Make a note of this: there’s a simple way to monetize your note taking app

In an episode of The Simpsons, Marge excitedly tells Homer that baby Lisa is taking her first steps. Homer is busy watching the TV, and replies: “You taping it? I’ll watch it later.”

That was in 1998. Today, 19 years later, we are all like Homer. There are so many devices to distract us. So many important things to catch up on later. Happily, there is now a large selection of note taking apps we can use to take, store and organize these reminders with ease.

In the early days of apps and phones, the note taking app was just that: a tool for written notes. Those old handsets didn’t do much more than text, but there was still a hunger to find products that made notes simple to write and categorize.

But then smartphones got smart. Suddenly, there was more to note keeping than writing something down you needed to remember. What about photos? Or voice notes? Or that interesting paragraph from a blog? And what about sharing notes with colleagues? Or storing them on the cloud so you could access them from other devices?

Well, it all got very complicated. Which explains the success of the giant of the note-keeping app space, Evernote. This was the first product to do all this fancy stuff well. Its ex-CEO Phil Libin founded the company on the insight that “When people want to capture a thought, they don’t want to stop what they’re doing.”

At its peak Evernote had 100m registered users. Over the years it added more and more sophisticated features. For example, it can run OCR (optimal character recognition) on all text in images, including handwriting, and then look for keywords in a search. It can also turn handwriting or audio into typed text.

Evernote is still popular. But in 2016 it introduced a new business model, limiting its free service and charging up to $69.99 per year for premium users.

That move opened up an opportunity for a long tail of agile note taking app makers to enter the space. Some focus on collaboration, others on audio. Some showcase a new kind of user interface, others on one use case (business cards for example).

There’s always room for smart new note keeping ideas. The challenge, as ever, is to monetize them.

This is where Calldorado can help. Calldorado is a caller ID platform that developers can add to their apps. The service displays details about a caller on the phone screen, and also serves ads.

Obviously, users see these ads many times a day, so the revenue is vastly more than in-app advertising.

One company Calldorado transformed is Simple Notepad. It was making $200 a month from its user base of 370,000. After signing up with Calldorado, the revenue leapt to $2200 a month.

Calldorado also lets developers add information about app updates on the display screen. So a note keeping app maker can add a ‘Take a Note’ feature to every caller ID screen. This drives inactive users back inside the app. And the app doesn’t even have to be open for this to work.