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Show HN: Collected Notes – A note-taking blogging app I made (collectednotes.com)
457 points by alecrosa on June 14, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 227 comments

Less than a month ago I decided to build an app for myself to solve a very specific problem:

“I want to be able to take notes on my phone, share some of them online, and publish a few on my personal blog — oh, an I also want an API!”

I built this is because no tool out there satisfied my needs: - Notion had no native app so it's very slow to use on mobile. Plus is too general. - Medium is a disaster for readers, they shouldn't be the ones paying to read. Native app is slow AF. - Most note-taking apps were too complex and feature creep. I wanted speed + power with simplicity first. Just give me markdown. - Apps are either online or offline, none tried to mix those two models seamlessly. - Blogs are either static (I need to be on my laptop and code) or use CMS which are too general and complex.

I sense there’s a demand for an easy to use native note-taking app that can also serve as an online publishing platform. A place where you can use your domain and update your notes right from your phone.

Of course, this is just a theory, so I would love to see if you all find it useful. You can try it https://collectednotes.com


- Simplicity. - Markdown with live preview. - Custom Domains. - No ads, no tracking, no modals, no vanity, no nonsense. - No data lock-in. Export your notes from day one. - Restful API, Your Notes in different formats. - Native experience iPhone & iPad: Share extension, Quick actions, FaceID, Quick Actions, Keychain, Keyboard shortcuts, Slide Over & Split View, Dark Mode.

Sample note: https://collectednotes.com/blog/api, Would love to hear what you all think

Hey, this looks great.

One thing you might want to consider is having one domain for a website about collectednotes (collectednotes.com) and another for hosting user's blogs (collectednotes.blog for example) because it is currently not clear what urls are official and made by you and which are just blogs made by anyone.

For example, https://collectednotes.com/accounts/ is genuine and made by you whilst https://collectednotes.com/account/ is a blog I just created. To me there seems a very real risk of users being mislead.

On second thoughts, using a sub domain would make way more sense.

In that case: make sure you trust your registrar.

There was a story here a couple of weeks ago or something with a post mortem from someone who got their websites taken offline and access to their mail suspended or taken offline because some automated system at a giant corporation decided so.

It stayed offline for hours because there was no competent humans available with authority to override the clearly (AFAIK) stupid decision made by the system.

Personally a key takeaway from that (except not depending on said company) was to make sure one has at least two domains, preferably with two registrars, and make sure user generated content is not available on the one you depend on for email etc.

The story in question: https://blog.gitbook.com/tech/post-mortems/06-20-gitbook-dom... (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23417046).

Note that in that case the user content was on a separate domain—the registrar blocked the entire account.

Oh. Possibly even worse.

(Although I think there might have been some comments about user generated content on the main domain.)

Great tip - got a link for the story, by any chance? Or do you remember who the company was, so I can search for it myself?

EDIT: I couldn't find anything directly on point, but I did find this related horror story about a company whose ICANN email contact information no longer worked because the company's contact person had left the company. An ICANN email to the contact person bounced back. ICANN took the entire domain offline. The company's Web person had a lot of trouble getting through to a human at ICANN to straighten things out — and even then: "To make a long story short, my client was required to submit articles of incorporation, bank statements and other documents in order to get the domain working again." [0]

EDIT 2: Thanks to Chris Morgan, who provided a link to a GitBook horror story. [1]

I added both stories to my "Startup Law 101" page [2], with a hat tip to both Erik and Chris.

[0] https://www.skyhoundinternet.com/2017/05/17/website-email-ge...

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23516675

[2] https://www.oncontracts.com/startup-law/#Use_a_separate_Web_...

ah good catch thank you


Exactly. Having a bunch of keywords reserved like Twitter does would be handy.

Honestly, sounds like micro.blog and how I use it. Most importantly, micro.blog uses Micropub, an existing W3C standard API for blogging which is why things like Drafts, iAWriter, MarsEdit etc can all support it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a very cool project and it looks like you’ve done a great job. I would recommend looking into Micropub support though rather than role your own API. The IndieWeb group has worked hard and built up a lot of easy to use and powerful standards around this stuff.

It would be great if there was a good way to find existing projects that achieve what we seek. Usually, the biggest names are visible, and it's hard to find alternatives that achieve specific ideas.

I suspect we need some sort of search engine that helps push us towards the alternate stuff.

Currently google tends to highlight the big sites/authoritative sources etc, and not the smaller blogs/forums/etc as much.

We basically need some filter against the winners that take all. Block off the top 10-20% sites and only show the long tail.

