Update roundup: Task search, tables v1, bulk edit notes, embedded code editor, lots more

The changing leaves outside make for a good reminder to take a breath, and reflect on the pile of progress from Amplenote's past 8 weeks. 🍃🍂


The feedback and enthusiasm we've received lately from our community (via Discord, Reddit and Youtube) has left us brimming with inspiration. Consequently, our dev velocity continues at an all-time high, as evidenced by the completion of five more top-voted user requests. Especially after adding our Supporter Voting Board last month, it has been satisfying to see customer happiness incrementally grow with each new release. But, along with the "top-requested features," we've also added quite a few unrequested features (rainbow text anyone?) that we hope you will find worth a damn?


New, improved, & noteworthy since September 🚀

Tables v1: Live for Founders 🏆 Top-requested user feature

Quick Task Lookup 🏆 Top-requested user feature

Add a New Task from Anywhere, Instantly 🏆 Top-requested user feature

Bulk Edit Notes 🏆 Top-requested user feature

Multi-Language Integrated Code Editor (IDE) 🏆 Top-requested user feature


linkCommunity updates

Every month, the number of new faces we see on our Discord server inspires confidence that many people use Amplenote to make plans and get stuff done 💪. This section is for customers who are engaged with, or open to joining, the Amplenote community.


linkAmplenote Booster Club

If you get value from Amplenote and would like to support its growth, we would love your help as a member of the Amplenote Booster Club.


To participate, sign up for Discord (if you haven't already), and add a reaction to this message. We have Santa on record that this will be the sole criteria he uses to decide who makes the "Nice" list in 2022.


linkAmplenote Made Simple: Become an Expert in Record Time

link

Learn Amplenote from two of Youtube's most renowned productivity experts: Shu Omi, and Francesco D'Alessio of the Youtube KeepProductive channell (350,000 subscribers between them 😳). "Amplenote Made Simple" is the answer to busy people who email us, requesting a shortcut to learn Amplenote ASAP, with detailed examples and use cases. Sign up @ http://tool-academy.teachable.com/p/amplenote-made-simple and use the code GETSTARTED20 to save 20% off the price of tuition.


linkNew features & improvements rundown

Hopefully you're having as much fun using all these features as we are having building them. 😊


linkTables v1: Live for Founders

The Tables help page gives a screenshot-rich tour of the different ways that you can use this new feature. Here's some of the content that table cells can currently accommodate:


Bold / italics / strikethrough / highlighting / inline code

Bullet lists

With sub-bullets

Numbered lists too

Sub-items


Images with captions and alignment



(^ If you were editing the note this blog post comes from, this would be a live code editor)


Even though tables v1 is officially available only to Founder subscribers (it's still rough around the edges and we still need our Founders help with testing), we've been invigorated to see how many users have already exhibited creative ways to make magic out of the v1 table implementation. One good example is our updated help documentation for how we incorporate user suggestions. Here is a list of the features that are already available for tables, and here are the features planned to launch later this month.


linkEnhancements to "Quick Task Add" on Mobile

We've been proud that since Amplenote's earliest days, we've proven that our mobile app Quick Task Bar allows adding new tasks in (literally) seconds (usually about 2 or 3 of them). This is super important to us because the "Capture" step of GTD is often fleeting, and making a user wait extra seconds to enter their idea can substantially reduce the chances that idea gets recorded at all. 😞


As of this month, the Quick Task Bar got a lot more powerful:


Some of the new options available within Quick Task add on mobile

Allow adding image or video to help remember specific details that sparked your idea

When choosing the note destination for the task, a search box is now available (helps drop tasks into notes that you don't use very often)

Natural language processing of dates text found while typing in the task description

Possible to link to other notes while entering a quick capture task

Most all other ! commands that work in the normal editor now work in the Quick Add input ✨

As with before, if you visit a note, it will become the default note target of the Task Quick Add box, so you don't need to actually click into the note (so you don't have to meddle with cursor position). Just enter your idea into Quick Task Bar and it'll slide into the note for your later review.


linkQuick Task Lookup

Say hello to what might soon become one of your most-used Amplenote features. 👋 Quick Task Lookup, or "Task Search," is pretty what it sounds like. Whereas in the past, we have offered Quick Open as a way to rapidly open notes, tags, or View Modes (Jots, Notes, Tasks, Calendar) -- now you can make those same kind of quick searches while looking for a task in any past note you created.


Use Task Quick Open to find every past mention of some words across every note that matches your Note Reference filter (icon in upper right, unused in this screenshot)


There are many possible use cases where Task Quick Lookup will improve your productivity. The most obvious is to use it to check whether you already created a task, to avoid creating duplicates. Note that Task Quick Lookup not only shows currently open tasks -- it also shows hidden tasks and completed tasks. If you want to revive those past tasks, or get started on a task that is currently hidden, no problem. Click on the checkbox to the left of the task to choose options for it. Or, if you simply click the task, we'll take you to the task's original note, with your cursor positioned in the task and ready for action. ✅


linkAdd a New Task from Anywhere, Instantly

In the screenshot above, you might notice there is a first option in the list to create a new task. One of the most common ad hoc requests we've heard on our Discord (and people who email Bill) is that people want a fast way to add a new task at the moment it strikes them. On mobile, this is already handled by the aforementioned Quick Bar, which is constantly available upon opening the app. But on desktop, we didn't previously have a single, fast place you could visit to capture a new idea (unless you downloaded Amplecap, which has offered this feature for awhile).


