Navigating Ideas in Napkin

Browsing a Swarm of Thought

David avatar
Written by David
Updated over a week ago

The heart of Napkin is the dynamic interface. We invented it because the trickiest part of taking notes is to look at your past notes again. If you don't revisit your past notes, exploring the connections to newer notes is impossible.

That's why we build a physical simulation in which related notes attract each other while unrelated notes push each other away.

We try to simulate the same logic that you can observe in your mind. You think of one thing, and another thing arises based on association.

With this logic, patterns emerge, which many Napkin Thinkers call a Swarm of Ideas.

This swarm rearranges with each new idea focusing, i.e., bringing it to the center.

Here is an example of a focused thought:

The thoughts in the surrounding have come to the front because they are related via tags that they have in common with the focused thought. You can reveal those relations by hovering your cursor over the tags.

The thought to the right is related via the tag "thinking":

The thoughts to the left are connected via the tag "memory":

That way, you will always find inspiring connections based on tag overlaps.

πŸ’‘ Not all related notes are resurfaced. If you would see all the associated notes, you could be easily overwhelmed. Napkin is a mindful experience optimized for flow and joy.

If you want to see more related notes, click the centered thought again, and the next batch of related thoughts is resurfaced:

πŸ’‘ If more related thoughts exist than can be displayed simultaneously, Napkin shows you the thoughts you haven't seen for the longest time.

Centering the next thought works again, with a click on the thought:

If you want to see all your thoughts with a particular tag, click the tag:

πŸ’‘ You can now skip through the thoughts with the arrow buttons or keys. Napkin can be navigated almost entirely with keyboard shortcuts.

The dynamic interface can generate a stream of thought, visually tuned to affect your internal stream of thought in the most inspiring way.

Please let us know how it feels and how we can improve it for you.

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