Oddly enough, I find page 2 (and beyond) of Google results to be incredibly different than page 1 in the way that you describe. When shopping, for example, (in normal search, not the Shopping tab) I'll often have heard of every store on page 1 and almost no stores on page 2+. Using default of 10 results per page.

There is a website called alternative.to which kinda does this for most things, it’s user maintained but it works pretty well for most things, but sometimes fails for smaller projects

Look up the HN launch post and read the top level comments promoting other solutions?

oh cool, didn't knew that existed!

Interesting idea. How long is it around I wonder, it feels like it hasn't taken off yet. The bloggers there seem to perhaps come from a similar viewpoint, guardianista, I'd call it. If someone starts blogging what they might feel to be an unacceptable viewpoint, more torygraph what then, I wonder? Is it a curated timeline? Can they censor like Twitter does? What's the essential difference from a free speech point of view between this site and the existing social networks?

Very minor bug report (which I don’t mind at all): during the signup process on mobile, I clicked “premium subscription” and then pressed the back button. The form was wiped, so I had to re-enter my info.

I imagine many people might give up after that, so I just wanted to mention it.

Another minor bug: when toggling private to public on mobile, the drop down menu doesn’t go away after you press public. It also blocks the save button, so it’s not entirely clear how to save. (I eventually figured it out.)

iPhone 8 on safari, if it helps.

This is impressive work. I was up and running in about two minutes, and I’m thinking about upgrading. https://collectednotes.com/shawwn/sample-note

My only hesitation is that it doesn’t feel like “my” notes. They’re my notes on your platform. And I don’t know whether your platform will die tomorrow. But I try to resist such concerns.

Is there a way to export all my data somehow? Also, some way of adding google analytics?

Ah good catch, mobile experience is very MVP, I only focused on the web for desktop use. For mobile iOS native is the way to go I went crazy on the native features :)

Thank you so much!

Oh you can download your notes easily under profile. It will send you a .zip file with all your markdown files!

Google Analytics I won’t add. In fact I don’t even use it for the site. I don’t want to track people. But views counts will come soon.

Well, view counts would work. Cool to hear that I can get the markdown. Is there any way to insert arbitrary html? Then I can put whatever I need.

Maybe as a premium feature under my domain?

Will think about that, what kind of things would you put? I don’t want to become a CMS or geo cities :)

It's mainly to work around bugs in the system. For example:

site: https://www.shawwn.com/thanks

markdown: https://www.shawwn.com/thanks.page

If you "view source" on the markdown page, you'll see:

  Twitter: <a href="https://twitter.com/theshawwn">@theshawwn</a>  
The reason is that [@theshawwn](https://twitter.com/theshawwn) didn't convert into HTML for some reason. I assume the @ character threw it off, and I didn't want to drop what I was doing to figure out why. But there are a million small things like that.

For https://collectednotes.com/shawwn/sample-note, I would put GA into my notes.

Yes, your markdown implementation is fine. Pandoc (the one I use) seemed broken. The HTML was a way of working around the problem.

The main reason to let users inject HTML is that they can add features you don't have. GA is one; mathjax is another.

Hey, I'm really interested in trying your app. However I am unable to sign in via iPhone SE. The small screen means I that cannot tap to sign in with email address - I prefer this over Apple/Google login.

Otherwise so it looks great, I look forward to giving it a go.

Sorry about that, didn't test enough on smaller screens. Will be definitely fixed on the next update. In the meantime you can try the web desktop version!

Great work. UI tip: When reading on mobile browser and rotating the phone the text doesn’t expand to occupy more space like it can. I find myself doing this a lot to read code on my phone so when a site doesn’t adapt to allow me to read it without odd line breaks I usually leave the site.

Oh good catch, thanks!

Any idea what the cause is for that?

It does for me on iPhone, what device/browser are you using?

For me it works as well on Android with Firefox preview and Chrome.

Other really minor bug. In dark mode the [heart] in "Made with [heart] by Alejandro Crosa" isn't visible. (FF Preview)

OOOHHH I have another integration idea for you (i posted about IMGUR account int...)

Your "export from day one" sparked this thought:

Allow access to your gdrive and make a collected notes folder.

two UX: 1. anytime a post is made to collected notes, a backup copy appears in Gdrive/Dropbox/Gist/whatever....

2. Post a thing to the collected docs folder in GDrive and have it slurped and presented in CollectedNotes.MYBLOG.DATE whatever...

I like it.

Your video walkthrough is good.

Can I edit my notes / blog from a desktop?

I had to look around for the walkthrough video and later realized that tapping on the icon on the top left launches it. There was no indication or clue for me on mobile that the icon was a link to a video.

