Genuinely custom items: categories

What problem are you trying to solve?

I want to add new item categories, beyond the list of video games through apps.

Explain your ideal solution

The ability to actually “add new items”, such as “course” as in online courses from Skillshare or Udemy, being able to define the information fields myself: subject, hours, etc. having a template or template options to work with.

For myself I would be happy to be able to repurpose existing items; I have no use for video games as an item, not part of my life. Just let me edit it to be what does enter into my life. (incidentally, I would want to mess with that list, too, rearranging it…apps are the biggest category for me, while videogames are a null category, so they are inconveniently placed for me…)

How are you currently solving this problem today?

I am very new to sofa and in the throes of bending it to my will. But for my “courses” example, I am thinking I will or would create a Study group, then lists broken up by course offering entity, or perhaps by area of study?

Then, in the list itself…if I felt determined to make this happen I would add an existing category item, like podcasts, give it the course name. Then use the sticky to put online course offering entity, something like this. But that is only really useful if I had more control over the sticky note fonts, making them bigger so the name of the website is easy to read quickly.

But I don’t like it. Very unsatisfying, complicated solution, especially beside all the neatly organized pre-created items

Thanks for the detailed suggestion! This is an interesting use-case I haven’t given much thought to. Is there another app you’re currently using to manage the courses? Also, are they other things you’d expect to manage as a custom item other than courses?

I knew you were going to ask this question. Now that I know I have your attention, I beg forgiveness and I ask you to brace yourself…

Clearly this is a database app that has been (beautifully) shaped and for media management. Well, I have severe ADHD and managing data, the data in my brain, is a bit of an obsession with me. I’ve been looking for the perfect database app for years. Believed I found it a few times only to realize it was so perfect because it was extremely complex… Love the control, hate the time. Tends to undermine the usefulness of having the database to begin with.

But to answer your question… I would like to be able to easily control lists of like things and where they are located in my environment. Because I have a tendency, or rather a habit, of carefully putting things away and promptly forgetting where I put them.

Another, closer to what it’s already doing, is to manage screenshots and captures from websites of data it is useful and interesting to me, such as tips and tricks for using my technology. Articles!

But then we’re getting into another thing I wanted to ask you for, which is drag and drop and/or browser plug-ins that you can click it that automatically add whatever is on the page to sofa, in the manner that many other such plug-ins do. As someone else is already mentioned and you have replied to, the system of adding things is pretty cumbersome… A definite downside to this lovely app. Quick and easy adding would be a huge improvement… Long before anything else. Toss it on the pile and sort it out later, but it’s got to be fast and painless.

I grabbed this app in the first place for two nagging reasons:

  1. I have so many apps that I have collected to “try out” over the last decade (quite literally thousands…) that unless the name is extremely explicit I have completely spaced on what they are for without ever opening them… (Exactly like Sofa itself was until yesterday evening when I saw it in the update list and thought: what was that again? Something to help with my Overwhelming Entertainment? See item 2)

I have been trying to use Shortcuts to be able to quickly and easily open App Store descriptions of the apps, but I’ve been failing. (I LOVE automating as much as I possibly can; I dream of the day I can really talk to my computer like they do in Star Trek… but certain aspects of it have always been a struggle for me, mostly triggers and variables) So if I could just take the apps I already have and drop them on Sofa and poof! everything all filled in… Well it’s entirely possible I’d sob with joy.

  1. Browser button.
    Like most people these days (only much much much worse because ADHD and I’m disabled currently so I kinda do nothing except stare at my screens all day) I am drowning in streaming entertainment across an insane array of apps/platforms. Which is great, of course, don’t get me wrong, but I get lost. I want to track things more closely, especially because I want to switch my streaming services on and off throughout the year to budget better. (Obviously you HAVE to add all the streaming services to the data available for movies and TV…please please please please please!I know you’ve been asked more than once already but man that is absolutely fundamental to really making Sofa a mission critical app.)

