Taking a Look at Kinopio.Club
Kinopio has a super fresh design and is one of the most unique PKM apps I've seen in a while.
I'm seeing more and more canvas style apps popping up these days in the PKM space. Apps like Kosmik and Defter Notes offer a unique approach to organizing data and information.
But there's one app that has a really unique style to it and it absolutely a blast to use: Kinopio.club.
I don't remember how I found this app, probably on Twitter, but I started looking into it more and more and now I'm loving it. It's not my only PKM app right now, but I use it nearly on a daily basis.
Let's take a look at it.
Let me do a quick run through of the UI so you can get a little familiar with it. Here’s what the demo space looks like:
That’s definitely a different style. Isn’t it great? Cool. Cool, cool, cool. Let’s move on.
Let’s start with the section in the top left:
The top left is where you create a new Space or Daily Journal. A Space is just a new place to start organizing data. It's like a new kanban board, map of content, mind map, whatever you want to think of it. And a Daily Journal is just a daily space for you to gather information throughout the day like in a standard daily note on any PKM app.
You can also change the background, navigate to another Space or Daily Journal you've previously made, pin the Space you are currently in, add this Space to the Explore section, change the privacy level, remove this Space, and Export it.
The bottom left has two icons next to each other: Explore and Live Public Spaces. Explore is a set up community made templates for Spaces. So if someone made a decision making Space, you can use it. These are updated frequently and you can submit your Space to the Explore in the top left.
Next to that is the ability to favorite this Space and to the right of that is a down arrow when pressed gives you two more options:
See all the tags in this Space
See all the backlinks to this Space
The top right you have your profile, Share, and notifications. The bottom right has the zoom slider.
That's a quick run through of the UI. I'm sure I've missed something, but let's get to the meat of this and talk about what you can actually do in Kinopio.
Let me see if I can list out some of the major features before diving in:
Relationships between cards
Good mobile web app
The simplest way to describe how to use Kinopio is to click anywhere on the canvas to add something. That's it. Start adding things and start connecting them.
When you click on the canvas (or tap on mobile) it brings up the menu that looks like this:
From here you can start writing or paste in a URL. Throw on a tag and you're good to go. Once the card is made you can choose to connect it with another card using a line. You can change the connection line color and even give it a special type name. I haven't done this yet because I haven't found a specific use case for it, but I like that the option is there and I’m sure some people have done cool things with it already.
If you click on a tag then you can see all cards that use that tag across all of your Spaces. That's super handy. A great use case would be if you tagged something as "important" or "article" or "read later", you can then see all of those regardless of which space they are in just by clicking on the tag.
What Makes Kinopio Different
It's pretty obvious to see what makes Kinopio different among the PKM apps: design.
The design of Kinopio is a very 90's, brutal, web1.0 design. I love it. It looks so different from everything else and the design is still cohesive despite how different it is. It may turn some people off, but I really like how refreshing it feels.
Honestly, it's a blast just to open up and use. I don't use it a ton because there are other apps that are more efficient for me, but several times a day I'll go into my Daily Journal and write a few things out and throw in some links I thought were cool because I just want to open the app up.
It reminds me of using Fuji cameras. Sure, most full frame cameras can offer better image quality overall, but Fuji is just so much fun to use. I love the retro design mixed with modern features. It makes me want to pick up and use their cameras more.
That's what Kinopio is: a successful blend of old design with modern features. It won't be for everyone, but for those that use it, it they will have a blast and I guarantee you won't use another app that looks like this.
The mobile web app is actually pretty darn good as well. Most web apps don't seem to work well, but this one does. It feels native when using it for the most part.
My favorite use case so far is using Kinopio as a place to collect inspiration. I am starting a few Spaces for collecting design and dropping links and images in as I find them. It's really great for collecting images, tagging them, and linking a comment to it. You can even filter your space by tags. So if you want to see all the cards in one Space tagged as "UI/UX" you can do that.
One of my complaints write now is that it only allows for 300 characters per card. It obviously isn’t meant to be a place to write out tons of articles, but still, I would love to start jotting down some thoughts and store them there.
So who is Kinopio for? Anyone that wants something different in the PKM space. You want some modern features, but you want to be a bit more chill. You want to work, but you don't want intense setups and database management.
You get a certain amount of cards for free and then it’s just $5/month for unlimited.
I like supporting apps that intersect with great design and practical usability and Kinopio does that.
Check it out over at Kinopio.club.