Firstly, I’m really impressed with what you’re building. I have been looking for a workflow with a solid note taking platform and I really like the way the model stresses a distilled idea - not just a mindless information dump into each note.
What worries me is the seeming lack of a community from the standpoint of “Hi - I’m Youtube Person X and I’d like to show you my Supernotes system” and videos produced by Supernotes, themselves, are 2 years old.
So before I become a paid supporter - how do things look at Supernotes from a longevity, going the distance perspective?
To answer the first part of your question – yes, Supernotes has a much smaller community than various other platforms around town. This can probably be attributed to a few different things. Firstly, @tobias and I just haven’t spent that much time “building a following”. The vast majority of Supernotes subscribers seem content to get on with their own thing and not interact with the wider community much (if at all), and we’re fine with that. Although having a “cult” can be great for marketing, fundamentally our goal is to build the best product, which means we spend most of our time actually doing that.
From there, the lack of YouTube videos can partially be attributed to the same, but another dimension to this is that, at some level, we’re not sure we want that many “here is my complex workflow in Supernotes” videos. One of the primary goals of Supernotes is to be a tool that actually makes you more productive and just generally gets out of your way. Some apps make you feel productive when in reality you’re spending a lot of time (re)organizing yourself / cultivating “the perfect list of plugins” / configuring settings / etc. Or you have apps which are so versatile / comprehensive / undirected that you need 30 minute long videos to explain how to do something on the platform.
Although we still have a long way to go when it comes to making the learning curve as shallow as possible with Supernotes, that does remain the end goal. Supernotes should be straightforward enough that people do not feel the need to make or watch a video about how to use it because it’s just obvious .
With regards to longevity, I think the best way to decide that is by looking at our changelog, where you can see that we have been consistently putting out updates for almost 4 years now. Yes, there are some apps in the space that have been around for much longer, and there are others that push out updates a bit faster, but overall I think our consistency over the years speaks for itself.
Thanks for the question though, it is always good to evaluate how we can improve community building and communication about those things for our users. And of course if you want to make a 30 minute YouTube video about using Supernotes we won’t actually mind
I really appreciate your time in responding - a lot of what you say rings true for me.
Example: I am a Tana early access user. I have a really overly complicated setup and I couldn’t tell you the first thing about what’s actually stored there. I just know that it MUST be linked to supertags and needless complication.
I’ve become so disillusioned with my own journey into “PKM” that I’ve gone analog for my weekly planning with a Franklin planner. I tripped across Supernotes when I was doing some research into the idea of, once again, trying to get into “Mem”. There’s just something about Mem and Evernote that hits the absolute wrong chords in my psyche - the opposite of what I’ve seen so far in my exploration of Supernotes.
Thanks again for your reply. I’ll keep kicking the tires.
Recently, I’ve been seriously considering the idea of recording a series of videos to share insights about my digital Zettelkasten system in Supernotes.
My plan would be to start from first-principles, to explain:
Why I’m trying to achieve “insight-driven impact” by condensing existing information, knowledge, and wisdom into easy to remember, apply, and share insights.
Why I think the quality and quantity of the input into your PKM, and the quality and quantity of your output are the two biggest factors that affect the value of your insights, and your ability to combine existing ideas to create new insights.
How Supernotes supports my digital Zettelkasten system so beautifully—through it’s avoidance of the file & folder trap, and it’s subtle UX/UI nudges that encourage atomic note taking, linking, structure, and progressive summarisation.
There are three main reasons I haven’t started writing the course yet (I am, of course, already collecting related insights):
I’ve only been using my digital Zettelkasten for 2 years, and I’m not sure that’s long enough to be worth sharing yet. I don’t want to be another “I’ve just discovered PKM, and here’s my perfect system” person. I want to be confident that my system scales effectively across many years and helps to grow valuable insights and output.
Supernotes has some performance and feature issues that I hope will get fixed in future versions. For example, I think the graph view would be a perfect introduction to explain the value of structured atomic notes, and for guiding people around a database. However, in the current version, graph view becomes extremely slow when displaying all my insights at once, and it doesn’t have strong enough structure-based clustering to avoid the “rats nest” look. That means I’d be forced to only show sub-sections of the graph, which would make it difficult to start with the “big picture” and then zoom in on the details. Also, not being able to guarantee that all my list views are in ascending alphabetical order when I’m navigating around Supernotes wouldn’t feel great either.
Time. My day job is extremely busy right now and will likely remain so for at least another year, so taking on a big side-project like this probably wouldn’t be great for either my mental health or the quality of the produced content.
Maybe by next year I’ll have grown enough insights and produced enough output to start feeling more confident about my system’s potential usefulness for other people. If that coincides with less pressure at work and Supernotes 3.x, then a “Digital Zettelkasten guide for Supernotes” will likely still be high on my list of priorities!
@tony2030 Feel free to DM me, if you think getting a quick overview of my system might be useful to you right now. I may not have the time to write and record a “masterclass”, but I do have the time to give you a quick overview!
Introduction to digital Zettelkasten in Supernotes
Wednesday, 17 May · 14:00 – 14:45
Time zone: Europe/Stockholm
Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/dvj-kahn-krj
Anyone who is interested in the topic is more than welcome to drop in. The agenda will be 30 minutes of a “show and tell” screencast, explaining how (and why) I use Supernotes for my digital Zettelkasten, and then 15 minutes for a Q&A (although questions will be more than welcome during the “show and tell” part too).