Next Level Dictionary – Add Your Own Notes

Written By: Emanuel Updated: October 20, 2023

Hello everyone,

and welcome to a new episode of

New Feature

I know that some of you are now like  “Oh, another new feature that I’d love to try but that ends up not working for me.”
And I get it! I really do.
I’ve added quite a few features over the last year and many of them were buggy in the beginning. But it’s just hard to test this stuff for all platforms and browsers, so I kind of need your feedback to help me find and fix these little issues.

The feature of today should work fine for most of you though… knock on wood, because some of you helped me beta test it.
I’m not saying that it’s going to be flawless, but at least the basic functionality should be there :).

So what is it?
Well, it’s a feature for the YourDailyGerman dictionary that is quite unique, at least I haven’t seen it for other dictionaries. It’s the option to:

Add Your Own Notes

Now you might be like “Wait, I feel like I’m already using this.”
But you probably mean the option to take your own notes for the articles.
With the new feature, you can add your own notes to the actual dictionary entries.
Oh, and you can mark them as favorites, too, and slowly build a vocabulary library.

Today, I’ll give you a little tour of how it looks and how it works, so let’s jump right in.

And maybe a quick note right away: this is a premium feature.
So it’s ONLY available for members. And for now it’s only VISIBLE for members, so if you’re not a member, you won’t see any of what you’ll see in the screenshots below.

All right.

So starting today, when you look something up in the dictionary, the result should have two new elements:

  1. add note button(s)
  2. heart button(s)

Here’s a screenshot:

And actually, you can also see how it looks when you have already added a personal custom note (3).

Now, I think the buttons themselves are pretty self explanatory, but there’s one thing that’s different to pretty much all vocabulary apps and dictionaries.

Ideas vs Words

At the center of the new note system is NOT the German word itself. Instead, the “central unit” are the concept(s) the German word expresses. Sometimes, it’s just one. Sometimes, it’s half a dozen.

So you DON’T favorite the verb gehen or add your notes to it. You can favorite INDIVIDUAL ideas of the verb and add your notes.

I think this is way more useful than doing it for the word as a whole, because often, words have more than one meaning. One might be very useful, while another might be useless. And one meaning might need a specific phrasing or something else you’d like to note down, but that isn’t valid for another meaning of the same word. For a verb like anstellen with its half dozen meanings, that would be quite messy if you could just add notes to the word in general because you’d have to add for which meaning the note applies.

So having it this way makes it much more organized and easier to use and read. And having the favorites per idea allows you to see right away, WHY a word is in your vocabulary list and which meaning(s) you can ignore.

Now, these notes and hearts will of course show up whenever you look up a word in the dictionary, and hopefully we can also get it to work for the browser extension we’re working on.

But of course it wouldn’t be half as useful without a place where you can check all your favorites.

Your Vocabulary Overview

And this is actually the part that still needs a lot of work. I have made an overview page, but it’s more like a first draft and I’d actually love to get your feedback about what you think is the most intuitive and useful way to organize things.

Here’s a screenshot of how it looks for now:

 

As you can see, you get to see the full word, including the definitions you didn’t favorite. You can show and hide each definition by just clicking on it. And of course you can add and remove favorites. And there’s a little basic search function.
The only thing that’s really missing is a “remove from list” option.

Even if you remove all the favorites for one entry, it’ll still show up in the list. Why? Because it might have a note you added and it would suck if you lost the note just because you removed a favorite.

So there will be a separate “delete” option probably. And like I said… I am really not happy about the layout of the information, and I don’t really know how else to organize it, so if you have any thoughts… please please let me know, that’ll be super helpful. I’ll add a comment section to that page, so you can tell me there.

Here’s a link to the page, but since you haven’t added any favorites yet, you won’t see anything there:

Your Vocabulary Overview

And I’ll add this to the main menu in a few days, so you can always find it there.

All right :).

So that was a little run down of the new “favorite and custom note” feature for the dictionary! Like I said, this isn’t complete yet, but the basics are there to make this really useful down the line.

And now I am of course super curious to hear your thoughts so please let me know in the comments – good, bad, neutral… all feedback is much appreciated.
And of course if you have any questions about this or if something isn’t working, please let me know as well, so I can clear it up and fix it.

I really hope you find this useful. I’m out for today, and I wish you all a great week and I’ll see you next time! Tschüssi :)

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