Yes, the web interface is slick. Very cool.

Thank you! it's very MVP (I started it three weeks ago) so expect it to improve :)


Cool idea, but I'm never going to keep notes in a proprietary app, even if I can export them. It's just too much of a headache, and the risk at hand is a lot more work on my part should this not be a profitable venture on your part. Notes last for years, and even decades, and the last thing I want to do is reorganize, reindex and republish old notes.

I LOVE this. Such a great and simple service. Perfect example of excellent yet simple execution. I’m very impressed with all the existing features and your roadmap. Ive joined as a paying customer! Looking forward to seeing the minor improvements, but so far very impressed with the 95% quality! Nice work mate!

Does it support images, latex and code highlighting? That's what I need. In principle, I have been looking exactly for something like this.

very slick! congrats on launching! how did you do the mock iPhone video in the landing page? love little demos like that.

edit: ah I see from the comments it is https://www.rotato.xyz/

Maybe extend your video with how notes are stored and retrieved?

where does an Android app lie in your priorities?

People are building one using the API. It ranks after I'm satisfied with iOS + Web where I can iterate fast.

How committed are you to keeping the API open?

Some of the APIs are open and will stay like that forever. Others require premium for now

If you add math support, I'd give it a try

You mean math symbols? Thought about doing that

Yes, please do! My job involves a lot of math, so it a dealbreaker for me when notetaking software doesn't have math support. These days it's very easy to include! The easiest way is to use KaTeX [1] to render math between dollar sign tags for inline math like this $x+y=5$ and for display math like this:

  \int_a^b f(x) dx
Many markdown parsers (like markdown-it) have plugins for math support. In the future, I would also heavily recommend looking into using ProseMirror [2] for wysiwyg Markdown editing.

(I'm currently working on adding wysiwyg math editing to ProseMirror -- see the gifs here [3] for an early proof of concept).

[1] https://katex.org/ [2] https://prosemirror.net/ [3] https://github.com/benrbray/prosemirror-math

Maybe a bit late, but chiming in here to say that prosemirror in general is absolutely amazing. Used it to build my own note taking app, highly recommended.

Thanks for making Notebag, I just tried it out and love how straightforward it is! I hope you'll consider adding math support in the future! Feel free to use my math plugin [1] as a starting point, it's MIT licensed. (still under development, but it's solid enough to use already)

[1] https://github.com/benrbray/prosemirror-math

oh wow prosemirror is awesome, will definitely look into adding it

Sold. I’ll take a look.

Awesome! FWIW I currently use a clone [1] of Andy's notes website [2], to which I've added KaTeX support. The biggest feature is the Roam-style bidirectional linking. But your system is sufficiently simpler that I think I'll give it a try, at least for some use cases.

Roam-style bidirectional linking would be cool, but I wonder if it's better to keep it simple for everyone else rather than add very specific features for the few people like me. Your call...

Anyways, cool project! You're definitely making something people want :)

[1] https://github.com/aravindballa/gatsby-theme-andy/

[2] https://notes.andymatuschak.org/About_these_notes

Funny enough Andy’s website is one of the reasons I started this. I have bidirectional linking on the roadmap since day one, but not like Roam, I plan to do something different to keep it simple. For me simplicity is number one here :)

Yes, I passionately agree with simplicity as a core principle. This makes me very excited to see how you implement bidirectional linking.


I've had a bunch of problems with KaTeX, I'd recommend mathjax instead.

What are the problems you've had? I'm about to switch to KaTeX for speed which will take quite a bit of work and this got me spooked.

It replaces my LaTex with unicode symbols that often look shitty, and are usually the wrong size. Also, it sometimes never rendered my equations. Don't let this totally dissuade you, I never really looked into it (switching to mathjax was easier) but I just remember that "out-of-the-box", a lot of things were broken.

fwiw, I haven't had this experience at all. KaTeX has been extremely easy to integrate into my projects with a simple katex.render(my_math_str). Perhaps you had some string encoding issues separate from katex?

I’d like math symbols too. There are a few libraries that make it “easy” (though I understand it’s rare for a feature to be “easy”).

Very well executed. I think I’d be a heavy user if the focus was more on private rather than public notes.

Markdown plus an API feels like a great idea. Apps like this would be very useful for teaching the kinds of thinking used in computer science.

They encourage writing instructions for the computer in plain text and then building upwards from there. This is a much more powerful way of operating a machine than the top down with apps, in the old ICT style of learning.

Markdown is a great introduction to the concept of telling the computer what to do, rather than doing what the computer lets you do.

