I initially thought I was going to love this app, so I proceeded to buy it straight after checking for a couple features first. I found the existing protocols/templates and example documents provided pretty fascinating and cool. I found the concept of having timers, tables, templates, date records as toggles, and timestamps as something super useful. I began to start transferring my experiments over from messy, indistinguishable stickies (IOS app) to findings to find out that I paid all this money for nothing. Here are the things that forced me to switch to Excel…
I tried to use this app to hold my data for personal experiments, but making tables and recording data was hellish.
1. The tables are so hard to format.
Before you read this, I’m well aware that the space was limited in order to fit size requirements for PDF export and printing.
Initially, I couldn’t figure out the logic behind the width changes of the columns. I found it annoying I had to click on the edit button of the table in order to make changes, and when I made changes in the editing section and hit ‘done’, the table measurements snapped into different places and I had to redo the spacing again and again. Then, to my dismay, when the spacing was correct. I found out that the copy to clipboard button was broken as well. Selecting the entire table and copying and pasting had the same result. It copied the table and it’s contents, but the spacing was messed up again! Then when I sought to enter data into the table, I realized that the character length would mess up the spacing again!
Then I also found out that the table’s were way too small and limited to allow my experiment data to fit. I made every column as tight as I could and I changed my system for documentation to get more space but nope. After you stretch it too far to some limit that is literally indeterminate b/c I have to switch between edit and one, the table fks all the spacing up again! Also, you guys interchangeably use the words templates and protocol on your website and app. It wasn’t too huge a deal since I figured out they were the same thing in a couple minutes, but I also realized, that inputting a protocol holding a table (or idk what went wrong) into my experiment also screwed up my table spacing as well. And the spacing for the table in the template/protocol than in the normal document are different. Also, maybe this is just me, but it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to delete the ‘Day 1 of 1’ part from the protocol. Most of the time it just wouldn’t ever get deleted and then everything else I couldn’t delete.
This tables thing is a really big deal for me and I don’t really mind putting my self out here. Every science and every form of experimentation regardless of being a part of a natural science requires a large breadth of criterion and an easy way to record.
I’m disappointed because after I had to alter more than 10 and remove 5 of my titles because of the lack of space, I just didn’t want to try anymore.
Honestly, if I wanted my report to look great and perfect every time, I wouldn’t even use Findings I’d use LaTeX or VIM or some other citation styling language and make my ‘protocols’ from markup.
5. Why making every page printer compatible wasn’t a valid idea (Below)
2. Can’t create hyperlinks
I was looking to do a couple experiments which involved putting URL’s into the table as part of the data set since I would be accessing a plethora of them. Again spacing, but I thought no problem I’ll turn these links into hyperlinked text. But I found out I couldn’t highlight some text and then attach a URL to it.
3. Editing my data and using timers takes twice as many clicks than if i were to use 2 separate apps
Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but I couldn’t find any shortcuts that controlled the timers and a bunch of other little things. So I went to go put my own shortcuts in, but then I realized there weren’t even any menu buttons for those functions. So I literally couldn’t even use my own comp to create keyboard shortcuts. The buttons are in nonintuitive places (I’ve tried over 30 "notebook, study, journal, experimentation apps before this one so trust me when I say that 75% of the buttons I looked for I failed to find within the first 5 clicks. Part of the reason for that is b/c 50% of the buttons I assumed that would be there, failed to even exist.
4. Why are the 2 sidebars not collapsable.
i know what you’re thinking, “We gave you the ability to pop out the window.” I know, and I’m glad you did. But popping out the window doesn’t mean anything if everything has to stay the same size or when you pop it back in the alignment of everything gets screwed again. I don’t understand the point of the pop out and pop back in window.
5. Why making every page printer compatible wasn’t a valid idea
Obviously it was a great idea to take into consideration the sizing of paper and whatnot, but you did not advertise your software properly. I was under the assumption that we now lived in an era where computers and phones are not unlike each other anymore and possess the same accessibility or near it of nearly every tool. Since the invention of the personal computer and the advent of its extraordinarily lower price, we have been burning boxes and boxes filled with cards with tiny holes punched in them. The things that could not be represented on paper are finally accessible to the general public in neat little packages and they do marvelous things. So why in gods name would you create a program that helps tidy up some students lines to mimic PAPER? The entire point of a computer is to start doing the things that paper never could as well as the things paper does very well.
6. Your support and FAQ pages don’t even show the same versions of the app
This is just dead wrong. You only have a single platform/operating system to cater to. I don’t understand why there is so much ambiguity, vagueness, and lack of specificity in your site and program which was designed to help simplify things while not sacrificing specificity. I can see why this app failed miserably at this goal now.
7. Math is just as hellish as tables
This app gave me 2 buttons. 2 buttons to denote mathematical and scientific concepts. Yet you were able to supply me with some very nice resources and other graphics of the sort.
This app seems like it was built by a bunch of chemists and biologists who only knew how to use the commands copy & paste to inject code into random areas. I thought this app was going to get better and better as time moved on but it turns out that this app is so useless that I couldn’t wait any longer.
I thought the Journal button in the top right corner was really cool and I couldn’t wait to get some quality data into it. Until I realized that it was impossible to get in any data at all, let alone make it look right.
8. Why is there a totally distinct button whose sole purpose in the world is to copy to clipboard when clicked?
Wouldn’t the intuitive way of highlight -> then Cmd + C to copy then V to paste been the way to go. Every time i clicked on a bloody photo, it cleared my clipboard. Well why was I clicking on the images so many times? Well I’m not sure, maybe because I have to hit the edit button thats rriiiiigggghhhhtttttt next to the clipboard button, every single goddam time I want to enter some fucking data because your tables are too goddam small. Compatible with Excel and Page my fucking ass.