>I tried Taonotes again. I am truly sorry to say this, but I have never seen a piece of software more desperately in need of a good technical writer, and I see a LOT of software.
Thomthowolf, you’re right…. As a developer I understand that too…. But on one hand I can not find time enough to set up this side of product development (actually I wrote TaoNotes project in my spare time, I have another full time job)… and constant time limitations is me big enemy… basically, I have time for programming/general management only…. I constantly delay the writing of a good manual, for instance… I know it’s too bad…. But I can not do that too much in this direction so far…. The shareware project is unprofitable….
On other hand, may be I have no “system view” how to present my software right…. (you’re talking about in this thread)…
>Vadim, if you read this, then please don't be offended,
I’ve read this. Absolutely not! :O) Contrary, you words give me the direction to work :O)
>but if you want to get people to use your software in place of the variety of competing products,
I really want to bit the variety of competing products :O) … no doubts…. :O)
>you need to do at least these 2 things:
>1. Scrap your sample data completely. It only serves to make the interface look too busy.
Good advice. I will use it for sure.
>2. Decide what the software wants to be when it grows up. What I mean is, your users cannot effectively decide on whether to >use your software if they don't know what it is for.
>You need to decide what one thing the software does better than anything else, and use that feature, and ONLY that feature, to >ease the user into using it.
It’s hard to determine what this feature will be… :O)
> Take another look at the (admittedly annoying) flash introduction to Evernote, for example.
Never seen it…
> If Taonotes could introduce itself >that way on first start as, for example, a note taker, then your potential users will be delighted to discover later on that it also >works as a PIM, and still later that it will walk your dog or whatever.
Practical approach….. As an author I wish people understand all use of software at once :O) especially not providing good manual :O))….. but for sure the approach you’re proposing in better….. firstly take it as a note-taker, then as a to-do manager, then as a bookmark manager, then as a search manager, then as a technical writer’s tool, etc…. I like this….
>I am certain that I could find some use for this software, `but is is just too hard to decide where to start.
The proper manual should help here, I think…. Site content should help (it does not)…
>Sorry for the rant, but documentation is a subject that matters, and does not get enough attention.
I know, I know…… I will try to do something in this field in the nearest future (my favorite phrase for the last year :O)….
But, Thomthowolf, let’s consider TaoNotes from another side…… You wrote you’re technical writer…. I develop TaoNotes with the user like you in mind…. The application itself is suitable for technical writing….. I use it for relatively short writings myself…. It gives you well results enough it seems…..
As you’ve downloaded the application give it a second (third !!! :O) chance…. I will try to explain here how to use it in a few words….. try to write small instruction you’re used to do in TaoNotes for example….
Create new notebook File->New…. It will be empty…. Then choose Insert->Composite Item->Extended Project command…. It will insert a small project outline into notebook…. Then choose the first (top) outline item (called ‘Project’)…. Then choose Publish->Publish items With Children….. All your notes in this outline branch will be rendered to HTML page and shown in the external browser….. (or you can import it to MS Word)….
You can see the notes on different levels have different styles applied…. So, you have an idea….. you can set up the formatting….. just building outline…. To say more: applying labels to items you can get different formatting and images inserted for typical cases (tip, note, attention, information, pro, con, etc….)….
It’s much faster to rearrange chapters, paragraphs in the outline than in MS Word, for instance…. But my point of view could be subjective here :O)