Take Note: A roundup of ‘notes’ apps for the iPhone

by Jonas Wisser

Take Note: A roundup of ‘notes’ apps for the iPhone

by Jonas Wisser on August 5, 2009

Post image for Take Note: A roundup of ‘notes’ apps for the iPhone

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In the beginning, there was Notes, and it was… well, it was pretty awful, actually. No sync, no password protection, and mandatory Marker Felt. But then Apple created the App Store, and it was good. It’s been just over a year since the App Store opened, and plenty of notes apps have appeared, so we thought it was about time to round up some of the top suspects and see which one came out on top.

Before we dive into the assessments, a couple of notes:

John Gruber has written a bit on this subject already. We did our best to ignore everything he said and come to our own conclusions, but in the interest of full disclosure, we did read both of those articles.

We excluded Evernote from this roundup for a couple of reasons: it does one too many things for a simple ‘notes’ app, and it doesn’t actually store most of your notes on the iPhone itself—except for manually chosen favorites, they’re all stored online—so if you don’t have internet access, you don’t have your notes. All the apps we included in this roundup keep a copy of your notes on the device itself, whether or not they also include a sync feature.

How scoring works

First, I made a detailed analysis of each app based on its features, icon, and general user interface experience. I weighed in on ease of use and simplicity, and frowned upon unnecessary navigation to get things started. I like syncing features, judging the webapp or desktop sync client. I personally don’t need password protection for individual notes, but added that to the overall tally. Then I went ahead and assigned a totally subjective score out of 10 based on how much I enjoyed using it. This is an Apple blog, after all.

Note that the review is riddled with linked screenshots of features. Just clicking it will make it spring out like a daisy right inside this window. There are of course more screenshots in the iTunes pages of the apps in question.

And without further ado, the contestants…

Notes

notes-appThe original. Without Notes, there wouldn’t be any other notes apps out there. Oh, who are we kidding? Of course there would be, but they might not have avoided Marker Felt quite as assiduously.

Notes is pretty bare-bones: no theming, no way to change the font, no folder support, and no fullscreen support. There is a search feature within the app (pull down the main screen) as well as some place no other third party app has access to—search from Spotlight. Unfortunately, the spotlight search is kind of unreliable, so we’ll leave that out of the tally. It has orientation support and a reasonably attractive icon that tells you exactly what this application is. The first line of any given note becomes the title. The syncing unfortunately is only with Apple Mail, which also continues the Marker Felt mantra.

Score: 6/10 | A solid first offering, but sadly lacking in a couple of areas—namely, proper ‘over the air’ syncing with a webapp, horrible font, and any form of security.

Awesome Note

Awesome-Note-iphoneI have to admit that when I saw the name of this app, I winced. Normally, I associate the word “awesome” in a program’s name with ugly Windows shovelware. As a result, I were extraordinarily pleased to find that Awesome Note is quite far from being any kind of shovelware.

Awesome Note’s icon shows an attractive neatly-color-coded folder with sticky notes attached to it, telling us exactly what we’re getting. The home screen of the app itself shows a set of attractively-themed folders, as well as sticky notes that let you create a “Quick memo” (a handy scratch pad that can easily be cleared) and a small notebook that lets you add a more substantial and permanent note. It’s worth mentioning that memos can easily be turned into notes, and you can have up to four different notes—on different-coloured backgrounds—at the same time. In either case, you can change the font very easily. Wonder of wonders! It’s also really easy to move notes around, change their look (there are eleven different themes), and sort them by name or date. The title of a note is initially assigned from the first line, but can be easily changed by tapping the title in note view. If ‘cool’ user interfaces is what you’re looking for, Awesome Note comes out with flying colours (literally!).

Score: 7/10 | Awesome Note (App Store link) has some cool features and looks pretty nice, but overall it feels like the focus is on theming rather than usability. A lot of the navigation buttons are tiny and take multiple tries to hit and there’s no syncing at all, which would have been fine—except that every other app in this roundup offers syncing in one form or another. Finally, there is no search feature and no way of password-protecting an entry or folder. Update: New version store brings in this: syncing with Google Docs, as well as password protection, and future updates have promised a search feature.

