Cute eyes, button nose, a sweet smile—I must admit that I was drawn to BlankDesk’s Noted and its adorable app icon. Officially launched just a couple of months back, it’s a “simple, yet powerful note taking app” that may just bring something interesting and useful to the round table of notes apps.
In spite of the fact that there are many (maybe even too many) notes apps for the Mac, I wondered if Noted could have something that other notes applications lacked. I’m sure you’re asking the same questions as you’re reading this: What new features does Noted bring to the table? Is it capable of doing all and more than what my existing notes app can do? And why does Noted look like the foster child of Evernote and Notational Velocity?
Let’s find out.
Behind the Black and White Cover
At first glance, there’s already that sense of familiarity with Noted’s interface. You have your notes on the right, and a short and comprehensive list of colored notebooks and groups on the left.
You can create notes according to its purpose and as many notebooks as needed to organize them. For notes without a definite purpose, the Unfiled collection sits well on top to house them. For notes of great priority, they’re starred and placed under the Starred collection. Trashed notes, of course, go to Trash.
Noted does have a couple of neat features up its furry sleeve, but instead of walking you through the app, let’s take a look at how Noted’s features can be utilized for a specific purpose and if it gets the job done. We’ll use three of Noted’s default colored notebooks as examples.
Noted for Travel
You want to go on a vacation. You’ve got your eyes set on a tropical island filled with warm sand and clear blue salt water to quench your skin. It’s going to be a long plane ride and a three-day trip, so use Noted to list down your ticket details and things to bring to the trip. We don’t want to forget something important at the last minute!
Noted’s Smart lists makes lists faster by automatically entering the next bullet character after typing your first item. Speed through it by listing down items in 1-2 words. Once you’re done, click on the Done button to save.
You also did some research on hotels and resorts. Noted allows you to attach files (i.e. photos, videos, PDFs, and .txt files), so you can attach images of your top choices to refer back to. As a result, your hotel accommodations and a photo of your hotel are saved in your travel notebook.
At this point, a feature that could really make Noted more efficient is an import option. Being able to import PDF copies of your tickets or hotel reservation, for instance, would really save time in gathering important details for your trip. A print option in case a hard copy is needed would come in handy as well.
Noted for Work
It’s 07:40 AM and you’re running late. You rush, hoping to make it to this month’s company meeting. Everyone important’s going to be there, and you just can’t miss it.
In jotting down minutes, meeting notes, and other work info, Noted can save all of these under your blue Work notebook and back them up on iCloud. Doing so keeps your notes safe and accessible wherever you go. And if you need to send these notes to your team, you can use the Share function to email or send it through Apple’s Messages. Unfortunately, these two options are all we got, so having more sharing options would make Noted even more useful for team collaboration.
Of course, you’re bound create multiple notes while on the job. You can keep track of your work notes by segregating them according to specific categories or sections. Since I’m a freelancer, I would organize my Work notebook by creating sections based on my clients. Each section is color labeled and can be rearranged to ensure that I place the right notes under the right sections.
You may need to retrieve a particular note but don’t have the time to sift through everything. By using Noted’s instant search tool, the most relevant notes appear instantly as you type. This saves time and prevents breaking your workflow.
It’s important to point out Noted’s limitations as well. Besides just two sharing options, you can only write notes down. Unlike Evernote’s note variations, you can’t create and save audio or visual notes that can capture details usually overlooked. Moreover, it’s missing important note details, such as tags, URLs, and revision history.
In short, Noted can work with basic tasks and recording of information, but it has to step up a bit to really become a useful tool to cater to the demands of the office.
Noted for Education
We all know just how work-intensive school can be. You have classes to attend, dissertations to develop, discussion notes to take, and stuff to review before finals. Noted can be your assistant by saving all of your research and class notes in one place.
Using sections to represent your course subjects, you can assign your notes according to its subject. In cases where you create notes from the generic Course notebook, you can move these to their specific sections by clicking on the settings button and moving the note to its designated category.
For those who aren’t fans of intrusive HTML options, Noted comes with Markdown compatibility, allowing you to take notes quickly while keeping close to how you’d want them to be organized and formatted. Combine this with smart lists, you’ll realize that taking down class notes is a breeze.
Failing your exams is the last thing you need, so prioritize notes that will be covered in the exam by marking them as “Starred.” This will prompt Noted to mark the note with a gold star and file them under the Starred collection. No matter where the note is placed, they’re all visible when you click on the Starred category on the left sidebar.
Knowing that there’d be a lot of research work, it would help to have the ability to clip and save an article similar to Evernote’s web clipper. If not, being able to attach references in .doc/docx or .pages to a note would certainly make Noted a very productive tool to use for school.
It’s Almost There
In terms of its promise of being a simple notes app, Noted lives up to its claim. It is inspired by Notational Velocity’s simplicity and ease of use, which is why it wasn’t difficult to get the hang of the app at the first use.
Likewise, we can see hints of Evernote’s organizational power in the app’s ability to file notes using notebooks and sections, so I’d say it’s a nice blend of the two note-taking classics. Finally, with additional font options, themes, card views, and color labels to add some zing to productivity, one would actually find Noted fun to use.
However, it still lacks features that could make it useful for heavier tasks for work or school. Tags, import and export, additional note details, audio/visual notes, and more sharing options and file formats are just some of the useful features that would make Noted an even better notes app.
What do you guys think? Is Noted worth giving a try? How else would you use a notes app like this?