What do you look for in a note taking app?

over 4 years ago from , Thought Train

Hey fam!

I'm busy rebuilding my popular note-taking app, Thought Train, I'd love some feedback on the design and features.

[Update] I have a signup list for a pre-launch coupon and a list of more images and all the features if ya'll are interested: https://www.thoughttrain.cc/thought-train-2/

Thought Train 2

What features stand out for you? Here's what I have so far... - Drag & drop re-ordering - Markdown support - Copy buttons - Date stamps - The ability to edit notes - Full dark mode support - Keyboard shortcut - Windows support

Dark Mode: Dark Mode

Windows: Windows


  • Paul GasparPaul Gaspar, over 4 years ago

    My feature-request: Please code-sign it ...

    9 points
  • Darren Treat, over 4 years ago

    I always felt like many to-do apps were kinda just lists of places where tasks go to die, it's one of those things where they were for 'To-Do list people'.

    I would love a design that gives me a method the way described in 'Make Time' (book). with a few tweaks.

    Simple 'single task of the day' highlighting: basically a Star option but make it much more aggressive with different colors and font size.

    Automatic backlog management and removal: Give me the option to start every morning clean with nothing on it but have a menu to optionally pull over old tasks that never got done, ordered chronologically. This is important as it is great to start with a clean slate every day and the To-do list should be something you can put set time and priority to rather than a backlog of month-old items. Also let me define recurring tasks in this mode, a highlighted task should not be recurring by default.

    Task timing: Let me set a timer to finish a task with the ticker in the menu bar next to the name of the task, this helps focus as a clock is ticking. Make it fast and easy to use, don't be afraid to just give exponential-like numbers for minutes 5 > 15 > 30 > 60 > 90

    4 points
    • , over 4 years ago

      Darren I really like these suggestions, I may pick to auto clear daily first, and work the other options into further releases, especially the count down timer, that's a super idea.

      Adding to this I think that so many note-apps try and replace other apps, I don't think Thought Train is like that , Thought Train's here to assist your workflow.

      0 points
    • Pol KuijkenPol Kuijken, over 4 years ago

      If you're looking for something GTD-like: Sunsama and Microsoft To-Do are both pretty great.

      Microsoft To-Do is mainly about putting all your todos in neatly organized lists. Then, at the beginning of your day you can choose what you pull in.

      Sunsama is similar but it's more like a todolist layed out over a timeline. Every task you just add to any day (today or future). Tasks you didn't finish today automatically get carried over to tomorrow. There's also a backlog for things you don't want to schedule yet.

      Based on your comment I think you'd like Microsoft To-Do (due to starting every day fresh), but it's worth giving both a shot.

      0 points
  • Adam Fisher-CoxAdam Fisher-Cox, over 4 years ago

    Notes.app without the stupid background texture.

    2 points
  • Ken Em, over 4 years ago

    Keep it to as few features as possible. I just want text on a screen, which is why I'm a heavy user of Simplenote. I'm actually writing a book with it now.

    2 points
  • Waldy Przybyslawski, over 4 years ago

    Three things I love: 1) checkboxes/radios for checking off my grocery list notes. 2) Assigning colors to my notes for categorization/organization. 3) Ability to pin notes to the top (I do this with my weird WiFi password, for example).

    One thing I don't love: Auto-sorting my notes by date modified.

    2 points
  • Mauricio Paim, over 4 years ago

    I love the first screenshot. Be able to quick add notes, quick browse them. To me, is mandatory be able to sync these notes between different devices.

    Not much but this is what is on top of my mind, if there anything else I will add here.

    1 point
  • , over 4 years ago

    Howzit everyone :) the app went live today, so ya'll welcome to go ahead and download it and trial it for free!


    0 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, over 4 years ago

    Google notes is all I need. IA/Writer for Macbook also.

    0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 4 years ago

    Easy and/or smart tagging/grouping.

    Trick is I want to be able to find notes at my whim.

    I have tonnes. And some of them are more serious than others. being able to find them would be awesome.

    I mainly use Google Keep and Evernote, for two "levels" of notes. Keep is simple and quick (grocery-list type), whereas Evernote are serious, informative and tend to be longer.

    I use mobile, native and in-browser, depending on where I am.

    Hope that gives some perspective on my request :)

    0 points
  • Sylvain MarettoSylvain Maretto, over 4 years ago

    I expect that the support does not stop arbitrarily. Notational Velocity worked well but then disappeared. Now we have to work with nvALT and it has so many bugs...

    0 points
    • , over 4 years ago

      This is exactly why I'm going with a monthly and yearly pricing plan, not once off.

      I use Thought Train daily myself and I can't imagine it going away.

      0 points
      • Sylvain MarettoSylvain Maretto, over 4 years ago

        You have to be Spotify or Duolingo for me to comit to paying you everymonth. I pay a decent amount of money once, and I expect from you that you'll support the software long enough before releasing a V2 and I'll benchmark again if you're the app I want to pay for. Free market baby.

        0 points
    • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, over 4 years ago

      I personally would love a rebuilt nvALT with slightly refined visuals and all the bugs resolved. nvALT is such a treasure, but I feel like it's dying on the vine.

      0 points
      • Sylvain MarettoSylvain Maretto, over 4 years ago

        I think the lo-fi design is what makes it efficient. Everything through the keyboard, no visual noice. But yeah, the support has been lagging behind lately, it's very, very sad.

        0 points
  • Brian MoonBrian Moon, over 4 years ago

    If you need any design support, let me know ;)

    0 points
  • Richard SisonRichard Sison, over 4 years ago

    Ok this looks freaking awesome. One of the features I used most in Evernote was the Quick note menubar dropdown and I always wished it had markdown support.

    Right now I'm using Stickies (macOS default) because I didn't want to have Evernote open just for the dropdown. I'd stopped using Evernote as my note taking tool in favour of Bear because of the price…

    Unfortunately Bear doesn't have a scratchpad though. I'd use Thought Train for a scratchpad alongside Bear as long as it wasn't a subscription and as long as it wasn't a memory hog.

    Looks good!

    0 points
    • , over 4 years ago


      I'm likely going to make it a subscription but the yearly price will not be wild.

      My theory is that this is a workflow compliment note replacement, and your story really speaks to that ethos.

      Signup for the prelaunch so that I can send you the ridiculously large discount before I take it live on Product Hunt.

      0 points
      • Richard SisonRichard Sison, over 4 years ago

        I'm definitely interested enough to kick the tyres on this thing. But honestly I'm pretty reluctant to add another subscription on to the list. If the price is right we'll see… And I have no idea what "right" is. I just know that Evernote is $130AUD per year… and that is ridiculously high for what I use it for. Their free offering is good enough to keep around, but I don't use it as my primary note taking tool anymore just out of principle…

        0 points
        • , over 4 years ago

          I'm going to have a yearly option which will be much cheaper than a monthly option, and much cheaper than Evernote that's for sure.

          0 points
  • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, over 4 years ago

    required things I'd need:

    • x-platform (I really just need mac/iphone/ipad)
    • indexed with easy access to search by term
    • markdown support

    Things I really want:

    • remove markdown syntax/characters so the notes just look formatted without all the _, #, *, etc everywhere
    • password protect specific notes
    0 points
    • , over 4 years ago

      The markdown already clears the markdown when you copy or view the notes :)

      Love the password protecting idea, I'm going to add that to post-launch feature list.

      0 points
  • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, over 4 years ago

    Sync across devices is a must for me. Being able to tweak the typography is always a nice bonus.

    0 points