Why I am building NoterBox

A few of the reasons for which I have started the work on Noterbox

Hey, what’s up, I am Gabriel - and I am building NoterBox.

NoterBox Edit Note

I have started working on NoterBox to solve a personal problem:

I needed a long term secure solution to store and manage my personal data. And I needed to be able to easily capture new data from several sources, as well as search that data.

I need to know when exactly I have sent out that certificate for authentication (was it 4 or 6 weeks ago?), how much money I have spent in repairs on my car so far, how much tax I paid a couple of years ago, and I never remembered how to clear the DNS cache on my Mac 👻.

All these and a thousand other things - like capturing journal-style “moments” (ex: today I felt like I was 20 again 🐣). What if all this info would be in one single place where I can search and easily find stuff?

Am I re-inventing the wheel? I’ve put some thought into that question, and I believe not. There are a few apps out there that come close but they’re not exactly what I am looking for. Evernote, OneNote, Bear Writer, SimpleNote, Standard Notes, Google Keep or - to name a few. And there are others as well.

In the hope that I would not need to build one - over years, I have tried the majority of available apps. I really like the beautiful presentation of Bear Writer, the security enhancements of Standard Notes, and well … the simplicity of SimpleNote - pun intended.. :)

Only a few handle file attachments - and Evernote stands out for that. Where Evernote is also shining - is the ability to capture data via their Web Clipper. It looks like Evernote’s user base stands at around 225 million of users. That is an impressive number.

I have an Evernote account since 2008, and have been using it on and off, but it never felt like “home”. I remember having to google “how to delete attachments from evernote”. It turned out that I had to press Backspace (or Delete - can’t remember excactly) on an attachment highlighted in the editor. I am aware that today, Evernote has a context menu implemented where you can right-click an attachment and delete it - but.. it’s still an in-line attachment.

I could not “click” with any of the apps I have tried. One of the things I am looking for is clear separation between notes and attachments - and have the ability to easily manage those attachments - in any context that I wish. In other words - slice & dice my data.

As a user, I believe that what I am looking for is not too much to ask. As a developer, I am aware that this can be quite challenging. Paperwork Notes came close - but not quite there yet.

One of the apps I would have paid for - even as a premium feature - is Pocket. If only they had notes and attachments capabilities. This would have probably stopped me from moving forward with NoterBox. I like their approach on capturing and saving data, as well as their search & sync features.

What do I need?

  • Need to be able to take notes, add attachments, add journal entries, set alerts on any of those, and manage my documents. Clear separation between notes and attachments (no inline stuff)
  • Need all my data in one single place - docs, images, any files for that matter (right know I have some text notes in SimpleNote, Tomboy and Google Keep, pictures in Google Photos, documents in Google Docs, etc). I also have a box of documents I need to scan and store somewhere.
  • Need to be able to quickly send data to NoterBox (via mobile device, web browser, email, scan, desktop drag-drop, etc). By data I mean notes + web captures + file attachments.
  • Need to be able to search my data. Ideally search inside attachments too (where possible); add to that search operators for collections. Like so: notebooks: "foo" -bar
  • Need to be able to capture quick “moments” (as text or images) and set alerts for my data (turn notes into reminders). Also will need to visualize my data on a calendar.

Wouldn’t that be cool? I think so. However, easier said than done. NoterBox is still under development. So far, I have been working on NoterBox by myself, and I am targeting an MVP.

I hope I have managed to pique your interest/curiosity enough to subscribe below for a notification when the app will be available.

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