Now, the first option in the Task Quick Lookup is to add a new task if there is no existing task for the idea you've had. You can control where the task gets added by clicking the plus sign to its left:


Depending on what View Mode you're in, you'll get different options on where to add the new task. If you're in Tasks or Calendar mode, the default note destination is whichever note you had opened most recently before you opened your Task list or Calendar


linkBulk Edit Notes

Our #5 highest voted task on the public voting board is now live! 🚀 People have repeatedly told us they want a fast way to operate on lots of notes at the same time. Our new Bulk Edit help page elaborates on the many options now available to act on notes en masse:


Adding a project tag to a set of notes is one way to use Bulk Note Editing. Other initial options include "delete" "archive," or "download" a specific set of notes. Especially powerful when combined with a search query that limits the set of bulk operated notes to some query


Just hover on the icon for a note, and you'll observe it will now become a selectable checkbox. After you have selected one note, other notes you click will be added to your selection (so you don't have to precisely position your mouse to make each note selection).


You can also click a note, hold shift, and click another note far away in the list, which will select all of the notes between those two endpoints. 🔮


linkMulti-Language Integrated Code Editor (IDE)

With more than 50 votes on the public leaderboard, and position #7 on the Supporter Voting board, it was becoming clear that the Amplenote Founders aren't the only 🤓 that write code in Amplenote. So, what the hell -- we put a multi-language parsing, auto-token completing, fully functional code editor in every note:




As of initial launch, the code editor can recognize and apply syntax highlighting to the following languages:

Javascript (the default formatting applied when we can't detect a more specific language)

C/C++ and C#

CSS

HTML (including HTML that embeds Javascript and CSS)

Python

Ruby

Rust

XML

To explicitly set the language of your code, mention one of the languages in that list in the first line of your code block (e.g., if you're writing HTML the first line of your code block might be <-- html -->. The editor block will perform a non-case-sensitive search and if it discovers the name of a programming language in the list above, it will start using that language for the syntax highlighting for your block. After you have prescribed which language to use, that language will be "remembered" unless/until you specify some other language on the first line of the code block.


Code block highlighting works in Rich Footnotes and in locked notes. It does not yet apply to code blocks in published notes, unless the code block resides inside a Rich Footnote.


linkRainbow Text

Since we were already taking time to develop code block formatting that would specially color the text contained within, we figured it would also be fun to add a few "easter egg" languages that you can specify for your code block. They're called rainbow, rainbow2, rainbow3, rainbow4 and rainbow5. If you mention one of those languages on the first line of your code-block you'll have a playful way to create colorful blocks of text that let you achieve your desired aesthetic.

// rainbow3 Unlike the standard integrated code editor formatting, the rainbow-based languages will show up even in published notes, so they're a great option if you're writing a blog or help page where you want to write something that gets noticed

Along with the rainbow-based language specification, you can also set plain as your code block language if you want to get the boring code block behavior of dark text on a light gray background. 🥱


After you have specified the language, you can delete it from the first line.


linkOne-Touch Access to Jots/Notes/Tasks/Calendar from Mobile



As of our next mobile update (circa November 11), when you open the app, you'll now find a set of shortcut buttons that jump straight to whatever your current tier of the Idea Execution Funnel (jots/note/tasks/calendar). Previously, this might've required 2-3 taps. We hope these big new icons can shave a couple seconds off the time between "open mobile app" and "resume progress."


linkImproved copy/paste

A common sentiment we hear from new customers that haven't convinced all of their friends/colleagues to adopt Amplenote (yet..... 😉) is that there have been some annoying inconsistencies in how text gets copied and pasted between Gmail and Amplenote. Particularly aggravating to this author was how selecting multiple paragraphs from Amplenote and pasting them into Gmail resulted in gaps between the paragraphs that couldn't be removed, and were inconsistent with Gmail's non-pasted text. Other problems included that pasting bullets with multiple indent levels from Google Docs was generally ignored, and any large text from Gmail or Google/Word Docs would be ignored, which standard-sized text pasted into Amplenote where headers should have been.


