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Unveiling Heptabase’s Bright Future: Exclusive Interview with Co-Founder Alan Chan

In a recent video by the Paperless Movement®, Alan Chan, co-founder and CEO of Heptabase, delved into the inspiration, functionality, and future plans of the platform. The discussion covered a wide range of topics, from the interconnectedness of different subjects to the challenges of information overload in today’s world. Here’s a detailed look at the insights shared in the video:

The Inspiration Behind Heptabase

Alan Chan’s interest in physics and math led him to realize the struggle of not having a tool to bring together concepts from various disciplines. Traditional note-taking methods failed to preserve and connect knowledge from different fields, leading him to develop Heptabase. The platform aims to help users, especially Busy Professionals, see the bigger picture by consolidating and organizing information from different subjects, allowing for a more holistic understanding.

Connecting Information and Overcoming Information Overload

Heptabase goes beyond just research and academia, serving as a communication tool that allows users to better express themselves and understand and convey their knowledge to others. The tool’s ability to seamlessly flow between different types of information without any friction is highlighted as a critical and unique feature.

Enhancing User Understanding Through Seamless Design

The features in Heptabase are designed to blend together to enhance the user’s deep understanding of their work. The goal is not to showcase the number of features available, but rather to create a smooth flow of thinking without any friction. Heptabase is continuously working on new features to enhance the user experience, including the ability to use any node as an object in a mind map.

A Comprehensive Knowledge Tool

Alan Chan emphasizes the addictive nature of Heptabase and the potential for it to become a single source of truth. Collaboration is mentioned as an upcoming feature that will further enhance the information life cycle within Heptabase.

Bridging the Gap in Collaboration and Sharing Knowledge

Heptabase focuses on bridging the gap between different stages of the information life cycle, allowing team members to easily pass on knowledge and notes related to Project Management or Task Management. Databases have been a key feature in many productivity tools, but Heptabase aims to prioritize and fine-tune them according to their specific use cases.

Future Direction and User-Centric Development

Alan Chan discusses the future direction of the database and the importance of understanding the user’s needs. Upcoming features such as backlinks from text properties, backlinks from text nodes in mind maps, and a full-feature mobile app are mentioned. Heptabase aims to prioritize development based on user feedback.

Capturing and Organizing Information Efficiently

The importance of having an inbox feature in Heptabase to capture and process tasks and ideas is emphasized. Alan and Paco Cantero both agree that inboxes are powerful tools and that Heptabase should leverage their capabilities.

Flexibility and Future Possibilities

Heptabase’s flexibility and solid foundation are praised, with plans to upgrade their PDF reader to include search functionality. The prioritization of features is based on user usage, focusing on improving whiteboards first and then integrating other types of media.

Future Plans and Backup Options

Improving the whiteboard feature and launching a full-featured mobile app are among the future plans for Heptabase. Backup options available for Heptabase users are also discussed, providing flexibility in storing data.


Heptabase is positioning itself as the best tool for thinking, learning, and research. With a focus on user-centric development and a commitment to continuous improvement, it offers a comprehensive solution for Busy Professionals. If you’re interested in enhancing your productivity with comprehensive courses about Note-Taking, Personal Knowledge Management (PKM), Task Management, and Project Management, consider joining the Paperless Movement® Membership.

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