New features in Findings 2, compared to Findings 1


#1

Still hesitant to make the jump from Findings 1 to Findings 2? Read on to see what you’re missing!

New features in Findings 2

  • Three-pane navigation. The leftmost panel, the sidebar, gives you easy access to all your entries and protocols, by type, status, collection, etc. The middle pane shows the list of documents corresponding to your selection (optionally further filtered with the search bar). The rightmost panel shows you the document content, ready to be edited, and packed with all the actions you can take for the entry or protocol. The interface will feel familiar to all macOS user, yet has the distinctive look of Findings, and is all geared towards your research needs.

  • Entry types. In Findings 1, all your notes had to be within an experiment. It worked fine, but could feel awkward when dealing with non-experimental work. Now in Findings 2, your notes are instead written in entries, that can be of the following types:

    • Experiments. The backbone of your research, at the bench, on the field, on your computer.
    • Meeting Notes. For lab meetings, conferences, weekly updates, personnel management, etc.
    • Research Notes. When you think more than you do: bibliography, grant preparation, project planning etc.
    • Stickies. For quick, one-off tasks or todo lists.
    • Standalone Timers. For timed tasks that don’t fit into a full-fledged experiment.
  • Entry status. In Findings 1, experiments were either “ongoing” or “completed”. In Findings 2, we decided to make it more nuanced and introduce more states, so you can better organize your work: ongoing, in review, completed, signed, deferred or aborted.

  • Collections. Organize your entries and protocols any way you want, into collections and sub collections. A document can be in multiple collections, or none. It’s the most flexible way to sort your work, and it’s all up to you!

  • Attachment Templates. Now it’s easier than ever to insert a new attachment into an entry, in particular if you find yourself creating the same file types over and over. In Findings 1, it was a bit clumsy to e.g. insert a new spreadsheet file or a chemical structure. With Findings 2, you can directly access a list of template files and make a copy of the file you need without leaving the document. It is very easy to customize the list of templates, to tune it to your specific needs.

  • Attachment Actions. Hover on the preview of an attachment, and you’ll see a bunch of new buttons to quicklook, open to edit, show in Finder, or copy the image preview to the clipboard. Also, in the Entry or Protocol menu (in the top menu bar), we have added a convenient ‘Reveal In Finder’ item to quickly get to all your attachments on disk.

  • Document windows. In Findings 2, entries and protocols can be opened in their own separate window. Just double-click on the document in the middle pane. This allows you to take advantage of your screen space much more than before.

  • Journal. Findings 2 now automatically create PDFs with all your entries, organized in chronological order, easily accessible from Findings or from your disk. This means you always have a nice output of your work, easy to share or browse, from anywhere and for anyone.

  • Powerful printing and PDF export. Findings 2 adds a ton of options for the creation of PDFs. You can print selected days, combine multiple entries, choose any paper size, and more. All the options are available for printing, exporting to PDF, or the journal feature.

  • Resources. A new menu makes its debut in Findings 2, to give you quick access to frequently needed references or websites. The app comes with a bunch of beautiful examples that should be useful to many of you (e.g. amino acid structures, periodic table, restriction enzymes, etc.). But even better, it could not be easier to customize: just drop PDFs, text files, web links or images into a folder, and they appear in Findings. If you feel creative, you can even build a complex html/javascript widget, see our tutorial, or check out the ‘Mix Calculator’ in the Findings app.

  • Community. The new Findings community site is a great resource for users: forums, how-to, support, feedback, news. It’s on the web (community.findingsapp.com), and it’s in the app, under the menu Help > Community… or just click the bathyscaphe icon in the top bar. And just to make it clear: yes, if you are reading this, you are already in the Findings community :slight_smile:

The list is not exhaustive, feel free to comment if you think of another feature we introduced in Findings 2, that you wished had been in Findings 1 all along…

Missing features in Findings 2

As with any new version, we had to make some choices about what to keep and what to drop. Here is what you may be missing when making the transition. As it turns out, we have plans to bring most of them back in Findings 2.1:

  • Today’s tasks. in Findings 1, it’s always clear what task are still “active”, meaning tasks that need to be done today. In Findings 2, there is a ‘Today’ badge on the active entries, but it’s a bit subdued, and we plan to do better soon. Stay tuned!

  • Collection colors. Projects in Findings 1 had colors. In Findings 2, we have collections, and they are much more convenient to use, manipulate and browse. But they are colorless! Fear not, we have plans to bring back some color to Findings 2.

  • Calendar view. In Findings 2, we have replaced the calendar view with a ‘Table of Contents’ popup menu to quickly navigate days and headers in an entry (icon next to the magnifying glass, at the top right of the document content). We recognize though that the calendar view in Findings 1 had some other benefits. We could not quite make it fit in Findings 2.0, but it will be back!

  • Tabs. The new 3-pane layout is a very powerful way to navigate your entries, and as an added bonus, you can double-click on an entry to open it in its own window. But for some of you, tabs would still be useful. We get that, and we hope we can find a way to bring them back. However, unlike the above, we are still not sure if it will work out for Findings 2.1. The story is still developing…

That list is pretty small, and should be a thing of the past with Findings 2.1 :slight_smile:


Where is the Protocol calendar layout in Findings 2?
Feature Request: Calendar View & Calendar Sync
Will findings1 still run when I upgrade my OS to sierra?
Feature request: Highlight day in Experiments
Request: Drag and Drop Protocols From Side Menu