- May 2023
Tagging and linking with AI (Napkin.one) by Nicole van der Hoeven
Nicole underlines the value of a good user interface for traversing one's notes. She'd had issues with tagging things in Obsidian using their #tag functionality, but never with their [[WikiLink]] functionality. Something about the autotagging done by Napkin's artificial intelligence makes the process easier for her. Some of this may be down to how their user interface makes it easier/more intuitive as well as how it changes and presents related notes in succession.
Most interesting however is the visual presentation of notes and tags in conjunction with an outliner for taking one's notes and composing a draft using drag and drop.
Napkin as a visual layer over tooling like Obsidian, Logseq, et. al. would be a much more compelling choice for me in terms of taking my pre-existing data and doing something useful with it rather than just creating yet another digital copy of all my things (and potentially needing sync to keep them up to date).
What is Napkin doing with all of their user's data?
Yet another collection app that belies the work of taking, making, and connecting notes.
Looks pretty and makes a promise, but how does it actually deliver? How much work and curation is involved? What are the outputs at the other end?
Circling back around to this after a mention by Tim Bushell at Dan Allosso's Book Club this morning. Nicole van der Hoeven has been using it for a while now and has several videos.
Though called Napkin, which conjures the idea of (wastebook) notes scribbled on a napkin, is a card-based UI which has both manual and AI generated tags in a constellation-like UI. It allows creating "stacks" of notes which are savable and archivable in an outline-esque form (though the outline doesn't appear collapsible) as a means of composition.
It's got a lot of web clipper tooling for saving and some dovetails for bringing in material from Readwise, but doesn't have great data export (JSON, CSV) at the moment. (Not great here means that one probably needs to do some reasonably heavy lifting to do the back and forth with other tools and may require programming skills.)
At present, it looks like just another tool in the space but could be richer with better data dovetailing with other services.