Thoughts on Curio?

I’m trying to avoid the whole “looking for a solution in need of a problem” thing, but Curio has always intrigued me. A few years back, I bought Tinderbox, only to regret it several months later when I realized it just didn’t fit the way I work/think (although there were a few features I really liked and miss). I don’t want to go through this with Curio.

Has anyone gone through this with Curio? How do you use it?

I’m in a similar boat. I have an old version of Curio and haven’t managed to find a sustainable use case - yet I remain intrigued by the software. I feel like it had a bunch of power I haven’t tapped into.

My interest in it was piqued again when I heard George Browning interviews by Brett Terpstra on Systematic episode 220

Have a listen to that and see if anything resonates.

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It doesn’t seem to have an iOS version, unless I’m missing it. If it doesn’t that would be a show stopper for most.

Curio is one of my main go-to apps. I use it to brainstorm or manage content for a project. I have three overall ways I use Curio:

  • Track the status of projects on Kanban boards (with hyperlinks to the companion project information in OmniFocus)
  • Develop slides and examples for course lectures or seminars
  • Manage resources while developing different types of anthologies (proposals, publications, reports)

I would put Curio in to a category as a brainstorming app. It lacks the AI engine and higher-level scripting capabilities of apps such as Devonthink or Tinderbox. It makes up for this with the plethora of ways that content can be laid out on a page (Idea Space), and it allows internal and external hyperlinking.

I do not specificaly miss that Curio does not have an iOS companion app. For what I do with Curio, I’d be constrained on an iOS page in any case (well, except perhaps for the larger iPads). There are ways to move content from iOS to Curio as needed.



Curio can also update static PDFs of idea spaces. This would give one a way to refer to an idea space from a phone or ipad, but without the ability to interact with them.

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I’ve been trialling Curio over the last few days and I’m very impressed. It feels rock solid and secure.

I’m not typically a visual thinker, but I’ve found some good uses for this software already.

I would love to see how others set it up though to gain inspiration. I haven’t been able to find many examples on the web.

The Welcome to Curio file is a good resource for examples.

This recent thread from the Curio forum itself may be of interest.


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Actually, we are all visual thinkers, and all the other ‘learning styles’, isn’t that great :slight_smile:

After you look over the getting started for Curio, just jump in. It’s like a piece of paper and a pencil - it does what you want, it just needs your guidance. That’s going to be different for everyone.

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I use it just about every day. Some days that’s for composing PDFs or PNGs into a page to print to show my advisor or use in a Keynote presentation. Other days, I use it to brainstorm, link concepts, etc.
Here’s a post on a workflow that I created for keeping up with recruiting subjects for my studies, being sure they get paid, etc.
Academic workflow for subject recruitment, scheduling, etc - Curio / Reviews & Workflows - Zengobi Forums

George the developer is a great guy, and very receptive to support question and suggestions.
Curio is also available with an academic discount.


That’s a very interesting workflow, John. Thanks for sharing it.

A friend uses Milanote at work and I think she could possibly duplicate your workflow on it. But her company pays for the service, and beyond it 100-item free tier, the $100/yr (I think) cost might be too pricey for most, especially in academia. For individuals however, RealTimeBoard offers a similar experience with a much more expansive free tier with 5 ‘boards’.

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@bowline I am a Milanote user and like it. I have become frustrated with Evernote and have reverted to using it just for a documentation repository. Evernote has a great web clipper of which Milanote has a decent one as well for Chrome. My main frustrations with Evernote is be unable to retrieve info as you load it up it comes up with a large list of items to sift through and more importantly it is so hard to get info out of Evernote and to share it. Milanote allows you to share “boards” with others so is great for collaboration. I hope that Milanote will have a future feature to “Cut & Paste” items in there as of right now besides the web clipper you are required to import files/images from disk files and the iPad app is just a copy of the iPhone app not utilizing the great capability of the iPad so I am hoping for some decent improvements from Milanote