Tips and Tricks, WordSmith Musings, writing

Notebook AI Review: The Pros, Cons, and Everything in Between

Today I’m reviewing Notebook AI, a world building site for writers, RPG players, and anyone else interested in creating a world. I’ll go through the pros and cons in this review so you can know if Notebook AI is worth the time or not.

Maybe some of you have heard of Notebook AI. If you haven’t, let me tell you more. (If you have, skip to the next paragraph for my pros and cons). Notebook AI is a website that allows you to create a world and detail it out there to keep everything organized. You are able to create individual universes, in which can live a myriad of different things. In the free version, you can add unlimited characters, including their look, nature, socialness, history, family, inventory, pictures, and notes. You can add unlimited locations and unlimited items, all with a large list of descriptors to help you visualize and categorize these parts of your story. The premium version adds in other categories such as creatures, jobs, governments, magics, and other helpful world building tools. On top of that, you can write within the program or add documents to keep things in one place. In the premium version, they are also working on an AI that analyzes your writing for readability, clarity, and themes.

Now, you may wonder if Notebook AI is worth it. In my opinion, YES! But let me tell you the pros AND the cons of it. (I like to try to see both sides).

I began with the free version months ago and I felt like I got a chance to learn about my characters more in depth. I began using Notebook AI originally just for the characters, trying to keep them straight in my novel and remember details that may have only come up once or twice. Beyond organization, I found Notebook AI helped me develop my characters since they have numerous promptings under each category (look, nature, socialness, history, family, inventory, pictures, and notes) and I was able to add much more depth to characters simply by being prompted to answer questions about them. For a long time, I had a word document with each character listed out and a blob of text to describe them that wasn’t very cohesive or descriptive. Every time I needed a small detail, I’d stop and read for five minutes, completely interrupting my writing flow. Notebook AI fleshes it out and makes the information easy to find.

The ease of access is the second reason I would recommend it. The site is organized well. You can get to each of your entries easily, it’s user friendly, and it encourages you to keep adding things to each section from the home page. It has been phenomenal having everything in one place where I can quickly jump to the answers I need. “What color was his hair?” “Was that scar on the right cheek or the left?” “Did that pommel have rubies or sapphires?” I have those answers and I didn’t spend twenty minutes searching my story  to get them.

Another great feature, which I mentioned above in my description, is the writing portion. You can upload documents and write on them right in the program. And for premium users, you’re able to have an AI analyze it for you. I learned how many times each character’s name appeared, who the story seemed to focus on, the themes it could see. And this is still being tested so it isn’t perfect but it gave me a good outside perspective of my story that I sometimes have a hard time getting elsewhere. Who else is going to tell me that the current emotion felt most often by my characters is sadness? It also let me know the readability of my story by age range which was helpful to gauge my audience when I begin to look towards publishing.

Finally, in the same writing section is a feature called ‘prompts’. You can go to that and it’ll just prompt you to answer more questions about the world you’ve already built. “Who was Amel’s father?” “What year was Callaway City founded?” These things that you may not have had an answer to right when you created it but you can now think about and create. It’s a really fun way to spend an hour, just beefing up your story. (For me, it tends to be a killer way to get past writer’s block while staying in the story).

As with every program, this one isn’t perfect though. There are a few flaws that I’ve noticed and I don’t want you to go in blind. First, creating multiple universes is easy (five in free version and unlimited in premium) but it can sometimes get confusing. Each character, location, item, etc is tagged with a certain universe. But when you go look at the ‘Character’ sheet, it doesn’t automatically sort that out for you.  Each section helpfully allows you to search by universe and other tags. But you have to choose to sort or otherwise you just get one long list of every character in every universe. A few of my characters have accidentally made jumps from one to another because I wasn’t paying enough attention.

Second, some of the really cool features are premium features. The extra world building pages (creatures was the one I really wanted) are all premium. Free does give you unlimited characters, locations, and items, which sustained me for many months and through a lot of short stories. But I finally did have to bite the bullet and go to premium for the extra content. The AI function is also a premium feature which wasn’t really in my original consideration, but I have loved since discovering.

The plus side of premium is that it is only between $7-$9 a month (depending on if you’re billed monthly or yearly). Seriously, you can skip two lattes a month and be able to enhance your worlds. Completely worth it to me (and I really love lattes).

So, to sum everything up in this review, I recommend Notebook AI. It is a helpful tool for writers to assist as you build, maintain, and add vibrancy to your stories. It has been revolutionary in my writing!

Sign up here if you’re ready to try out Notebook AI for yourself.

If I missed any pros or cons, please let me know. Thanks!

Links found within this review may be referral links. I was not paid to write this review but the links will potentially generate a small discount. My review is one hundred percent honest and was not influenced by the use of referral codes. Thank you.

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