A few pieces of input:
1. Like others, the logo doesn't stand out. In fact, I didn't see it until I read some of the other comments and adjusted my monitor position a bit.
2. Emphasize the txt'ing capabilities a little more. Assuming you're using something like Twilio, why use that validation code in front of the texts? That makes it highly unusable. You should be able to see what number the text is coming from and attach it to the proper account.
3. Put in an sms reply feature. For example, I text #todo or #grocerylist and it returns my notes that haven't yet been completed with that tag. Which leads to... You've already got the ability to post notes, now retrieve them.
4. The simplicity is totally nice, but how about putting these things into different buckets? Mark as complete, next week, etc... ? That way, you can manage the "boards" on which they go in a level beyond the hash-tag boards. Make sense?
You REALLY should be VERY PLEASED with what you've got here. I'm so impressed with the visual appeal of the app.
My guess is you're using authlogic for authentication. Is that right? If so, there are some good articles out there that will walk you through implementing password resets - in fact, I think it might be in the main authlogic page (been a little while since I've done it). It's really easy to implement.
Looks like I was your 84th user! Congrats and keep it up. I love hearing stories like this.
3. Already in the pipeline. Will be an awesome feature, I believe.
4. Pondering this, but it's a toughie. Trying to keep things simple, uncluttered, and easy to use while adding more features is one of the most difficult challenges I have faced.
The design and interface are completely original. What you're seeing is about the 4th major rendition over the past 2 months. As I am writing code I keep striving to make Pocket better and better (visually) and I'm pretty happy with where it's at now. We'll see how long it takes me to get bored =]
As for the authentication, I rolled my own (with the help of some tutorials) but I believe its pretty similar to authlogic. I'm sure I can add a password reset feature, but I just haven't had a chance to look into it yet.
Thanks for all of the kind words. The support here on HN is incredibly motivating and encouraging!
I'd definitely be interested once you got an Android app up and running - I use Evernote on Android and web heavily at the moment, and tried Springpad for a while (until it screwed up a sync and deleted all my notes, grr!)
Back when I was in Uni I used the analogue version of this: a big whiteboard next to my desk with stuff pinned to it or written in little lists, as well as using a sticky note app on my laptop. Pocket's visuals really remind me of that, in a good way, and from the teaser it looks like it would be really good for at-a-glance reminders and suchlike.
That's exactly what I was shooting for with pocket. I have a giant whiteboard too, and it's incredibly useful. Since I made Pocket, however, I find myself using it less and less. Guess that means I'm doing things right?
Mobile apps are in the pipeline!
If you choose the freemium route, you could give away to bloggers and alike, free premium accounts for them and for their readers. It is a great promotion tactic.
While building the app, I told myself that I would be satisfied if I was the only person in the world that used it (it was just a testing ground, after all). With this overwhelmingly positive response, I guess I can have a little more confidence to pursue things further.
Thanks for checking out Pocket!
I use a Mac at work and Windows at home. I'd love to just have a simple notepad that can go there and receive texts. Yours is pretty close, awesome work so far.
Just looked at Shifd - I'm surprised I didn't come across that one in my search for the perfect tool. It's got a pretty nice interface and features.
However, for an app that's purported to work well on a phone, I had a terrible time trying to read the website on mine. I'd suggest looking at the site from a couple mobile browsers. Aside from that, congrats on learning to code. It's definitely empowering.
That's what I'm shooting for - iPhone and Android apps are in the works.
> However, for an app that's purported to work well on a phone, I had a terrible time trying to read the website on mine. I'd suggest looking at the site from a couple mobile browsers.
I hadn't even thought about this. Sorry for the confusion, but I didn't intend for the app to be viewed in mobile browsers. Currently, it is optimized for desktop browsers with mobile app syncing planned for the future.
Thanks for the feedback!
== Experience & Motivation
Pocket was developed to scratch a personal itch - a very itchy itch. I am the most forgetful person I know, and that sucks. I am aware that the note app space is extremely crowded, but I have been thoroughly unimpressed with everything I’ve seen. Here’s a rundown of how Pocket came to be:
* 9 months ago: Searched for a multi-platform note taking solution to record daily thoughts and ideas. They all seemed overly complicated for such a simple task of quickly jotting down ideas. Even with a smartphone, I stuck with my pocket notebook to jot down ideas, songs to download, grocery lists, etc. At the time, I had no programming experience whatsoever so I didn’t even consider developing a solution on my own.
* 6 months ago: Still hadn’t found a decent note app. Began to think about how I would go about building one, and discovered Ruby on Rails. At this point, the only coding I had ever done was basic HTML and CSS, which hardly counts for anything. Briefly tried Ruby on Rails, but gave up after numerous attempts to wrap my head around the mysterious and elusive world of programming.
* 3 months ago: The list of apps I would like to eventually develop became quite lengthy and the vision for my note app was as clear as day. If only I knew how to code. Tried Ruby on Rails once again. Struggled through some tutorials and half of an ebook. Still didn’t really understand it, but I stuck with it.
