote's desktop client
d) 99% of people using Google's clipper want their notes online.
e) 99% of people using Google's clipper want an easy way to search their clippings.

Opinion:

1) EverNote
-clunky desktop client
-more intrusive clipping options

2) Surfulator and other offline clippers
-payware
-scary feature-rich interface
-offline

3) Scrapbook
-offline
-intrusive clipping
-no "one button" quick clip and view

4) Snipd
+minimalistic
+quick
+clips "clips" rather than full pages
+unintrusive

Here are my theories for question B:


a) 99% of people using Google's notebook want to search their notes
b) 99% of people using Google's notebook want their notes online in several places (IGoogle, Netvibes, Gmail, Google Reader)
c) 99% of people using Google's notebook DON'T want a separate account to login
d) 99% of people using Google's notebook value simple looks rather than fast software
e) 99% of people using Google's notebook want to actually put text snippets rather than actual notes in it.

Opinion:

1) EverNote:
-clunky desktop client
+recently supported Google Notebook importer
-not so simple web based interface
-no demo

2) Ubernote:
-have to register to another account
-no demo pass
-added little to no extra value from Google Notebook

3) Zoho Notebooks:
-no search
-early buggy start

4) Other online notebooks service:
-not for general notetaking
-quirky interface
-small amount of memory
-no labels/tags
-"busy" interface
-not stable

5) Other offline notebooks service:
-no casual idiot-friendly sync
-"busy" interface
-scary features

6) MS OneNote:
+tags
+familiar interface
+easy to understand clipping capability
-payware
-offline

7) ManageMyIdeas
+simple initial interface
+simple interface
+has tags
+has priorities
+has demo account
-no clipping software
-no GUI bullet/numbered list for recipes and shopping lists
-no search
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 08:28:54 PM by Paul Keith »

Paul Keith

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Btw I do understand that many might feel that Google's notebook was used more only because it's part of someone's Google account and Google is a well known brand but I'd just like to point out that the recent complaints from Notebook users switching to EverNote/Zoho/Ubernote proves that it's not just branding that got people satisfied with Notebook. These people have legitimate casual user needs that Google's Notebook provided which no other services did.

Edit: Btw I don't mean to insult the other 1%. Obviously, I didn't actually take a survey so please don't take my generalizations literally. I just wanted to try and explain the phenomena of why there are people upset about Google stopping development for Notebook.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 08:27:02 PM by Paul Keith »

Paul Keith

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Btw for those looking for an actual integration of ShareTabs.com and an actual account, check out Sqworl.

As you can see in the Techcrunch comments, it gets decent amounts of praise and criticisms so the idea is not half bad at all:

http://www.techcrunc...nk-to-rule-them-all/

fivekitten

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 :o I didn't know Google was ending Notebook. I'm going to cry.



I use it to collect links, partial text and full text for research for my article writing, or for reference to specific topics of personal interest.   The search function is mandatory in my world. And being able to export to Google docs and work offline is priceless because my internet goes out a lot and can be very slow. (Satellite - by necessity, not by choice.) I guess for real people being able to make a deadline and work offline when WiFi isn't available is a reason to need downloading. 

I have no idea where to start looking for an alternative...paying is out of the question...and some I've seen in my travels were too social networking oriented. I just want a notebook to collect ideas (text, urls, articles, or my own thoughts) search them and access them as efficiently as I can. 

Going through google isn't a necessity to me, just a small convenience - actually, an inconvenience since I have to sign in all the time. It's useful only because I need to work offline - but that could be with or without google...

If I was a programmer I'd be diving into this. But...I'm not. I love you guys. You make my life so easy.  :P

Wow...I'm still in shock...

Paul Keith

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Well, technically they aren't ending Notebook. Just stopping development of it.

This can both be good or bad depending on your perspective. Good because Google likes to have products stay in beta for so long anyways that at least they are honest with them. Bad because Google still has lots of things to fix with Notebook and this is almost a red flag from them to you to stop using Notebook.

You might want to check out the links. First start would be Evernote. They're one of the most stable and earliest people who set up a Notebook importer and they're also search-centric. You just have to tolerate the desktop client because the website isn't quite as polished.