I’ve been pretty good about not picking up new apps recently, but I recently discovered Ixnote (or “ixnote” perhaps— capitalisation rules for lowercase brands always give me pause…).
It’s billed as a PKM / note-taking / second brain app, and I know that billing will turn some people away. Also, I suspect many of the people who are still in the market for such things might find ixnote to be more minimal than they’d hope for. I can’t currently see myself using it for meeting notes, though I can see how that might work. Regardless: having played with it for a bit, I think it’s worth further investigation.
Personally, I think it’ll fit a particular gap in my own system as a useful complement. While I’m happy with my current set-up, I’ve been on the lookout for a way to visualise relationships between key concepts beyond traditional hierarchical mind-mapping (where each node can only have one parent) or the force-directed network graphs that have become so popular of late.
The app is based on a principle of atomic notes rather than long-form writing, and as far as the UI goes, it feels like the text field for entering/editing notes is deemphasised in favour of the display of relationships between notes. No markdown or other text formatting, no wikilinks, no images. Just text. Coming from the relative maximalism of other note-taking applications with custom keyboards, plugins and shortcuts for inserting formatted elements, it took me a second to appreciate that ixnote presents a very elegant and refined interface for building a repository of short, linked notes— to the extent that even the metadata you might usually capture within a note is probably best rendered as separate items (see the image below). Again, I think this makes ixnote really useful for relational concept mapping.
Tapping anywhere on the current note at the top lefthand corner of the interface opens that note for editing in a small text window.
Import from csv, export to csv, freemind (mind map) and markdown. It works with files (*.ixnote) synced via iCloud Drive. I’d love to see automatic hyperlink recognition and maybe some support for URL schemes to integrate it a little more tidily with other apps I currently use. All in all, I’m looking forward to seeing whether I can derive some meaningful use from it. It’s currently available to download for free, so I hope the developer garners enough attention to support future investment…