Taking Notes

Dec. 17, 2011, 9:05 p.m.

Something I never did as a student was taking notes. I just didn't think it was cool. But things change and I now take a lot of notes. Most of them I take at work during meetings, interviews, trainings etc but my notebook is also full of spontaneous ideas, scribbles, numbers, code snippets, stack traces, quotes and other things.

Obviously I don't carry around a pen and something made out of paper all day long. I type fast enough to protect the trees and read and write my notes digitally. When I started digital note-taking, I looked at evernote and its type of software and was shocked by the feature overload in some of these tools.

Here's what I need from a note-taking application:

  • a (big) plaintextbox to enter my note
  • store a timestamp for each note
  • tags
  • search

That's it. No video, no Facebook, no Foursquare, no Twitter. Google Notebook called tags 'labels' and had richtext but was otherwise exactly what I wanted. It also worked on every device that supported HTML and I used it every single day. And then this happened:

Screenshot

This sucked. I guess when a Google application gets less than five million users they say "noone is using this" and just turn it off. And sure enough it was in read-only mode a few days later. Coming back from #gdd11, I decided to give the Google App Engine a try and implemented my own notebook within a few hours:

Screenshot

Nothing fancy but it does everything Google Notebook did for me. It works and I've used it every day since. Feel free to use it with your own Google account:

Also, the codez are on github, in case you need another GAE sample :)

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