I keep scanning my Twitter feed for news about new note-taking apps. I signed up for the Gemsnotes app during one such session in April this year. Within three days, I got a reply asking me to start my trial.

Soon, we scheduled an onboarding call.

It didn’t work for a long time, here is why.

When I did an onboarding call with the Italian founder Lorenzo, he asked me if I had markdown notes. He said he would need about 30-50 to be imported into the app so he could demonstrate the trial.

Importing Two thousand Notes jammed the app almost.

I said I have about two thousand odd notes. Well, he accepted the challenge, and we imported the entire 2000-odd notes. Then we did the similarity test. Which is the main feature of the app. It saves you from the bother of connecting notes. You don’t have to consider which notes need to be connected.

However, even though we imported a large number of notes. I was not happy with the similar results. The results were accurate, but we only like 5 to 6 results per query, which didn’t give me enough material to write my permanent note or a blog post.

Work with Fewer notes

Lorenzo told me that I needed to work with fewer notes. But I was adamant that I wanted all my two thousand plus notes inside the app. But having so many notes meant that the whiteboard was clustered, and navigation was next to impossible. I decided I had enough and was frustrated that my two thousand plus notes jammed the software UI. I subsequently deleted all my notes and gave up on Gemsnotes.

Lorenzo was probably disappointed that it hadn’t worked out for me. But we keep in touch on Whatsapp intermittently, exchanging greetings. I guess Lorenzo still believed I was a potential customer for his app.

I came back after several months to Gemstones, here is why

I had to write an extremely difficult article, and the job involved reading academic papers. I had to submit it the same month. I had been using Tinderbox for such complex writing and note-taking project. But Tinderbox has a big learning curve, and the connecting of notes manually takes a lot of time. With Gemsnotes, all you need to do is import your existing notes. I requested Lorenzo to extend my trial so that I could make one last attempt and see if it has any use for me.

I had finished all my note-taking for this project. I saw that the notes were around fifty and would work in gemsnotes. I imported and started doing the similarity test, which impressed me.

Then I began writing the article. I saw the speed of finding relevant notes was so efficient with the similarity feature, which is the USP of the app.

Result

I had the least amount of friction writing my article than before. This app cut down the manual work of connecting notes and finding them. I was impressed. I told Lorenzo I was upgrading my trial to a paid one as I do this work regularly.

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So summing it up

  1. Gemsnotes is good to work when notes are related to a project. Per my interaction with Lorenzo, Gemsnotes can handle about 500 notes well. I think it is a good size for a project.

  2. Trust the AI - At the heart of the app is its similarity suggestion which removes the need for connecting notes manually. This is where real-time is saved.

  3. It supports the import of markdown notes.

Features I would like to have

  1. The app is perfect, but the aesthetics could be improved. But I don’t care, as the main purpose is to speed up your creative process of creating content.
  2. Also, I feel there has to be support for the export of notes in MD, which it currently lacks.