This is exactly what an MVP should be, excellent job. This kind of startup has serious chance to become a "lifestyle" business. Maybe not the next billion dollar unicorn, but definitely 7-figure revenue capable.

Good luck with the launch and traction!

Thank you! so far since Saturday (when I launched it) it has 2k+ users and 50+ paid customers :)

Color me jealous, already Ramen profitable ;)

Cheap ramen, but yeah

Very nice product! I'm curious, what kind of and how many servers do you have to support thousands of users already? And which language/framework? Thanks!

Congratulations. Do you know how the users discovered you? App Store? Do you do any marketing?

I tweeted about the process when I started about three weeks ago. Work with the garage open thing.

Would you mind sharing your Twitter? Would love to read about your development process.

It’s twitter.com/esacrosa (Spanish) Twitter.com/collected_notes

This is a well designed product. I really like it.

The last days I was working on my personal wiki/notetaking/knowledge management because it was bugging me, that everything needs a subscription and offered too much or not enough[1].

The biggest problem I have is finding/discovering my notes or snippets, especially if its scattered across services. For public notes it's easy, using `site:domain.com searchterm` in a search engine. For private notes/services it's harder.

Especially the discovery feature is quite important for me, to randomly find notes I forgot about (at the end, all notes are work in progress).

I tried to collect my thoughts about it here: https://marcus-obst.de/wiki/Notetaking

[1] It's based on Markdown Files in a Dropbox folder hooked into Pico Flatfile CMS, I pay for webhosting anyway and dropbox is still free. Else I would use Nextcloud to replace it. Sublime Text on desktop and Drafts o iA writer are doin g exactly what I need

oh wow, that's quite a setup you have. I found myself collecting a lot of private & public notes, and that makes it hard to find things quickly, I plan to work on that problem next. I'm thinking of a faster typeahead than the one the iOS app currently has plus some sort of categorization based on the note text (maybe using topic extraction).

Topic extraction is a very good idea (for public notes) using something like this: https://www.textrazor.com/ ?

(I knew I bookmarked this page, but couldn't find it and had to use google :D and 5 iterations of search terms to find it again - I need to improve that...)

Pretty nice, I like the simplicity. But his claim seems a bit arrogannt right?

"The simplest, and most powerful note-taking blogging platform ever made"

Doesn't seem to be sarcastic...

On another note, is it just me or is the note-taking app the new ToDo list, a system that all developers eventually build and add to their portfolios...

Yeah, I think you’re right. I’ll remove the “ever made” there’s a lot of great stuff out there.

What you're communicating is your exuberance, not the fact that your mom makes the best lasagna in the world.

I clearly suck at copy text. I blame my ESL

Ah I'm saying I think your exaggeration is fine. It communicates how much excitement you have for your product. If you say your mom makes the best food in the world, nobody is confused about what you're saying. You are communicating your passion.

Congrats on the launch, and you have an outstanding MVP here. I think it is priced well, considering that I would normally run something similar on a $5/month server for file syncing.

I'm a compulsive note-taker and frequent writer, so this is something I will personally be taking advantage of. The blogging feature is interesting, but I'm actually going to experiment with using it to replace my current use of Notes on iOS/Mac and Typora.

I'm curious if your development path includes Desktop. I've been between Ulysses and Typora for years now. Neither covers the entirety of my file syncing, desire to access from a browser or cross platform needs.

I really think you're on to something here. Best of luck!

Thank you so much! I planned to ship a macOS app together with the iOS apps but can’t do everything in three weeks and two kids :) It’s definitely something I want to myself. For now the web version works fine for the occasional long form posting. Let me know how it goes!

I wish you had created this a couple of years ago! I wasted a lot of time then trying different note-taking apps for a personal writing project. I ended up doing it all in a text editor, as every app I tried failed in one way or another. Collected Notes would have been perfect.

Oh wow thank you so much!

I'm trying to understand what makes this app so popular, I created my own notetaking-app and did a shown HN and got like 5 upvotes yet I have plently of features this doesn't have like nested folders, search, hotkeys, code tagging, tools for creating tables/code, uploads of pdfs, images and all of this completely free. It's almost like setting a price on the service makes people want to use it more. </rant>

I'm not sure it means anything. HN has reached a volume of submissions where it seems like what reaches the front page is a matter of luck.

I guess you're right. Everything has a snowball effect on the internet, the hard part is getting the ball rolling.

I think you should work on eliminating the perception of a publish step.

Everyone else is working how to best publish things and you stumbled on the solution: there is no publish.

The copy url option screen after publishing reminded me there is a publish. I think transparently use a Share option to share the url and have a share option under the notebook title.

Great concept.

The sample note is private, I did not realise this until my second session. I’d set it to public to illustrate the point above.

That’s great feedback!

I think this is a great idea; makes you think why blogging isn't as easy as taking notes on Apple Notes.

Between the recent launch of Obsidian and this, I'm probably going to go with Obsidian particularly because: I know how to set up websites and I always trust offline more than online (I've lost multiple drafts on Substack which has taught me always to either use GDocs/Dropbox Paper/Offline text).

“Isn’t as easy as taking notes on Apple Note” YES that’s exactly why I built it. I love Apple notes but I can’t share them online or update my blog :)

Obsidian looks really nice, I think it’s similar to Roam. I wanted to make something simpler. I do want to add local storage of notes for offline more.

PS: You can export all notes easily from the site at any time :)

This looks really cool, have you considered having it use org-mode markup instead of markdown? It's a lot easier to type, easier to read, and can easily be converted into markdown with pandoc with no loss of markup.


Love this. A feature request: On mobile, have a shortcut for typing # and *. These are essential in markdown but unfortunately several clicks away on most mobile keyboards.

Format toolbar is coming

Great little app. I'm using the web version and I really love its simplicity.

One thing I've noticed is that when I edit a note the url exposes the ids of my account and the note I'm editing; idk if it's right or wrong to do that, but I tend to hide any incrementing key in the url. I know I'm the twothousandth-something user of your app, you are the first, etc. Not a bad thing, but a thing I would avoid. Also a bot could scan your database very easily and I'm sure you don't want that. For indexing purposes (speaking about using your app as a blog), it's bad for seo to have two urls pointing to the same resource (/sites/1 == /alejandro). My go to solution is to use random uuid for anything user facing.

Keep up the good job!

I recently saw a website on HN where a developer had put all his working notes on that website as an experiment. It wasn't a proper blog - just inter-linked notes the way I take on a personal level.

I am not able to find that website now. Can someone share it with me if you have it?

The reason I am curious about that, and the tool that OP has built, is that I have now realized that most of my personal notes don't have to be private - I can just put them out there. Now, no one will ever see them but that's hardly the point. I want to revisit that website and see what technologies they used to build such a public knowledge base.

I also started looking at Docusaurus yesterday (again, from an HN comment) and was planning to go with that, unless I find something better/simpler.

Yep, thanks for sharing!

Can someone recommend tools that can help me build something like this? So far, I've thought of Docusaurus+Gitlab+Netlify with a custom domain to build such a website but wondering if there's something better.

OP's tool looks cool. But I am fairly technical, so looking for something I can fully control and isn't tied to a monthly subscription.

Andy's website is what triggered me to build this btw

That's pretty cool. The product looks great as well, congrats on launching!

Cool concept! The ability to easily blog from my phone is something I'd love to be to do. I think some others here commented that this is basically micro-blogging. Losts of people use long threads in Twitter, and other platforms, but it's cool to have something that you could export to your own domain or use with a reader.

I've been using a similar live markdown formatter for my personal knowledge base, which I started not long ago. But it's still not something that I can easily post to from my phone... https://l-o-o-s-e-d.net/knowledge-base/introduction

Will you release an Android version for us to try?

Neatly done, feel like the lack of a simple, but focused native experience is what has stopped me from using other web / cross platform alternatives – they all fail to corner one group's narrow use case

Thank you!

Well done alecrosa!

It's very usable already! Impressive to ask for money so early in to the process. I struggle with even launching products, much less monetizing them from early on in the process. It's a major growth area for me and I've been really working at it.

It's also good to see the twitter and the speed at which you're adding features. You've done a good job launching and marketing this. I am planning to build a similar feature into a note app I'm working on and I've taken a lot of inspiration from your Show HN. Best of luck!

Thank you so much! I have no idea what I’m doing. Good luck with your launch!

Wow awesome! I really like the simplicity of it and I am impressed you shipped this in 3 weeks! Supporting custom domains and certificates for them was more annoying than I had expected when I tried it.

It is kind of a pain, I need to automate it more too, let's Encrypt is really great in that regard.

Excellent effort on the product! I had the similar idea for a long time as well, and I use Evernote to do all my blogging, then built a custom process to pull content from Evernote and create a static website using Jekyll. And I wouldn't use another platform just for blogging, the whole reason for me using Evernote is that all my notes are inside of Evernote and it's a perfect single place of truth for everything.

Makes sense!

The more I use it the more I like it. And I started out liking it

Didn’t know about the swiping until I saw the video which I didn’t know was on the site. I was swiping the notes in the list view but there you have to long press.

