What a roller coaster ride is what the last few months have been!
My quest for a note-taking app that does the things that I want wasn’t the easy adventure that I had planned when this all started back in January. After deciding that neither Notion nor Evernote did what I was looking for in a note-taking app, I started a months-long search for one that did.
For a while, I believed that I would end up with Obsidian or Logseq. Either would give me more control over where my files are and who has access to them. Plus, there are very active online communities related to both apps.
What ended up happening is that while I loved the community that was helping to build these apps into something more than what the base app is. The apps themselves didn’t work the way that I do.
There are too many options, plugins, themes, and all the other rabbit holes to scamper through. For me, all the extra options meant that I was constantly finding interesting tangents or other distractions to take up my time. It was the same issue that I had with Notion – a powerful app, but too many possibilities.
Which meant I wasn’t taking notes or writing.
That those apps didn’t work for me, is my issue, not the apps or the communities. For most people, they are fantastic note-taking apps.
As someone who is quickly overwhelmed by too much stimulation or choices, neither was the solution I was looking for.
I cycled through many more note-taking apps, but none were what I was looking for. Although Craft came close enough that I decided to subscribe for the next year. While it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, it is an app that I could use.
There is a difference between could use and want to use, so I continued my search after using Craft for a couple of weeks.
One was very close to what I was looking for. However, the future of the app seemed too cloudy to take a chance on. Comments from users or former users were less than supportive and a lack of communication from the app’s development team didn’t make me feel comfortable going all-in with Roam Research. This is too bad because I liked a lot of what I was seeing in the app.
Almost – But Not Quite
That led me to Mem and Reflect Notes. Note-taking apps I had gone back to multiple times during my search. Both excited me with the possibilities that they have. The direction they were both going and how quickly they were growing their products.
Although both had things that needed to be fixed or added before either one was going to be precisely what I wanted. The big question was if either of them could do enough now, for me to be happy with their offerings.
Initially, I thought that Mem was going to be that app, but delays in MemX happened (which is not unusual in a product coming out of Beta), but a few comments in the Slack channel got my attention and the U/I isn’t my favorite. My gut told me to look elsewhere, so I did. I’m sure that Mem is going to be a great note-taking app, but not for me.
I love the philosophy and vision of Reflect Note’s founder towards developing this app. How he is going about creating what will be a great note-taking app, which is in my opinion the way it should be done but often has not been. Reflect Notes is one that will be around for a long time. However, when I found myself attempting to set it up the same as my final choice comes, I knew that for now, it would be my second choice.
A few weeks ago on Twitter, I came across an app called Capacities.io. I started playing around with it and quickly fell in love with how it worked for me. It has enough structure to not get lost in too many rabbit holes, while enough freedom to make it mine.
Capacities is a note-taking app that is in early Beta and has a ways to go before it is ready to come out. Even so, it quickly became apparent that the direction it was going was what I was looking for. The major things holding me back were the lack of native MacOS, IOS apps, and a web clipper. Other things are minor, coming soon, or are not that important to the core features of what I need.
I did a Zoom call with one of the co-founders and that alleviated many of my other concerns about Capacities. Even so, I was still leery of using an app this early in the Beta stage as my primary note-taking app without the big three.
However, when I started attempting to set up other note-taking apps the way that Capacities was set up, I realized that they had something special.
For me at least.
What I Figured Out
This weekend, I decided that as long as the Capacity team keeps moving forward on their roadmap, I will be using the Capacities app as my only note-taking app. My experience has been it is sometimes better to grow with an app than attempt to chase a massive learning curve with a mature app.
This is what I will be doing with Capacities – growing with the app.
Today, I deleted all the other note-taking apps off my devices, except Apple Notes (which I have a lot of archived files that I consolidated there from other note-taking apps).
Am I taking a leap of faith?
There are no guarantees that Capacities.io will ever get beyond the Beta stage. It is also entering what is now a very crowded note-taking app field. But after using it for a while, I believe that Capacities.io has enough differences to thrive and have a long and successful run.
Especially, since it works more like I do than any of the other note-taking apps that I have tried since January.
Here is to believing that my choice to move to Capacities.io with all the challenges still ahead for the app and its team, is the correct one for me.
Now to get to work and start writing again.
Disclaimer – I have no business or other relationship with Capacities.io and am simply a user of the Capacities.io app who is sharing his experiences on this blog.