I literally went through 3 developers and too much money until I was so luck to find @jimmyhoughjr.
Jimmys primary expertise is iOS but I convinced him to help me out on this project for the money I could afford.
Jimmy could use some freelance work as he has been out of work for while now (and live in the mid-west).
So if you need an extra hand on som iOS work don't hesitate to connect with him. He is a really nice guy and he is one of the main reasons Ghostnote even is anything today.
I remember discussing Ghostnote with you when you were designing mockups back in October last year. Thrilled to see it released.
Original mockup from october: http://000fff.org/uploads/24a818aa6352f1f8d4ad33bf3e90145bb1...
Chat on #weekendhacker about the mockup: https://botbot.me/freenode/weekendhacker/2014-10-17/?msg=236...
New design under way already of course :)
I still hang out on IRC and through the #macdev channel via one of the moderators i was put in contact with Jimmy.
Just goes to show, few things beat personal recommendations.
But please if you have any work please help out Jimmy he is a really good developer just caught in a shitty situation.
My impression when shopping around for a developer was that to get something like ghostnote built you'd have to spend around $50k+. This ultimately led me to just trying to build the app myself, but I'm finding that while I can achieve basic functionality with iOS, anything complex is far more time consuming (custom UIs, animations, integration 20 + apis).
It sounds simple but it's much harder than one would expect. I hired several developers most couldn't get it done and I had even talked to several developers about doing it as a split deal.
Its one thing to build an app that does what the framework is build for, but we are doing stuff that are kind breaking some fairly new grounds. On top of that having to deal with MASS and the Sandbox was a frustrating experience.
I do know how to program just not well enough to even remotely begin to solve some of the things you have to solve to make this work.
My best advice is make sure you have a pretty well polished idea, final (kind a) design and an interesting problem.
I managed to build this because we basically focused on the major challenge for Jimmy and not a lot of nice-to have stuff but ultimately not important to begin with.
Time learning programming is never wasted but it's just a different level we are talking about for this app.
Yeah I'm in the same boat. The app I'm building has some really complex interactions that involve building a "mini" language within the app. For example:
<send me an email>
<if I get a tweet from @whatever>
<compile all mentions into one email>
^ It's something like IFTT meets the simplicity of a markup language. So the user would actually be able to define these workflows much like writing simple jquery.
There's more to it than that but as you can see it extends far beyond basic iOS application building.
I haven't specifically shopped for a developer cause forget $50k, I can't even spend $5k. So I guess sometimes, its not really about offsetting your potential earnings, than it is about whether you could afford one at all.
Still it will be interesting if ThomPete ever publishes his earning report of sorts :)
PS: Just wondering any specific course/book you are referring for iOS?
It's really comprehensive but absolutely massive. If you have a demanding full time job it could easily take you a year to get through the full course.
> I haven't specifically shopped for a developer cause forget $50k, I can't even spend $5k.
The problem isn't really the initial dollar amount, it's spending what you think you can make back on the application in a reasonable amount of time (6 months). If you can't make $50k on an app then why spend the money to have it made?
On the other hand if you can spend 3-4 hours per week learning how to build the app then what you make back is really whatever you value your time at minus the upside of learning a new skill.
The problem is that it takes years of experience using these tools and programming in order to make anything complex. I'm learning that the hard way.
I guess that is where one needs to a fair bit of market analysis. One could argue that ghostnote might or might have a potential for $50k but who knows? Add the fact that some gurus say paid apps are dead while you can find numerous paid ones working fine, it is just confusing.
Then there is decision on pricing the app. I was reading up on some devs who put out their income figures. One might be inclined to think Dash for iOS at $10 might be a hard sell but it has done really good. On comparing to another app priced at $3.99 with same number of downloads, the returns have been much higher.
So the issue doesn't stop with whether I can make it back. But also, how do I make it back. I am too learning it the hard way :)
> I'm working through this course - http://bitfountain.io/courses/complete-ios8
My first impression after scrolling through the page is - It is too detailed. Maybe for complete beginners in programming.
I have started with free Udemy course - https://www.udacity.com/course/ud585
Following it up with the free Stanford classes. Currently need to start with the 3rd lecture.
Also I always offer 50/50 split after I have recouped my investment. This is to pay for upgrading the app (an there will be many updates after launch believe me).
If the app is interesting then they might be a little more willing to invest their time too.
You wanna give the early adopters a better deal than the later ones.
I knew this app was unique (I frankly have never seen anything close to it) and i knew it was adding value because I use it all the time myself and it has some potential so I could go way higher and still make the same if not more.
But I decided to start at this price because i didn't know what kind of bugs would surface once many people started using it. That way people don't feel like they are overpaying even when they find bugs and I am kind of giving them a discount to provide me with valuable information.