The share button for posts doesn’t list safari, unexpectedly.

I could figure out how to go premium from the iOS version I guess this is Apples restriction. I was able to set and remove a domain which is listed as a premium perk.

Thank you! Yes didn’t had time to setup in-app purchases but should be there soon. The swipe gesture is getting a revamp so it will be more obvious on the next update :)

I like the idea and approach a lot.

I think I'd like it more if the native app was decoupled from the backend such that I could also export my notes and re-appropriate them any way I want. As biz models go, charge for the native app.

Ultimately, I'd like more control, specifically of my data. That also means offering a self-hosted version.

I like the product. I like the experience. But I want to retain more control of what's mine.

For now there’s the API and you can export all your notes from settings as a zip file

I believe the title should be a Shown HN for this.

I like that the business plan is made clear.

Not explaining how they make money is one of the top reasons I won't use a "free" service.

Free is usually a trap

Great app, congrats on launching. Usability and User focus 10/10. How secure is this app? Care to let us in on the specifics?

Thank you! What specifically? It’s not intended for very sensitive data. Much prefer the note/blog use case.

> It’s not intended for very sensitive data.

I hope you don't take this as a criticism, just feedback, because your product looks quite nice and if I weren't such a worry-wart, I'd probably subscribe.

My issue with all notetaking applications is that all of my notes are "very sensitive data" to me. I treat my notes repository like a combination diary, scratchpad (where I plop things like temporary passwords and API keys), and memory dump. I know it's probably unreasonable--you seem trustworthy at first glance--but I have this pretty big fear of my notes store accidentally leaking or even just an admin trawling where they shouldn't and reading stuff I've noted down.

Like you, I'm still on the hunt for "the perfect notetaking system" but my A-number-1-highest-priority feature requirement is self-hosting on my own hardware. If you offered that, even for a fee, I'd probably buy it because it looks quite nice.

I think a version where it’s stored on-device would be nice. I think your concern is correct and I agree :), it currently serves a different use case which is private non-sensitive notes and public ones. Honestly even if it was the most secure app/web in the world, having a one tap to publish to my website is terrifying :)

Have you heard of Wik? https://wik.netlify.app/#Home I just discovered it a couple of months ago and have been using it every day since. It stores everything in your web browser’s LocalStorage. The downside is that every web browser you use has independent data. This also means that backing up your data is entirely on you. However, it is fairly simple to download the entire database and back it up some place. I keep meaning to write a script to merge different instances, but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

> My issue with all notetaking applications is that all of my notes are "very sensitive data" to me. I treat my notes repository like a combination diary, scratchpad [...]

Same here. I'm currently using Joplin (https://joplinapp.org/) for note taking, which syncs my notes via WebDAV to a server under my control. Supports markdown, but if I want to publish certain notes, I have to manually transfer them to the website.

yes, specifically, is my data encrypted at rest? My notes are very private.

Amazing idea. Slick design. How do you embed YouTube videos though? Does it make use of iframe tag and set width to 100%?

Oh yes, I saw that. I should have been more clearer. As far as I know, it is harder to embed YouTube videos in markdown. Either you can embed an image and place it as an hyperlink (so clicking will open the video in a new tab) or using iframe tag. I was just wondering how was this feature implemented in your markdown.

Also, for some reason YouTube embedded markdown files when exported missed out the whole section including video link and text following it.

Simple, I love it. I went down the rabbit hole of roam and notion. The "just works" aspects of this is great.

Thank you, I plan to add bi-directional linking but not in the way Roam does it.

Really well done, especially for such a shorty turn around.

I'm not sure I buy your reasoning though. I could be wrong, but I believe Notion does have native apps now. Also, despite not being dedicated to note-taking, it doesn't keep you from publishing simple, complexity-free, notes to the web.

It’s a wrapper around a web view. Speed is important: https://twitter.com/collected_notes/status/12679273126342287...

Another reason is a lot of features like continuity, slide over, share extension, etc etc. Are not available on web apps.

Notion does not have native apps and during an AMA on reddit they also said there were no real plans on doing them. Even on Mac notion unfortunately does not allow offline usage.

Love the simplicity, would love to have an index of apps like this one : simple, well executed. Congrats

Would love if it allowed comments, as I want to put ideas out there and see discussion. I understand if it’s not the experience that you’re going for though - a lot of the time comments aren’t simple/easy/minimalist/etc. Great product, love it!

