Keypoints App - A note-talking and PDF app for academic researchers

I’m always on the hunt for interesting tools to support my work as an academic researcher (and have been for a long time)

One of the core activities researchers do is read the literature. Over time, one does a lot of reading. But for most, the core pieces of information stay trapped in the article, making it difficult to remember what you read, to retrieve some key info at a later time, and also making it hard to see patterns or emergent ideas.

I created a little script for myself to extract my highlights from PDFs and it works OK.

But this app in development by @msteffens takes it to the next level. i’ve had my eye on it for a while. I think it could be a very useful tool for researchers of all stripes.


Looks really interesting. Any indication of public release date?

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@msteffens Do you have any public updates on the status of Keypoints?

Sorry for the late reply, I’ve totally overlooked this.

Currently, development progress is unfortunately very slow, and there’s no release date yet (not even for an alpha version). Nonetheless, I‘ll definitely continue with its development, and I’m dedicated to bring this app into release state!

Lately, I’ve worked hard to improve the internal linking mechanisms and to develop a flexible URL scheme that allows to search for & select notes as well as filter elements. This will be crucial in order to support further features in the future.

While the app has many v1.0 features already implemented and working nicely, some important things are still missing (like e.g. import & export), and I have to resolve some bigger issues with macOS system support (for the newest macOS releases) as well as some tricky bugs.

I know it’s been very long in the making and I wish things would go faster. During the last 12 months I’ve been facing tough set backs which ate much of my development time. Sadly, both of my parents became in need of care, then died soon after each other. But things will hopefully get better with time.

I hope to write more about where I stand with Keypoints development soon.

@msteffens I’m so sorry to hear about your loss :pensive:. It has been a challenging year. It’s hard to continue “life as usual” when all around you life is not usual.

I am developing my own app so I know how much time and effort it takes. I’ve been saying the beta will be ready “in 6 months” for about 2 years now :joy:. Keypoints looks great, and I hope you get the chance to return to it soon!

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@metaraine many thanks for your sympathy & the motivating words!

I‘d love to hear more about your app. I‘ve seen that you‘ve mentioned it also here, but maybe you can start a dedicated thread in this forum for your app?

For anyone wanting to know more about Keypoints, I‘ll be happy to answer questions here. And hopefully, there will be some alpha release to try out in the foreseeable future.

I‘ve also written about my app (and posted some short screencasts) in the Keypoints forums as well as e.g. here, here and here.

@msteffens Thanks for the additional info!

I’m still somewhat stealth, but as soon as I go public with it I’ll post more info! :slight_smile:

It sounds really interesting. I’m also in constant search to improve my note taking / pdf-epub highlightings workflow. I would love to see similar things for Linux (pretty anti apple :innocent:).