As long as I’m wish listing… It would be amazing to wiki-ize the whole thing, especially if it was expanded to do so many other categories, so the research on a single word would draw me do everything or I could bounce back-and-forth between items…

You get the feeling that I really wish I was a developer so that I could build this amazing machine I am talking about? :sunglasses:

There are lots of apps that do bits and pieces of everything, but of course the holy Grail is to just have one or two that manage it all: shopping lists clothes books equipment… Whatever I want to remember…

I know I’m driving you crazy. I’ll stop now…almost: if you could just build a little more control for the User. Hey this might be easy: add a user-definable field to every category.

I warn you, the deeper I get into this thing more likely I am to pester you with ever more detail about how you can turn it in to the perfect app… For me to take control Of all the crap floating around my brain. Cuz thats your life’s mission. :crazy_face:

Thanks for your time I will go away now…

I have a similar request for role playing games. They’re distinct from board games (nothing I play is in the board game atlas and it’s also not in Books). Even if we’re talking D&D I can play in multiple peoples’ campaigns and want to track those campaigns as separate items, because each group is a different game.

This is the constant battle I’ve faced with apps too. At the end of the day, it’s all about tradeoffs. More control usually comes with more work. The philosophy behind Sofa is to never make it feel like work. This means it will lean towards a simpler, but a faster experience.

I agree that continuing to improve the “adding” experience is important. The things you’ve mentioned are on my list to investigate, but no timelines yet.

Over this past year I’ve been doing a lot of under-the-hood work to make shortcuts possible. It’s not there yet, but getting closer. Hearing how you’d like to automate the app is super helpful before I start building out that functionality.

I actually don’t have that data. Since that data is so valuable it’s owned, and available to very few. The cost for me to get access to it is also fairly high. As more people subscribe to Super Sofa, I’m hoping that it becomes financially viable to bring into the app. Trust me, I really want this too!

This is what drove me to make Sofa! Professionally I’m a designer, but learned iOS development on the side so I could make the app I always wanted.

You’re not driving me crazy at all! It actually makes me so happy that you and others love the app enough to share your feedback. This is how the product will get better over time. I really do appreciate it!

Which role playing games are you not able to find?

I don’t know where Sofa is pulling from now, but my fave where to find it app is Reelgood…

1 Like

Rob Edwards Sorcerer, In A Wicked Age two examples. I contributed the latter to the atlas games database.

Sofa uses TMDB for all movie and tv show data.

Thanks for doing that. I’m not super tuned in to the world of board games, tabletop games, etc. Does the community see a major difference between board games and RPGs? Sorry if this is a naive question :slight_smile:

D&D video channels like critical role have impressive visuals that might make a casual observer of a role-playing game think it seems like board games. If so, the minis might seem like the point, and the actors’ characterizations just flourishes. But to a lot of us the character bits are the core and those minis are just a way to put characters into interesting situations.
Many games, and even many D&D sessions are played without any kind of visual representation at all.

On the other end of the spectrum are many many many independently published games like Lady Blackbird or Lasers and Feelings. Games like that do have dice, but playing is more like doing an improv game while sitting down.

I do think both board game enthusiasts and role-playing game enthusiasts generally see them as separate but related hobbies. Board games provide a clearly delineated problem space, as opposed to the pressure to be creative or to inhabit a character that you see in role playing games.

1 Like

This is extremely helpful. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

1 Like

When adding a custom item, it would be great to be given the option to add an image to the item to be able to easily identify it. Many times I discover a game is in development or a movie is being worked on and want to add it so that I don’t forget about it in the future. Idk how difficultly this would be to implement given that you would probably need access to peoples photo libraries.

I have this on my list to look into. The main question I need to answer is where are these custom images going to be stored? Do I set up my own server? Do I have people save to a folder in iCloud Drive? What are the legal implications of someone uploading inappropriate content?

Lots to think about :upside_down_face:

1 Like

I honestly didn’t consider these things until now :thinking: