The State of the Application
Hey everybody, Patrick here!
Things have been pretty busy, especially after Collate was featured on Lifehacker last week! We got a lot of attention as well as lots of emails. The feedback so far has been very positive and I’m thankful for everybody who’s sent in feature requests, bug reports, and general notes of encouragement. Thank you!
The Future of Collate
I’m a big advocate of being as transparent as possible while building and running Collate, and I consider the users the stakeholders when it comes to the future of the app. From the feedback I’ve received, many of you have placed your faith (and notes) under Collate’s care and it’s a responsibility I take seriously. To that end, I’d like to tell you about two features that I’m planning on adding soon. These two features, if implemented successfully, will help to create potentially the most powerful note taking app out there.
- Git support
For people that don’t know what Git is, it’s a tool that puts your data under version control. Think of it as Microsoft Word’s track changes feature but for everything in a directory. In a nutshell, Git allows you to revert to a previous version of your data and to connect to remote data stores. It is the technology behind Github and it’s ubiquitous in the software development space. Git will be the backbone of Collate’s data syncing system, allowing you to store data in a single or multiple remote repositories, host your own repository, or use a provider like Github/Bitbucket/Gitlab. Using remote repositories would of course be optional! I plan on seamlessly integrating Git and having it work in the background – plug and play. The great thing about using Git is that it’s a very well understood system, it’s open source, and you have full control over where you store your data.
- Plugin system
Note taking is such a personal thing, and I’ve come to realize that there is no one right solution to organizing data. It would be inflexible for a note taking application to force you to use a single method of storing data. I believe that one of the core sources of dissatisfaction with the current state of note taking apps out there is the one-size-fits-all attitude. A plugin system would allow third party developers to create note taking solutions, harness the Collate platform to store and organize data, and empower users to take notes their way using the best possible tools for the job. It’s a feature that has been popularized in text editors but hasn’t quite made its way to the note taking space yet.
These two features would help create a note taking system that is not only extremely flexible, but also takes the idea that your notes should be stored in an open and transparent manner to another level. However, nothing is set in stone. I have an idea of how to implement both features but haven’t yet started working on them. I’m taking time off of work in a few weeks to start work on the Git integration. The plugin system still needs to be thought through and architected. To contribute to the discussion about the plugin system, join me in this repository on Github. As always, Collate’s development roadmap is available on the public Trello board at https://collatenotes.com/roadmap. You can find the features slated for the next version there, as well as discovered bugs and future features.
I am continuously thinking of new ways to set the company up for success but my number one priority is to build a great note taking platform.
My two goals for Collate can be summed up as:
- Create a great note taking platform.
- Create a company that can support goal # 1 for the foreseeable future.
Founder, Collate, LLC
P.S. I’ve had requests to help work on Collate. I really appreciate the offers! The best thing that anybody could do for the app is to tell everybody about it and spread the word. Marketing is a large part of growing a product and I’m no marketing expert, so any help promoting the app is really valuable.