To begin with, let me explain roughly why I come up with this thought. Let me use Obsidian/Roam as an example. I have a feeling that Roam/Obsidian have an elegant way to structure whole notes, yet they don’t work well to store fleeting thoughts and make use of them later, at least for me; while Napkin seems to be born for scattered thoughts, it still lacks the ability of continuous editing like traditional word processors. Hopefully, the upcoming features will enhance Napkin’s ability to structure an entire article, but my question is, whether it’s possible to do more, for example, I can quick capture an inspiration as a card, later I can easily use them to compose my notes or articles when needed; and I can also write down a full page of notes like in Obsidian or any other notes-taking application, later I can easily break down this note into cards to see through the relationship of concepts in this note. I have no idea whether this is technically difficult, yet I do hope this can be helpful to you.
Actually, I’m not quite sure about your plan for future identity of Napkin, whether it’ll be like a scattered thoughts manager, a writing app, or a more comprehensive knowledge management app. But for all these possibilities, I think the ability to create and edit a whole document is as important, which had better support markdown like other popular note applications now, be easy to edit and structure like in Roam, and support commonly used export formats like docx, pdf, etc. The current card design is perfect for a single thought, when an inspiration comes up, you just capture it in a card. Yet sometimes we still need to take complete notes instead. As you can see, when you finish reading a book, having a lesson or something else, probably you won’t take down a series of scattered cards, because at the very beginning you have lots of thoughts about this book or lesson, and the boundaries between different thoughts are still not very clear. It’ll take a lot of work to tease your thoughts until you know their relation clearly and then break them down into cards manually. So I guess it’s better to jot them all down first and process them later. And when it comes to output, I feel Napkin’s stacks now act more to collect writing materials rather than write a whole article. It’s certain that sub-stacks will improve this to an extent, yet it still lack the ability to edit a whole article. That is why I think the traditional way of writing notes or articles is still needed in Napkin.
I imagine a way to combine these two ways. You take notes as whole documents when you are learning something more systematic, and you can also capture fleeting thoughts as cards. This acts as the entry to Napkin’s knowledge base. And then all documents can automatically break down and their blocks are then transformed into cards. All cards are stored in Napkin’s knowledge base, which is like Napkin’s current main interface. When you find interesting connections unseen before and decide to write a new article about them, you can add it to a stack as materials. The stack can act as a collection of materials and reference, an outliner to help organize your thoughts, or a whiteboard to help brainstorm. And you can transform a stack into a document, and edit it like a true article. That means, notes and knowledge can be very easily deconstructed, refactored and connected, even more than Roam.
Of course, this is only my own thoughts and doesn’t bear any scrutiny, I’m not sure to which level it is useful to Napkin, and whether it’s technically possible to add this feature to the current design of Napkin. But I do hope this can help you. Hope Napkin can be better and better.