Now, granted that title doesn’t sound like high praise, but trust me it is. I just thought that the title “Springpad: At least as good as evernote now, but probably much better infact” was a bit too long…
Some of you may have heard of Springpad. And most of you will have heard of Evernote. I used evernote for a long time, even resorting to paying to get a premium account that I thought it was that good. It was really handy, I would take a note, it would be available on everything that I have (computers and phone) and I could just write stuff, have images, voice recordings etc… However, it annoyed me. It wasn’t great, and I am always on the look out for better products.
Along came a website telling me about Springpad. This sounded great, so I thought I would give it a try. It was alright, but not quite as nice as Evernote. It was a little bit raw, and a bit fragmented, and the Android app was not as good as the Evernote Android app.
However, this week we got the update to the new Springpad. It fixes almost everything that I missed from evernote. The 1 thing it lacks that Evernote has is images and voice record. (Actually, come to think about it, I think voice record is in the android app, but I don’t have my phone to check just now).
One thing that is fantastic about Springpad is the fact that it has different note types. It has the generic “note”, it has “task” it has “event”, “alarm”, “shopping list” and loads of others such as films and products and stuff. This is great because we can use it for shopping lists, obviously, and for christmas lists with the products, things to watch, things to do, and just generic notes.
This is Springpad’s huge advantage over Evernote, and something that is fantastic about it.
In the upgrade to the service, it looks so much different, got a great UI overhaul got rid of the fragmentation of your data, and make it so much easier to organise and create data within it. As you can see on the image at the top, you have links to all of your “notebooks” (a replacement for the lists and apps, which was the fragmentation I was talking about), and links at the side to your settings etc. You also have an icon for all your stuff, and your friend’s stuff. This is a great layout, makes it look so much better than
before, and gets rid of a lot of the rubbish that was down the side of the old version of Springpad.
Then you have the notebook view (show in fig2). It allows viewing options of everything, specific tags, specific types, flagged items and the “board” which is a visual representation of whatever you want in that notebook. I don’t think I’ll use the board much, because that’s not how I work, but it looks like it’d be great to if you did like that sort of thing.
I really like the fact you can change how you view the notes in your notebook, and the search at the top, along with the new bulk editing feature (was really helpful when I wanted to add a tag to everything, or quite a lot of notes, in a notebook). These are both features I’ve looked at for quite a while.
It also just generally looks much better than what it did previously.
Now onto what I would like to change
- Allow us to hide the home sidebar, or put more useful stuff in there.
I’ll be honest…that sidebar on the homescreen looks useless…it has my name and avatar (frankly I know them already) and 3 small links to stuff that we would need. Either allow us to hide it, or have some more useful stuff in there, like the search box in my next suggestion.
- Search box on home screen
I would love a searchbox on the home screen, which would pop up a notebook-style window that shows us all of our notes that have that have that search term in it. If I randomly want to search for something quickly, I don’t want to have to open up a notebook to search, I would like that to happen really quickly if I need it to. This would work really well in the sidebar and stop that looking really useless
- Adding thumbnail manually
Small one here, but important to me. Most of my notes are just plain “notes” and so don’t show a thumbnail on the homescreen, can I please add them manually
- Fix formatting in notebook view
When in the detail view of notes, it doesn’t show carriage returns, it just shows them all as 1 big line…really annoying. Also, when in the thumbnail view, can we see a thumbnail of the note, because again most of my notes are plain text, and it looks pretty rubbish in that view.
- Hide “All stuff” and “Friends stuff”
Another wee small one…I don’t very often go into either of these, and I would like the ability to hide them. Possibly a checkbox in the sidebar (see 1st moan).
- Hide icons in notebook sidebar
Yet again another small one. I think those icons in the sidebar of notebook view take up so much space on my netbook (not so much a problem on my desktop, but I still don’t like them being there sometimes, I love my space), so just allow us to get rid of them when we want to. Possibly a per-notebook option?
- Notebooks inside notebooks
This is huge, but is something that could add to your list of big advantages over Evernote. If we can have notebooks within notebooks, that would be amazing. So, if I added a note to “cs203″ it would be added to “uni” but not “cs209″. I’m not sure how this would look on the homescreen, but I think this would be handy, because some of my notebooks overlap, but its annoying to add it to more than 1 notebook. Also allow me to hide notebooks on the homescreen, so it isn’t too cluttered.
- Sharing options
This is the other big one, but probably the most important one for me. I use note-taking sites for sharing things with uni collegues, and other things. However, currently they can only comment on them and look at them. I would like them to be able to edit them as well. I have to use Google Docs to edit things collaborativley, but would rather keep stuff related to my notes within my notes application. This is pretty big undertaking, but something that many people have asked for and would really love.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Springpad, and I have switched over fulltime to it from Evernote. I haven’t tried the updated Android app (as I don’t have my phone just now), but I have heard that it is so much better than what it was. These are just my little gripes, that would make it an even better service, and would totally leapfrog evernote in so many ways.
I would recommend Springpad to anyone, and I hope you join me in giving it a go.