I think that is fair to everyone.
We want this to be cross platform.
May I ask, ballpark figure, how much was this project, or how much he charges per hour? I may have some projects in the future for him.
I could write a whole book about this project and what i had to go through to get it out but finally I think its there.
Ghostnote allow you to add notes to almost anything on your mac. Files, folders, applications, websites and even documents open inside applications (ex a photoshop document).
I made it because I am not good at structuring and often just need notes for specific context but soon realized that this approach actually has quite a lot of potential.
Next update will have support for applescript so you can customize context.
Let me know if you have any kind of feedback. Everything is appreciated.
Are you using the extended attributes to store notes in each file? If so, that'd make it easier to pass the notes along to other people. I could easily see this being useful across art departments.
You probably have this on your to-do list, but you could use the new capability to badge icons in the Finder so I know there's a ghostnote attached.
It's one of those great little features that really lose out to the least-common-denominator effect... I'd kinda hoped that Apple just found a way to push/force apps to use fileformats that included metadata (but that would of course create other problems, like no more plain text files)...
Does anyone know of an up-to-date article that details the current state of resource forks and cross-platform issues (or lack thereof)?
So if you are using ex. Dropbox ghostnote will detect that and and the notes to the actual asset itself. That way others can see those notes and dropbox handles the syncing issues.
You could even send attach files to emails and send them with notes embedded if you wanted. We are looking at some of these things and I am thinking with a little bit of luck this might be a good way to promote it.
And how does that work if the email/filesync stops by a Linux/Windows machine or two on the way? Is there a "bundled" file-format that would allow something like a PSD to survive an email round-trip between eg. a designer running OS X, and a developer running Linux (err... in the case of a PSD, maybe windows -- even if Gimp's handling of PSDs are much better than it used to be :-)?
Thankfully it's been a while since I had to deal with "mac" files so I'm not updated on the current state of affairs.
 Actually problems I've had had little to do with Apple per-se, more Adobe's lol-lets-throw-this-undocmented-binary-serialized-stuff-in-a-box-and-call-it-a-day hobby fileformat PSD -- that they apparently don't even understand how works themselves -- leading to some hair-pulling when going mac-windows-linux-mac etc.
We will be using the ability to store notes in files and folders. This will be especially helpful if you use ex. dropbox. that way you can share notes and dropbox takes care of the syncing.
Currently if a file is moved around, does it keep the note? Can you add a note to any URL, or only ones you've bookmarked?
Very slick looking and great idea, i'll be buying
It was not without issues because of the sandbox so we were also rejected once (for unknown reasons still) but found another way to do it.
We literally is building a whitelist with app ids and how to speak with each of the different apps. However we have only explored a tiny fraction of whats possible.
In the next update users will be able to script things themselves. But we are looking at Windows.
Also, imagine the possibilities if you could attach categories. Say you have someone new joining a team, you could essentially give them access to a category and they could see all the notes. It would be like Slack channels except you have the context built in :D
In theory with the next update where you can customize your scripts you could write it yourself. We of course hope people will and will share stuff we don't get around doing.
But lots of little things are on our list.
With regards to the categories. Great idea!
We are working on a solution where you can share notes via ex. dropbox. So i add some notes to a folder or a file and you can read those notes. Dropbox deals with the syncing.
Before you start adding big features such as Applescript, I recommend that you address basic problems and missing features (that you might have unearthed with an extended beta program). Please go check out the reviews at the App Store.
We have three priorities
Dropbox Team Access
In that order. So don't worry we aren't going to drop or turn this into bloatware :)
Applescript is something you can use to do but wont have any affect on the usability.
Dropbox support also wont have any affect on the interface.
Our primary priority will always be bugs and user experience first, features second.
This is the kind of new feature that I want out of an OS update. It's incredibly useful, but requires deep system integration to work perfectly. Unfortunately, without access to private APIs, I imagine you're going to hit a wall sooner than later. For example, right now, moving a file breaks its relationship with a note, and an open file's notes aren't associated with the file's finder icon. I imagine those are both going to be tricky problems to solve.
With that said, congrats on an incredible idea, and a great early implementation. I hope it grows into something big.
How does OS X handle moving files while they're open/in use? One of the first things I stumbled upon when I started using the OS is that it was possible, while Windows would throw an error.
This allows to move a file around, even trash, while applications can keep referring to it. This can be weird (if you delete a file in use, it won't be effectively deleted from disk until every application accessing it stop doing so)
That explains why I can easily remove a running process on Linux, but it doesn't work on Windows.
That's interesting. Is there a workaround or quick way to transfer notes? I often rearrange files.
Interestingly and anecdotally when moved around in dropbox it seems to keep it's relationship.
