Sticky Notes right within your browser – with klemmbrett

If you are on the hunt for a lightweight note-taking companion to quickly capture and jot down thoughts and ideas right within your browser, klemmbrett might be what you are looking for.

When you are researching for an idea, browsing the web, or working on something, new thoughts and ideas can arise within a second. No matter how important they are to you in the moment they arise, one of the most powerful things is to simply write down everything that comes to your mind. To get started with that, the list of note-taking apps you can choose from is ever growing. It is hard to find a starting point, when almost every month a new app in that space launches. What makes it even harder is the fact that with the hype of knowledge management, bi-directional linking, properties, and objects, it feels like every single note-taking app requires multiple courses, tutorials, and documentation to get a hang of it. What if all those apps are way to complex when your use-case is to simply jot things down? What if you need a solution which is as simple as writing a sticky note, but digitally? Klemmbrett might be worth checking out when you are looking for a tool that gives you the possibility to write down your thoughts right within the browser.

Introducing klemmbrett: A simple solution for quick notes

Klemmbrett (which is German and means clipboard), is a browser extension (currently only available for Chrome) built by Lucas Pilzen, a digital product designer, product manager, and front-end engineer. Note-taking software often feels heavy, complex, and bloated, especially when you need a lightweight solution to perform the simple task of writing down your thoughts to remember them in a fast and easy way. Klemmbrett sits right within your browser and every new tab you create. Once you opened klemmbrett, you can start typing and writing down your thoughts and ideas. You can even enjoy a lovely editing experience, as klemmbrett features a rich-text editor to make your notes and thoughts stand out. Besides having access to klemmbrett when you are viewing a website, you can also start taking notes whenever you opening a new tab.

Easy access, rich-text editing, and more

After installing klemmbrett's Chrome extension, a very subtle UI element will get displayed at the bottom of your browser window. Clicking on that element (I would love to see the possibility to trigger it with a keyboard shortcut in a future update) opens up the klemmbrett interface, a simple and minimal window that allows you to quickly input text. On the top of the window you will find a couple of icons. One of them lets you get in contact with the developer of klemmbrett, another one lets you change between light and dark mode (although the icon only reflects the dark mode state), one which guides you the website's newsletter sign up form, one to expand the window to full-screen, and another one to dismiss the klemmbrett window.

Screenshot of homepage
klemmbrett is so small and subtle, that you might not even see it here

Klemmbrett gives you access to instant writing, since as soon as you open it up, auto focus will be on, no additional click needed to just get started writing. By doing that, klemmbrett removes a lot of friction. It is as simple as it can get to just start capturing, since there are no systems involved, just a single text field action as your personal clipboard for anything that comes to your mind.

Screenshot of homepage with klemmbrett Chrome extension open
The klemmbrett window, ready to capture some notes
klemmbrett chrome extension fully expanded, overlaying the whole browser window
There is also the possibility to fully expand the window for deep focus

Besides that, klemmbrett stores and saves your notes in the local Chrome storage, which means your data is safe and only visible to you. On the roadmap though, you already find cross-device support, which will give you the possibility to create an account and save your klemmbrett notes between different devices.

Redefining quick note capture in a busy digital world

Loads of note-taking tools out there add friction when it comes to the quick capturing part. You always have to decide where to put it, which tag you should use, where you should link to. As thoughts and ideas come to our mind spontaneously, it is important to have no friction while capturing them, since if you need to spend some time first to figure out where to actually put those thoughts, chances are high that you already forgot what you wanted to write down. With klemmbrett, there is no friction involved. However, it is tied to your browser. I do get the point that for the majority of folks who's jobs involve a computer or laptop, they probably have to do some kind of work within a browser, or at least have one open right at there fingertips all the time. In other words, the browser is part of their workflows. Nevertheless, there is an equally high chance, that parts of their work are not happening within the browser, but rather within a specific app. In that case, you need to decide for yourself if it matters that the tool to quick capture your thoughts and ideas sits within a browser, or if you prefer to have it within a standalone app.

Klemmbrett definitely tackles a need. Within the field of knowledge management and note-taking apps, you will find loud voices asking for a way to quickly capture thoughts and ideas, as getting it to work with apps like Obsidian, Logseq, Craft, and others always involves some sort of fiddling around, using plugins, or Shortcuts. And then, as those flows are mostly workarounds, they are not working as intended. I do not want to append quick captured thoughts and ideas to my daily note, I do not want to create a new folder, file, or tag, I just want to be able to have a dedicated place, a scratchpad, a clipboard, which I can use to dump things, and get back to the whenever needed. The fact that loads of apps out there are telling you that they will help you to create a second braind but fail miserably at one of the most important tasks you expect from such an app is mind-boggling.

I am a huge fan of Raycast's Floating Notes feature, Tot by The Iconfactory, Drafts, and other ways to quickly capture notes and thoughts without thinking about where to put them, as the interface to write and input text is always just a shortcut or click away. It feels adequate to have a separated app for quick capturing and using whatever you wrote down within that app to then transform and move it to your preferred note-taking or PKM app. This way, the quick capturing tool acts like an inbox, and you need to actively visit it to decide whether something makes it into your note-taking system or not. You ensure that everything what enters your system is actually worth expanding or working on.

Raycast's floating notes feature – Copyright
Tot, the tiny text companion by The Iconfactory

The world of note-taking apps is vast and ever-expanding, with each new tool promising advanced features for knowledge management. However, amidst this complexity, simplicity can often be overlooked. Klemmbrett, with its straightforward design and focus on quick capturing of thoughts and ideas, offers a refreshing alternative for those seeking a no-fuss solution. By providing a digital clipboard right within the browser, klemmbrett streamlines the note-taking process, eliminating unnecessary steps and allowing users to focus on the essence of their ideas. In a landscape where productivity tools often overcomplicate tasks, klemmbrett stands out for its simplicity and efficiency, catering to the need for a dedicated space to jot down thoughts without distractions.

Klemmbrett will not replace your note-taking system, but this is not the goal of it, it acts like an additional layer to simply removes friction. And I like that. It looks great, it works, it is fast, and super easy to use. It is even free. There are some minor things that I would personally improve, like having a shortcut to open it (but also to close the window, ESC is not working which means I always have to use my mouse to close it), shortcuts to trigger the rich-text editing while writing, and maybe update the icons (a 'user' icon that guides me to a newsletter signup form on a website seems misleading).

All in all, a lovely little tool.

klemmbrett – the Note Taking App in your Chrome Browser Extension
Take notes right within your browser with klemmbrett. Your sticky note companion on the go. Simple note taking app. 100% browser saved and privacy first.

Till next time! 👋‌‌‌‌

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