Lite Jot Blog Launch, New Features, and Design Updates

February 23, 2016  •  By Jake Larson

We're two months into 2016, a year since the beginning of Lite Jot's development, and about half a year since its release in beta mode. What better way to start the year off and Lite Jot's brand new blog feature than to look back at where Lite Jot began, recently-launched features and updates, and what's to come?

Lite Jot began with three goals in mind: improve productivity, simplify organization, and maintain a lightweight feel. The challenge to taking the complexity out of note-taking is keeping it useful in the situations where we take notes as individuals and groups The typical note-taker needs more than just textual notes: most people want headings and colors to divide and better organize notes on a topic, and checklists to track tasks and action items. So, instead of introducing a complex text (WYSIWYG) editor, which would really take away from feeling lightweight, jots were given types: standard jots, headings, and checklists. The meaning behind providing only features that are used most commonly is to improve productivity and organization. There's a paradox here: we try so hard to be consistent and spend so much time making everything perfect, that we lose focus on our original goal: taking notes. Lite Jot's approach to formatting is just one example of providing note-taking necessities: keeping the interface simple and clean, and our workflow smoother.

What's new

Since the beta was released, our priority has been to patch bugs and improve design and features. Recently there's been a greater push into bringing Lite Jot into a more mature version. For those who've signed in or signed up recently, you may have already seen some of the latest updates. Many design updates, user support features, and behind-the-scenes improvements have gone live in the past month.

New design updates, and more to come

So, let's start off by addressing the elephant in the room: Lite Jot is blue now. It might not seem like a huge change, but we put a lot of thought into this. Lots of research has been done by psychologists about the calming affects of blue and how it affects our mood. Too much red can sometimes affect our moods in a negative way. That's definitely not going to help us when taking notes. (If you're interested about blue in branding, you may want to check out this article.) Eventually, different theme colors may be available to give the interface more personalization. Until then, we believe this transition will be a positive one.

A goal of Lite Jot is to maintain a clean design for increased productivity. There's a constant battle between decluttering the menu bar and not putting everything from the menu into a dropdown that you must click every time you want to access a feature in there. For that reason, the left sidebar menu was created. The top, blue bar now has less going on, and actually contains what the jots heading area (the topic name, search bar and options menu) used to. So, while we did a add black bar to the left and take up more horizontal space, we also made vertical room in arguably the most important region of the interface: the jots column. You now have more height to work with and thus a larger view of your jots (less scrolling!).

A lot of other little tweaks have been made to clean up the interface. We won't discuss them all, but here's a before-and-after of Lite Jot's baby picture and Lite Jot now:

Lite Jot before screenshot

Lite Jot after screenshot

Support features

Having support when you need it is important, especially the convenient kind. While email is great for some forms of communication, it isn't the best for account questions. Better yet is the option to communicate with Lite Jot Support on Lite Jot. We developed a support ticket feature for users who may have a quick question or are experiencing an issue while taking notes. On top of that, an actual email feedback form has been added for easier email inquiries, as well as a password recovery feature (finally). A documentation page is still in the works, and will hopefully be finished soon to finish off the support center features. In the time being, feel free to reach out with any questions via support tickets (or email), and thank you for the wait!

Behind-the-scenes improvements

Easily one of the most complex features of Lite Jot is live sync. Your browser is constantly talking to the server and discussing what's new and what to update on your screen. Large strides have been made to minimize how much talking is necessary and thus improve live sync speed and data usage. Live sync is now a lot more efficient and lighter on your browser.

Functionally, folder/topic sharing has not changed at all, yet! While haven't changed the feature on the outside, we've rewired how sharing works on the inside for future improvements to work, such as advanced permissions and more easily sharing a specific topic. Expect to see improvements soon.

What's next

The long term goal is to leave beta mode and get to version 1.0. The short term goals are to add note-taking necessities: flexibility and organization, stronger Google integration for those who sign in with Google, expanded support, and tips for using Lite Jot for maximum productivity. Your feedback helps us determine what is most necessary, and guides our highest-priority improvements. If you have a suggestion, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us!

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