Revisiting Notes - Industry has spoken

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 24 2013 4:26 AM

I came across this article, discussing a company Apple has bought - which seems to point to Apple adding much richer note taking capability to its mobile devices in the future - and also, with much richer access to those notes, better categorization, etc.  It makes reference to Evernote, another note-taking product that has become very successful on all platforms, including mobile and desktop,  in part because of the ecosphere of add-on products it has encouraged for others to build and tie into their product. The article seems to make the point that Apple sees a richer note taking experience as an important strategy for mobile devices moving ahead.

Why do I post this here in the Suggestion forum? It has been a long-time point of apparent frustration that Logos users want more capability in notes, but Logos resists because for some reason it perceives the interest as ill-conceived or inappropriate. I think this article and its comments show that note taking is a CRITICAL part of the work style of users these days, especially on mobile platforms.

Logos on a mobile device is extremely elementary in its note taking capability. That alone is not a cause for concern because the iOS product (the one I use) is relatively new, AND has been getting a lot better, so I have no doubts it will continue to do so; but at some point it will run into the brick wall of resistance to note taking as a serious function of Logos, and the improvements will end somewhere around the capability of the desktop or less. IMHO that's nowhere near good enough.

Even the basics of what Logos does in notes is behind - try doing a search in Evernote across a lot of notes, compared to a search of Logos notes. In Logos I find I have to pull notes out, make them a personal book, or pull notes out and throw them into a Word document temporarily to find things, depending on what I am doing. You can't even preserve hyperlinks when pasting into a note (if it's embedded within a paragraph in its source location) and have it preserved! I can't understand how Logos doesn't see the inadequacy of Notes in normal use.

With thousands upon thousands of resources and growing, there is a great necessity for our own Notes to help synthesize, filter, cleanse, and organize the information in that library - it's a very valuable layer on top of our resources. I am in my notes all the time. And every day I am wondering what other program I can use as the capability is so limited. With an electronic library, notes are a layer just as important in its function as Collections, filters, tags, ratings, etc. 

Maybe Logos could hook into Evernote and use its engine for Note taking, for a richer experience?

I hope in some small way this post gets people to think, and look at Apple, Evernote, and others to see the power of a rich note taking experience. IMHO there is no one better than Apple in having vision for outstanding user experience with its products; if it was me, I would always be very interested in the trends Apple embraces in its vision, as no doubt users and competitors will sooner if not later follow the same path. It would make my Christmas if I knew Logos would embrace a similar "notes" vision for its product.

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 24 2013 5:02 AM

I agree 110.98%.  I wished Logos would have embedded evernote into L5 instead of writing its own note subsystem.  I think it would have saved them $$$ and we would have a better product.  Because Logos has just spent a lot of money to produce its own editor, I am not holding my breath.

Posts 48
John Besse | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 24 2013 7:11 AM

YES this is critical opportunity!

John

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 24 2013 7:27 PM

Except... Some of us actually find Evernote underpowered for their notetaking, so we use a more complete package --OneNote. This is why I've advocated Logos look at ways to strengthen ties with all notes packages, rather than embedding one, or even keeping their own. If there were a way to link directly to notes in other packages, rather than grabbing the link and pasting it into a note that must be opened, then copied, then pasted in the other software package, it would make the interaction a lot nicer... I understand Logos wouldn't be able to search within the notes in this case, but we do have the reftagger service for wordpress, which could point the way to clicking on a verse in an outside piece of software to do a "cited by" search in Logos automatically, etc.

Wish Logos would be creative here --the last thing I need is yet another rich text editor on my computer. I already have a bunch of them available, just want to be able to interact better with something I already have.

:-)

Russ

Posts 2964
tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2013 3:54 AM

Russ White:
another rich text editor on my computer
And this is the rub.  I am assuming that you have seen the many many many post about people wanting the same function on their phones and their tablets as their computers.  Thus, the solution needs to be on all the platforms that Logos supports.

And for some reason, Logos likes to do some serious computing after just about every keystroke a user makes (checks for scripture links, saves the document, syncs the document to the web....) any thus any solution needs to be embedded.  Ref tagger will only work on html documents where java is supported, and this is (typically) not the case with the other text editors. 

Posts 2040
Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2013 4:16 AM

I'm not sure with what English Bible versions Ref tagger works, but if it's limited to select ones read my post from Oct. 5. 2012: Re: Why doesnt a decent Bible come with this app? ... which was about the ones Faithlife is limited to:

tom:
Ref tagger will only work on html documents where java is supported, and this is (typically) not the case with the other text editors.


Perhaps Off Topic, I additionally have to wonder why Logos has to promote one specific English Bible version all the time: the ESV? Granted, there is no perfect choice. I guess it's just a source of income - that Crossway pays Logos for that?!

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Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2013 4:24 AM

tom:
 I am assuming that you have seen the many many many post about people wanting the same function on their phones and their tablets as their computers.

Yes --but all of these other devices are just different computers, in fact -- and embedding a rich text editor on each different operating system and platform is just as much (or probably more) work than building a set of tools that will interact with the available note taking packages available on each of them. If Logos embeds evernote, then Logos will drive me farther away, not make me want to use more Logos capabilities --because evernote has chosen, over the years, to support more platforms with fewer features and capabilities rather than to push up their feature set on a smaller set of platforms.

It's a choice every software designer has to make, but in the case of note taking software, I can live without the "pure" OS/X option in order to gain  note taking features that reach beyond what Evernote is capable of. Others will make a different choice -- and, IMHO, Logos should honor both choices by interacting with external software better, rather than embedding one specific package.

Let me put it the other way around -- what if Logos decided to embed Brainforest into the software to take notes with? Would you find that a good solution, or a bad one? In other words, don't force Evernote on everyone because you find it useful.

:-)

Russ

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2013 4:28 AM

Unix:
Perhaps Off Topic, I additionally have to wonder why Logos has to promote one specific English Bible version all the time: the ESV? Granted, there is no perfect choice. I guess it's just a source of income - that Crossway pays Logos for that?!

Could be anything...

- The ESV appears to be (at the moment) the most "least offensive," to a broad cross section of different denominations and theological systems, I think (?)- It might also be that the ESV seems to tilt in the Reformed/Covenant direction, and Logos itself seems to tilt in that same direction (though they've made strides in the Catholic and SDA directions recently, but dispensationalism is sharply under-represented in available resources, it seems)

- Or simply that's the translation they get the most profit level out of, or it might be the one they need to push to get other titles that are highly profitable, or...

Interesting observation, though I don't know the answer.

:-)

Russ

Posts 255
ROGER JIMENEZ | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 25 2013 2:38 PM

Don Awalt:
It has been a long-time point of apparent frustration that Logos users want more capability in notes, but Logos resists because for some reason it perceives the interest as ill-conceived or inappropriate.

Note: The strikethrought is mine. Wink

Yes

See http://community.logos.com/forums/p/79092/553475.aspx#553475

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