The human centered design philosophy of Notequill

Note taking is truly fundamental. Since grade school we’ve all taken notes daily. Unlike more direct processes that can be transitioned digitally easily, everyone has developed their own unique formats and syntax of note taking that best resonates with their thought process when learning.

Building a note taking app is a true exercise of human centered design. Rather than starting with a technology product, we started with the people who will use it, and we’re tailoring Notequill precisely to what they already do.

We’re exploring the processes of writing on paper and translating that to the digital world, rather than trying to force a digital process into a fundamentally physical one.

Note taking at its core is a touch of pen to paper. It’s abstract. There’s no ui to a piece of paper — all of the interaction is at the point of the pen. Hence our editor. There’s no buttons, no chrome, rather just a canvas on which to write. Interaction is done with a double tap of the mouse, finger, or stylus, just like the touch point of the pen. We’ve undone the ribbon, the toolbar, the menu, and we’ve replaced it with naturality.

“all of the interaction is at the point of the pen”

Organization of notes is done with binders. We don’t have a concept of nesting — no one has binders within their binders in their backpack or bag. Unnested binders, with notes organized by their last use, is the natural format which makes finding notes second nature.

This naturality is the Notequill app’s design philosophy.

We’re not building technology for taking notes, we’re building note taking for technology. Its why people use it.

A comment we received on Reddit

The Notequill project is incredibly simple and intends to be nothing more. I’d argue any day that this simplicity — this step towards how note taking is done, rather than away from — is what makes digital note taking enjoyable, not frustrating.