Developing own app to take notes.

This is not an app advertising, just a story about why and how Sunm and I design and develop this app. Apps are our daily life, and we build them for better life.

Deep learning

As a heavy internet viewer, I had read tons of posts, articles or stories from 3w these years. Unfortunately, those ideas which had aroused my interest had sneaked away as time past. As I realized I should make fully use of them, not just scrolling and viewing, I strived to take notes in physical notebooks or apps. Being involved in seems a significant way to live a real life.

No notes-taking apps any longer

As many friends recommend Evernote for notes taking, but I seriously doubt it. I forced myself to use this app with over-designed animations till my notes being opened in annoying format. And then I switched to Apple Notes. Notes app has a lot of new added features, such as synchronizing to other users, hand drawing, etc. It’s attractive for writers, but not for me. Those powerful features are unnecessary and wasted to me.

Basic requirements

As a developer, why not create own(not for App store) notes app myself? I told this idea to my girlfriend Sunm who is a UI/UX designer. And she has the same situation with me. She felt very upset for using several apps to remember vocabulary, keep notes and prepare cook recipes. She definitely needs a customized app. So Let’s turned to the beginning to think about what we need.

  • URL link is the source with context. Original context helps us understand easily. It should be maintained and conveniently retrieved.
  • Word -> sentence -> story context. These elements come in handy for understanding any new vocabulary. It must be contained.
  • Word pronunciation corrects ours. It should just need one step to get it. (Now we have to long press -> speak)
  • Pictures can help visual memory. Image searching in google or bing should be in the first place.
  • Quizlet function is a good way t0 test.
  • Mostly, notes taking should be fun and swiftly.

Our idea/notes app

First of all, we created a folder based on a URL. Btw, we copied color-tag from macOS to tag our folders(For me, green is for Medium stories, purple is for novels, blue is for audio materials). And then we read it in this app. While reading, we copied these items which we are interested in. (Copy creates item directly).

to create Folder with Link -> Reading story and Copy word-> Or Copy sentence

We easily got our words or sentences list of this story when we finished reading. If you read this story again, all the words and sentences you interested in will be highlighted.

Words or sentence List -> highlighted

Meanwhile, you can click it to speak, or search images for the item in

The functions of the buttons in the right-top of first below pictures are:

  • play sound: speak / mp3 file(if you had inserted mp3 url for this folder).
  • check out the link of this folder. The original context is here.
  • quizlet: flip from words to sentences with picture
  • add a new item. alternatively, you can pull refresh to add a new one.
image searching for ‘cracks’ -> add a image for item

More than reading from url

After I adding today widget(copy create folder/item) for this app in iOS, unexpected, we got many folders for other tasks, such as:

  • novels notes
  • audio materials (BBC 6 minute English, VOA…)
  • cook recipes
  • todo list
  • writing/oral English
  • programming language features and tips
  • bookmarks

all folders in Home


We spent two weeks design and develop it. When using it, we got many new ideas for it, such as:

  • active share in other apps.
  • edit in desktop browser
  • auto-backup regularly
  • export to files
  • image browser
  • re-order items
  • state restoring

Thank you for reading, I hope to hear back from you shortly, or not at all :)