Every week I receive applications intended to help or resolve a situation for users that have never been done before. But I was sent one particular app this week that made me rethink how a note-taking app works.
Created by Rihab Mehboob, Do you notice was released this week (January 20) for iOS for $2.99 / £2.99 / AU$2.99 where you can jot down your thoughts and plans, but in a chat interface.
You may think, as I did at first, that this sounds like a combination that just can’t work. Sounds like having sugar on your Weetabix, or playing Banjo Kazooie on an iPad. But the more I used Note Yourself, the more impressed I was.
You’re taken to a layout that feels like you’re going to start a conversation with yourself, and you can jot down something that you can set to remind yourself of after a while. You can also pin some of these entries to easily come back to them, all in a very simple yet elegant layout.
I already use the app for a shopping list on the weekends and, shamelessly, the daily tasks I need to complete to fortnite. It wasn’t long before I promoted the icon to my main home screen on my iPhone, and after talking to some members of the TechRadar team alongside a family, I was surprised to find that some actually take notes by texting each other on WhatsApp, WeChat and iMessage. Is this the application they and so many others have been waiting for?
And when you consider a messaging layout with notes, could the same logic be applied to a music app? Or a showcase? It’s apps like Note Yourself that feel fresh, 14 years after the App Store first appeared, and that makes me wonder what other apps might be coming in 2022. I reached out to Mehboob to ask what the pushed to design Note Yourself in the first place.
A conversation with the developer of Note Yourself
I spoke with Mehboob after last night’s launch to ask why he thought this layout would work better for a notes app. “To keep track of various tasks, I used to message myself through iMessage, and after realizing that I could create a dedicated app, with lots of features, I started creating this app,” says Mehboob . “I personally really like the idea of themed apps, where an app takes on the style of another genre – and I think this was a great demonstration of that.”
Having tried many apps in this category over the years, I wanted to know why he thought it stood out, aside from the different layout. “It may not be as serious or feature-rich as some great note-taking apps, but it’s a fun attempt to change things up.” Mehboob continues. “I really like the UI/UX myself, and like to add cool features like the new iOS 15 communication notifications (to make the notes you receive look like they’re being sent by others) and pinned messages, which to stand out, I decided to make the note look like it was sent by you rather than being sent to you.
Using the app for reminders – thanks to the message notification feature – I can get a light nudge between 1 minute and 24 hours like someone is replying to me. I asked Mehoob in what other situations it could be used.
“In all honesty, they could be used in any situation! If you want some motivation, they could be used to act like others are giving orders or letting you know what tasks remain.
I already use Message Yourself as an alternative note-taking app for sudden to-do lists, but there are plenty of opportunities for improvement. I wanted to know what was next for features.
“I’m currently trying to add Siri Shortcuts, where you could tell Siri about any tasks or notes you might want to jot down, but let me know what you’d like to see.”