The Heart of Scrintal: Part two

Part two of showcasing our users' stories.

The Heart of Scrintal: Part two

Part two of showcasing our users' stories.

The Heart of Scrintal: Part two

Part two of showcasing our users' stories.

We’re committed to making a product that answers the people’s needs. To do that, we have to consider users as real people with real-life issues in their personal knowledge management system. Every time before we release an update to Scrintal, we think carefully about our users’ workflows and how these updates will help them do things better.

That might explain why so many users I’ve spoken to recently have highlighted Scrintal’s “visuality” and “minimalist UX.” Our goal is to develop a visual knowledge base that empowers knowledge workers to plan, ideate, develop, and share ideas without friction in one place. 

Considering these concepts, I thought it would be an excellent time to showcase some of our users’ stories. Each of the following individuals told me who they are, what problems led them to Scrintal, and how their workflows improved after onboarding.

We think it’s good to be reminded as often as possible of the people we’re building Scrintal for and why they are the heart of our app. They will take it from here.

How Consolidating my Notes Saved me Time, Effort and Worries

Jakob Barnard

My name is Jakob Barnard, PhD. I am an Assistant Professor and Department Chair in the Computer Science & Technology department at the University of Jamestown, North Dakota, USA. My role varies between administrative functions, but primarily on teaching with the development of curriculum and the implementation of that curriculum.

My field of expertise and work has been in Computer Science education, with recently completing a PhD in Information Technology. My dissertation study focused on how to utilize curricular guidelines in a liberal arts computing program. The application of work and study is now progressing to redesigning existing university technology programs and identifying growth opportunities in program offerings.

The biggest problem I had was the variety of starting points and tools used in the initial phases of a project. Handwritten notes, whiteboards and markers, mind mapping applications, and anything else that worked to capture the initial ideas. While this worked, the impact was spending time porting or consolidating information from tool to tool, trying to figure out what might be missing, and not having a comprehensive view of progression. As importantly, there was a disconnect between the initial notes and the later refinements in a different tool.

The most exciting aspect of using Scrintal was that it forced me to think about the process of knowledge creation and the various aspects of knowledge management. Why was I using a whiteboard? Did I fully capture the initial brainstorming when moving to an electronic note system for longer form development? Did ideas need to be in a hierarchical structure or were their better approaches that allowed for richer development of ideas and projects?


The most significant single piece of writing I have ever done was my Ph.D. dissertation. Scrintal was a tool I used more heavily in the initial phases and development of the project. A dissertation is a highly formulaic piece of writing, and the final product needs to be in a very specific format and file type. However, the beginning sections involve brainstorming, connecting elements, visualizing how elements relate to each other, making notes on existing notes, etc. Scrintal proved to be an invaluable tool to facilitate this and augment research library tools.

As Scrintal continued to progress as a product, I saw that there were ways that would now make some of that initial work even more visual and flexible. (Such as enhancements to tagging and color coding.)

Journal article planning:

Another use case has been compiling notes and ideas for journal articles at the start of those journal articles. This use case is still evolving for me, as the sometimes collaborative elements often result in utilizing tools that others are familiar with, but early planning, connecting to previous work and ideas, and visualizing connections have proven extremely useful with Scrintal.

Course development

With the dissertation complete, curriculum development has become my most significant constant use of Scrintal during a school semester. I have tried to experiment with the functionality a bit to make a very visual and agile approach to developing a course.

The process for a course has been to have a central card with an overall description. Then break the class into the overall themes or approaches I was organizing the course by. Then, break those themes down into individual weeks in another circle around the initial card. From there I work through each week, making notes for lecture material, creating the assignment(s) for the week, and noting any other relevant information that I might need for that week. I utilize color coding to indicate what the card is. 

The approach has allowed me to know visually as I progress where I am in terms of developing material for the class, keeping all notes and ideas in a central place, and making it quite easy to finalize the material for presenting to students. One key future enhancement would be to add an additional card per week for notes of what went well and what didn’t, and suggestions for future versions of a class.

Curriculum and program development

My newest use case has already proven Scrintal to be an extremely valuable tool in collecting, visualizing, and adding additional notes to the development or redevelopment of academic programs. The program development use case helps me to envision the overall structure. In Scrintal, I can focus on the details of individual classes and create a visual representation of the program elements, including how they relate to each other. I can also take notes about these elements and their connections. Moreover, Scrintal's feature to share the planning board with relevant parties is very helpful.

The program development board, shown below, is still a bit of a work in progress. Still, the key elements start with a rather traditional hierarchical breakdown of programs, but linking cards together visualize overlap, and then add additional bridging cards to further annotate those intersections. That visual element, I believe in the long run will be the critical element of identifying opportunities for change, creation, collaboration, and other elements that might not be as noticeable when working with more traditional approaches such as individual documents, spreadsheets, or that sort of disconnected approach.

Would I recommend it?

I most certainly would recommend Scrintal to friends, whether they asked about the product or not! Why do I say that? While a single product can’t (and shouldn’t) be all things to all people, Scrintal has continued to evolve and develop as a product that takes user feedback seriously and implements suggestions that fit well into the design philosophy. Furthermore, Scrintal is exceptionally flexible in terms of how and what people might be able to use it for, as long as they take a consistent approach and think about the *why* of what they are trying to accomplish.

More about Jakob.

From Paper to Digital Notes: Following My Projects’ Paths from Beginning to End

Miguel Contreras

I’m a Guatemalan Ph.D. student at the State University of Campinas and a research consultant at Obesity Canada, where my primary duty is to track each change that the two adaptation teams in Ireland and Chile are making to the Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines.

I’m working on weight bias and obesity stigma from a sociological stance. I aim to explore how social beliefs and ideas about body shapes and healthism influence women’s sexual and reproductive rights exercise.

In my work, I suffer each time I do a literature review. Tracking topics, papers, and potential quotes using free or paid reference management software was awful for me. I always had a bad time creating visual connections among topics. Now, with Scrintal, everything is more accessible.

Scrintal is the first visual note-taking app that I use. So, I cannot compare it with others, but it was a relief for me. It has improved the way I work and take notes. Now, I can track my daily job without worries. In fact, I can now follow my projects’ paths from beginning to end.

I used to do everything by hand. It took a long time to do my job, but it was the most reliable solution for me at the time.

I was looking for solutions for my note-taking problem and found Scrintal. I was lucky that I connected with the Scrintal team when they were in their launch phase so that I could try it for free.

Initially, I was a bit worried about the common free-trial software feature not allowing me to explore all the app features. However, after the onboarding session, I realized this was not true. I have enjoyed Scrital every time I use it.

I use Scrintal to take notes whenever I read a journal paper, watch a video, or listen to a conference. Now, I can easily create visual pathways for my research processes. However, until now, I have only used it for my professional duties.

In my research processes, I have seen a tremendous change. The time saving that represents for me Scrintal’s features are priceless. I can compare the process before and after Scrintal and say that Scrintal has changed my everyday activities related to research.

Scrintal is the best solution for note-taking. It is easy to use and can adapt to your necessities without hesitation. I love it! 

More about Miguel.

Scrintal serves researchers, advanced students, executives, entrepreneurs, consultants, authors, software developers, and anyone tackling complex topics.

Our platform empowers users to capture and connect ideas visually, simplifying complex thoughts and enabling persuasive content creation. Scrintal offers a zero-learning curve, immediate productivity, and structured knowledge accessibility. Scrintal stands out for its simplicity and unique features, making creative thinking and knowledge management effortless.