User feedback is so important

With the new V3.31.0.0 Surfulater release, when someone uninstalls Surfulater, a feedback request Web page is opened. This is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time and simply haven’t gotten around to it. Fortunately the Content Management System (CMS) we are using for the revamped Surfulater web site made this easy to do.

We receive customer feedback on a regular basis and it is usually very positive, however we rarely receive critical comments from people who have tried Surfulater and found it wanting, or simply doesn’t meet their needs. These critical comments are just as, if not even more important to us, ensuring we are doing the best we can to evolve Surfulater to satisfy broader community needs.  I am hopeful this new uninstall feedback form will give us some new found insights.

Flipping back to positive feedback, Jason Ebaugh, Founder of APIS Scientific sent me the following e-mail last week, which I am reproducing here in full with his permission.

I found out about surfulater on http://www.outlinersoftware.com/

I have been using it less than 24 hours, but have done a lot of research on the web in that time (as is typical for me).  Even in this short amount of time, it is obvious that Surfulator is a lot slicker than my previous method. I have found myself looking back thinking how much faster things could have gone if I would have been using it all along.

So, so far, so good!
JasonE

I have to say that feedback such as this is great to receive and helps reinforce that we have developed a good product that people find truly useful. Thanks again Jason.

The Outliner Software web site focuses on discussing Outlining software, however it also ventures into Information Management software and related areas. A number of the regulars there are Surfulater users, so you will see it mentioned from time to time. I also make the occasional appearance.

All feedback is important to us, whether you are new to Surfulater, just checking it out or have been using it for ages, we do want to hear from you. Our new Support Center has a Suggestions Category which is a good place to start.

Neville

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10 Responses to User feedback is so important

  1. Drew Cranna says:

    So far great product for doing research on the web. Best I have found for saving info direct from web pages. I am planning to switch to a Mac any plans to support Mac OS in the near future?

  2. nevf says:

    Hi Drew, thanks for the feedback. Good to hear Surfulater is helping with your research. We have no plans at this time for a Mac version, however it will of course run fine using Windows via. a VM on your Mac.

    - Neville

  3. Mary Wilson says:

    Really like the program, but you should have a note on how to back up and what files you should and should not do.

  4. Peter Thomas says:

    Hi Neville,

    Yesterday I spent a couple of hours searching for a notetaking/knowledge base software and so far Sufulater seems to be the most flexible. It was the following website that led me to Surflater: http://www.donationcoder.com/Reviews/Archive/NoteTakers1/index.php

    I like how the articles in each folder can be displayed in a single scroll when the folder is selected. This will be especially useful for me when I write papers since I would like to rearrange my ideas in the folder tree and see them flow one after another in a single scroll. However, since your Trial does not allow me to edit or add anything I’m unable to verify if this can be done. Can I change the position of an article within a folder and can this be done by dragging and dropping as well? Your help file implies that this can be done but I’m not sure.

    The other thing I was looking for in a notetaking software was the ability to have a Cornell Notetaking System template to take notes as explained here http://ccc.byu.edu/casc/note-taking-class and here http://wiki.43folders.com/index.php/Cornell_Notes

    I may be wrong, but it seem like Surfulater is unable to do this especially since it seems like there is no way to insert tables into an article content. I couldn’t find any menu item for tables nor could I find the word table in the help file.

    Here is a OneNote user’s attempt to do this with OneNote using text boxes: http://www.dorkotech.com/blog/2006/01/onenote-tip-cornell-stationary.html

    And here is some more on a Geek using the Cornell system to study:
    http://lifehacker.com/202418/geek-to-live–take-study+worthy-lecture-notes

    My points is that the Cornell notetaking system is widely used and if your software can include a Cornell template then I believe that many OneNote and other software users will switch to Surfulater if they know about it.

    Please let me know if and how I can get it to work Cornell Style. Also, it would be useful if you allowed full editing ability in the Trial if even for only one day just so trial users can test the now locked features themselves so they can be sure that those features work for them. For example, Surfulater seems to be the best for capturing webpages from web research but I can’t test it myself since it’s locked. Of course I can purchase it to test it and get a refund if I don’t like it but I would prefer even a one day test since I don’t like asking for refunds.

    Thanks for a making Surfulater available and I hope it can accommodate the Cornell System.

    Hoping to hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    Peter

    • nevf says:

      Hi Peter,
      There are no restrictions on adding, editing or deleting content during the free trial period. Maybe you trial period is over. If so you can restart the free trial by following the steps details on our FAQ Web page “Can I restart my free trial period?”

      Drag & drop works to rearrange the order of articles in the tree. Again it sounds like your trial is over.

      There are no “end user” capabilities to add Tables in Surfulater, so if that is a requirement for the Cornell Notetaking System then this isn’t going to work. However Surfulater’s Article Templates are Tables so it should be possible to create a suitable template.

      -Neville

  5. Peter Thomas says:

    Hi again Neville,

    I just reread about editing templates in your help file and it seems like it makes the change across the board for all the knowledge bases on my computer, but can you use multiple templates within one folder or knowledge base?

    I hope you can include the feature to create my own templates soon as that may be the solution to having a Cornell Notetaking System template. Looks like your template just needs one additional left column for the Cornell review keywords and questions and an additional footer row for the Cornell Summary before the reference, See also and attachments rows. Of course those additions must have the ability to grow downwards as you type.

    Thanks again and I’m hoping to hear from you soon.

    Regards,
    Peter

    • nevf says:

      Hi Peter,
      Templates are applied to all Knowledge Bases, so if you create a new template it will be available in all KB’s you create.

      I suggest you use our Support Center for assistance instead of the blog.

      -Neville

  6. Peter Thomas says:

    I did post in the Support Center but since I’m already here now I’ll just respond here if you don’t mind.

    You are right Neville, my trial has expired on my laptop probably because I must have installed and uninstalled Surfulater years ago and forgot about it, but when I reinstalled it on my desktop I was able to test all the features. I has all the features I need except for a template with a column to the left that I can used for the Review/Questions column for the Cornell Notetaking System. I do some programming myself and since the templates are simple HTML based table templates it should be very easy to just add a left column within the Text filed of the current Web template with a width that is 30% of the width of the text field. Or just add a user editable custom template that resides as a simple html file that can be edited by users to their hearts’ desire and that is imported by the software when used.

    If you can add this then I will be happy to purchase the software since this is what I mainly intend to use it for.

    Thanks again and please let me know if you can add this soon.

    Regards,
    Peter

  7. nevf says:

    In the [AppData]/SAIG/Surfulater folder you will see a file named Surfulater.SurfulaterPatch which contains all of the templates which are used by all Knowledge Bases. See Help | The Basics | Backing up my Knowledge Base for info on the AppData folder location.

    First make a safe backup copy of this file. Then copy the Template that most closely matches what you want, paste that at the end of file before and then modify same.

    To see your changes you need to restart Surfulater. When you are finished ensure you make a safe backup of the changed file as it can get overwritten by future releases.

    -Neville

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