Blog index > New features

Introducing custom genders

When I launched Monica last year, I didn't realize that only offering two genders (man and woman) to identify contacts wasn't enough. We received a lot of feedback about this very specific point. The reality is that gender is not a binary option. Monica needs to represent reality, and it is more complex than what I originally thought.

This is why we are introducing the notion of custom genders. By default, each account still comes with three genders (male, female and other), but now you can customize this list, add or remove genders at will. You will be the one deciding which gender people should have. While we should be careful not to add too many options in Monica, this is a case where we need to put you, the user, in control of what your reality is.

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Mark a gift as offered

Monica has the ability to manage gifts related to a contact. You can easily remember gift ideas for your best friend, or gifts that you've received from your grand mother that year. Now you have the ability to mark a gift idea as being offered. The section has been slightly redesigned to reflect this new feature.

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A lot of other smaller additions have been recently added. We'll cover those in upcoming blog posts - but you can always read about all the changes we make on Monica on the release notes page.

Monica in 2018

When you are working every day on something, you don't take the time very often to think about the big picture. I don't want to lose sight of what I would like Monica to accomplish - so here is what I’d like to do in 2018. This post is not a roadmap per se. Think of it as my very own Wishlist.

  • Launch the mobile application. The work has already started and we are close to a v1 that should ship in the coming weeks. The first version will be read only, and v2 will allow the edition of data. The code of the mobile application is already on GitHub, and is 100% open source (obviously).
  • GraphQL support: we already have a REST API that the v1 of the mobile application will use. If we truly want a great mobile application, we need to make sure that all the requests made to the API are efficient and GraphQL is the best solution for this.
  • Support for Carddav and Caldav. I believe this is what will make Monica shine on the long run. These two protocols will let you sync your contacts and calendar entries with your existing mail and calendar apps on mobile or desktops. Monica would become the central source of your social data.
  • More love to reminders, with the possibility to be warned before an event actually happens.
  • Provide statistics about your social life: how much time you went out a given month, who do you see the most, where do you hangout the most, etc… The more data you feed to Monica, the more insights you’ll have.
  • A calendar view that shows reminders, future events,…
  • The concept of “rich” activity sheets: for instance, if you indicate that you went to a restaurant, have the ability to set where it was (with automatic placement on a map), what you’ve eaten, how long it took, etc… Each type of activities would have specific information to fill.
  • The journal should become the place where your life is auto documented. This will be great once we’ll have rich activity sheets.
  • Stabilize the platform, add a lot of tests to make sure we don't break things as we move forward.
  • If I have the time, but only if I do: make the app prettier. However I believe it’s more important to have a functional application than a good looking one.
  • And last but not least: add more ways of importing data. This will be a real pain as, surprisingly, most social networks or systems are not open source and don't provide you with the data they have on you.

I hope to accomplish all the points above this year. I also know that things are constantly changing for a variety of reasons, so take it with a grain of salt.

Add a date without knowing the year

A birthdate is composed of a day, a month and a year. Well, in an ideal world, because in practice, most of the time you don't know the year of birth. If it's the birthday of a dear friend of yours who refuses to give you her age, you will only know the day and month to celebrate her birthday every year.

This is why we have added the ability to set a date without knowing the year.

This change applies to birthdates, first met dates and deceased dates. Reminders for those dates will work the same way as before.

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This feature was one of the most requested features in our issue tracker. We hope it will help you add more information about your friends and family members.

Introducing favorites for notes

Notes can now be set as a favorite. Favorites are a great way to keep track of notes that you find interesting.

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When a note is set as favorite, it will appear in a new tab on the dashboard, called Important notes.

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In this release, we've also released some goodies:

  • Some actions in the UI now have dynamic notifications when adding/updating/deleting data.
  • It's now possible to change account's owner first and last names

These changes are in the version 1.3.0 which is already in production, and as always, you can install it on a server that you own.

Enjoy!

A better way to manage tasks

Adding and managing tasks is now easier than ever in Monica.

We've leveraged our work on v1.1 to allow the management of the tasks right from the contact view page, instead of having to open a new screen to enter task info, or having to wait for a page reload when you delete a task.

Also, and this is an important change, tasks now use checkboxes. Finally. This is something that we wanted to do for a long time.

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These changes are in the version 1.2.0 which is already in production, and as always, you can install it on a server that you own.

Enjoy!

Introducing multiple contact fields

Some people have one physical address and one Twitter account. Others have multiple addresses, no Twitter at all and one Quora account. It's hard to take all use cases into account, but we want to let users organize their contacts the way they want it.

A physical address, a Twitter account,... we call all these ways of contacting someone a contact field.

Starting now, you can add as many contact fields per contact as you want. Previously you could only have 5 pre-defined fields.

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Each contact field has a type: it can be an email, a Facebook account, a fax number. Each account comes with 6 generic contact field types:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram

You can add or remove contact field types on your account at your leisure, and set their names as you want, in the new Personalization tab under Settings.

Each contact field type can also have a protocol associated with it. A protocol is what the browser should do when you click on a contact field. For instance, for a phone number, the tel: protocol will tell the browser to launch the software that you use on your computer to make phone calls.

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The API has been updated to support those two new concepts (contact fields and contact field types).

We've also reordered a little bit the sidebar when viewing a contact. Information about the partners and children are now at the top of the sidebar, as I believe this is a much more important information that knowing the address of the contact for instance.

These changes are in the version 1.1.0 which is already in production, and as always, you can install it on a server that you own.

Enjoy!

Monica 1.0.0 with API, introductions and deceased contacts

Monica is finally ready for v1.0.0.

