What was the hardest thing to learn when you started using RemNote?

Hi everyone!

We’re making some improvements to the onboarding experience for first-time users of RemNote and we’d like to hear your feedback regarding

  • What was the hardest thing to understand about RemNote the first time you used it?
  • What’s the thing that you understood the fastest?
  • How easy/useful did you find the interactive tutorials?

Thanks for your feedback :slight_smile:

1 Like

Few things I found not unintuitive at first were:

  • The idea of context / descriptor framework. It didn’t quite fit the way I took notes and created flashcards before.
  • Zooming in into a rem by pressing on a dot on the left of text. I initially didn’t understand what was going on. It looked like something was broken to me :slight_smile:

The flashcard direction was not also immediately obvious but it made perfect sense soon after I started using the product.

1 What was the hardest thing to understand about RemNote the first time you used it?
Something that I still don’t understand today is a template slot. I know how to use templates, but I don’t understand what the x is for and why a template slots is automatically italicized (which means they are descriptors?).

Initially, I tried the descriptor, concept framework but it’s not suited to my field.

The behavior of portals is confusing to me. For example, when I move a rem to another place in my KB, why does it leave a portal from where it came from?

2 What’s the thing that you understood the fastest?
Using backlinks! The first time I did it, I was mind-blown that I could do that with an app.

3 How easy/useful did you find the interactive tutorials?
The website tutorial was ok. At that time, the descriptor-concept framework was front center. It never latched on to me. I also had to watch several Youtube videos to understand templates etc.

It might be helpful to delineate between specifically RemNote and broad flashcard creation/usage, outliner usage, personal wiki usage.

I really like remnote as a studying tool and making flashcards at the same time. However, I still find it difficult to use for note-taking.

  1. Making templates with slots is complicated and I still cannot remember the shortcuts to this day after using it a few times I kinda just give up about it.
  2. The PDF annotation and PDF reader still lag when I read. The textbook files glitch when I scroll through it and it makes scrolling and using the table of contents a good experience.
  3. I tried using portals (aka reference blocks in roam). The blocks are a bit hard to add and I don’t know the difference between adding in a portal and finding a portal to add by highlighting a word and searching it through my database.
  4. The daily document is not the first document that shows up when I open the app.
  5. Using remote feels like using a big fork with many great functionalities to tackle a small piece of steak that cannot fit the use of it.
  6. The idea of every bullet point is rem is hard to understand for a new user.
  7. The types of flash cards are a bit confusing to learn at with the double sided, one way, and descriptor/concept flash cards.
    I really like the philosophy of remote and flashcards ability and I would really like to continue to use it and hopefully get my friends to use it too.

The only shortcuts you need are /slot or alt+shift+s for anything you will be using as a slot under the intended template and ## on any other rem to use the template as a tag and all the slots. Optionally you may also tag the template with ##Automatically Add Template to add all slots the moment you tag another rem with the template.

There is no difference. You can also use (( and search for the portal to add that way.

As a non-programmer, and frankly, someone who’s not that tech-savvy, I found the overall interface, or lack thereof, to be somewhat of an obstacle in my decision for integrating RemNote into my learning arsenal. I come from the world of old-school Microsoft products, i.e., OneNote, where the common functionalities are visually laid out at the top of the page in a ribbon-like menu. If I needed to enter a molecular formula for chemistry, then I would simply select the superscript and subscript options to format ionic charges and the number of atoms accordingly; whereas, in RemNote, the only way to access such formatting options is to enter a piece of LaTeX code every single time. This literally forces the user to learn a new language. That being said, I am slowly learning how to adapt to this there’s-a-keyboard-shortcut-for-that ecosystem; however, I remember as a first-timer, the graphically-minimalistic / code-centric aspect of RemNote was definitely a point of friction in my ability to justify employing it as an all-in-one program for note-taking and studying. That, and the occasional bouts of instability, which has been minimal lately with all of the bug fixes. Thank you, devs.

All in all, I think RemNote still has a lot of valuable functionality to offer for students like me, who are not that well-versed in any programming language. It would be extremely useful to have more graphical interfaces for beginners and cavemen like me, and the option to turn off such interfaces for those technically-gifted individuals. Spaced repetition and active recall via flashcards and outline were the two biggest selling points, both of which have ultimately swayed me into choosing RemNote over similar programs like Notion, but I can see how someone else in similar shoes can be turned off by “steep learning curve.”

1 Like