Product updates: public calendar, new homepage, multi-screen design, and more

Its been a couple months since the last update on our product roadmap, so let's talk about what's new and what's coming.


linkCalendar View mode: it's alive! 🚀

Our headlining project for Q1 was to finally bring forth the Calendar View mode that we've been promising for the past year. I'm happy to report that progress has been swift as of today, all users of Amplenote will have access to the first release of the Calendar View mode, the fourth step in the Idea Execution Funnel.




It takes a lot of words to describe all the details of how the calendar works, so I dusted off the old webcam and recorded a live take 35 min video that discusses


Note that the video previews all start at the beginning of the video, but if you click through the link then the video on Youtube will start at the linked section.


👉 A full visual guide to Amplenote Calendar View has also been posted to our Help section


The purpose of our new Calendar View is to provide a friction-free means to schedule the most important tasks that you have identified among your notes. You can connect our calendar to one or more existing Google or Outlook calendars, and we will import the events from those existing calendar(s) so you can see it on your Amplenote calendar when deciding how to schedule your day. Our calendar sync works in both directions, so if you schedule a new task from within Amplenote, it will propagate out to the external calendars associated with the Task Domain being viewed. Note that all Amplenote events sent to calendars are currently set to "Private" events, so if you share your external calendars with others, they will be unable to see the contents of the task you scheduled. Only you can see the task when you're logged in to the external calendar.


We're still making daily changes and improvements to the Calendar as we receive feedback from our users, so please don't hesitate to drop us a line (support at amplenote.com) if you find the calendar working (or not working) in a manner that could be improved.


linkNew Homepage 💅

Our previous home page was designed before we were even launched to the public, so to call it "lacking in useful information" would be an understatement. The new home page focuses on the Idea Execution Funnel and how Amplenote strives to answer the question of "How would the best productivity-focused note-taking app work?"


linkSecond Note Screen: Design Complete ✅

This one is taking longer to get started than I had initially hoped when, but we still are very intent on getting this highly voted user feature shipped more sooner than later. We intend to add the Second Note Screen to every Amplenote view, although it will probably make its way to some views sooner than others. Here's how it would look in Calendar View


Second Note Screen attaching itself as a right sidebar to existing Calendar View mode

Once we get started on this, it shouldn't take too long to implement (perhaps 2-3 weeks). The question of "when we'll get started on it" is the trickier question, since we always prioritize bug fixes, and getting the Calendar View available on mobile remains a big task that needs to receive attention soon.


linkSmaller improvements and updates ⚙️

As usual, there have been lots of tiny changes since our last official update. Here are a few of those.


linkNew sidebar-based Amplecap coming soon

By the time we post our next update blog next month, there will be a new version of Amplecap that will be implemented as a draggable browser sidebar:


Browser-sidebar version of Amplecap with new capture into "Clipboard" option

The next version of Amplecap will use a browser sidebar to facilitate capture, instead of the problematic popup from the current Amplecap Beta. The sidebar affords a number of advantages over the popup:


Doesn't have to be repositioned every time the user invokes a "Page excerpt" capture

Can be invoked from a global hotkey (which will be Cmd-Shift-A by default, but can be reassigned)

Width and positioning of Amplecap can be persisted, so it doesn't need to get rearranged every time you open the extension


The sidebar automatically hides itself when you've selected "Screenshot selection" or "Full page" capture, so that the image capture is not obstructed by Amplecap. ✨


In addition to these extension positioning improvements, the next version of Amplecap will include a new "Capture Into" option of "Clipboard," so if you want to capture a screenshot, set of page excerpts, URL, full page screenshot, or a quick note, you can capture those into a Rich Footnote that is ready-made to be pasted wherever you like within an existing note in your Amplenote account.


The next version will also require less permissions to install, which should help it get approved by Google more rapidly once we've completed its development (probably within the next week).


linkNewly created notes now adopt the selected tag (if any)

Technically, this update goes live Wednesday or Thursday of this week, but its worth knowing for regular Jots users. Previously, if you wanted a newly linked note to possess the currently selected tag, you would have to enter the note title prefaced with a ~. For example, linking to a note using the double bracket syntax [[~{tomorrow}]] would have translated to a note with tomorrow's title that had the same tag as currently selected (i.e., unless you've specifically changed your Jots shortcut, the "default selected" tag in Jots view is daily-jots). Now, you can simply enter [[{tomorrow}]]. This same rule applies in Notes View or Task View: if you've navigated to a specific tag, and then you go on to create a newly linked note (either through the double-bracket syntax, the dropdown in the Rich Footnote dialog, or the note selection menu presented when using !move in a task), the newly linked task will automatically take whatever tag you have selected.


The rationale behind this is that when you have navigated to a particular tag in your hierarchy, it's usually because you want to focus on the context of a particular project. It saves time for newly created notes to already be tagged with that same tag context, so they're easy to find next time you're focused on the project.


If you have a tag selected and you would like to create a new note that doesn't have that tag applied, you can use the ~ character for that. For example, if you're in your daily-jots tag and you link to [[~My tagless note]] the note that is created will not have any tags, and thus will show up if subsequently search for group:untagged.


link"Due Date" renamed "Start Time"

Now that Amplenote has launched its calendar, it was time for us to revisit the notion of the "Due Date" that was previously offered in the Task Details menu. The concept of a "Due Date" is ambiguous when you're looking to start a task. If you have a task to "Do homework" that is set to be due at 9am, does that mean that you're supposed to start the homework at 9am, or that you're supposed to be turning it in at 9am? We were previously treating "Due Date" as the time that a task should be scheduled on one's external calendar, but this didn't make a lot of sense, since it implies that, by the time you begin the task, it's already "overdue."


Thus, we've replaced "Due Date" with "Start Time" -- the time at which you intend to actively begin working on a task. Now, we can unambiguously say that a task is "overdue" if it has a "Start Time" and a duration set (as all calendar tasks do), and the current time is later than the Start Time + task duration. Those tasks can easily be highlighted on the calendar by clicking the "Highlight Overdue Tasks" we offer in the upper-right corner of the calendar.


linkCollapse empty backlinks

There is a new option available within the backlinks menu to "Collapse empty references"


New backlinks option

Which take a list of empty references like this, and transform it to this:


More concise summary of backlinks


linkWhat's next?

We've got a lot more exciting ideas we're working to deliver in Q2. A few of the top-of-mind improvements for us include...


Mobile app calendar

Suggested tasks to work on from calendar

Second note screen

Tag moving, renaming and hopefully, batch sharing


We're also hoping that some of our power users will step up to the plate and try their hand at creating a screencast or two that can help new Amplenote users get up-to-speed on how the masters of Amplenote use it to become productive across multiple projects. Please see the details of our call for submissions here. We're offering $250-500 per video you submit that we end up posting to the Amplenote Youtube channel. 🤑


Thanks for reading, and let us know how you're liking the calendar via Reddit or Twitter!

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

Gnopps said 7 months ago

It is nice to see the development happening but the change from "Due date" to "Start time". To me it would make a lot more sense to have the current "Hide until" and "Due date". If my task is congratulate a friend on his/her birthday Nov 15th then I would set "Hide until" to Nov 15th and "Due date" to Nov 15th. I don't want to see that task until it can be done, and then I want to know by when it has to be done.