VoodooPad 6 Wishlist

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15 Aug, 2018 03:53 AM

It's been eight months since Primate Labs acquired VoodooPad. We're starting to think about what we want to include in VoodooPad 6. Some things, like iCloud support, are obvious. Other things might not be, so I wanted to create a thread where users could tell us what they want (or what they don't want) to see in VoodooPad 6.

  1. 1 Posted by Andrew on 15 Aug, 2018 12:59 PM

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    Gosh...it is nearly perfect! I'm sure there are things I have not thought of that would be useful, but go easy on bells and whistles. Many of the failed Mac note taking apps had too many widgets, add-ons, and features that it was distracting. In my opinion, many of the added features were more of the sort "we added this because we could and we think it's really cool to be able to embed snozzle graphics in a note, " rather than something that is truly helpful.

    Voodoo Pad's best feature is its low key unobtrusive interface that does not get in the way to adding notes and information.

  2. 2 Posted by Andrew on 15 Aug, 2018 01:09 PM

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    ...just thought of something....

    I have several Voodoo Pad documents that I work with regularly, and I am often switching back and forth between them.

    It would be nice to have an icon I could drag into the toolbar of a window that would give me a drop down of recent files, so that I don't have to keep mousing all the way up to the Mac toolbar, which can be annoying when working with several monitors.

  3. 3 Posted by Kenneth on 15 Aug, 2018 03:04 PM

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    I think tab supports for multiple documents would be really cool and helpful.

  4. 4 Posted by Andrew on 15 Aug, 2018 03:17 PM

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    I had not thought of tabs for each open Voodoo document, but that would be even better than my suggestion of a toolbar accessible drop down menu. Either one would be a big timesaver.

  5. 5 Posted by Ria on 15 Aug, 2018 03:49 PM

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    Wiki-style categories.

  6. 6 Posted by Gus Mueller on 15 Aug, 2018 04:35 PM

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    Kill the publishing stuff and put it in a new app! It's a bit overkill. Time to make VP lean and mean.

    I'd be curious to hear what @Ria wants categories to do that tags don't. Tags actually used to be called categories at one time…

  7. 7 Posted by Ria on 15 Aug, 2018 04:48 PM

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    @Gus Mueller: I hadn't known about the tags feature. I only started using VoodooPad last week (but paid for it before my trial expired regardless).

  8. 8 Posted by buysj on 15 Aug, 2018 05:13 PM

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    I'd love to see better default typography, especially in Markdown pages. For example, here's a comparison between Bear and VoodooPad. Support for code blocks and syntax highlighting would be great too.

  9. 9 Posted by Ian Beck on 15 Aug, 2018 05:24 PM

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    Please please please integrate the darn Info palette into the main window (as a sidebar or something). I virtually always want to have that palette open, and it's a major pain to be constantly repositioning it next to the primary window whenever I move it (and gets absolutely hair-tearing-frustrating if I have more than one window open). Yes, I know I'm a weird anal-retentive edge case. It's still an annoying UI setup.

    I would love it if there were a way to specify a document as completely plain text/Markdown, and then open/edit pages in external apps (obviously without the smart linking that VoodooPad provides). I have been migrating away from VoodooPad recently because I cannot edit my documents anywhere but my main computer (satellite computer is a Windows machine at this point, and I've always hated VoodooPad on iOS so I never bother using it on my iPad). Word is not very good at the sorts of things I use VoodooPad for, though (astonishing how much automatically linking text improves a workflow when it comes to notes or brainstorming), and I would love it if I could just work with my root VoodooPad documents using Visual Studio Code, the iOS Dropbox app, or whatever when I'm on the go.

  10. 10 Posted by buysj on 15 Aug, 2018 05:27 PM

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    Also, I agree with @Gus Mueller, there's a lot that VoodooPad does that's frankly unnecessary (like running pages as scripts). My suggestion would be to concentrate on what it does best, strip out the cruft, and make it beautiful .

  11. 11 Posted by Andrew on 15 Aug, 2018 05:50 PM

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    Ian has an interesting suggestion about external editing....would be great to be able to edit a page in BBEdit, although this might not be desirable, as BareBones has a somewhat competing product in Yojimbo (not nearly as useful as Voodoo Pad).

