What is Notebook.ai?
Most creatives have at least one old notebook lying around somewhere, full of old plots, interesting characters, monsters, enchanting locations, or a myriad of other margin-scribbled thoughts. Others have piles of old "plot idea" documents in their favorite cloud storage. Others still have their brilliant, rich worlds fermenting in their heads.
Notebook.ai is a worldbuilding tool that organizes, saves, and helps in fully fleshing out your fictional worlds, your way.
Your digital notebook takes full advantage of being just that — digital. Instead of fitting notes in the margins of pages past, you'll always have space to expand every idea. Instead of reading backward in your notes to remember who gave your character a legendary sword, every little detail about them is organized and just a click away. You don't need to flip around the pages in your old notebook to jump from a character to their birthplace to other characters born there; every "link" between your ideas is a real link, and lets you click to jump from one to the next.
How do I use it?
It's actually really easy. Just sign up and create something — anything — and you're doing it right.
Most users start by creating a universe to hold everything they create afterwards. You can call it your campaign's title, "My Universe", or whatever you want. You'll be prompted to enter a description and a few other questions, but everything's entirely optional.
Once you have a universe, try creating a character or two for your main characters. You'll notice the process of creating a notebook page is exactly the same regardless of what type of page you're creating. You click create, you're presented with a bunch of optional fields to fill out about it, and you're done. You can create a location for where your adventure takes place, and items for any relevant objects or trinkets in your plot.
Once you've got the basics, just expand outward for your campaign! Right now, there are nine different page types you can create in Notebook.ai.
From your heroes to the little guys that live in the background, everyone plays a role in strong stories.
From magical mountains to urban modern settings, locations are the lifeblood of worldbuilding.
Track books, weapons, artifacts, and other items in your world: who made them, owns them, and more.
Your personal bestiary includes the wildlife, critters, merfolk, and other interesting beings of your world.
Humans are often joined by elves, orcs, werewolves, vampires, dragons, and a myriad of other races.
Organizing your world's beliefs into cohesive religions can lead to a more epic world for your readers.
Use groups to bundle your characters, locations, items, or other ideas into any kind of collection you need.
Often a source of magic creates a multitude of spells, potions, and occasional trinkets.
Language is the bond that weaves a culture's words together. Are there any new languages in your world?
Separate your worlds with Universes
In addition to the page types detailed above, you can also create Universes.
You can think of a universe as a bucket of time or space: a literal universe, a world, a country, a time period, even just the park down the street — your universe contains everything related to the plot you're building, and lets you focus entirely on just what's relevant right now, even when you plan multiple campaigns or worlds in Notebook.ai.
When you create a character, a location, or anything else within Notebook.ai, you'll be asked what universe it belongs to. When you visit that universe's page in your notebook later, you'll see everything inside it from one convenient place.
Share your campaign with players with easy privacy rules
By default, every notebook page you create is private, for your eyes only, and completely owned by you.
However, if you're sharing a world or campaign with your players, you may want to give them access to the world they're playing in. We offer two different ways to share pages with players that should make it easy to use Notebook.ai with friends.
Every Notebook.ai page has a "share" button that, when clicked, gives you the option to toggle privacy for that page or the privacy of the universe it belongs to. You're given the URL to that page to share, and others can see what you see (but not edit!) by visiting the shareable URL. As long as either the page they're visiting or the universe it belongs to is public, they'll be able to see the page.
You can also choose to share your entire universe at once, which will make it and each page within it visible to your players from a single, simple switch (that you can flip either way at any time!). Doing so instantly creates a miniature wiki for your universe, which allows viewers to browse between linked content and jump from page to page within your world.
If you decide to make a page or universe private later, you can simply toggle the same switch and your pages become immediately inaccessible to anyone other than yourself — even if they still have the URL.
Keep your players engrossed with a rich world of consistent details
Having an in-depth reference while campaigning lets you quickly look up even the smallest of details when you need them and keep the flow of gameplay uninterrupted. You'll never again have to flip backward to find out what reward Simon promised, or what city you said Elise was from. Everything you need is organized and at your fingertips.
