Standardnotes my alternative choice to Evernote

Standardnotes

This is continuous fight I keep having with myself… For quite some time I’ve been looking for an alternative to Evernote on Linux & Android. I got it down to 3, Turtl, laverna and standardnotes.

In the end I decided Standardnotes mainly because I needed something which easily syncs like simplenote and I guess evernote. I liked the idea of being able to run my own standardnote server in the future. But the biggest thing for me was being able to convert my evernote notes. Yes it costs but I was happy with the terms (client side encryption) and comfortable with the payment which is less than evernote anyway. I also been looking a little deeper at Standardnotes. The privacy and sustainability statements are just stuff of dreams. Theres very few other services which can say and do these things.

What about the others?

Turtl, was good but the interface drove me a little nutty, having to login each time and no offline support? Maybe in a few years if the project gets more development it grow into something special and I’ll check it out again.

laverna is also good and is very quick and easy to get going but its mainly built around the browser as it uses javascript. There is a android app coming but its not there yet and syncing is tricky because it stores everything in the browser. I think you can move this to a sync container like dropbox, google drive, etc.

Standardnotes

With Standardnotes., I have added it to Wavebox, installed the Android apps (doesn’t install on my ereader as it needs Android 5+) and paid for a year subscription.

So far so good!

I do still use Simplenote for quick and temporary notes, but not I installed the the Linux app, this may go away too. Now I just need to sort out my imported 2177 evernotes!

Perceptive Media presentation slides

Its been less than 14 days since we launched our Perceptive Media prototype to the world and the feedback has been coming back thick and fast. As usual please keep it going and do pass it on to others who may have not heard it yet, even if they have no interest in the technology. Were as much interested in the general public view as technologists.
One of the unnoticed pieces which went up during the launch was our smc presentation for perceptive media.
Like most presentations I do, its low on text and you end up listening to what I say rather than reading the slides. This is great but not so good when you’ve not heard me (and Tony) talking.
So here’s a rough idea of what we talk about over the presentation…
  1. This presentation is for the concept of perceptive media
  2. You may not know but the BBC has a R&D department and they have been with the BBC right from the start. Actually a engineer was hired within the first 10 people to join the BBC. We do a whole load of research and development on questions the BBC faces in the near to long term future. We also feed into standard bodies such as W3C
  3. We use broadcast technology and broadcast to everyone in the UK. We do this because its in our remit and we must reach everyone who pays the license fee. It also provides the best value for the license fee
  4. Unfortunately Broadcast is one way communication and it can feel like your banging your head on a brick wall trying to reply or communicate back.
  5. The best stories are enchanting and engaging but how does this tally up with broadcast communication?
  6. I’ll like to take you back to the original story telling medium, before broadcast changed things… something like sitting around a campfire telling a ghost story. When telling that story, you would look at peoples faces and subconsciously change elements of the story.
  7. What happened? Broadcast happened, and the ability to tell many more people the same story became the default
  8. But in the move to broadcast (that one way medium) we forgot about context, body language, etc. These implicit actions and triggers which once would help form the narrative are no longer included.
  9. Take the comedy conundrum, every comedian has to face
  10. They choose to customise there sets with jokes and references to the local area
  11. Note the word customise rather than personise. The comedian is still in control and fit it in when he or she feels it approbate. They will also work against the typical view of the location if it works with material in there mind
  12. Variables are things which can change depending on other things in this case. But they each have rules, like maximum length. This is the same for narrative but the human mind can do the calculation so quickly on the fly
  13. Currently the state of the art in perceptive like media is centres around internet virals like Take this Lollipop. But we feel there unsubtle and frankly bit simple with the two way pipe of the internet. Now if you could do this on a one way pipe, wouldn’t that be interesting
  14. It needs to scale in a way which rivals Broadcast otherwise no one will take it seriously
  15. We this is possible with the incredible power the client side now has compared to previously.
  16. The power has been shifting to the user for many years with on-demand and other technologies
  17. We created with a bunch of other peoples help a prototype called “Breaking Out” to prove it can be done
  18. As you can see its not interactive, there is no feedback loops or anything like that. Its a customised experience
  19. Because there is clear difference between explicit and implicit feedback. We feel storytellers would love to work off the implicit feedback rather than the explicit stuff. Thats the stuff which drives your ghost story
  20. How? Well there is a ton of work and money going into adding sensors to your living room. From 3D cameras which see all to simple light sensors to adjust the picture brightness. We’re just talking about using that same data generated to customise a narrative
  21. Of course this all fits with the trend around big data sets, something the BBC has a lot experience in with BBC Backstage
  22. Back to the audience and narrative. Broadcasters have been losing the connection with the audiences. Lots of people have the TV on like the Radio. Its just on and if something picks up their ears, they will tune in or listen.
  23. There is a concept called the attention economy which you may know about and it gets talked about a lot. One of my favor quotes related to the concept is from John Doe on the film Se7en. Most of the examples fit in the sledgehammer category while…
  24. We feel we can achieve the same effect with little tickles here and there.
  25. Were talking about highly relevant customisation of narrative
  26. Which fit and run on the narrative rails setup by the author/storyteller
  27. When I watched Vanilla Sky first time, there was a scene which stuck a cord with me. I couldn’t work out what it was till the end when it was revealed they had re-imagined points of Tom Cruises memories (I won’t spoil it further)
  28. We feel we can strike a cord and reestablish that connection with our audiences which has been so badly missing
  29. Thank you!

