First-time user confusion

I used Evernote Pro daily for the last 10 years at my job before retiring in 2020, and wish the personal version all those pro features, so I looked and found Joplin. I start it up, add a Notebook (fairly obviously the first step), and it says "No notes in here. Create one by clicking on "New note". There isn't any "New note" button. Yes, there's an icon, but it only says "New note" when you mouse over it. Under the Note menu, there's no item called "New note" -- why? If you go to the File menu, there's a "New note" item -- why? A note is not a file!
I'm approaching this as if I was a new user, and you (Joplin developers) should too. Meanwhile, I know how to figure it out...

I don't really agree with you there I'm afraid. "File > New" is one of the best known paradigms for software I can think of. The "Notes" menu, like in other applications, is a context related menu that relates to the note you have open, having "New note" in there doesn't really make sense.
Even if I did agree that this was the wrong place, this is exactly the same as in Evernote? Both in the Electron app and in Legacy.

As for the wording in the notes pane, maybe it could be a little clearer, to me the message clearly relates to the pane it is sitting in but I do agree there isn't a text control called "New note" but I'm not sure I can think of a better solution other than either including the icon in the message (which I think would look messy) or changing it to something less helpful by removing the second half of the message.

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Some people, and especially older people, find it extremely hard to remember what a particular button stands for, even when they use them often. They are also usually afraid to use a button with no visible explanation of its function.

For accessibility reasons alone if not anything else, I personally think it would be beneficial to have an option to simply show labels next to the buttons.

I must admit that I myself have misclicked the new to-do button instead of new note quite a few times due to the two buttons location and similar look (when not paying enough attention). I'm now contemplating adding some custom CSS to either make the text labels visible, or change the icons to more distinctive ones.

Thanks, Tomasz. As I said, I know or can figure out what to do, but that's based on experience (mostly gained by curiosity) that a new user wouldn't have. Maybe a "wizard" (guided set-up process) is needed, or more obvious labeling, or popup text labels would help that first-time user get over the initial learning hump. See "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug.

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