Introducing Noodlin – A Brainstorming App

Screenshot of Noodlin in action. Create a Noodlin account to add your own ideas to the features board, or create your own boards.

I’ve been working on a web app, Noodlin, for brainstorming online. Basically, Noodlin just lets you create notes and connect them. I’ve been using it for taking notes during meetings, figuring out who gets what for the holidays, and organizing The Definitive Guide. I think it might be handy for people studying for finals this time of year, too.

I find it really difficult to be creative while looking at a text editor: it’s just not a good form factor for organizing thoughts, taking notes, and coming up with new ideas. There’s a whole class of problems where people say, “Let’s go find a whiteboard” or start sticking post-its to a wall. Noodlin is an attempt to make this kind of thinking easier to do on a computer.

Some features that I think are cool:

  • You can collaborate with friends and coworkers: anyone can add their own notes and connections to a board (each collaborator gets their own “layer”).
  • Boards are infinite in size: drag the board itself to move it around.
  • Notes can use Markdown for nice formatting.
  • You can create private boards by clicking on the lock beside the board title. Share with select users by adding a note with @theirUsername to the board and then selecting “Share” from the menu that appears. Everyone else will see a 404.

There are still a few rough edges, too: it doesn’t work very well on IE or mobile devices. I’m looking for a graphic designer to do some freelance work, does anyone know someone good? Looking for someone who can do stuff in with an Edward Gorey/Don Kenn look.

I’ve been working on Noodlin as a side project for a couple of months now and it’s an interesting change from database programming: most of the app is JavaScipt, there are only a few thousand lines of server-side code.

Please give it a try and let me know what you think!

  • http://twitter.com/svetlyak40wt svetlyak40wt

    Hi Kristina!

    Great idea. But after I logged in, it started to return: ”
    Oops! An Error Occurred
    The server returned a “500 Internal Server Error”.
    Something is broken. Please e-mail us at [email] and let us know what you were doing when this error occurred. We will fix it as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

  • Guest

    Yep, me too.

  • kristina1

    Ugh, sorry guys, should be fixed.  Need some more tests around that…

  • http://dirolf.com/ Mike Dirolf

    Awesome idea/execution – looking forward to seeing how this develops.

  • kristina1

    Thanks!

  • Tito George

    Nice idea, yes bored taking notes on note pad. 
    Can we have new note on double click?

  • kristina1

    Yeah, I never realized how many people randomly click on web pages before I saw people using Noodlin and creating accidental notes all over the place :)  I’d like to plan it out nicely so that there’s a big announcement and people aren’t confused that single-click suddenly isn’t working.

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