I'd like to discuss the new Microsoft Loop web app with you.
It reminds me of something...
Yes, it's very similar to Joplin!
What's the point you're trying to make?
I don't want to criticize Joplin. I use it daily and it's an excellent app! (And most important it's open source). However, I feel like some inspiration should be taken from this new "competitor". In other words, I just felt like compiling a wishlist of things I'd like to see in Joplin.
I'm not requesting any actual work to be done:
- I'm using the latest stable version of Joplin so I have no idea which is the current state of upstream
- I never developed in React, but I know how complex it is to make an app xD
- Many things discussed below have already been ruled out as too complex to make
Said that, here we go
Things Loop has I would like to have in Joplin:
- The design
Using Loop just feels better than Joplin. I guess it's because of many small factors:
- There is more space between things
- The design is coherent across all menus and elements of the interface
- I personally like M$' fluent design
- The design/UX is more polished, as example there are animations
Example: right-click menu
I guess this comes from Joplin being more oriented towards Markdown/keyboard experts. Loop makes it easy to change complex things like tables (I guess tables are a controversial topic of mardown!)
The app is web-based!
Dividing notes in blocks
Loop divides notes in block of text you can drag around (and comment and react on).
Real time collaboration:
You can share notes easily, you can edit other's notes in real-time (and comment and react)
I personally wouldn't use it very much but transforming Joplin (especially with the Joplin Cloud) from a "solo" note-taking experience to a collaborative experience would probably make it usable in many more contexts!
Mobile apps experience
Try to edit a to-do list in Loop/ Google Keep/Tasks.
Now try doing that again in Joplin.
The UX is just worse.
All of this just coming from just testing this app for a few minutes.
The killer feature of this app is that a block of note (named a "component") can be shared in Office files and in Teams and be kept in sync. Obviously this does not apply to Joplin.
To make a fair comparison, this is the list of things that Joplin supports and Loop does not:
- Being open-source
- Being on-premise (the data model of Joplin is the best)
- e2e encrypt
- unlimited nesting of notebooks (only 5)
- markdown edit, so easy export import
Loop supports almost 100% the same components of Markdown/Joplin (ordered list, check-list, bold italic etc), but it's not markdown editable! Something tells me markdown or a variation of it is used internally but hidden from the user.
- ... anything that comes to your mind (plugins!!)
Obviously Joplin is much better than Loop for me and has many killer features, but trying Loop the user experience of doing the basic stuff (writing and adding components) just feels more enjoyable because of the polished design.
I had to write my thoughts about this new product somewhere and I felt like this is the right place.
What do you think? Have you tried the app? How does it relate to Evernote? Can you think of a way of making the Joplin experience better without it being a development nightmare?
Looking forward to see your thoughts (or maybe just getting ignored)!