Keep Suggestions

edited November 2009 in The Keep General

I'm evaluating via the trial version and I like what you've done. Here's a few suggestions for improvement.

1.Hot keys. You've got all the functionality in place but it's very mouse-centric.

Stuff like press 'DEL' to wipe a note rather than access Delete via the mouse.
A hotkey for inserting a new text note
A hotkey for renaming a note etc.

2. Autonaming of new notes.
Rather than having to manually name a new note it would be great if the program could use the first line of text in the note as the default name. Eg. So you paste a new monster into a note and the monster name at the top automatically becomes the note name in the sidebar.

In many ways The Keep is similiar to a PIM called "INFOSELECT" . Although this is a fairly mature product some of it's basic functionality could be handy.

3. GM Window for text notes
This is a great feature but having it restricted to images is limiting. It would be handy if it could be a universal button for any note type.

You've got a great idea and are well on the way to a great product here. As mentioned above other products provide a lot of similiar functions but the ability to integrate your other product line within The Keep is a winning edge.



  • edited October 2009

    A couple of other ideas while I'm at it.

    4.Quick Logs
    This is a great feature. I've noticed that once you have multiple quick log that the buttons on the menu bar all tend to blend in. Perhaps each successive Quick Log button could be shaded automatically in a harmonious pastel color, for instance, that provides a clear demarcation between multiple buttons.

    5.Pin up Windows
    I'm making another reference here to the "OTHER PRODUCT" (see previous post). No I don't work for them (although I do own the product in question and use it a lot). It has the ability to take a text note, for instance, and 'pin it'. This means that the note 'floats' above the main interface (it's a non-modal stay-on-top mini-window).
    It's given a distinctive background colour to provide a quick indication of it's status.

    The advantages of this are that you can 'pin' a text note and have it sitting there at all times (it's usually made a lot smaller than the main interface so you can still see what's going on underneath. You can also resize and shuffle it around if needed to get a better view). It enables you to go through you database of notes, files etc. when researching a topic and whenever you see something that you like you can quickly cut and paste or write down something on the 'pinned' topic.

    Essentially you are cutting out the interim step of having to continually flip back to your core note (that you are using to collate the info or gather you thoughts on) via the side bar folder selector. Instead the core note is pinned and ready to go until such time as you unpin it.

    I don't know if your program structure could encompass such a feature but it's a very handy piece of functionality that would sit well with what you've got already.

    6.Background Colours
    It would be nice to be able to assign background colours to your text notes as a further means of classification (eg. All Monsters with a pale red background are associated with Fire Elements, blue backgrounds are Water Elements, etc.). Probably an option via the right click menu.

    I realise you can colour highlight text blocks I'm referring specifically to the background of the entire note.

    7.Note Name Colour Highlighting
    I'm referring here to the folder side bar. Being able to color code the name of each note would also be useful for reasons stated above. Eg. You have a list of NPC's. All the ones with yellow names are found in the North, all the ones with the green names are found in the South. Right click menu option again.

    At the risk of ex-communication I'd venture to point out that you can download a trail version (same as The Keep, full version but time-nobbled). There are a hell of a lot of fancy bells and whistles there but the underlying core product is similiar in design to what you are aiming for here and has a lot of very good ideas regarding basic operating functionality as it's now in it's 8th iteration and has well and truly sorted out what works and what doesn't.

    Might be worth a quick look.

    9. PDF's
    Being able to read PDF's within the KEep is a stroke of genius. As is the ability to access the web. Well done. Like another poster here I've noticed a hiccup with how it works though. When you add the PDF as a new topic and then select it, it doesn't fire up the document. However if you exit and restart (I rebooted as well, not sure if that's required) it's working as intended. Perhaps an initialisation issue.

    [edit] I've tested this some more and it's working perfectly. Not sure what to say.

    10.Database Limitations
    What are the size limitations of the database? I can imagine if I started adding in some hefty PDF's and a bunch of JPG's it could start ballooning out pretty fast. Are there any hard limits? What about practical limits for a well spec'd computer?

    [edit: O.K, I've figured that you use SQL Lite so no problems here]

    11.Standard File selection tools
    Say you want to move a bunch of text notes from one topic to another in the folder side bar. At present you have to do this one by one which can get a bit tedious. Standard stuff like SHIFT-CLICK or CTRL-CLICK to enable multiple file selection and movements would be really handy.

  • Goodaye,

    Now that I'm a bonafide user of the product (did the 30 day trail then bought it) I'd like to add one more thing to my list of suggestions.

    The dice roller at the bottom right of the screen is great but if you don't use it there's a fair amount of useful screen real estate going to waste.

    Can I suggest that either that the program remembers that you have minimised it previously and restores it that way when you use the program again or that there is a toggle switch in the 'Program Preferences' to do the same thing. It's one of those small niggly things that make life easier.

    While I've made quite a few suggestions here I'd like to say that I'm very impressed with The Keep as is. I found that after 30 days of use I was finding more and more uses for it. You've got a good product here and I'll be recommending it on other forums.

  • I am absolutely loving this product. Its made organizing all my games a snap (currently running Stormbringer, Call of Cthulhu, Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader AND a Spaceship Zero/Rocketship Empires 1936 hybrid). I read carefully the suggestions from the previous poster and agree that they would be nice additions, but I have a few that would be handy for my style of gaming.

    1) The document view would be awesome if you could view spreadsheets too, perhaps a tie in to OpenOffice? I have a lot of spreadsheets and it would be handy to be able to open them up right in the Keep as well.

    2) A media previewer? This might be hard to do but I have a lot of sound effects and music that I run and it would be nice to organize all of that in with everything else but have the ability to preview it from one interface.

    3) Maybe I am going about organizing things incorrectly but can you have a seperate database for each game? Right now all my games (see above) are in one database under individual root entries but if I had the option of choosing the needed database when I opened the keep that would be handy. Also since I have it installed on a thumbdrive that would give me the ability to take only the game I am running at the moment with me and not ALL my games that I like to plan out in advance.

    Just some ideas, please don't take them as gripes cause I think this program is wonderful and I foresee using it quite a bit.
  • Hi morkalg,

    Glad you like the program!

    Originally the spec called for embedding MS-Office file editing in place (as a node), but there were some problems with integrating with it so that couldnt be included in v1. I hadnt thought of looking to see if openoffice was capable of that.

    The Keep was designed with the concept of using it as a single database for all your gaming information. It uses an SQL database under the hood, and thus can handle a large amount of data. But, if you want to use separate files for each campaign, you can. See the 'Custom Database Paths' topic under the 'Advanced Capabilities' section of the help file. This will show you how to set up shortcut links that can launch different databases.
  • Goodaye,

    Yep, I'm running three seperate instances of the Keep on the one computer. As mentioned you just need to specify a different directory for each database.

    If you read the Keep PDF manual right at the end is the bit on how to do this. It's straightforward.

  • Hey Ed! :-)

    Have you ever taken a look at Neat Notes? It is a lot like The Keep in keeping track of information. But it can't do the dice rolling and some other features of The Keep. (Which is why I bought The Keep! :-) ) Still, there are a lot of really good ideas in Neat Notes that you might want to take a look at.

    Just a FYI. :-)


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