Its of course, a lot better when we present it together and add all the additional stuff you won’t get in the notes. Plus it usually throws up a million questions which we have answers for…

Thinking Digital conference Kindle test1

Thinking Digital Conference Schedule on a Kindle

For those who have been interested in my kindle hacking/project. I’m happy to say the Thinking Digital conference schedule is now up on the Amazon Kindle store.

I might need to do some tweaking and yes it doesn’t look the best but remember it is a hack test and we can clean up the schedule next time for sure.

The first thing you will notice is the schedule actually costs money to download. £0.70 in the UK. The reason for this was down to Amazon. They charge a minimum fee of £0.99 to store and share the book over Amazon’s Whispernet. Although I think this is a bit of a rip off, specially because thinking digital already have a PDF version which they host on there own site, its not bad if this experiment does actually work. And heck, conference organizers could use it to make a little extra too I guess.

The Tweet URLs now seem to resolve to the book ok, which is a promising sign that my conclusions are actually correct.

So next step is to tell Herb Kim about the ebook and add notes next week at Thinking Digital. Hopefully I can pursued a couple of people to add notes too, so we can test the collaborative feature out. If you want to be part of that test, give me a shout… It should work on any device which runs the Kindle software.

A new/different way to collaborate at conferences

Future Everything notes on my kindle

Been thinking for a while about the way I take notes…

I tend to write down short lines of text which tend to make sense to myself only, but I’ve been thinking for a while do I really need my laptop to take notes? Specially since my main laptop battery fails after about 5mins of use (my own fault for buying it cheap on ebay I guess) and my backup battery lasts 20mins maximum.

Here’s my options I’ve been thinking…

  • Use my laptop, bite the bullet and buy yet another laptop, then use Evernote or Tomboynotes
  • Leave my laptop at home, rely on my Android phone. Maybe even buy a spare battery, so I can run it at full power (wifi, bluetooth, etc) all day
  • Leave my laptop at home, rely on my Android phone and work out how to use my bluetooth keyboard with Android. Still need to think about battery however
  • Use my Kindle, which has pretty much endless battery battery and a physical keyboard

Of course I used my Kindle

Kindle powered

The thought was Amazon added a feature which allows you to add notes to a ebook and share it with other people using the Kindle or Kindle reader. The notes are accessible on the web but theres a problem. The problem is Amazon notes only really work as expected with documents on the Kindle store. This means although I am able to add notes to a PDF of the Future Everything conference. First its a bit crap because its a PDF and secondarily I can’t share the notes publicly very easily (its worth noting Calibre does allow you to pull the notes off the Kindle).

