Regular readers of The Bridge will remember that I’ve raved about the Notabli app before. It’s an app that lets parent save their children’s moments, in a space that’s private, shared with only friends and family members of your choosing. When I had my first kid, I really wanted a way to share photos with my family back in Canada – but likely many people these days, I have reservations about sharing too much information about my child on Facebook .
After a brief flirtation with Glassboard, I eventually settled on Notabli. It had a very easy data export feature that I can use anytime, which I think is key for any sort of memories archive like this. In addition to photos, Notabli has support for video, audio, and even quotes. When you add a moment to your child’s timeline, you also have the option to mark it as a milestone. Obviously, this is an important feature for parents who want to mark things like baby’s first tooth, first words, or first steps .
Version 2.0 of Notabli has launched today with some key new features, including a new audio recorder with a very handy trim tool (pictured below), auto-location tagging for moments, and a more streamlined video/photo picker. I’ve had a chance to test an early 2.0 beta, and I’m really happy with the new additions – but even more delighted that everything I love about v1 is still there!
I got in touch with Jackson Latka, the co-founder of Notabli, who is based in Vermont along with fellow co-founder Jory Raphael. As a new father myself, I started off by asking him about how he manages to balance startup life as a parent, something that I find myself struggling with sometimes. He explains:
What’s worked best for me is to embrace the ebb and flow as much as possible. I don’t feel the traditional take on work-life balance works well for me, so I aim for work-life harmony. Some days require a lot more work than others, but same goes for family. The irony is not lost on me that I often spend my time working on a product to bring families closer together, while spending less time with my own wonderful family. I’m still working on this challenge.
One of the things that has mildly concerned me about Notabli is that it is free. This is one of those rare free services that is so good, you’d gladly pay to help ensure its longevity. So I asked Jackson about their choice to make Notabli a free app instead of a paid one:
We wanted to make sure we built a solid, dependable, and valuable service for Notabli users before monetizing the service. […] We can’t live on free forever. We have some cool things planned for our premium service/purchases.
This is encouraging, because I really want Notabli to be around for a while, hopefully never suffering the same fate as a company like Everpix. As I mentioned above, Notabli’s data-export feature is a godsend, and I really wish more companies would include this. Jackson explained why this feature was so a must-add for them:
It’s important. As parents, we didn’t want our kid-content held hostage by any service, so we made two things a priority while building Notabli:
- Parents retain ownership of the content they post about their kids.
- The moments you post are always available for download.
He points out that up until now, his company hasn’t done any advertising or PR, and that growth has been entirely organic. Up until this new v2, it has been more or less a public beta for them.
Everything we learned from our first version was used to refine Notabli 2 into an app that is better in almost every way, but maintains the level of simplicity and focus that we think makes Notabli great. In addition to this upcoming release, we also just launched email digests. These have really shown to work well for those friends and family that prefer email, over viewing Notabli moments on the web or in the iOS app.
Given Japan’s enthusiasm for photo apps, I closed by asking Jackson if they have any plans to introduce a localized version of Notabli for Japan. He replies:
We’re definitely exploring localizations and would love to have a Japanese version of Notabli. Any volunteers to help out? Seriously. Email me!
Any readers here who actually are friends with me on Facebook will probably say that I share lots of baby pictures on Facebook. I do share some every once in a while, but when I do, I’m very selective, and visibility is set to a custom group of friends. ↩
I’m happy to say I have all those captured. ↩