If you're not the type to build your world out completely before playing, Notebook.ai can also be used during an active campaign for the same kind of references. Each time you introduce a new character, simply create a character page for them (it's fast!). When you describe anything about them, you can jot it down in its rightful place and you can then refer back to it later.
And, of course, if the default fields don't cover every little detail of your world, you can always create new categories and fields on any content type, like "biggest weakness" on characters or "yet-to-be-discovered treasures" for locations. It's your world — track anything you want!
Upload images for inspiration or reference
Whether you're in the initial idea stage or further along and looking to save reference material, Notebook.ai allows image uploads to any notebook pages you create.
You'll notice that any images you upload are featured across the site, from your dashboard to individual notebook pages. In addition to a Gallery tab on content that shows off every image uploaded to it, you'll also see slideshows banners at the top of your notebook pages highlighting the images you upload — and you may even see a character peeking back at you from your dashboard from time to time!
Free users start with 50MB of storage space that can be used to upload any size of image. Premium users are boosted an additional 10GB of storage space. You can delete any image at any time to reclaim and reuse its space.
Build family trees and organization hierarchies with ease
Because Notebook.ai is smart, we help out whenever we can when you link two pages together.
Family trees are a great example of this. If you created a small family of three — say, Alice and Bob and their son Carl — you can link them together with each character's Family tab. The fields there allow you to select from other characters you've created in that universe and set relationships, like father, mother, sibling, spouse, or child.
When you're editing Alice and say Bob's her spouse and Carl's her son, we automatically edit Bob and Carl's pages also. For Bob, we know (and save) that Alice is his spouse; and for Carl, we automatically detect what gender Alice is and note that Alice is his mother. It all happens automatically, so your family trees almost build themselves.
You'll see similar "deep linking" when creating Locations or Groups. Creating sub-groups will automatically create parent groups, alliances and rivalships will automatically save to all groups involved, and nesting locations within each other will automatically link back to the parent location as well.
Your Notebook now asks you questions about your characters and ideas, and your answers are saved too.
When every little fact is stored in one place, you can rest easy knowing you won't accidentally contradict yourself.
Invite anyone to review any content you decide to share. Sometimes a second set of eyes makes all the difference.
Quickly find anything, anywhere. Even that random thought you jotted down at 3am two years ago.
Backed up forever
Never lose a notebook full of priceless ideas again. Notebook.ai is backed up and always available.
Grows with you
Plan as much as you want in your Notebook, for life. The only limits here are your imagination.
How much does it cost?
Creating core notebook pages (universes, characters, locations, and items) is free and doesn't require any payment information to start creating your novel's world immediately upon signup. Free users, however, are restricted to five universes to get started with.
We believe this trifecta of people, places, and things covers most worlds, but serious worldbuilders often opt to pay for a Premium membership, which unlocks six additional ways to worldbuild — namely creatures, races, religions, groups, magic, and languages.
Premium memberships are $9.00, billed monthly, and allow you to create unlimited amounts of any type of content. Additionally, a Premium subscription also increases your image upload storage from 50MB to 10GB.
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How does it compare to other worldbuilding software?
We launched Notebook.ai last October and we've been iterating fast based on the feedback of thousands of users excited to have a smart tool for their worldbuilding. While we focused primarily on authors to begin with, many users have told us we're a fantastic solution for managing campaigns and keeping players up to date.
Other campaign management software tends to focus more on the gameplay experience rather deep worldbuilding, but we've compiled a feature comparison chart comparing to the most popular worldbuilding and campaign management software available so you can decide which is best for you.
|Notebook.ai Free||Obsidian Portal||Hero Lab||RealmWorks||Notebook.ai Premium|
|Create universes||Up to 5||Unlimited||-||Unlimited||Unlimited|
Who owns the ideas I store in Notebook.ai?
Additionally, all content is private by default and only accessible by you. When you click the "share" link on any content, you're given the option to mark either that individual page or the universe it lives in as "public" or "private". A public universe allows viewers to click around and see every page in that universe, while a public page in a private universe allows only that page to be viewed. You can mark anything private again at any time and it will be instantly applied.