Generally the keyboard on the Kindle is ok, nothing compared to my bluetooth keyboard but slightly better that the onscreen keyboard on my phone. The symbols option is a pain but because I’m writing rough notes, it doesn’t matter so much.

Future Everything notes on my kindle

I also had a little bit of a panic when it seemed like most of my notes had gone. But it seems to be a way the Kindle shows the notes. In the end I was able to bring them all back (well they hadn’t actually gone anywhere). I was writing one set of notes per speaker but you can do more, making it possible to tweet/share the notes too which I might do more of next time.

In the picture above you can just about see the little numbers which are the different notes. The Kindle software assigns a number but it might do something different

So where from now…?

Well the Thinking Digital Conference is in less that two weeks, so I’m gearing up for doing the same with this wonderful conference but…

  1. I’m going to get the conference schedule in a non-PDF format from Herb Kim
  2. I’m going to try and get the schedule posted on Amazon’s Kindle Store, so when I share the notes. The actual document will be partly available instead of the usual message about it being a personal document.

If this works well, I’ll try collaborate editing with someone else in future but also if this does actually work, it will be a really nice way to collaboratively edit notes at a conference and I can certainly see it taking off in the future. Specially if as I suspect you can annotate and collaborate on notes on many different platforms and devices together.

I’m surprised no one else has thought about doing the same really, or maybe its just not possible?

A few things I’d like to see on my kindle

My Kindle

So I’ve gotten into this lovely routine where I have Calibre automatically turns my subscriptions into ebooks for me and then I connect my Kindle to the USB to automatically sync the items. Then I sit in a nice coffee/tea shop reading my google reader unread subscriptions, readitlater, instapaper, etc. With the experimental webkit browser any links I want to check out, I can check them out using the cafe’s public wifi. The only issue is I really want some way of bookmarking with delicious or even readitlater the important stuff that I read.

I don’t know if you can add bookmarklets to the experimental webkit browser but that would be ideal.

My other alternative is some kind of note taking app on the kindle its self. I know you can add annotations to books but it seems getting them off isn’t as straight forward as it should be. Although I love just being able to read stuff on the kindle screen, I wouldn’t mind some blogging app. The keyboard is not bad and being able to draft up a blog entry would be great, specially when you google reader on the device its self. I’m also wondering if I can make use of Conduit again to do some transferring of notes, like I had planned for my Sony Ereader.

So in ideally I’d like to see a full blogging app, a browser with bookmarklets and Ideally a evernote client.

Come on say it with me, Evernote on a wireless kindle would be amazing and dare I say a killer app for the kindle3.

Note taking and outlining

I thought I had it covered. Joe on the TabletPC and Pocket Thinker on the ipaq, both support OPML naively but pocketthinker does not import OPML from Joe. So I'm back to the start with note taking.

I'm seriously douhting if OPML is the right thing for the task. Uche goes one step futher and suggests XML formats for outlining are complete rubbish. Danny Ayers also gets the boot in on OPML. Honestly he has a point but offers up a couple of others which I had not looked into before. OPL in reaction to the ugliness of OPML. Looking at the spec, I'm not sure it goes quite far enough. XBEL on the other hand looks too wildly different but useful for outlining. Uche also did a follow where he reviews. I like the idea of XoXo but prefer the idea of using XHTML or RDF which is easily parsed and integreated into other processes.

Then I found Wikipad… and had high hopes for a pocketpc version like this palm version or even this mobile phone type version. Wikipad doesn't have the name of something like Voodoopad but it certainly does do a good job of notetaking for now…

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]