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Show HN: A Website to Turn Your Apple Notes into Blogs (quotion.co)
41 points by devrsi0n 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 37 comments
Hi HN, I’m an indie hacker who quit my job as a software engineer at Microsoft in early October to start my own business. Like many others, I really like Apple Notes. I got inspired by https://montaigne.io, a service that creates websites, blogs, or portfolios using Apple Notes. I liked the idea, but the websites looked too plain for me. So, the first product I shipped after quitting is https://quotion.co – a website that turns your Apple Notes into beautiful blogs. The best part? You get custom domain, customizable branding and web analytics for free, while Montaigne charges $12 per month. I hope Quotion will be as helpful to you as it has been for me. Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback.


I made https://montaigne.io.

Funny to see a product inspired by my service.

It is quite challenging to do this one technically - eg way more difficult than to do website builder on top of Notion - so good luck.

Thank you! Montaigne is really amazing! Quotion can't make it without montaigne!

you are welcome:)

congrats on the launch

I love Montaigne! I’ve been using it for a while now. It’s so easy!

oh, nice:) share the link if you have.

This is awesome.

thank you

Two years ago I got carried away and built a tool with a code name "notespub". It is the very same idea, albeit less polished. I documented my journey of extracting content out of Apple Notes, which naturally has been published with Notes as well [1].

I thought this was a cute idea; however, as I started using it more, I inevitably learned that there are features that are hard to mingle in Notes alone, i.e. custom themes, metadata, automatically generated home page, top/side navigation, cross-references, etc. These features could be implemented with an external system that helps you to manage a blog, yet that ruined the idea that I wanted a tool that puts local & privacy above everything else, a tool that has as little dependencies as possible.

Long story short, I started working on the second iteration that I thought wouldn't sacrifice privacy, but eventually shelved and haven't completed it. I guess it is time to open-source it.

[1] https://devlog.notespub.com/2022/08/site-generator-for-apple...

Thanks for sharing, in fact I did read your post to dig into tech details, thank you for your work. Actually, Quotion sites can be customized in Apple Notes directly, check it out: https://docs.quotion.co/features/customize-layout . Other things like colors, fonts, they all can be achieved with similar format. Looking forward to your launch, :)

Neat trick. I found that I had to wrestle with Notes more than necessary, but if I were to pick up the project again, I would approach it differently this time:

- Notes function similarly to tweets, and, by definition, cannot by customized much. They are like cute little memos or a river of news where less is more.

- I thought it would also be cool, if within Notes I could subscribe to memos from my friends. Whoa, Apple Notes as a social network! As you are already familiar with Apple Notes structure, it won't be a surprise that it is not difficult to add content to special folders automatically (I built a prototype, which sadly never published.) However, this topic raises a bunch of important questions, and I don't remember whether I found all the answers. It's been a while.

This looks pretty nice. Not sure how large the market will be (whether it will be enough to sustain your needs, etc.).

With the right integrations this could be a nice alternative to Medium/Substack. I'm a really occasional blogger though so I don't think I'd ever pay $29/month. I sense it might be easier to charge for things that can be monetised by your user base (e.g. if people want newsletters, paid subscribers, maybe subscriber-only content, etc.)

Good luck with it!

Thank you for the feedback; it means a lot to me. As you mentioned, Medium/Substack is indeed my ultimate target. But for now, my focus is on ensuring the service is stable and feature-rich. Regarding the pricing, I agree that it may have been a bit overpriced compared to the current feature set. I've just reduced the Pro plan to $19 per month and the Enterprise plan from $199 to $99. I intend to maintain this pricing for early adopters while continuing to add more features, hope it makes sense.

I still think $19/month is quite the jump from free. The limit on page views is a bit weird. I see that as easily scaring off people that will never go anywhere near 100k page views, but fear they might.

You may want to do something to alleviate that, like a burstable page view so they don't get screwed the one time they make a post that somehow goes viral.

That said, your enterprise plan should probably stay at $199 or more. At a previous company we were paying over $400/month on average for managed Wordpress through Kinsta.

