Grafobook

Sebastien, the Developer of Grafobook, had a need for an "offline, completely free note-taking app" so he gave himself a deadline of 10 days to build one!

Considering the short period of time he spent developing the app, Grafobook is very good and he made it open source and free to boot. Unfortunately, he's made no changes for almost a year and it appears that the development was a one-time thing with no one taking it further. I won't be using it long term unless updates are planned or I decide to try Kotlin development and contribute which has a low probability of happening.

The video of his 10 day project was fun to watch since Sebastien has a great sense of humor and I'm semi-technical. Sebastien had the following goals:

  1. Finish the app in 10 days or less
  2. Follow Google's recommended practices
  3. Make performance as good as possible
  4. Design a beautiful UI
  5. Fix all the bugs that he found
  6. Implement app shortcuts

He accomplished all of those but doesn't advise you try this at home as it was quite intense. Here's my review of Grafobook which I hope someone picks up or Sebastien himself works on more.

Screenshots

Meta

Ugly

  • Double tap to select text always selects all of the text which makes it a pain for me
  • Backup is to proprietary file format
  • Backup to Google Drive

Bad

  • No audio recording
  • No image attachments (he tried)
  • No hyperlinks (he tried)
  • No Markdown support for input or export
  • Only 1 font
  • Only 1 font size
  • Sharing a note in text via email puts the note title in the body of the email not the subject line
  • Sharing a note in HTML via email attaches it, would be great if it was put as HTML in the body of the emails
  • No tags inside notes
  • Tags appear to be cut off in the card view when it's basically a horizontally scrollable list of tags

Good

  • Text formatting: bold, italics, underline, strikethrough
  • Sort by created date, modified date, or alphabetical
  • Nice font (Poppins)
  • Highlight text with one of 7 colors, loved the purple but the yellow not so much
  • 7 App theme colors
  • Backup and restore
  • Shows modified time in note list
  • Card view of note list
  • Star a note
  • Multiple tags on notes
  • Share a note via email, SMS, apps
  • Filter notes by tag
  • Backup and restore (see bad)
  • Backup to Google
  • Duplicate a note
  • 2 widgets: a specific note, reminders with date and time

Great

  • It's fast
  • Horizontally scrollable tag list is easy to use once you know it exists
  • Change the color of a note (puts the top header of the note in that background color and the background color of the card in the notes list)
  • Filter starred notes easily
  • Reminders are easy to set
  • Password protect a specific note
  • Nice vibrant colors
  • Share note as HTML
  • Share as ZIP if multiple notes
  • Highlighted text shows up in the card on the note list

Awesome

  • Open source (Apache 2.0)
  • Free!
  • Selecting multiple notes is really well done
  • Selecting all notes and sharing as ZIP file is super easy and useful
  • Export multiple notes