Worldbuilding with AI just got a lot better

Andrew Brown
Nov 2, 2016 · 7 min read

It’s been exactly one month since Notebook.ai launched, and we’ve been overwhelmingly happy that we’ve been able to help so many brilliant creatives build rich worlds. From the entire team, I want to start this post off with a big thank you to everyone who has enjoyed Notebook.ai so far.

Within 24 hours we saw over 2,000 authors flock to try out their new digital notebook, and over 5,000 more have found us by word of mouth since then. To everyone who is using Notebook.ai, THANK YOU.

I hope you enjoy this update!

Notebook.ai is making your ideas smarter

You know that old notebook tucked away with all your ideas over the years? Notebook.ai is kind of like that, except with a handful of benefits inherent to moving to a digital form:

  • Your universes are always available, from any device, at any time.
  • Your ideas are secure and backed up; they’ll always be there for you.
  • You own 100% of your content. Notebook.ai happily stores it for you.

Rather than digging out a notebook the next time you get an idea for a character, give Notebook.ai a shot. You can jot down free-form notes or outline structured details about the new being you’re creating.

In the new version of Notebook.ai releasing today to everyone, you’ll see immediate benefits across all of your ideas, including commonly-requested features such as Markdown support, autolinking, additional fields, and smarter Assistant questions. And, of course, links to seven new types of content.

Your personal bestiary includes the wildlife, plantlife, merfolk, and other interesting beings of your world. Plan how they look, their unique traits, what their habitats look like, how they survive, and more.

In many stories, humans are often joined by elves, orcs, werewolves, vampires, dragons, and a myriad of other races. Planning races in Notebook.ai allows you to construct rich backgrounds for each of your world’s races, including their looks, traits, cultures, and history.

Organizing your world’s beliefs into cohesive religions can lead to a more epic world for your readers. Whether it’s just a background concept or the focus of your story, Notebook.ai lets you detail each religion’s history, traditions, pervasiveness, and more.

You can use groups to bundle your characters, locations, items, or other ideas into any kind of collection you can think of. Friendships, businesses, troupes, countries, and bands of adventurers are the perfect candidates for groups.

Planning Magic in Notebook.ai is perfect for detailing spells, systems of magic, potions, ancient spellbooks, portals, and more. Describe their appearance, effects, usage requirements, and more.

Planning languages is something we hope to improve upon significantly in the future, but this first open-ended iteration allows you to outline, in detail, your custom languages’ phonology, grammars, typology, and more. If you’re a huge language fan, we’d love to hear about how we can improve languages for you.

Scenes are our first “collective” page that lets you pull together your ideas into a cohesive event in your world that includes information on what happened, who was involved, where, and why.

Add your own fields, too

When one size doesn’t fit all, sometimes you want to add your own fields to your characters, locations, items, and other content specific to your world.

With this release, you’ll be able to create new tabs and text fields on any of your content. As always, you’ll be able to share your content (which is always private by default), and your friends and reviewers will be able to see these new fields, too. Since Notebook.ai is entirely open source, you can thank Matt Werner for implementing this awesome feature.

Warning: Minor Game of Thrones spoilers!

But that’s not all…

In addition to all of the above, we’ve also made tons of minor tweaks across the site both behind-the-scenes and front-and-center to bring the the most commonly-requested features to everyone.

  • You can now download your entire Notebook for offline use in a text outline format, as well as in CSV, XML, or JSON. Check it out from the “Notebook downloads” link in the top-right of any Notebook page.
  • Every single field on every single content type now supports Markdown formatting. This means you can add headers, hyperlinks, style, and more. For more information see, this guide on Markdown.
  • The site has been polished for mobile use, meaning you can rest easy knowing your ideas are accessible and editable from anywhere, on any device.
  • We’ve upgraded our servers significantly to handle the amazing response we’ve been receiving, and are proud to announce we’ve achieved 99.8% uptime for October. Making sure your ideas are always available any time inspiration strikes is a top priority of ours.

Lastly, we’ve updated our pricing

Everyone that signed up during October will continue to have entirely-free accounts for life as promised, with access to every feature we ever release.

New users that sign up in November and onward will be subject to our new pricing of $9 per month for unlimited access to Notebook.ai and all the features above. Those that wish to sign up with a free account will still have full access to their universes, characters, locations, and items, as they do now.

We recognize that a smaller monthly cost diverges slightly from our original goal of a larger, one-time signup fee, but strongly believe this model will be best for sustaining and building upon Notebook.ai in the long run.

To celebrate this user-powered launch of new features, we’re also going to be running a promotion for the month of November. Any new users that sign up during November will be credited two months of worry-free planning in Notebook.ai at the new Eternal tier.

What’s next?

We’ve received a ton of awesome feedback from authors and gamers using Notebook.ai already, and we can’t wait to show you the great things coming.

There are three large projects on the horizon that will bring Notebook.ai to new levels once again, and now that this release is live you can bet we’ll be hard at work on what’s next:

  1. The slew of page types released today are merely the most commonly-requested ideas we’ve received from users. If people find them useful, we will be building out more page types for more kinds of stories. And, of course, for those that don’t use every one, we’ll be adding ways for you to add or remove these page types from your universes as you wish.
  2. When your notebook is starting to get full, we want to give you more ways to start mixing and matching those ideas into plots and storylines within your world. Scenes, launching today, is a first step towards building rich plots within your worlds, but you can expect a much stronger emphasis on a variety of plot building methods from here.
  3. And, of course, Notebook.ai wouldn’t be named thusly without a bit of magic. We’ll soon be vastly improving your AI assistant’s capability to recognize the relationships between your pages and ask you meaningful questions to help brainstorm, as well as generating stimulating writing prompts set in your worlds, starring your ideas.

Want to get involved?

The company behind Notebook.ai, Indent Labs, is an open source company. We work on GitHub on the projects and technologies we’re passionate about, and we’re more than happy to help out newer developers when they, too, find a project they’re passionate about. If you’re interested in helping out with Notebook.ai, you can check out our source code on GitHub and the tasks on our roadmap. If anything tickles your fancy, drop us a line and we’d be happy to get you up and running!

Thanks for reading — now go sign up now for two months free and start building magnificent worlds!


What is Indent Labs?

Indent Labs is, at its core, a collection of ambitious open-source natural language processing projects aimed squarely at moonshots in the field of writing. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could generate quality stories from outlines, or automatically outline a story? What about generating a story as you make decisions on behalf of a character?

The first word processor showed up in the 60’s and revolutionized writing through technology. Isn’t it time for another shift forward?

Indent Labs

smarter writing software

Andrew Brown

Written by

An author—of literature and code.

Indent Labs

smarter writing software

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