25th Nov, 2023
Explore the wonders of Capacities and how this object-based note-taking application is one of the most popular tools for note-taking right now and why Capacities is building a different approach to notes.
Capacities is an incredibly exciting block-based networked note-taking app that has a beautiful UI and an incredible team behind it who consistently listen to their community.
We're excited to dive into Capacities in this beginner's guide. Before we begin, important to note the newly launched Capacities Made Simple course to help you navigate Capacities.
Capacities is not organised like other apps.
Instead of folders, you work with objects (or content types) which are databases who hold types of pages that do a very specific job. Its database structure allows you to assign properties to each entry of that object.
The properties are totally customisable, and every new entry in that object is automatically given those properties for you to fill in if you want to.
You can have basic properties such as numbers, text boxes and checkboxes, but you call also create relations through between your objects with the single-select (when you only want to allow one connection) and multi-select (when you want to allow more than one connection) properties.For example, your people object should only hold information on people.
You might want to track their email addresses, the city they live in, which meetings you’ve had with them etc, and you’d do that through configuring the object properties. Conversely, for a book object, you’d want to track the author (this could be a select property to the people object), any themes, what you’d rate it etc.
Different types of information require different properties to be tracked, so you can customise this in the object properties.The key with Capacities though, is to remember is that every piece of content in your space belongs to one object.
There is no unclassified entry, meaning you cannot lose your content because you can always search for at least one property, and that is the object to which it belongs.Giving you the structure to add metadata in also helps you query your space easily and currently you can sort and filter your content easily, and the team have confirmed that powerful smart queries are coming soon so it’s going to get even better.
Whilst your content lives in objects (databases) they are not stuck there. You can link content together through the object properties such as the book -> people relation in the example above, or you can link in the body of the content to create backlinks.You can do so through the @ or [] function, and you search in-line for this if needed.
Use the @ or [] to search for your content in line and watch the links fill out your graph
There are several views in Capacities: inline, link block, small card, wide card, and embed. This means you can craft your pages to look exactly how you want them too whilst still prioritising the networked note taking approach.Germany is a page in the “country” content type. I have embedding the places that are related to it from the “places” content type via the small card embed option.
It’s not just the inline search that’s great. The search and command bar allows you to quickly and easily search across your space, to switch between spaces and to create new content. It’s super fast too.You can even search the properties via the command bar!
Using properties in your objects also allows you to create contextualised links in your graph. There’s no need to open up each piece of linked content in order to manually work out the connection between two entities. Let the properties tell you.
As you can see from the screenshots so far, the UI is beautiful. Two areas Capacities excels in are its different object views and its page layouts.The object views let you see the content within your object in different ways. The options are table, list, wall, gallery. My personal favourite is the wall view, but there are great uses for all.
If you are a Believer, you also get access to different page layouts.
Capacities recognises that we take notes on lots of different content and gives us the object (AKA content type) structure to manage this. But they also understand that different types of information might want to be displayed differently. For example, the small, and simple index card layout is perfect for Zettels or recipe cards, but the profile layout is perfect for your notes about the people you interact with.
They are not another way of referring to an existing page, they are a separately created piece of content intended to unite content from across your objects under one heading. Tags here are like more powerful folders because you can view and filter the content in dynamic and useful ways. Here, entries from the “place” object are united under the “travel” heading alongside images and weblinks.
Make adding content to Capacities easy with email, Telegram, Whatsapp and Twitter integrations, and enjoy the latest integration of Hookmark to increase interoperability between other apps in your system.
The team value the community’s voice so much, and constantly ship updates that prove this. Be part of this community on discord and see for yourself!
Individuals who like the aesthetic of Notion but want powerful note-taking and connecting capabilities, and are happy with notes being stored online.
Get started with our full Capacities course crafted by Beth and hosted by us, Keep Productive. Explore the power of Capacities with Beth and explore it further with us.
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