Notebooks

notebooksNotebooks supports standard text notes like all the other applications in this roundup, but it also lets you create “notes” that are actually images taken with the camera. Sadly, if you want any text to go along with an image, you’re limited to using the title field or creating a whole separate note. You can organize all notes into folders (“books”) and search them easily from the home screen of the app.

One of Notebooks’ key features—aside from the ability to set the default font that all notes use—oh joy of joys—is passcode protection certain notes or books. Once you’ve enabled protection in the application’s settings (which are not, in fact, in the Settings app), you can click the ‘more info’ button next to a note or book and turn on passcode protection for that particular item. Once done, that item no longer shows up, either in the main view or in searches, unless you’ve unlocked the app by tapping the lock in the upper-right-hand corner and typing in your passcode.

Notebooks technically has a syncing feature, but I can’t recommend it. It requires an ugly, cross-platform java app called SyncDocs. You then still have to export or import your notes by hand, and SyncDocs puts your downloaded notes in a “downloads” file in your Applications folder by default. Not the “just works” sort of experience I was hoping for.

Score: 5/10 | Notebooks has everything you could want from a note app—even the icon clearly indicates what’s going on here—except for really good syncing. And desirability. As much as I was impressed by the features, I just didn’t enjoy using this app. Hence the low score.

NoteMaster

notemaster2This application has a horrible icon. It’s an awful color, it’s not realistic, and it doesn’t clearly indicate what the application is—it could be a notes app, or it could be something altogether more scrapbook-y. Open the app, and the first thing you see is some fairly heavy-handed branding on the splash image. On a 3GS, that gets out of your face pretty fast, but first-gen iPhone and iPod Touch users might spend a bit longer looking at it, so I think it’s worth mentioning. And does the name remind anyone else of an exercise machine?

Okay, enough with the negativity. The UI is pleasantly simple and direct. On the main screen, you’re confronted with a list of the folders (“categories”) you’ve set up. The ‘+’ button in the upper right corner provides an easy way to create new categories. Once you’ve moved into a category view—you can set the app’s start screen to be All Notes if you don’t like this extra step—you’re free to create a new note. You can run a search in any category view, but a search in All Notes doesn’t turn up notes from password-protected categories. Which, by the way, are a very handy feature; no individually-protected notes, but protected categories are pretty convenient as long as you don’t need to do an app-wide search that includes items in protected categories.

What remains to be said about NoteMaster is pretty straightforward (no theming, no font-changing, etc.), with two exceptions. First, if you want to send a note as an email from within the app (something Notes, awesomeNote, and Notebooks all support out of the box), you’ll need to set up your SMTP server. Why, I don’t really know. Second, NoteMaster syncs your notes to a Google Docs account of your choice—and yes, before you ask, it supports Google Apps accounts as well as standard Google accounts.

Score: 7/10 | Despite the ham-handed branding and the awful icon, I really like NoteMaster. Decent syncing with a major webapp is a big deal, particularly when it’s an account like Google Docs that most people already have set up. The notes editor is also rich text enabled allowing you to plunk in images alongside text. I’m not sure about the SMTP setup, though, and syncing sometimes has to be forced to make sure it happens before you quit the app.

Notespark

notesparkNotespark reminds me of a cut-down version of Evernote—and that’s a good thing. Notespark is all about making sure the notes you take on your iPhone get synced to the Notespark webapp, and vice versa. More than any application we’ve looked at so far, Notespark makes syncing a core feature rather than an afterthought.

The main screen of Notespark has five familiar “folders” to help you organize your notes: All, Starred, Tags, Search, and Trash. Notes themselves are very simple; they’re in Helvetica (woo!) and they take their titles from their first lines. By default, they’re themed with a yellow look that makes them feel very sticky-note-ish. If that doesn’t suit you, it’s easily changed to a normal white background in the settings.

Notes are easily shared (or tagged or starred) by tapping the “export” button. You’re given the choice of sharing the note with another Notespark user so they can see it on the webapp or their iPhone (or inviting someone to Notespark) or emailing the note from within the app.