As of early October, all of these situations have been either fixed or significantly improved. As noted above, you can also paste tables from almost any app into Amplenote now, which opens a slew of possibilities for those who use Amplenote to share reports with colleagues.


linkImproved external calendar events


You can create/join meeting links in external events straight from Amplenote.


linkOther quality-of-life improvements

It's now possible to access the popup text formatting option when selecting multiple list items

Supporter Voting Board. As mentioned in the previous blog post, this is the latest & greatest way to let the Amplenote team know what's important to you. We pay close attention to this board to ensure that we are doing our best to accommodate the Founders and Boosters who help to drive Amplenote ever-closer to break-even profitability

Amplenote Longevity Pledge. Since users still occasionally email us with reasonable questions about how they can trust we're in this for the long haul, we dedicated a help page to describe four pledges that we make to our users to improve peace-of-mind. We want to be clear that we'll take every possible step to keep Amplenote available for decades to come

New & interesting user profile questions, plus the opportunity to earn Supporter Feature votes by completing your user profile

New "Videographer" badge awarded to those who create videos that help explain Amplenote to the world


linkWhat's next?

Continued improvements to tables. Calendar events whose coloring reflects the category of event (syncing in event colors from your existing Gmail or Outlook calendar when available), rather than everything being colored gray. Task Quick Open on mobile. Whatever else we can squeeze in among the top 10 most-voted features of the public and supporter voting board.


Thank you for your continued support building Amplenote to its potential! 🙏

Plot twist

Thanks for stopping by the Amplenote blog. Did you know that the content of this "blog post" is just a plain old note, lifted from the author's Amplenote notebook? Rich footnotes, industry-leading to-do lists, and a security-first mindset make us a solid option for modern writers. Try it out yourself.

Comments

Minimlr said 28 days ago

Thank you for the discount code. I was going to sign up anyway but the 20% off is an added bonus! Thank you for being awesome 👋😃

Sami Paju said 27 days ago

It’s great to see Amplenote becoming significantly better every update. I’ve been following its progress for about 2 years, and have finally decided to take the plunge to start seriously testing how it would fit my workflow.

There are a few things that make me scratch my head still and I wish would get improved/fixed/added (e.g. for some reason marking a weekly recurring task complete in the note that contains it immediately created a new task for the same date, but when it was marked completed in Tasks view, it correctly created a new instance for the next week. I would also wish for templates to work a bit better, so for example when creating a new note in calendar view, I could apply a “meeting note template” to it at the same time. It’s a minor hiccup having to go back-and-forth copy-pasting template contents manually.), but to counterbalance those there are a few things in Amplenote that I haven’t found elsewhere and really make it shine for me. For example, no other Notes+Tasks+Calendar app that I know of deals with backlinks so well (i.e. how they are displayed, quick look, how easy and fast they are to create etc.).

With apps like Notion, Mem, Evernote etc. around, I think Amplenote also shines in how fast it is to use. Maybe because of things being stored locally and using tiny .md files as notes? I like and I use Notion but for different purposes than Amplenote. It is a slower, more methodical tool. Whereas Amplenote I am more and more using as an extension of my brain.

Keep up the awesome work!

Sami Paju said 27 days ago

On another note, I just noticed, trying to use the keyboard shortcut to switch from Note Search to Tasks Search in CMD+O menu, that it doesn’t work on my keyboard (Nordic layout). That / button either doesn’t exist in this keyboard layout and trying to use CMD+ simply zooms in the browser (using Chrome App on Mac) window. Same issue with trying to “quick add task” since CMD+ triggers zoom, which is a real shame.

And since it’s not to my knowledge possible to customize those keyboard shortcuts, this feature is effectively broken. I tried other possible key combinations but none worked.

Scott Kodai said 26 days ago

Sami, you don't happen to use TextExpander, do you? I just figured out that Ctrl+/ is used by that program by default. I was able to turn that off in the app, so now it works fine in AmpleNote.

Also, based on your comment, I wanted to clarify that Ctrl+/ means to hit the Control button and the / button at the same time (the + button isn't actually involved!).

Sami Paju said 25 days ago

My apologies for being a bit unclear about it. / button does not exist in the Nordic keyboard layout. It is unmapped. And nope, not using TextExpander.

In Nordic keyboard / is assigned to Shift+7. But CMD+Shift+7 opens up the Apple main menu on top left corner of the screen.

Lucian said 24 days ago

Thanks for the very kind words and also for your input @Sami!

The problem of complicated hotkeys not working on non-US keyboards is a known one, and the team will hopefully address it soon!

Bill Harding said 24 days ago

@Sami most all of the macOS keyboard shortcuts can be disabled. Try a Spotlight Search for "Keyboard" and check the "Shortcuts" tab. Chances are you can disable the current Cmd-Shift-7 behavior so that the OS doesn't steal it from Amplenote

Sami Paju said 23 days ago

Thank you for the suggestions! I was able to find and disable CMD+Shift+7 from system settings, but that had no impact on Amplenote (except for that key combination doing nothing now). Probably the / key is not the same as typing ‘/‘ using other means.

Rick Conklin said 12 days ago

Hey guys, I'm coming from EN. At my age the single font/point size appears pretty small on my Amplenote app on my MacBook Air (M1). Any change of a few more fonts and especially some "point size" choices?

Lucian said 11 days ago

@Rick - Amplenote runs in a browser (unless you've installed the mobile app version from the App Store), which means you can simply zoom in with the usual shortcuts (Cmd +, usually) to make test larger. Let me know if that helps.