- The Curse of Smart People
How many times have you met someone who is hypersmart but
can't seem to remember anything? They forget appointments,
wince painfully when trying to remember something and can't even
find their car keys.
The human brain is bad at remembering, and smart people
tend to be even worse at remembering things because they insist on using
their brains for everything!
- The Solution
Stop trying to cram all the information in the world into your head!
Start writing notes.
See how fast you can
get to 100 notes. 1000 notes. 10,000 notes.
So the next time you try to remember something
and all your brain gives you is a slice of Swiss cheese,
- Avoid Productivity Overkill
Productivity geeks and productivity businesses tend to overdo it when
they come up with a solution to a problem. Intricate databases and
naming schemes, multidimensional prioritizing, and dozens of features
that pretty much guarantee that you will never use that service.
Part of the genius of Animist Notes is that it is as simple as possible:
adding notes, and search notes.
- It's So Obvious...
Why hasn't anyone else done this? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with
private blogs doing something similar. But few businesses would provide this service
because they don't see the money. They believe that:
I disagree with all of these assumptions. I'm creating Animist Notes because:
- Desktop applications are private, Web applications are public.
- The only way to make money on the Web is through advertising.
- Only public user content matters.
- Number of users is more important than quality of service.
- It's a killer app.
- It's a service *I* really want to use.
- It's a critical piece of the larger Animist vision.
- It has the potential for emergent behavior
I'm curious how other people might use it.
- History Lesson
I'm a productivity geek; I like using and creating technologies (anything from index cards
to elaborate online applications) to increase my capacity for achievement while reducing
time and effort. I've gone through several evolutionary stages of
taking and organizing notes about everything in my life, from paper and pen to personal
databases to wikis. Private wikis were a step up, but still required too much overhead and
didn't scale gracefully.
My first project with Animist was a blogging system (not public yet, but being used
for the Animist Blog and
my personal blog.)
I had started to use private blogs for keeping notes, because blog posts
were effortless to add and search.
As I started creating new blogs for new projects,
it dawned on me that
I didn't need a bunch of separate blogs to keep track of my notes: I
just needed one big pile of notes with a fast entry
interface and a smart search box.
The idea was even more revolutionary (and simpler) than yet another
blogging system, so Animist Notes became my #1 project.
- Notes are Better than Bookmarks
I've always loved the idea of Web page bookmarks, but I noticed that I rarely use it much.
Part of this is because despite all this time the interfaces for adding, editing and
recalling bookmarks in Web browsers are still clunky. del.icio.us is even clunkier.
Also, I realized that when I want to find an old bookmark I'm actually
in a "search" frame of mind, not the "browse" frame of mind that a hierarchy of bookmarks
To really support bookmark searching, bookmarks need annotations: a note in your
own words about what the page contains and why it's useful to you. This is
inherently supported by Animist Notes, making Animist Notes also an ideal replacement for
your personal bookmarking system.