Collected Notes

Rethinking the bi-directional linking mobile interface

We completely rethought how back-linking should work on a mobile first experience.

Create notes on the fly

Typing [[brackets]] every time you want to create a link doesn’t feel natural, and it’s quite tricky to do on a mobile device. I think I’ve found a new and better approach to this.

Here’s how it works. First, select or tap any text, and a little bubble will suggest you create a note. It works by converting your text into a URL path that’s SEO friendly. Just tap it, and you’ll jump to your new note, as seen below.

One tap to create notes

TIP: If you are using an external keyboard, you can press “⌘+↵” (command + return), and you’ll create a note with your text selection, all without leaving your keyboard!

Offering contextual links based on text selection feels natural, fast, and intuitive on a mobile device. I took this approach even further so that when you are in a paragraph that contains an existing link, the app will suggest (using a bubble) to jump to that note instantly—with just one tap.

one tap to open a link

As you can see above, there’s a link to the /static-website note in the current paragraph. Tapping on the bubble with the arrow will open that note in a blink.

Quickly add links to your existing notes

When you select some text, we search all of your existing notes and rank those you might want to link. This feature works great even on cases where the note you wish to link to doesn’t have the same title as the text you selected.

real-time suggestions

In the above example, you can see that it’s offering to create a note about back linking (it’s the text selected) and suggests linking to /roadmap (since /roadmap contains “backlinking” inside its text).

The all-new links panel

This new panel allows you to see all the related links for a given note. The ones that appear inside the current note’s body, other notes that contain links to the current one (references), and finally, the notes you might have opened recently (history).

quickly access related notes


Sometimes it is useful to see which notes link to the one you have currently open. Here’s where references come to play. Just open the links panel, select the “references” tab and it will show all the notes that contain a link to the current one.

Navigate using gestures

One more thing. Sometimes you want to jump back to a note you were editing. If you long-press on the title, it now shows up a dropdown that allows you to jump to any note you’ve opened recently. It’s super fast.

Quickly switch between notes

over 3 years ago

Collected Notes