⎋ The Linear Oppression of Note-taking Apps @ maggieappleton.com

May 25, 2021

Notion, Roam, Evernote, OneNote, Bear, Obsidian. They are all centred around writing text documents that flow from left-to-right, then top-to-bottom; the way all text works in English. Even if they support other languages, you'd still write Arabic or Hebrew or Urdu linearly, just right-to-left.

You might say this is what defines a note; it is a chunk of written text, presented as a small piece of digital paper. It's pretending to be a real piece of paper, but without many of the features that make real paper useful. Like the ability make marks on it that are not simply words in a straight line.

Found on Ben Tsai’s Twitter, who posts about a lot of interesting non-linear note ideas. Some worth exploring:

  1. kinopio.club (and you can leave a note on my public board).
  2. mmm.page (in alpha).
  3. https://nototo.app (in closed alpha).

And sort of similar (but as Maggie notes, much more expensive) options in Goodnotes and Notability for the iPad.

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