Since syncing with the webapp is such a big part of Notespark, it’s definitely worth talking about. When you sign in (Notespark.com), the new note field is focused and ready for you to start typing. Unfortunately, there’s no way to save a note without using the mouse—Notespark could really benefit from Gmail-like keyboard navigation. Aside from that, the webapp gives you exactly the same options as the iPhone app, just formatted to fit your browser.

notespark-web

Score: 8/10 | In a word, excellent. My iPhone is protected with a passcode already, so I don’t need the extra password-protection that Notebooks and Notemaster offer. What I need is a simple, easily searchable note application that syncs well. Notespark goes one better—it’s push-enabled (as of v1.2 which is pending approval), so if someone shares a note with you, you’ll know it. Shame about the icon.

WriteRoom

WriteRoom for Mac is pretty awesome. We like the iPhone version plenty, too.

writeroomBy default, the app is set up much like its desktop cousin—white text on a black background, with black controls. You can easily change this to just about any color scheme in the Settings app, where you can also change the controls to default colors and change the font to whatever you want. The main screen is a list of your notes, plus three buttons: New note, Sync, and Wi-Fi Sharing (which lets you edit your notes in your web browser). It’s worth noting that trying to edit your notes in Firefox will crash WriteRoom.iPhone, so sticking to WebKit-based browsers is probably a good idea.

The sync feature is excellent, and works with WriteRoom.ws. You set it up using your Google ID in the settings app, and then sign into WriteRoom.ws using that same Google ID. Any modern browser should work fine for this. My only complaints about the webapp are a complete lack of any search feature or method of organizing your notes, and the fact that you can’t change its vintage computing look-and-feel.

One final point—true to its heritage, WriteRoom is the only app on this list to provide a fullscreen editing mode. Just pinch the screen in a zoom-in motion to get the fullscreen mode, and pinch in a zoom-out motion to get back out of it.

Score: 8/10 | Again, the lack of passcode-protection and folder support in WriteRoom doesn’t bother me. It’s simple and it syncs. The fullscreen mode is definitely nifty. Our main complaint is actually a feature request—please add syncing with WriteRoom.ws to the desktop version!

Simplenote

simplenoteThis was John Gruber’s pick for the best notes app out there, and I have to say, I like it. His (and Patrick Rhone’s) complaint about the icon, which used to be a note on a locker door, is a bit out of date, though; the new icon is worse. Thankfully, this one is just an interim icon—a better one should be along shortly.

Gruber’s writeup was very thorough, so I suggest you give it a look. If you prefer the short version, though, Simplenote takes the best features of Notes and builds on them. There are two main views: the list of notes, and the individual note view. The notes, unsurprisingly, are in black Helvetica on a white background. No surprises there. There’s also a Settings view where you can create, log into, or switch your account for use with the webapp (Simplenoteapp.com/). That’s it. No other settings.

Your notes are simple text files that take their titles from their first lines. You can write notes, search notes, delete notes, or email notes, and your notes get synced to a webapp that offers exactly the same functionality. That’s it. This application is exactly what the name tells you it is.

Simplenote-Webapp

Score: 9/10 | The only reasons Simplenote doesn’t get a 10/10 are these: there are no folders and no password protection (both of which are dealbreakers for some), and the webapp bothers me a little bit (it’s not at all navigable with the keyboard), it’s completely vertical, and it doesn’t remember your password despite its promise to the contrary. That’s it. Everything else about this app and its companion webapp is flawless.

Honorable mention: gNotes

gnotesIn our search for new and excellent note apps, we ran across this old gem. gNotes syncs folders and notes with your Google Notebook account. Unfortunately, anyone who doesn’t already have a Notebook account can’t get one now—Google has stopped supporting the service and doesn’t offer it to new users.

For those who already have a Notebook account from way back in the day, though, this is a very convenient app. It supports folders and simple text-based notes. If it had a search feature and better control over what section your new notes were created in, its flawless syncing and more complex companion webapp would make it our favorite notes app by far. It obviously won’t work for everyone, but anyone who still has a Google Notebook account should give this free app a try. Perhaps if there’s enough interest, the developer will release an update or two—the last one seems to have been this past December.

Final… ::cough:: …Notes

Even without Gruber’s endorsement, Simplenote came away as the best in class. At $1.99, it’s hard to beat if you’re looking for a clean, simple, stable, syncing notes app. WriteRoom and Notespark are heftier-priced but attractive alternatives at $4.99, and Notebooks and NoteMaster provide some handy organization and passcode-protection features at $5.99 and $3.99 respectively. Awesome Note is built for the theming crowd, who like cool user interfaces, and slick graphics, priced at $3.99, and gNotes is a decent free alternative for those with access to Google Notebook.