  12. 12 Posted by Jan Erik Moströ... on 15 Aug, 2018 07:24 PM

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    :) when I used VoodooPad I was using it because of two things: the ability to create web sites with it using scripts.

    But I have admit that I don’t use VoodooPad at the moment so I’m not going to push for it ;)

  13. 13 Posted by Mark Eagle on 16 Aug, 2018 12:46 PM

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    1. I agree with Jonathan's comments above and would love to see formatted code blocks for different languages
    2. I frequently have to add new notes into existing documents with a date and a separator. It looks something like this:

    2018-08-16 - My notes in bold here

    My comments here

    -----------Edit -> Insert -> Line

    It be great if I could do something like click a button to add an area with a date and a region where I could add my new notes. I use Alfred today with a workflow to automate this. I also have a separate workflow that allows me to take an email and format it into it's own section with the title, body, date, and a separator. It is not pretty but it works. If there were better integration with Mail, Outlook, etc that would be nice
    3. I would like a way to get a reminder about some note to follow up on. If there were a calendar widget and a reminder it would be super helpful.
    4. I make a mock todo page and list out my items with the build in checkboxes in VoodooPad. If there was a way to make a real todo section with reminders it would make my life a lot easier. I would not have to have separate processes or applications to help me with this
    5. Please provide a way to assign a default left/right margin across all pages.
    6. Definitely want the integrated palette as a tool bar on the top or on the side so I don't have to keep repositioning it as others have indicated above

  14. 14 Posted by Andrew on 16 Aug, 2018 01:08 PM

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    Mark Eagle discussed adding calendar and to-do features, but I believe this would move Voodoo Pad away from it's fast, simple, and easy to use interface. There are plenty of really good to-do list managers that provide everything that Mark is asking for (e.g. Basecamp, OmniFocus, etc). I have tried and quit using at least a half dozen Mac note taking apps over the past decade because of their overloaded interface and the quixotic goal of cramming every last feature anyone could think of into a single app.

  15. 15 Posted by Darin on 16 Aug, 2018 02:18 PM

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    I don't know if @GusMueller was referring to the various export options when he said "publishing stuff", but if so, please put those in a separate app. I really like using VoodooPad to maintain and distribute documentation for my department in three formats (four if you count my local copy of the VoodooPad file): Webpage, PDF, ePub.

    And like @Jonathan, I would also like to see syntax highlighting.

    Once again, like @Jonathan and @GusMueller, I would encourage trimming more than adding. What makes VoodooPad so great for me is its simplicity and single focus. Concentrate on bug fixes (the window problem persists on my machine) and performance so that we can use VoodooPad into the future.

    And I can't say this enough: Thanks for giving VoodooPad some love and attention. It’s reassuring.

  16. Support Staff 16 Posted by John on 16 Aug, 2018 04:39 PM

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    Publishing is one of the more popular (and more complicated) features of VoodooPad.
    While we're not planning on removing publishing entirely in VoodooPad 6, we are planning on removing parts of it in order to simplify it.

    We are planning on removing features in VoodooPad 6 that we believe aren't widely used and that have significant ongoing security and maintenance issues. These features include:

    1. Web Server
    2. JavaScript Scripting
    3. Plugins

    If you depend on any of these features please let us know.

  17. 17 Posted by Andrew on 16 Aug, 2018 05:06 PM

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    Web hosting has become a nightmare, and I agree there are few good reasons to keep it in VoodooPad. We just spent several weeks cleaning Romanian bitcoin mining code out of our company server, which was entirely up to date with all current security patches--didn't help a bit.

    It's an unfortunate state of affairs...there was a time when it was easy to stand up a Web server and host business or personal sites. But the crooks, thieves, and scam artists have ruined that.

  18. 18 Posted by Darin on 16 Aug, 2018 05:10 PM

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    @John and @Andrew,
    I should have been clearer in my note. I export the webpages as static pages and then upload them to our server. I am not using the built-in web server. As far as I care, that can go away.

  19. 19 Posted by Marc on 16 Aug, 2018 06:02 PM

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    -Option to open a pre-selected file by default when cold-opening the app or when warm-opening it.

  20. 20 Posted by Andrew on 17 Aug, 2018 01:03 PM

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    +1 for Marc....being able to set files to open on start up (in Preferences) would be terrific.