Thank you InvaderFizz, tbh, I follow this pricing model from some similar products, all of them charge for pageviews. And we don't charge customers based on their usage directly, we just ask them to upgrade plans politely if they have exceeded the limitations, it's fine if it's a one time traffic spike. Again, thank you so much for your valuable feedback!

Apple does not allow access to iCloud services through any automated script, scraper, or similar means [1]. Are you sure you're complying with these terms? As a customer, it's important to consider this (think of the Beeper case).

[1] https://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/icloud/

>i. interfere with or disrupt the Service (including accessing the Service through any automated means, like scripts or web crawlers), or any servers or networks connected to the Service, or any policies, requirements or regulations of networks connected to the Service (including any unauthorized access to, use or monitoring of data or traffic thereon);

Right, thanks for sharing your concerns. Quotion didn't use scripts to scrape notes with iCloud API, although I did dig into that direction, but it's a dead end.

Isn't your pricing a little of? The free offer seems really good, but the $29 to "just" remove branding feels really high, if you don't need to other stuff in that bundle, especially compared to the $12 as montaigne.io.

Hi mrweasel, I've just reduced the Pro plan to $19 per month and the Enterprise plan from $199 to $99. Does this make sense to you? Will you consider it if you need to build a blog site?

I still think the $19 is really expensive, because I don't see a need for it. The bundling 10 domains is rather weird. It's something I'd love for an email provider, but for a blog I'd just get two subscriptions if I need two sites.

Honestly... I'd consider it, but realistically I'd never get around to it, and maybe be slightly afraid that now my blog is trapped in Apple Notes and getting it would be horrible to migrate if your site was to shut down.

Hi there, I completely agree with your perspective regarding the 10-site bundle. Personally, I only need a single site, but with the capability to handle over 10,000 visits per month and 19$ is too much expensive for my needs. Despite this, I'd like to extend my thanks to the creator of this service. It's truly fantastic and incredibly user-friendly. This is exactly the kind of solution I've been searching for a long time. It's refreshing to find something that aligns so well with my needs.

Hi Fralix, actually, it's 100K pageviews for $19, not 10K. The price is much lower than that of many similar products, such as feather.so. I understand your concern, we plan to introduce a mid-tier plan between the free and pro, making it easier for customers like you to upgrade. Feel free to try Quotion, we will announce new pricing soon.

Yeah, I got your concerns, we all hate vendor lock-in. Maybe Quotion can provide a function to export your Apple Notes as markdowns, so you can download and import them everywhere, does this address your concerns? Regarding the pricing, what's your ideal pricing for the Pro plan?

Thanks for the feedback, I'm reconsidering the pricing as well. 29 might be too high compare to our current feature set, maybe $19 fair enough?

My concern was more that you'll have more people who would like to pay to remove the branding, compared to how many people would need the Pro plan, but you have offering for those customers.

If you just want to remove the branding, I view it a $19/$29 subscription for something that's worth maybe $1 - $2.

Maybe also add an explanation as to what a site is, because I can't tell what the difference between a site and a domain is.

Thanks, removing branding with $2 looks like exactly what montaigne is providing. Fair enough, I need to reconsider the pricing model for Free plan.

No problem, again you free plan is really good, but I'd be concerned that the majority of potential customers would want to buy single items like no branding, plus 10K page view or an additional 5 months of analytics. Bundling is hard, because some will always feel like they are being overcharged, because they only need a fraction of what that bundle contains.

How are you getting content out of Apple Notes?

This is the biggest secrete of Quotion, it took me months to figure out how to read/parse Apple Notes content correctly. I may write a blog post about the overview of tech

Alternative to Pro and Enterprise, they can engage a freelancer to setup a blog site with WordPress. That's a good thing.

I really like this. I think the pricing is too high so I won't be using it, but really love the concept.

Thank you for the feedback. Which plan do you think is overpriced? We have a free plan with 5K pageview per month, maybe it's not big enough for influencers, but it's a good start.

I'm a huge fan of the landing page(?). Might I ask what you used for designing and building it?

Thank you. I'm using shadcn with customized colors https://ui.shadcn.com/

Could you include a demo or video? Hard to understand what's going on just with images.

Sure, that's in my plan. Will launch a video soon.

Pretty web site. Love it.

Thank you for the support

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