Dilemma : Best app with worst bugs and manuals

This app. Review.

<+⃝ positives>
Combines a lot of great features.

  • Note taking with pencil kit*
    I like the most about this app.

Card deck
I like it that it can be combined to mindmap and document, but… the card deck it self really frustrating to edit. too much steps.

Mind mapping
Probably the best function in this app.
auto locating system is super great.
also able to locate to research data is awesome.

<-⃝ negatives>
but tbh…
① all functions have some kind of random bugs and lacks flexibility.

② replies & supports
not good service.
just some kind of formally replied saying it will be considered.
but no solutions, no practical advices.

for 1 week
① I’ve been seeing all videos about Marginnote3 on youtube and other communities.

→ Marginnote official videos lacks information and not much practical advices, just explaining this does this, this does this… and so on.
thats not a proper user guide.

I really had to search and test my self everything
taking me the whole week to get everything
which would have only taken few hours in other apps.

② I’ve read all the user guide and tested each of them (many has errors)
→ very long user guide but still lacks practical information, so that I had to click really everything and test my self on many cases for practical uses.

I found a lot of bugs.
found ways to solve bugs but could not find the causes for the bugs.

most problems

  • lacks practical advices for user guide.
  • lacks flexibility
    (I’ve read so much suggestions of forum users but really none of them were considered)
  • no replies for long time, and no solutions, just formal replies and says it will be considered but it actually doesn’t.


this app is IOS app but seeming more like old windows app.
I think it can improve a lot better.
but I can’t be sure marginnote3 team is willing to get better.


Yup. You nailed it. Especially about the service – or lack thereof. So frustrating, for everyone. But I don’t think @marginnote3 and @Support-Team really care.

Yes I think the philosophy behind marginnote is not that of a mind mapping software but that of a flash card creation software. That is why it follows a linear structure and does not cater to fluid non linear arrangements of nodes. I think we are expecting more from Margin note than it is intended to be. In what the requirements are for most users, of a flexible mind mapping software, this is not it, and will require a complete rework from the ground up for it to become one. Something that will not likely ever happen. The team seems to lack interest and the vision of the team seems to not go in the same direction. Margin note has very good excerpt creation dynamics and that is the only thing it does well. In all other areas it is severely lacking and unintuitive in its implementation. Unfortunately there are no other options out there. Best to keep hoping someone steps up and creates an alternative that is the margin note that we deserve and not the one it is right now. Or maybe create your own. Really unfortunate since margin note has the potential to be the best software for studying and note taking, it could overtake every other software out there, but severely falls short because of lack of vision and foresight.

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I agree with some points mentioned above but firstly I want to emphasize that imho this app (using on Mac and iPad, mostly on latter) is outstanding. Its features, some of them almost hidden, are phenomenal and allow many different workflows. Syncing using iCloud means being able to set up some things on Mac and then taking my iPad to find some neat place to work on. Since weeks I am working on about 100 pdfs in 6 study notebooks, all without any bugs found. Some quirks perhaps.

I began mid of 2021 to test all options for my personal needs , liquid text being the most prominent, maybe. Lastly I reviewed them again as in fact the lack of responsiveness in forums or (online) manual pages (and tbh the Chinese origin – in these times of war) but I was disappointed: not even one came close to all the features Marginnote has already.

So my summary is simple: this app is absolutely unique, very mighty and could be better than many others. But marketing and support cannot keep pace with this vast power: the online manual is ok, but outdated many times; the forum is ok, but you never know if there will be a response, or when. My impression is that there should be more people working on these areas.

It would be a pity if this app could not survive as some other here fear.

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Agree especially with your praise. For me even the version it is right now is better than anything other out there, including the excerpt/mindmapping abilities.

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Don’t know anything about the team at MN (besides that they made this beautiful app :-). But why shouldn’t they care (about their services being not so good at some areas)?
My only explanation for this is that, perhaps, they do not have enough time.

Everything IS there, but some of it is out of date. What I miss most are some usage scenarios, all of which could/should be compiled in a proper manual. The online collections give some information, but there is no simple introduction, no text book, no “Marginnote for Dummies”. Why?

Hi hermannkm! Have you checked out this manual?

This should give the complete guide to all the buttons and features in MN3. : )

Hi Ashley,
thank you for pointing to this link. Yes, I lately stumbled upon this manual, but I did not find it inside MN Homepage or MN Help button (There is only the “Basic Operation Guide” listed, which is very nice but overwhelming for a new user). I found it by googling ;-).

This documents as I used them are extensive and a profound base of knowledge, although the english version should be updated with english and current screenshots to be easily digested.

This is a perfect example of my only criticism: everything IS there/somwhere, everything is really great, sometimes there are only some missing details – which without doubt can be solved with probably not so much effort.

SO: thank you for reading, thank you for replying and congratulations: the homepage for MN looks new and does exactly what it should: show all the strengths of your app! (And it looks stunning IMHO).