Hello!, yeah I don’t want to add comments not only for the complexity but also because they can be a little too toxic, and I want to create a great experience for the person reading, but also for the one writing. If I do comments, I would like to do it right, so might take some time.

Yeah I get that, I do love how clean this feels right now and comments could muddy it up pretty quickly

I was thinking of making something similar, along with E2E encryption. Could you add it?

Basic principle is you encrypt the DB or the individual notes with an AES synchronous key with a password that you put through a KDF and then apply your sync method to the individual notes.

I’ve been thinking about adding encryption, and I might in the near future. But honestly, I think for really secured notes I still prefer to keep them on device. Even with E2E.

This is lovely. Really simple - this is a good thing.

I think I'm showing my ignorance as I didn't get why code blocks are surrounded by four back ticks (I thought Markdown used just one), but that's just me asking and certainly not complaining.

I wrote about the supported syntax here: https://collectednotes.com/blog/a-tour-of-the-markdown-synta...

I think one backtick is pre and three (with optional language is code with syntax highlighting)

Markdown supports inline code with a single backtick on each side, and multiline code blocks with triple backticks above and below. Alternatively, a multiline code block can be indented four spaces.

Let me see if I can illustrate. On HN, backticks are meaningless, and code blocks require two space indents, so this should render as you would write the Markdown source:

  Here would be `inline code` delimited with single backticks.
  It translates to <code>inline code</code>.

  Here would be a multiline code block.
  It typically translates to <pre><code>Code is here.</code></pre>:

  Code is here.
A multiline code block can also have a language name when it uses triple backticks, as in your example:

  Swift code is here.
Note that there are many flavors of Markdown! I'm describing the one you appear to be using, which is similar to what's used on Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange sites.

Thanks very much. I'd not appreciated the flexibility of what is possible in terms of code display. Thanks for explaining and letting me understand a bit more!

It would be really cool to have an allow-plaintext-only option (and monospaced font).

I know it’s probably too late for this, and I’m probably in the minority wanting this, but markdown is too complicated for my note-taking.

Just append .text to any note (.json and .md also work) :)

Wouldn't `.txt` make sense to add as well? As the historical standard extension for plain text

It might help to put your register / sign in, in the same page as your landing page.

Also, Im kinda curious on how you got your Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy

Good idea, I just wanted it to be less noisy or pushy. The terms and Policies I got from a friend’s website (with his permission) that’s very similar. Anything odd that you spot?

Nothing really except your hero page button is off center in mobile, but that's about it

Will take a look thanks!

You might give https://flipso.com/ a shot — Similar, but works via email instead of an app.

I have that on the roadmap!

Good show!

Personally, I don’t have a use for this particular app (at the moment), but I really like your interaction with people suggesting changes.

I also like that RotatO service. I bookmarked it.

Best changes came from people so it’s good to listen and ignore the ones that are not good.

Is there an open standard for adding simple social features to an RSS based blog?

e.g. a public friends list, likes/comments controlled (or at least signed) by the commenter

I think you are looking for Webmentions? https://indieweb.org/Webmention

Is there a way I can search through my notes/blog?

On iOS yes, on web I need to add it, should be really soon (I’m shipping features very quickly)

Loving the app's simplicity and the straight-to-the-point approach you had taken with the website. Definitely giving it a try, great work!

Thank you so much!

Tried it on my iPod Touch. Would not let me use my email address. No response when I try to touch the small text at the bottom of the screen.

Oh sorry about that, didn’t test on that device. Will take a look and fix for the next update!

Sounds like what I’m configuring for Myself with Hugo and github, but with a live markdown editor, which would be great.

Def tempting. Hope it sticks around

I hope too

how does "public/private" work? Looks like there is no sign up feature on the web and I can't view a private post (as it should be), but just wondering what is really going on behind the scenes. Does a "private" post still get uploaded to your server? or does it truly stay private only on my phone?

Private is also uploaded. Will make all those thing clearer, consistent feedback here about that topic. (Nowhere else people mentioned that)

will you eventually provide a web dashboard that lets users sign in and view their private posts?

That’s already there, you can edit and post on the web

Nice app!

Delivering this in three weeks is very impressive.

Mind sharing how you made the walkthrough video?

I wanted to do something similar and yours really catches the eye.

I used Rotato which is fantastic!

I couldn't find this, link?


Great job! I love it. Wish you all the best! Do you have any Twitter? I'll retweet about your product in a heartbeat

Yes http://twitter.com/collected_notes I publish updates there often

listed.to has done a similar thing for awhile leveraging Standard Notes[1] to give you a note taking and pseudo cms. I kind of hate that they bury it, SN is lovely and very simple to use.

