New Year's Wish List - for basic work processes

I’m interested. But with the caveat that I’d be willing to work in, and provide feedback for, MN5 provided it doesn’t delete my files.

Let me know if you feel that my files would be safe – and there’s a way to back them up and protect them properly – and then we’ll proceed from there.

How does that sound?

Well, keep me posted…

What’s the story, guys? Been waiting for a reply from @Lanco_Support-Team / @Support-Team re: beta testing MN5.

Did you ever get the MN5 beta? How’s it working out?

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Still no word from anyone.

@Relight_Support-Team / @Lanco_Support-Team / @Support-Team – any joy?

I’d really like to move forward with the MN5 beta as soon as possible, especially while I have the time to do so. Thanks.

I hope you don’t me jumping in, but I may be able to answer your question re MN3 to MN5.

Some cultures see the number 4 as bad luck, as the word for 4 sounds similar to death.

On a separate note, @Support-Team would be grateful if you could pass on a suggestion to the development team: allow playback of video/audio in the background.

The rest of the suggestions raised above would be ideal.

Looking forward to seeing what MN5 has in store.

P.S. Good luck on your exams!

Hi Josh (and others who have chimed in),

Seems you’re fairly invested in the software after reading through your posts. As others have echoed, most of what you are asking for are reasonable, logical improvements that others have wanted for some time.

Based on responses from the support team to your post, my own experience with them over the last year+ of usage, and the app’s history I recommend you just step away from this application until further notice. There are many applications that exist in this space that are more open, actively being developed (aggressively), and have long since caught up to the functionality of MarginNote; largely because they squandered their lead.

MarginNote fundamentally has many problems:

  1. The user base is split between two countries (China/US) but the developers are all Chinese. I’m uncertain what the atmosphere of development is in the Chinese software scene, but the expectation that exists stateside for developers to present road maps, time lines, etc. doesn’t seem to translate.

  2. The developer/user relationship (again, at least on this side of the forum) is abysmal. 95% of responses are “we’ll add this to our roadmap and consider it collectively”. This applies to features that, as you have alluded to, have been requested years ago. The other 5% is “this is impossible”. I have been lurking and posting here for quite some time and haven’t seen one interaction that has born fruit from a developer. At this point, the people creating plugins for MarginNote appear to be doing more developing than the people who develop the app which brings me to…

  3. A plugin functionality is an incredible asset for a piece of software. There are many plugins I have used in MarginNote that add features that should just be baked in. In the case of MarginNote, the plugin functionality seems to have provided a further excuse for lack of progress in the application by just pointing to a plugin someone made that, often very “hackily”, solves a fundamental issue.

  4. The app is clearly a cash cow in China in its current state (possibly also State side). It has 70k downloads worldwide in the month of January, with a projected 6 figure revenue, and is much higher on the download chart in China. It does seem the “don’t fix it if it ain’t broken” mentality might apply from the development side of things.

  5. And… most importantly… In all likelihood you and I want this app to be something it isn’t or isn’t capable of being for a variety of reasons (see 1-4). It’s completely possible this is the app of choice for Chinese Students to study for their style of exams and the features it includes make perfect sense for their likely uniform learning apparatus. Hell, even for me, it was neat at first until I ran into a ton of annoyances, silly limitations, and just dated implementations. Much like you… one of the biggest issues I ran into was the flexibility of work in MN outside of MN.

I would typically say “vote with your feet/dollar” but unfortunately we both already plunked our money down. Long story short, I think most in this forum are talking to a wall. On its face, there’s $$$ for development, support staff, etc. but it isn’t there even after all this time.

MN5 is alluded to as though it will solve all these problems when it might just be a visual overhaul, streamlining of existing features/incorporation of plugins, and introduction of a subscription model.

TLDR; Run for the hills imo. If the app isn’t working for you right now you should assume it will never work for you. Development is happening (maybe?) but it’s not being directed by anything we’re saying or asking for.


Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree with most of what you wrote, and I’m currently searching for an alternative to MarginNote. It’s incredibly upsetting because, like so many users here, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy trying to help them make basic improvements to their app. I was hopeful during my last few exchanges on this post – and hoped to actually see what they had produced with their beta MN5 version – but their lack of response (and communication, in general) is deeply troubling.

So now I have to try to find an alternative to MarginNote, and that won’t be easy since I made it an integral part of my work process. Basically, I’m now seeking a PDF annotation app that can:

  • Allow me to highlight and tag annotated notes (that’s crucially important for my work process);

  • Export just the annotated notes in OmniOutliner – or, at the very least, in a format that I can open in OmniOutliner, and will mirror the MarginNote - OmniOutliner file output (i.e., in which the annotated notes are segmented by the _note , Tags , Book Title , URL columns);

  • Also export the annotated files in PDFs that don’t have a prohibitively large file size and (if possible) have URL generated links for the PDF annotations that can function offline;

Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks so much!

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This is totally my experience. It’s just astonishing to me. I am at my wits end, and…I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…I’m really thinking that I’ve got to get off of MargninNote at this point. I can’t believe it.

It really says something when this post – which was aimed at fixing some of the totally achievable shortcomings with this app (which so many users have discussed for years) – has now become a space where MarginNote users are actually collectively discussing how we’re going to de-platform from the app, and attempt to try to find another solution, just because the developers can’t be bothered to even answer us.


Do you have anything to say about any of this??


I’m actually despairing about how all of this is unfolding. As you say, this all started out by me just posting suggested fixes and improvements to MN3. But @dcclark91 really captured the essence of how so many users feel collective frustration over @marginnote3 – and the lack of any meaningful progress to address our concerns.

More than that, it’s the feeling that we – @marginnote3 users – have expended so much energy to voice our concerns, frustrations and desires, and it feels like we’re just ignored.

I’ve told @Lanco_Support-Team that I’m happy to look at their MarginNote5 beta, and further help assist them develop their app. I’m not quite at the point where I’m ready to totally give up on @marginnote. But I really need to see serious, significant change. Soon.

Let’s hope they can really deliver.

Sad… ⠀ ⠀


I’m baffled. Honestly, I don’t know how to move this forward constructively, though I very much want to do so…



What’s the latest with these requests? Can we please get some update?

All of us want and need these features, and we’re troubled by your lack of communication.

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Hello, we will try to reply to you after discussion

Kind Regards,
Support Team

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Great! When…?

Thank you for waiting. We decide to invite all devoted users to the beta software program. Please fill out the questionnaire to help us complete your profile. And there will be an invite link after you finishing it.

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Hi @Bryan, First, Thank you for posting this. It’s taken a while, but we’re relieved to finally see something concrete from @marginnote / @marginnote3. I will fill out your survey, download the beta, start working with it and provide feedback.

One observation & request: While the survey questions are in English, the illustrate examples are in Chinese. This is the same problem with your manual’s and videos. I kindly request that you fix this, otherwise we won’t be able to make use of what you’re providing. Does that make sense? Thanks.

@Bryan I filled out the survey, but didn’t see an invite link after you finishing it.

How am I supposed to get it?

I see that you have already join the channel in discord. And we will add invitees to TestFlight once a week. Please pay attention to the Testflight invitation email.

I joined the server then it disappears or i get kick out !

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