The process of creating requires one to continually change – add one thing, remove another, repeat. A couple months ago, in an effort to simplify the UX, the copy page feature was removed. However, our recent user testing sessions have flipped that decision. We realized this feature is important especially when you’re new to Betaknot – so copy page is back!
Don’t worry about what your page is called, just start saving things you think are related on the same page. Then, if it doesn’t make sense anymore, go into edit mode and click copy (top right).
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People’s differences in experience level, fears, and willingness to “just go for it” make it very difficult to create the perfect site or source for any activity. This is where Betaknot’s mindset “build it for yourself” comes in.
Dive in and do the research. Find joy in reading more than one route description or trip report. Who knows, you might learn something that has nothing to do with the route, but ends up saving your life someday.
Use Betaknot to tie together what you think is useful. Build a habit of reading and compiling during the work week. Don’t worry about file structure or organization until later, instead, focus on saving the good sources and capturing the details.
Betaknot is not a crowd-sourced or curated content site; it is your personalized content site. Our goal is to help you build plans and keep them updated, so you can be successful or at a minimum remember why you were not. As the site grows, we will help create micro communities and make it possible to share ideas with fellow enthusiast, but at the end of the day your beta will always be yours.
We built the framework for ourselves and now want to share this version with you. So go, use Betaknot – build a plan for yourself, and share it after you try. Have fun & embrace that everything is a work in progress!
Where you come from, whether that’s you as a person or you as an idea, plays a role in what matters to you. For Betaknot, we like to sell that it “prints nice” and for a lot of tech savvy people this doesn’t seem relevant.
Printing matters because we take our plans on adventures. The type of adventures that you would not want to pull your phone out because it’s too wet or you could drop it and never see it again. Being able to print a couple copies of the beta (or info) and not have to worry, keeps the stress level lower and the fun factor higher.
We know that this use case does not apply to everyone. Betaknot is heading in the direction of a mobile app. The app would make it easy to sync your book for a trip to your phone and hit the road. Let us know if this sounds interesting to you!
We emailed constantly throughout the week: “What about this route?”, “Want to go here this weekend?”, “Have you seen this recent trip report?”. Our email threads were really long by the end of each week, and Friday night we would scroll through everything and try to remember which pieces of information would be worth bringing with us. The process of pulling out what we thought was relevant and printing typically took over an hour. In the transition seasons it took longer because we wanted to find the latest information on road and trail conditions. And when we hadn’t decided on where we were going, it took even longer because we still had a few options to pick through.
After about a year of this routine, we wanted a better solution for tying all of this information together. There were plenty of crowd-sourced content sites for each activity, but managing lists and publishing content on all of them was overwhelming. We could have started a blog, but we weren’t into sharing the story aspect of our adventures. Essentially, we wanted a digital journal that would help us save useful information and our lessons learned. That way, if we went back again we could be successful or if a friend asked for our notes we could provide good detail.
We started to use Google Docs. It was great because it allowed us to collaborate. The problem was it felt too formal, consistent formatting took extra effort, and file organization was a pain. In the end, we only ended up using it for big outings and we still felt like there had to be a better way.
We’ve spent the last year trying to build that “better way”. Betaknot is in beta. It’s a planning and recording tool for your life experiences. Here are some examples of how you could use Betaknot to prepare for what’s next or remember what matters.
Here’s a quick example of how you can use Betaknot to save a recipe and share it. If you make any changes, just update your recipe page with your modifications. Save your notes for next time and upload your own photos. Enjoy!
Super excited about this round of improvements! For all the beta on this month’s new features, head over to betaknot.com/updates.
Collaborate is definitely the big one, it’s been on the to-do list for quite a while. Now you can work on a book or a page with a group of friends, get notifications when things are updated, and keep track of who else is currently editing!
We’ve also created a bookmarklet, which is essentially a custom bookmark button. Drag it to your bookmarks bar to install, and click it whenever you’re on a web page you want to save to Betaknot.
You’ll also see the star button in more places now. Click it to save a friend’s book, page, or postcard to your lists of stuff. You can also click the star on someone’s profile if you want to follow them.
And last but not least, you now have a personal dashboard of all your stuff! If you’re logged in, the Betaknot button in the nav will take you to your dashboard. It is where you can track things you’re collaborating on, see who’s saving your stuff, and get to people you’re following.
There’s now an updates page! We wanted a way to share what we’ve been working on (other than just on the blog) so we created an updates page. You can get to it by clicking on ‘updates’ at the bottom of the home page. A few of the improvements implemented this month include: rebranding, edit-mode, a new nav, and easy 1-click demos! For all the info, head over to betaknot.com/updates.
We’ve recruited a few more Betaknot testers and walked through the flow with them. More feedback means more forward progress in the way of user experience improvements. We’ve learned that one of the areas in need of some work was Collections. After a few days of brain-hurricanes and code-crunching, the collection cool factor has been up’d. Enjoy!