Handwriting/image text recognition?

New user here, kicking the tires. So not sure yet if this is truly a feature request.

My use case is the Ryan Holiday index card method, which I find to be effective. But I’m a digital person. So the concept is, create a physical index card, then scan/photo it and upload.

Supernotes seems a great destination - make a “card of the card.” But I would want to be able to search and find the handwritten text on that card.

Does (or could) Supernotes support this?


Hi @lankford, welcome to the Supernotes Community.

Thanks for sharing your use case. Out of interest what’s stopping you from using the Ryan Holiday index card method just purely digitally? Rather than creating physical index cards and then scanning them in, why not type digital notecards and print them out?

Adding support to scan handwriting / text in images is definitely something we could and might add in the future; so if you search for something written in an image within a card it will appear in the search results, although our focus will always be on creating a fluid and fast typed note-taking experience. We’ve been thinking about adding a “Scan to text” feature; so if you find a newspaper article / book quote you can immediately clip it and convert it to editable text on Supernotes.

Thanks for the response. The track you’re on seems like a good one.

There is a lot to be said for the physical aspect of writing, drawing, using different inks, handling cards with one’s hands. There is a lot of evidence out there that the act of doing these things boosts cognitive retention and recall.

Ryan talks about this as well, and he eschews all digital for this reason. That’s too far for me. Once I feel I have captured the information and mentally locked it in, I want to move it digital for the clear benefits of storage, search, tagging, etc.

From what I can see you all have done a nice job of really thinking about various use cases and catering to them. This is another one to consider. There are many, many people out there using physical index cards, even in 2022.

Another angle on this might be supporting use of Apple Pencil etc - for directly creating handwritten content in Supernotes.

I’ve taken a hard look at your product these last days and it’s solid. The two key missing pieces I see are this + supporting local / off-cloud data storage (see my other post). In each case I believe there are massive untapped market opportunities: Physical note-takers in this case and corporate workers in the other. I would probably prioritize the off-cloud higher, actually.

Thanks for following up @lankford and sharing more about your use case.

I definitely agree there’s something pretty special about having your notes and ideas physically in your hands. Both Connor and I used to use notecards all the time in university, and it was one of the reasons why we ended up building Supernotes.

There’s been a lot of misinformation surrounding why ‘pen and paper’ is better for knowledge retention than typing up with digital tools. Many articles associate the act of writing helping you to absorb the knowledge, but most of the time it’s because we can’t write as fast as we type. By using a pen, we write more slowly and to think about what we are writing and formulate it into a more succinct text; whereas if you use a keyboard you can type verbatim exactly what someone is saying word for word. (Mueller & Oppenheimer. 2014).

We’ve spent a long time researching the methodology and science behind learning before we started building Supernotes. For example, one of the reasons why we implemented a character count, is to help you think about what you are writing, and encourage you to edit it to be more concise – helping you learn and retain that information better.

However, even with all of the statistics and studies, how you like to take your notes is a personal choice. It’s important to find the right system that works for you, and we hope that Supernotes can be part of that in someway. Offline mode is our highest priority new feature at the moment, and are looking forward to sharing it with you and rest the Community very very soon.

Good points, that’s helpful, thanks for sharing.

On the final point, is “offline mode” the same as “local-only data”? I was focused on the latter: The ability to store all data locally vs syncing to the cloud, in an ongoing and indefinite way, thus making it permissible to use Supernotes at work

No problem, that’s what we are here for.

Offline mode is a stepping stone towards making ‘local-only’ notes a possibility. We understand that many workplaces place restrictions on what software can be installed and used. We’d like to support ‘local-only’ in some capacity, but our main focus will always be collaboration and sharing between individuals as that’s when our notecards come into their own. Connor and myself use Supernotes every day to build Supernotes, with parent cards for features, releases, marketing, meetings etc.

We’d prefer to work with you and your team to find a way so you can all use Supernotes together in a secure and compliant manner. If this is something you and your team might be interested in please register your interest for Supernotes for Teams here.