  21. 21 Posted by Matt on 17 Aug, 2018 03:18 PM

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    I think as long as the existing core features work, the best thing for a major new version would be to make it cross platform (Windows, Android, Linux) and syncable to a secure hosted site (while maintaining an offline option).

  22. 22 Posted by Andre LaBranche on 18 Aug, 2018 08:19 PM

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    Hi, and thanks for collecting feedback! Before I mention any specifics, allow me to say that the comments and responses in this thread so far have me feeling confident about future directions.

    My most common usage pattern could be summarized as “spew now, search later”, where I create clusters of related pages into a document and easily find stuff later. I don’t spend any time at all cross-linking things, and instead stick to the tabs, list view, and search, which fits my mental model nicely.

    I can appreciate the desire to simplify things to reduce maintenance load, and it sounds like the changes being considered wouldn’t have any adverse impact on me. I generally try to stick to the basics when it comes to productivity tools; VoodooPad gets a lot of mileage out of the core features and document model, to the extent that I almost feel a little guilty that I’ve never felt the need to explore the entire feature space. Kudos :)


  23. 23 Posted by Ria on 18 Aug, 2018 09:31 PM

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    On Saturday, August 18, 2018, 4:19:55 PM EDT, Andre LaBranche <[email blocked]> wrote:
      #yiv4902030855 pre {width:92%;margin:10px 2%;padding:5px 2%;background:#efefef;border:1px solid #d6d6d6;}#yiv4902030855 blockquote {margin-left:0;padding-left:1em;border-left:5px solid #ccc;}

  24. 24 Posted by Marc Hummel on 18 Aug, 2018 10:21 PM

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    Where’s the love for the iOS app in this thread?? Maybe not technically VP 6 but still..

    I’d love better support for images. And while syncing via Dropbox works pretty good for me most of the time, a better way to handle sync conflicts would be good.

    As for macOS general reliability improvements would be appreciated. The app freezes for me a lot these days.

    But yes to echo the general sentiment here THANK YOU for working on this app and for keeping the mean lean focus.

  25. 25 Posted by colin198702 on 19 Aug, 2018 05:04 AM

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    My vote will be the support for Markdown in iOS app.

  26. 26 Posted by Grant on 22 Aug, 2018 02:21 AM

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    I've been using Voodoopad since the Flying Meat days and endured the Plausible Labs bloat and bugs.

    Yes, get rid of the Web Server, Scripting, and Plugins. But while you're at it, fix some of the core functionality — like remembering the display state when the app is closed. (Seriously, every other Mac app out there manages that, and Voodoopad used to, so it's not as though it's never been done.) Fix the crashing, lockup, iOS incompatibilities, and sync issues others have reported.

    Then, and only then, add some of the niceties that have been suggested. For me, one little thing I'd like to see is a bit of space (padding) around the edge of the document display, so that text doesn't run right up against the window border. That would alleviate some of my eyestrain. I'll also add my vote for being able to specify startup files.

    Fixing imperfections and making incremental improvements are what I really want to see from Primate Labs.

  27. 27 Posted by Gus Mueller on 22 Aug, 2018 03:13 AM

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    @Grant: Paste the following line into Terminal.app to adjust padding around the text:

    defaults write com.flyingmeat.VoodooPad5 textViewInset 10

    Where 10 is the number of points you want from the edge. It may not work in VP6, but it works today.

  28. 28 Posted by Grant on 22 Aug, 2018 07:07 PM

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    Thanks Gus - adding that to my list of Voodoopad secrets!

    -=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

  29. 29 Posted by johnlea70 on 23 Aug, 2018 10:58 AM

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    Two things you must have in version 6 to make Voodoopad a professional app. First, persistent text zoom to be set in preferences. All decent MacOS text handling apps have this (e.g. Scrivener, Omnioutliner etc). Second, make it possible to export collections (or better still 'send to') as single rtf. file for import to Scrivener or Word. At present you are restricted to .pdf export of collections. This is how Voodoopad fits into a professional work flow. Please forget about Markdown: it's a total diversion!

  30. 30 Posted by Jan Erik Moströ... on 23 Aug, 2018 11:05 AM

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    This might be so for your workflow but remember that people have different workflows. For me Markdown support is vital, no Markdown support is a no-use app.

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