Scrintal just UPDATED and you won’t BELIEVE what’s new. Is Scrintal the FUTURE of note-taking?

Axton
6 min readMar 2, 2023

--

The Power of Visual Note-Taking: Saving Your Train of Thought

You may wonder why we need visual note-taking software when there are already so many note-taking apps available. The reason is that visualization can solve two problems. First, it can alleviate the anxiety of not being able to find your notes. Second, and more importantly, it can save the train of your thoughts. This is still very meaningful, even for people who only take a few notes.

Let’s first talk about the second point, the train of thought. We will discuss the first point later. Before the advent of visual note-taking, if I needed to organize my thoughts, I would usually use sticky notes on a blank desk or whiteboard, rearranging and categorizing them with lines. If I did not finish a task that day, the next day, standing in front of the desk and looking at the sticky notes I left the day before, I could quickly restore my train of thought and get into work mode. This is because what helps with memory is not just words but also space, location, and colour. If someone had kindly cleaned my desk last night, I would go crazy. This is the essential role of visual note-taking. It can help you think and save your train of thought. The saved train of thought can help you restore your train of thought and share it with colleagues, allowing them to understand your ideas quickly.

This is why there was a craze for visual note-taking after the popularity of bi-directional note-taking. Some established bi-directional note-taking apps have also added whiteboard functionality. Scrintal is software that was born to be a visual whiteboard note-taking tool. Recently, I have been using it to organize information and clarify my thoughts, which are highly related when preparing videos. It is convenient. I have introduced it before, and after a few months of careful polishing, what new fun features does it have? Today, I will share them with you.

Scrintal’s My Desk: A Versatile Workspace for Organization and Creativity

The main interface of Scrintal is “My Desk”, which is clean and tidy, waiting for you to mess it up. On the desktop, you can create regular cards or diary cards. The diary card is the same as a standard card, with the only difference being that it automatically uses the date as the title. This shows design consistency. In addition, it also supports simple text and tables.

Tables can easily add columns and new cards, and cards can be easily dragged between different columns. Therefore, it can be used as both a kanban board to manage your progress and a non-linear writing tool, such as writing a novel. You can divide it into several sections, such as the beginning, development, climax, and ending, and then write wherever you want. I usually use it as a kanban board, but sometimes I also use it as an idea collector.

Streamline Your Writing Process with Scrintal’s Bi-Directional Structure

Scrintal’s bi-directional structure and attention to detail make my writing process very smooth when I start working on the desktop.

In the previous video, when I organized the content of ChatGPT, the process was first to write the content and then organize the concepts within it. For example, I first wrote, “ChatGPT is the sibling model of InstructGPT,” and then needed to explain the concepts of InstructGPT and model, so I would select InstructGPT, then click the plus sign, and it would immediately pop up a new card with the title “InstructGPT.” You can start writing the content of InstructGPT directly without any interruption. The same goes for the model.

Another workflow is when I’m writing a sentence and already know what concept I need to explain next. For example, if I want to write a comparison of the interface between ChatGPT and GPT-3 Playground, I can first write “ChatGPT and GPT-3 Playground’s,” and then press the plus sign, type “interface comparison,” and it will create a new card where you can directly input the content. Afterwards, you can return to the original card with a shortcut key without leaving the keyboard.

From these two workflows, it can be seen that Scrintal tries to help you maintain a smooth writing process as much as possible. This process is remarkably smooth when you have a flow of ideas. Therefore, Scrintal is more like a thinking tool than just an organizing tool.

Effortless Organization with Scrintal’s Automatic Card Sorting Feature

The automatic organization is another process that Scrintal uses to ensure smoothness. After you write a batch of cards, the desk may be cluttered with cards. At this point, right-click to select “organize cards,” and Scrintal will automatically organize them based on the link relationships between the cards without the need for manual adjustments.

Visual Note-Taking: An Illusion of Security or a Real Solution to Organizational Anxiety?

Since I mentioned that visual note-taking software’s first benefit is alleviating the anxiety of not finding your notes, this is actually an interesting illusion. When I use bi-directional note-taking that has given up the folder structure, although I know that I can connect notes through bi-directional links and indexing, I still feel insecure that I cannot find my notes. I can only have a sense of security by putting notes into categorized folders. Although I also know that one day I will start to put notes randomly and cannot find them.

Visual note-taking makes me feel more secure. Not only can I put cards on a whiteboard, but I can also see what they look like when I open them. The sense of security doubles, but whether this is an illusion is subjective.

Maximizing Focus and Collaboration: Scrintal’s Advanced Features for Efficient Workflows

Scrintal also has a function called Focus mode. When we click on a card, related cards will be highlighted, while unrelated ones will be dimmed. This can help us focus on the content we are currently working on. All cards will be displayed normally if we click on a blank space on the desktop.

After completing the work, you can start organizing the desktop. First, select all the cards on your desktop, which are your work results, and then place them on a new whiteboard. You can use the “publish” function to publish this whiteboard online or use the “share” function to invite friends or colleagues to collaborate. You can also mark frequently used whiteboards and cards as favourites and fix them in the sidebar for easy access.

After that, you can return to the desktop, click the clean-up button, and return to a clean and tidy desktop, waiting for the start of the next task.

This is the basic process of completing a data-organizing task in Scrintal. Compared with similar software, Scrintal’s functions are not considered rich, but from the Scrintal community, we can see that they spend months polishing the interface and details. So, is it better to improve the existing functions or add more functions? This itself is a balance and trade-off.

Conclusion

Overall, visual note-taking tools are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to alleviate the anxiety of not finding your notes and save the train of your thoughts. Scrintal, as a visual whiteboard note-taking tool, provides a smooth writing process and automatic organization, making it a helpful thinking tool for users.

If you are interested after watching the video, please click on this referral link to register. You can lock in a lifetime early bird price before the end of February.

--

--

Axton

Learning by Sharing. AIGC, ChatGPT and Automated Workflows 👉 axtonliu.com