We try to follow the SemVer approach here at Monica. Changing a major version number indicates major API changes. This is why I'm really excited to announce the release of v1.0.0. It adds a lot of features and will serve as a foundation for all the great things I'm planning to ship in the coming months. Let's talk first about the features, then the technical changes that are introduced in this version.

API

Monica finally has an API. Not everything is available right now through the API, but most of the data about contacts are. A future version will bring all the Settings and Account data as well. My goal is that everything is available through the API. We do support Oauth 2.0 and personal tokens. Under the hood, Laravel Passport deals with everything Oauth.

Nothing can help developers jump in a project more than a good documentation. This is why we've also released a new documentation portal that tries to be as exhaustive as possible. On each page, we also indicate the date of last update, so you know how fresh the documentation is.

API

It's going to be up to the developers now to be creative in using Monica's data and do great things with it. On our end, we are working on the first official mobile application for Monica, both for Apple and Android, but you will have more details on this later this year.

How you've met someone (aka Introductions)

Monica's purpose is to help everyone remember important information about the ones you care about, privately and for your eyes only. Sometimes, when you do have a lot of contacts, it's hard to remember how and where you've met them. This is why you can indicate how you've met someone or if you've been introduced by another contact. You can even ask to be reminded of the anniversary of this encounter if you want.

introductions

Mark a contact as deceased

Sometimes life is unfair and people die. We've added the possibility to mark a contact as deceased, and indicate an optional date for this sad event. Moreover, you can be reminded of this event if you choose to. When a contact is marked as deceased, there is a small ⚰ next to the name of the contact throughout the application.

mark a contact as deceased

Speed up the Add contacts screen

Our goal is to help you achieve what you want as fast as possible. This is why we've added a small button on the Add contact screen to let you save the current contact and add another one right after this one. It'll save you precious seconds.

Big changes under the hood

For v1.0.0, we've upgraded the codebase to Laravel 5.5, in order to take advantage of the great Resources functionality introduced in this version for our API.

Thanks to @mauricew, we've also replaced the previous front end build system based on Gulp and Bower with mix, the default build system that ships with Laravel now. We've been able to remove lots of dependencies, clean up the code and more importantly, make sure that there won't be any conflicts of CSS and JS files in our pull requests in the future.

Final words

Version 1.0.0 is already in production, and as always, you can install it on a server that you own.

v1.0.0 has litteraly thousands of new lines of codes. It's the product of an healthy community. On a personal level, I feel really blessed that Monica helps so many people. Your continuous feedback helps me tremendously to continue working as hard as I can on this product. The upcoming months will be very busy: lots of new features, a mobile application and other surprises. The future will be bright for our community.

Enjoy!

Monica 0.6.3 with better contact management and markdown support

The most requested feature on Monica (since the last one) was the ability to designate an existing contact as a significant other or a child. With 0.6.3, this is now possible.

How does it work

When you add a significant other or a kid, you now have access to two new things:

  • You can either create a partial contact, or a real contact when adding this new person. A partial contact is the old way of doing things: those contacts are not listed in the list of contacts, and you can't add specific reminders or notes about them. A "real" contact will actually create a new contact entry for this person, and you will be able to add their own children or significant others to them.

create complete contact

  • Instead of creating a new contact, you can simply link an existing contact to be a kid or a significant other of this contact.

create complete contact

This change was the biggest change in the codebase so far, and the one that took the most time. For the ones who host Monica themselves, be careful when updating your instance - make sure you backup the database before upgrading.

Other important changes in this release

  • For the ones who like polygamy, you can have more than one significant other per contact.
  • New translations added: Italian, German. Thank you to the community for this.
  • Add support for Markdown on the Notes and the Log calls. This will let you use lists, for instance.
  • We now support all the currencies in the world.
  • A lot of bug fixes as well as some security bugfixes.
  • We've started to use Tachyons as a new CSS framework. This will gradually replace Bootstrap.

Final words

Version 0.6.3 is already in production, and as always, you can install it on a server that you own.

Enjoy!

Monica 0.5.0 with version tracking and search

If you install Monica on a server that you own, chances are that you will want to be aware when a new version is available. With Monica 0.5.0, this is exactly what you get.

How does this work

In short, your Monica instance will send a daily ping to https://version.monicahq.com. The ping contains three information:

  • a UUID: the unique, anonymous identifier of your instance.
  • the current version of your instance
  • the number of contacts in your instance.

The last information is used to know the size of the instances of the people who download Monica. I need to know this information (and only this information) so I can move forward with better knowledge of how people use Monica. Also, there is no way to know who you are: the UUID is random, unique and anonymous.

The code of https://version.monicahq.com is open-source, stored on GitHub like everything we do.

In return of this call, you will get a JSON with:

  • if a new version is available as a boolean,
  • what is the latest version available,
  • all the release notes for each release that has been made since the version of the ping,
  • the number of versions available since the version of the ping.

This information will be used in the UI. In the footer, a new link will appear if a new version is available. If you click on this link, a popup will appear, with the release notes of the new version.

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How to disable this feature

Every feature that changes how Monica fundamentaly works can be disabled, and this feature is no different. If you want to disable sending any information to https://version.monicahq.com, simply add the following to your .env file:

  • CHECK_VERSION=false

And that's it. No information will ever leave your server. The drawback is that you won't be able to be automatically alerted when a new release is available.

Search your contacts

You can now search your contacts with a new search box in the header. The search will look at the following information in your contacts:

  • First and last name
  • Email
  • Street
  • City
  • Postal code
  • Province
  • Food preferencies
  • Job
  • Company

Searches should be pretty fast too. We are super excited about this feature.

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Final words

Version 0.5.0 is already in production, and as always, you can install it on a server that you own.

Enjoy!

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