[1] - https://standardnotes.org/

Listed.to seems really cool as well

That looks really nice


Can you please implement accessing imgur accounts for the images... I like to post my stuff to a premium imgur account that I have had since their inception as private albums - if I can give my creds to this app, then just have it pull the images from my private albums on imgur... that would be great.

Also, im going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Saturday.

Ok, thanks

Now this looks fun! I might spend some time poking around in your API and whip up a quick flutter app.

Oh nice, drop me an email (it's on /support) if you need any help!

Awesome to see this here and congrats on the launch, I'd followed some of your progress.

Thank you!

Hi! Any plan to make it possible to import from other sources, eg Google Keep?

No plans, huge backlog one person :)

How is this different from private/public tumblr blogs and micro.blog?

I think the features mentioned on the landing page should make it clear. I’m not that familiarized with tumblr or micro.blog tbh

Just wanted to comment on the aesthetic -- it's fantastic! Good work

Thank you!

I liked the idea, really cool, hermano :)

Do you plan to make an Android version of it?

Since there's an API I know at least two people that are working on it :) I plan to ship one once the features are stabilized and iteration is not so aggressive!

Cool, wish you good luck.

What is the stack that you used for building this app? Pretty slick!

Awesome! Where is your k8s at and is it one of the managed ones offered by AWS/GCP/DO?

Any plans to add support for math notation? (Latex, MathJax, ...)

I’ll be taking a look at that soon

I wish the title had make it clear that this is Apple only.

And web

Any plan for Android? Also, native desktop (Mac / Windows) app?

Ale Firefox complains about your TLS certificate

I head people saying that. I should install Firefox, no idea why is that ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In the Firefox website they recommend slabs but I get A+ there so no idea :( https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=collectednote...

it is a very useful project and just done at the right balanced - simplicity and self-contained. But, I use an android phone :(

Can you talk a little about how you built it?

I put most feature development on the twitter account when I started (~3 weeks ago) https://twitter.com/collected_notes And also wrote a little note that I need to update with more details: https://alejandrocrosa.com/collected-notes-tech-stack

Are you planning on expanding to Android?

How is it different from Simplenote?

Looks great.

As an aside, I wonder if apps and startups "Made with love" do better than apps and startups "Made with coffee".

I love Coffee, but it’s bad for me. Makes me too anxious :)

Great app. Love the simplicity!

Thank you!

Congratulations on your launch!

Thank you!

could you publish this on ios for something other than 13.4 lol

ironic that it says "No nonsense" on their landing page but then it stores my thoughts/notes in the cloud. no thanks to another crappy freemium SaaS platform (for sure they have "recurring revenues" on their business plan).

I think you are probably in the minority who think storing things in the cloud is nonsense. Maybe it doesn’t work for you, but it has tons of benefits.

This service might not be for you, but there is no reason to post such a negative comment degrading someone else’s work.

I'm curious if you're aware that "Show HN" in the title is someone with the community a new thing they've built.

Considering you don't seem to have a new account:

I get that you're trying to be helpful. But the way you say things come through as being dismissive about other people's work. They just put in a bunch of work into it; they seem very open to getting feedback and working on it. I'm curious what you're trying to prove by calling it "crappy"?

There’s no business plan. I haven’t found a way to store notes on blogs without putting the notes on the cloud yet. Thanks!

so it's a note taking app that lacks any of the privacy features? Wordpress too lets me safe drafts and leaves it up to me whether I ever publish them. I wouldn't call wordpress a "note taking app". it's not a note-taking app if it sends everything to your servers. And it's a shame there is not a single word on security/privacy: how is data protected at rest? your password hashes salted? what is saved client-side vs server-side? where is the security.txt or contact info? what is your data storage policy, cookies, gdpr etc?

you offer a premium package yet there is no info on any of the above? Security/privacy concerns aside you extract money yet haven't even got a vision on how to grow this (no business plan)

... I'd give this a hard pass since it seems to be just another hobby project where everything depends on a single dev but the product ultimately doesn't have a vision. (not that this would be bad - but the fact that there is no clear statement on it _while_ extracting payment leaves a first impression that is fishy, questionable and unprofessional)

Clearly not a product for your use case. Wordpress is great! Yes, this started as a hobby to solve my own use case ~3 weeks ago. I think that explains the lack of business growth vision you describe. Need to write down about the concerns you mention, they’re valid and should be communicated more clear on the website, I’ll create a note. Thanks.

Your feedback would have more value if it was not presented in such a harsh form. fyi.

I love how the creator just rolls with the adverse-like feedback though! Seems like a cool dude!

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