Project Margins

Background

Despite the fact that reading is one of the best way to think, train your brain and learn new things, it is fairly easy to forget the vast amount of knowlegde it provides. Keeping a dedicated notebook around can be a great way to keep track of it. Yet, it can have the bad habit of not being around when we need it the most. Plus it is neither searchable nor filterable.

This is when Margins comes in. A cross-plateform app to keep track of all the good stuff one can find in a book, or every kind of media. From clipping quotes from a website to storing highlights on a Kindle.

Early Mockups

Vocabulary & Branding

A Margin is the core component of the service.
It is composed of a stack of Blocks about one particular content (a book, an article, a video, etc.).

A Block is a piece of knowledge added to a Margin.
It can be a quote (automatically or manually added), a personnal annotation written in Rich Text, a Youtube video or video extract.
More Block Types could be added.

Input

Manual Margin: For a Real Book, a Real Article

Simply adding new Margins for books read in real life, or anything that don’t come from an automated source (see later).
Providing some basic info for quick filtering, and tags.

Automated Margin: For a Kindle Book, For a Web Article

Automatically exporting highlights and notes from the user’s Kindle reads.
Using a browser extension, being able to quickly save quotes on right-click from anywhere on the Web. If the quote’s webpage url matches on in the database (same article), it will be stacked in the same Margin.

Output

  • Structured knowledge acquired over time
  • Powerful search engine
  • Filterable and sortable (topics, times, types, …)
  • Reminding the user through notifications to review his last Margins, and annotate them. Best way to remember.


 

Ideas to explore

Turning quotes into “language structures”

Wether it’s in a foreign language or native, we encounter quite often new words or phrase structures while reading. It would be nice to have them stored somewhere, in order to review them later and get better at writing.

One solution would be to highlight this new phrases as regular Blocks, that are automatically added to a Margin. Then, there could be a button on the specific Block to export it as a Language Margin, which would be a different class of top-level entry in the app. This Language Margin could then have its own stack of Blocks, maybe links, personnal annotations, use cases etc.
If the reader is on a web browser, he could even have a second option in the right-click menu to save the highlight directly as a Language Margin.