* 2 months ago: Sudden realization that programming would never “click” unless I jumped in and started developing. I began to hack together any code I could muster, and my vision slowly became a reality. With a spark of passion, a fire was lit that I couldn’t extinguish. Although time was limited as it was my last semester in college with a heavy workload on my shoulders, I coded relentlessly every chance I could (which amounted to a mere 1-2 nights a week). Started using a rough version of Pocket to keep track of everything, including updates and ideas for the very app I was developing.
* 1 month ago: Programming was real for me. I felt like I actually knew what I was doing, and I didn’t want to stop. With every tiny milestone in learning and development, I would literally jump out of my chair with excitement. The code itself was nothing extraordinary, but knowing that I could have an idea and bring it to life was quite empowering. The fire burned hotter.
* today: Pocket has reached the point where I can share it with the world. While it may not be the most technologically advanced application (especially compared to the amazing stuff I see here on HN), it does exactly what I want it to do – and that’s a great feeling. I am ready to harness my newly discovered passion to develop the apps on my ever-growing list of ideas. I think there are at least a few winners on that list, so we’ll see what happens!
== Known Issues
* Lack of password reset
* Lack of mobile number confirmation
* IE (9 beta): dragging doesn’t work, CSS padding is occasionally funky
== Tech Specs
* Built with Ruby on Rails + JQuery
* Hosted by Heroku (Amazon EC2?)
* The logo is very hard to see. If I'm not mistaken, it's suppsoed to be pressed text on a brown background with a glow around it. It doesn't stand out nearly as much as it should.
* "Keep your ideas on a personal dashboard" has a "Learn more" with an arrow. I tried to click the arrow unsuccessfully. It looks like you have to click the post-it-note. Make the arrow clickable too.
* The idea of texting a note to myself is very appealing but when I click the post-it-note it takes me to something that doesn't really talk about it. I expected to be taken to a blurb about how that works. What number do I text? How are they delivered to me? Etc.
* Essentially the same comment as above for the other post-it-note, Access from anywhere. Is there an app I need to download? Does it work on Android? Etc, etc.
* Don't make me click through to sign up. Instead of an image of your sign up form, put your sign up form on the front page.
Hope that helps. Keep plugging, it's looking good!
For your issues:
1) Try using Authlogic (https://github.com/binarylogic/authlogic) to handle users/passwords... It's a great solution and is super easy to implement. Once you have Authlogic, use this (http://www.binarylogic.com/2008/11/16/tutorial-reset-passwor...) to figure out password resets.
2) Dunno about this... Twilio + some logic?
3) Here is a fix for the jQuery UI + IE9 problems -- http://forum.jquery.com/topic/jquery-ui-does-not-work-on-ie9
Edit: By the way, GREAT first product. Congrats and Good Luck.
That said, congratulations on a good start. Keep on truckin!
> I am aware that the note app space is extremely crowded, but I have been thoroughly unimpressed with everything I’ve seen.
Personal itches are the best way to get started. After all, if your dissatisfied with what is out there, chances are, other people are as well. One of the worst things you could ever do is assume that just because a space is crowded means it's full.
Best of luck with the app... I love the design and simplicity once you log in. My only comments are that the logo needs to be more noticeable (as others have indicated). Also, I didn't totally get the "tag notes like this bookmark" in the main nav upon just glancing at it, but once I clicked on one I got it (which might be by design).
* to put into one's pocket: to pocket one's keys.
* to take possession of as one's own, often dishonestly: to pocket public funds.
* to submit to or endure without protest or open resentment: to pocket an insult.
* to conceal or suppress: to pocket one's pride."
I don't think the negative connotations are exclusively British. I've heard the phrase said plenty of times "John pocketed something", when it meant he kind of stole it. It's also used with regards to politicians sometimes.
I had to type out a list of projects for my week of vacation, so start typing away, click Create, then doh! 140 limit? Select all, cut, open Stickies, new sticky, paste, quit.
Would be great if larger stickies could be created. Or if you are going to have a 140 limit, have a character counter there somewhere.
Thanks for checking out the app!
as i scrolled down the page, I lost the text to image connection. where does the text belong to, the image above or below.
does not show the mobile interface. or is it just a website that you call "app"?
No mobile interface right now - the app is solely browser based. iPhone, Android, and desktop apps are in the pipeline and will be integrated as soon as I can figure out how to develop them.
Not signed up yet, but it looks professional! :)
(On Ubuntu with Chrome 10.0.634.0 the homepage rendering is OK)
I think your site looks good, but I would definitely try to make the Pocket logo stand out a bit more. Pocket is your brand, be bold with it. Second, I would replace the "Sign up now!" button with the two actual forms needed to sign up. Not having to click through could dramatically increase registrations.
I'll leave more comments once I've had time to use the application.
Oh and on your madebyloren.com website, did you intentionally left the title untitled or was that some lapse?
Cheers & thanks for the notes
The title on madebyloren.com has not been set yet because I'm still working on development. Madebyloren is my second attempt at a Ruby on Rails app. I figured building a blog engine from scratch would be a good exercise and not very difficult (plus highly customizable to my needs), so I went ahead and did that instead of wordpress or another premade engine. Considering I only worked on it for a few hours one day (designing and coding) I think it turned out okay.
On the side: the HN community never ceases to positively surprise me:
for every one or two grumpy comments and for every one or two unfair downvotes,
you find tens or even more of extremely detailed and constructive well-meant suggestions.