The Future of Bi-Directional Note-Taking Apps is Auto-Tagging
They do their job very well and present an array of features that matter to so many of their users and their workflows.
However, for the average Joe, the complexity of learning platform like Obsidian/Roam can be quite daunting and un-attractive for someone who dabbles in the productivity space.
So, when will we see a mass market bi-directional note-taker?
Evernote, one of the largest — more widely known note-taking applications have expressed interest in this realm of bi-directional linking — a few times in the last few months.
⌕ Why would be important for Evernote to add this?
Well, Evernote do still remain the mainstream go-to note-taker, despite their lack of innovation, and they do control a large part of the market in note-taking consumption.
If Evernote were to add bi-directional linking, then the chances of global adoption — as the normal — would be much more likely. Seeing as they have a very big influence on the traditional note-taking space.
🤔 Will we see a new entrant take lead?
But as a sole bi-directional note-taker… there’s yet to be a new entry that has overly impressed me, apart from Hypernotes from Zenkit — a very early days impression — gives me the hint that they could well become the Obsidian/Roam for the masses.
Thanks to the nature of the complexity of Obsidian and Roam Research, it can feel hard to grasp linking, however, Zenkit’s Hypernotes doesn’t have as many of these teething pains.
Their pages are understandable, the graph view is easy to navigate — with a simple tool for adding more pages and even the task management oozes ease.
The task management in Hypernotes isn’t as advanced as Obsidian — but offers a relaxed GUI that presents itself more to the newbie/intermediate to bi-directional linking. With Obsidian, you are very reliant on learning the platform in depth to take advance of the plugin skills it offers.
📊 Haven’t Notion Tried?
Notion have added a form of linking already, but to much disappointment from users as the level of complexity it would offer.
Primarily, I believe Notion is playing a different game than the bi-directional note-taking tools, as more of a collective environment for work and personal organization — whereas for intermediate and advanced note-takers wouldn’t consider it as much against other tools competing for the space.
📝 The real future for bi-directional linking apps is auto-tagging.
The biggest barrier to entry for bi-directional linking applications and one of the main reasons they haven’t gone wildly mainstream — like Notion and Evernote (in the past) — is due to this education aspect, that many aren’t willing to learn/spend their time on.
However, the mainstream adoption of linking would work perfectly, with a machine learning system that presents itself with auto-tagging. A way to automatically learn from your notes and build connections for you, saving you time on the relationship building.
Whether it’s Evernote, Notion or Hypernotes — the act of automatically building connections (through a learned engine) will become much more powerful for the every day user, which can switch this on for their existing notes or even begin developing a brain like environment — which will be the success of the platform.
So, for me, auto-tagging will popularize bi-directional links for the masses.