However, I’m not sure if you can use these without the user choosing the file with an open panel, or with drag and drop. That’s what I had to rely on with my app Blik: http://www.burntcaramel.com/blik/
Ghostnote looks great, by the way!
In fact... using this method you wouldn't have to store the URLs of files/folders at all.
I went to the website and didn't see anything special. It was not until that I watched the video, the idea clicked for me and I am able to see the value of this app. I immediately wished that it was available on Windows.
I would suggest creating a GIF demo for the website. Something similar to how Shortcat App does. https://shortcatapp.com/
And yes, you should increase the price. 9.99$ should be the minimum for the tool considering the value it provides.
Some things that I think would make this an awesome app:
1) IFTTT integration would be sweet. "If i get an e-mail about something, remind me to do it by putting it in my contextual note for an application"
2) iCloud integration would be sweeter. Unified notes for applications that exist in "desktop form" and "mobile form".
3) A "view all notes" option to be able to browse sans-context
4) The ability to clip media into a note easily
Ok... I know, I know - swearing bad. But I'm a little sick of having to infer the most important piece of information about software by looking at the fucking screenshots.
It says available on mac store at the very top. The buy link redirects to the mac store. If those aren't clue enough, I doubt anything but 72point font size might get through to you.
Who is this rant aimed at anyway? The developer? S/he's perfectly within rights to make it for whatever platform they want.
Mac users in general? I think you could take some of your own advice from 23 days ago, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story."
We are looking into making a version for windows :) Sign up to our newsletter and we will keep you in the loop on the progress there.
I think it's a great tool but I worry I would just forget where I had attached my note: to the root folder for a project, to one of the many project files etc
And then I watched the video and have been coming up with use cases non-stop. Starting with adding vim key-bindings I'm trying to learn to iTerm. Bye-bye yellow-stickies all over my monitor!
Sometimes, you'd want it at the file-level, sometimes at the vim-level, and sometimes at the terminal-level, I suppose.
What I have found is that once you get your head around it's contextual you realize that this is how everything should work.
If you end up buying it send me a note and I will add you to the betal list so you can get acces to the new version with applescript support.
A couple of questions. Where is the data stored? Is it possible to retrieve or migrate data to a new Mac or new install?
I don't use it for everything (no grocery lists) - but for lots of the computer based tasks I do it is perfect.
* View all notes and navigate to file or folder on click (or something). It should be easy to use a note to find the file.
* Backup to Dropbox (for example) and offline backup and restore.
* Attach multiple notes to a single file or folder.
* Categories or tag-based search.
* In finder, if i press up and down, ghostnote doesn't recognize the focus change. Although if I go to another app, then tab back, ghostnote is focused on the right folder.
* In xcode it is quite hard to get ghostnote to focus on the right thing. a double click sometimes works. But clicking file a then file b causes ghostnote to focus on file a.
Thanks for an app that is sure to change my workflow!
Will have a look at xcode.
I've been using Trello or separate files for a lot of this type of stuff, but it's sometimes less than obvious where I took the note.
For instance, there's some custom text I paste as my signature in a certain forum. For that forum, I'd like to be able to set the note to apply to the whole TLD.
Whereas for other pages, like say articles on a page, it would make sense to have notes apply to individual urls.
Clarification: are notes attached to individual files, or can you also attach notes to file types or even specific file names? For example, any time I click on a .gitignore I see my note for useful git commands.
Regarding .gitignore not for now but we are building this concept of content zones into the app that would allow you to do that.
With regards to landing page yeah i realize that I should probably just have a video in the beginning. A lot of people think it's just another notes app.
Of more concern is that after installing I noticed moving finder windows around as sluggish and sometimes just the system cursor in general. If I quit the app, that goes away.
Those issue are making it unusable for me.
That does sound weird. Do you mind sending me a mail (info at ghostnoteapp dot com) so we can figure out whats going on.
We are working on the cog wheel issue we just haven't been able to reproduce the bug on our screens so any look at the beast would help.
It seems to be an issue with SIMBL which is installed with a lot of addware and older safari plugins. We are looking into the issues and getting back to each person with a solution.
For what it's worth its not related to our code.
If you want to we can see whats going on. Just write us a mail on info at ghostnoteapp.com and we will look into it.
I tend to make short todo lists when I code. Those lists are spread in a specific folder on my system. This is much better. I code in intellijidea and pycharm, which are jvm apps. Hope they are supported!
You can either sign up to our newsletter to be notified when its there or you can buy the app and send us a mail. Then we will put you on the betal list and you will be able to help us make sure it caters to your needs.
#Reason I have this saved
I'd be interested in trying this out though to see how it compares. The one thing I really like about my setup is everything is synced to my mobile phone but I rarely need my "temp" note on mobile so not having mobile access to notes left with this app might not be that bad.
