Unleashing the Mind: Amplenote
Exploring the Tools for Thought Universe
I'm not exactly sure when I first encountered Amplenote. Looking at my notes, I find evidence that I was using it as early as January 2021. Amplenote was launched in 2020, so this might be the reason for that cool early adaptor badge on my profile page:
Disclaimer: The Links to Amplenote in this article are referral links, giving me a free month when you use them to subscribe. This in no way affects my independence and my sincere opinion.
Amplenote is an Electron-based note-taking application available for the web, Android, and iOS. Very usable Desktop Applications for Windows, Linux, and macOS are currently in Beta and available for paying subscribers.
There are five main areas: Jots (or Daily Notes), Notes, Tasks, Calendar, and Graph.
The notes area uses a classic multi-column layout. You can have up to four columns open:
Left Sidebar with Links to the main areas of Amplenote, Shortcuts, and Tags (collapsable)
Left Sidebar with a context-sensitive (auto-filtered for the selected tag) list of notes (collapsable in combination with the other left sidebar)
Central area for the content (always open)
Right Sidebar (called Peek Viewer) for opening more than one note at once (collapsable)
The user interface may take a moment to get used to it, but it offers a clean, powerful, and logical structure that adjusts to your needs. Depending on your subscription, you can choose between up to ten themes (which mainly vary in their color composition). Amplenote also supports dark mode.
Amplenote has a rich-text editor supporting markdown, tables, and rich footnotes (a clever concept hiding additional content behind a popup, further described below) but no LaTeX formatted mathematical formulas (but a plugin exists for this).
It is more of a classical notetaking app (in comparison to block-based tools), with the smallest direct addressable unit being the heading of a note (or the note at all). It also works offline with a slight restriction: archived notes are excluded (further details below).
You can organize your notes with multi-level tags, which allows a powerful system even for huge note collections. My approach to this is described in detail below.
The mobile clients
Amplenote works excellently on mobile devices (at least iOS, which I've thoroughly tested).
Mature application with a rapid start, support for a few swipe gestures (archive and delete a note), functional almost equivalent to the web application (except Peek Viewer and Graph)
Quick Todo function on iPhone (an input dialog is always shown when opening Amplenote or switching to a note)
"Share with"-support (directly add bookmarks from various apps via the iOS integrated share menu)
Support for sketches with the Apple Pencil, which is working fine. I'm missing the feature of Apple Notes that auto-adjusts the sketches to dark or light mode. I would also like to zoom in and out, but this is something that Apple Notes also doesn't support (for whatever reason). Sketches can be edited afterward, which is very useful.
Using Amplenote on mobile devices works so well that I enjoy doing it.
The PKM Process with Amplenote
We will dive deep into the PKM process, from collecting information, organizing, and analyzing to reflecting, sharing, and updating.
Amplenote offers various ways to get content into the app: