Why printing matters, and where Betaknot is headed.

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.

Here's what we take with us & shove in our pockets!
Here’s what we take with us & shove in our pockets!

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!


Why We Created Betaknot

Maybe you can relate?

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.

Click here for some Betaknot examples.

September Updates

Super excited about this round of improvements! For all the beta on this month’s new features, head over to betaknot.com/updates.

September Updates 2
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.

As always, let us know what you think!

August Updates

updatesThere’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.

The Betaknot Backstory

We went to college, started our careers, and then a friend introduced us to this thing called climbing. We worked Monday through Friday and became weekend warriors. Our days off were full of adventure. We were introduced to wild places in our own backyard that we had never explored before. And then we moved…

We moved to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula for work. We didn’t know the area and didn’t have anyone to show us around, but we were excited to explore our new backyard. Sometimes our weekends were fun and successful. Other times they were full of road closures, poor signage, incorrect maps, and inadequate information. So we started thinking, there must be a better way…

We’ve spent countless hours developing the idea for Betaknot. It started simple, but slowly grew into what you see today. The original focus was on improving the research process for climbing related information. But now, Betaknot is a research tool that you can use for just about anything.

We hope you find Betaknot useful. If you have any ideas, we’d love to hear them. And if you’re still wondering, ‘beta’ means info in climber’s lingo, and knots tie things together.