The main idea though is to treat these notes a little more like real post-it-notes. I.e. forgettable things that truly live in the context and you only have to worry about in that context.
I watched through the video and looked on the feature page, but couldn't figure out two key things:
- Is there a way to do a text search on all your notes?
- Are your notes saved in any sort of exportable format?
This is a critical feature, and one many note and todo apps forget. Silos of information is A Bad Thing [TM]
Being able to gather notes distributed among objects into a single text file makes this app easily twice as useful (on top of an already great idea).
To answer your quesitons.
- not for now
- not really they are archived objects
Now this will change in future updates so if you are on the fence just sign up for the newsletter to be notified.
Alternatively buy the app and send us a mail then we can add you to the beta-tester list so you get access to some of these things as soon as they are deployed for the betal build.
This is a deal-breaker for me. I don't want to risk putting years of effort into this and then have the app break when Apple decides to deprecate APIs in their next OS release.
Having said that, you should be charging much more.
Having said that however we will be making it possible to export/backup the notes into something like evernote or other much more accessible format.
This is coming in the next update.
And you have a typo at http://www.ghostnoteapp.com/appsuggestions/ ("mailingist").
Thanks for the catch!
Ghostnote takes that idea and puts it on steroids. I really like the concept and am going to check out the app. Kudos on shipping!
The demo video shows notes contextual based on the current directory in a terminal. It isn't clear to me how to configure that to work - it doesn't seem to by default. Do I need to configure my terminal to change the window title based on current folder or something like that?
That should work. If not PM me and we will figure out whats going on.
Google Books doesn't seem to have any url differentiator between different pages so it might be hard unless we find some other way to detect different page numbers.
You can see it starting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYQVyokbep0&t=117
Not so effective..
So sometimes you have to click twice on the tab in the browser its very rare and its being fixed in next update.
I did the video really fast and just didn't catch it but thanks for the heads up. I assure you it works as advertised :)
1. Do you support any keyboard combinations to add or view notes while a folder or document has focus?
2. Are the notes stored on disk or in a cloud account somewhere?
1. Not yet but coming up
2. Stored on disk for now but will change later.
Just as a follow-up - would I get my contextual notes back if I'm backing up my disk to Time Capsule and have to restore from it?
What is Ghost Mode? How do I get out of it?
The idea is that the ghostnote app visually stays out of the way by going semi-transparent when your mouse isn't over it.
So I am guess it's just so low on transparency that you can't see it :)
Got to Preferences and turn it off then you should be able to see the window.
But yeah not the most useful feature for now.
The note finally appeared in front of something with enough contrast that I could nab it and turn it off. Thanks!
"Ghost mode": Make me invisible :-)
1) No hotkey?
2) No support? The only thing you have is a form for me to suggest an App that is actually just a newsletter sign up. Not promising, especially for paid software.
1) Hotkeys will be coming
2) Just write me on twitter or on facebook. However I realize I don't have a mail address to write I will update that. Thanks for the catch.
info at ghostnoteapp dot com
This is great work and even if I only use it a handful of times (which I doubt), it will be worth it.
Congrats on the launch!
I was confused at the end of the video, though. Why did the iTunes note come up when you switched back to the Ghostnote website?
Once you have let me know and I will put you on the beta list so you can get to play around with some of the cool new stuff we are implementing.
The application just doesn't seem to register (the icon remains that of the last app recognized). No amount of focusing Ghostnote, then Chrome, then Ghostnote, changing tabs, or restarting Chrome seem to do any good either.
send us a mail at info@ our domain name and we see whats going on. It should work.
Is it possible for it to save the content as Markdown in a path of my choosing?
I like having my note data in plain text.
Install Document Support and it will open it up again.
In the new version that part will be a little clearer.
It's the #1 request but the catch is from people before they have tried it.
We are still on the fence but will probable end up adding it (and normal context-less note taking) but it's going to change the app quite dramatically so for now no.
However next update we add the ability to customize via applescript and there you could in theory just make it add the notes to ex. evernote everytime you add somehting.
Can you elaborate a little? Not sure I understand what you are saying.
Can I convince you to just bullet point explain what you mean with context switching?
Please consider adding a trial version.
I wish Apple allowed you to do that but for now they don't.
I have talked to paddle.net and binpress.com about making it available through their services. You can sign up to the newsletter if you want to be notified about things like that.
I always bought Mac software from Paddle, as it supports trial versions.
Worth mention, very surprising that Apple doesn't allow Trial versions.
Just append a "#context"
Or does it use undocumented xattr funny stuff that apps like Photoshop pay no mind to and promptly destroy?