Noteshares is a web service for sharing notes and photo albums with friends. It is somewhat of a cross between Evernote and Facebook, but unlike both of them, it concentrates on keeping things very simple. Notes can be made as public updates or private ones to be shared with specific people. You can also create Binders and upload files to them, leave comments on files, and ‘rebind’ a Binder to share it to your own profile. Files of many popular formats can be previewed in Noteshares. There does not appear to be a storage limit mentioned on the website or the service’s blog. Though Noteshares is currently in Beta, and this may change in a future version.
Noteshares has a really neat and minimal interface. Your friends can write in your public notebook when they visit your profile, or send you a private note if they like. Binders and albums are accessible from their respective buttons on the top bar, and a notification icon on the right tells you when you have a new friend request or when there has been activity in your albums or binders.
By default, Binders that you create are set as Public, but you can change the default visibility of all Binders to Private, and then selectively make any of them public. Sharing a Binder with a friend makes it public automatically, which many would consider a flaw. It would be better if a Binder could be shared between a group of people without being made public. To edit your default Binder settings, click your profile icon on the top bar next to the Binder icon. Here, you can change your account privacy, your Binders’ privacy, and other account settings.
To create a Binder, just click the notebook-like button on the top bar. Next, click ‘Create Binder’ and select files to add to it. Enter a name for the Binder while the files upload, and you’re all done. You can share a binder with a friend by entering their email. Your friend must have a Noteshares account to be able to access your Binder. You can similarly add an album using the camera icon on the top bar.
Adding friends is perhaps the most confusing part of this entire web service. The easiest way to do it is to visit their profile page and click the ‘Add Friend’ button there. If you don’t know a user’s profile URL, you will not be able to add them even if you have their email address. Noteshares can send you email alerts for your unread notifications.
You can search your Binders and notes from the web interface. Files in Binders can be downloaded in ZIP or PDF format. You may upload different versions of a file to a single Binder, which is quite a useful feature and makes Noteshares a good free tool for working on small projects. The privacy settings for the Binders can still do with considerable improvement. There doesn’t seem to be a way to share albums for now. They are always visible to your friends if your account is private, but no one can save the images directly from the image viewer. Users can rotate an image in their album or use it as their profile picture. As mentioned before, the service supports viewing several document, spreadsheet and media file formats, all of which are listed on the help page.
Noteshares is a cross between social networking, sharing, and productivity. It’s a good effort, but can do with some improvement.