We like to think we covered the best notes apps we could find in this roundup, but we certainly didn’t cover all of them. If we missed something you use and love, let us know about it in the comments!

[Sexy iPhone image in header via Flickr]

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Milind Alvares

Hmm. I Have a feeling he’s on some kind of beta (he should have mentioned that though).

   

Azeem

Finally finally I got the article on the subject I wanted most – Notes apps on iPhone. Single biggest feature of iPhone 3.0 OS that I like is Notes syncing. I use it always and for almost everything, its like having a paper and a pen in my pocket.
I will try out every single app you mentioned Jonas Bro ( are you in any way related to….. ;-) ) and will comment back.

Getting some pop corn…

   

Corey

No mention of evernote? hummm @brandonpittman might be upset at that…… Oh wait I use evernote…..
Good write up.

   

Susan Robbins

Purchase of WriteRoom gets you a $5 coupon good toward purchase of the Mac OS X version of either WriteRoom ($24.95) OR TaskPaper ($29.95), so if you want either of those (and don’t have them already) it’s a great deal. I had been thinking about buying the desktop version of WriteRoom, so when the iPhone version appeared with the $5 coupon, I immediately got both, and have been very happy that I did. I do use other note and list apps, because I love to play with new toys and some are too pretty to stop using (RainbowNote for notes and Zenbe Lists for simple checklists, in particular), but WriteRoom stays on my home screen for quickest access.

   

Adam Webster

What about Evernote? Which can be used to sync notes (picture, text, and video) through an internet connection to anyother computers running the program as well.

   

Ramony Cajal

Shovebox (http://www.wonderwarp.com) supports a variety of formats, and syncs seamlessly with the desktop application.

   

Jonas Wisser

Hey, I like Evernote as much as the next guy, and use it pretty often. But you have to admit, the fact that it doesn’t store most of the notes on the iPhone itself can be pretty inconvenient sometimes.

   

Azeem

Heyy Thanks Johan, purchased Simplenote and it looks awesome.

   

maique

i used notespark for a while, but i found the web interface very slow. the lack of any kind of update made me give up on it, and i went back to appigo’s notebook (http://www.appigo.com/notebook/), an app you failed to mention.

it syncs with toodledo’s notes, and it loads blazing fast, on the iphone and on the web. it also supports folders.

   

ookami

@Jonas, that is so true. I still love Evernote though.
But especially getting to your notes in the subway of Tokyo is a pain as you loose connection between stations. But still by far the best note taking program out there in my opinion. :)

The sync with any platform, and text search within pictures combined with password protection and so on. = Win!

   

Brandon

The text recognition is pretty useless in Japan.

   

ookami

@Brandon haha, fair nok. men nu bruger jeg den så til andet en japanske visitkort

   

Zettt

Is SimpleNote really that good? I have never had any problems with Apple’s Notes App.
It does what it should do, which is to take notes!

   

ookami

- correction – whoops! meant to write in english, but failed. yeah Brandon has a point. Just wanted to say that I use it for other stuff than Japanese busyness cards :)

   

garfield

No mention of Notebook – at all? Landscape keyboard, has Bold / Italic / Center / Header / Bullet listing – syncs with a free account on Toodledo.

Missed the ball badly on that one.

   

Herb Hernandez

Wow, I was also very surprised not to see Evernote make the list.

   

Milind Alvares

Folks. Evernote did make it to the list. It just wasn’t considered as a finalist, as explained in the third paragraph. Please read the review before commenting.

As for Appigo’s Notebook, yes indeed we seem to have missed that one. I blame the App Store’s crappy navigation system that hid the app from us.

   

Leandro

Evernote for the win! Should be included in the list. Sync is god!

   

Kid B

As a Palm user for 12 years before I gleefully switched to the iPhone, I had hundreds of text notes in about a dozen folders. I needed something that could handle multiple folders, and with good strong easy syncing.

After trying every Notes app I could get my hands on, it’s Appigo’s Notebook for the win! Does folders, syncs with Toodledo like a breeze, does bold / italic / center / bulleted lists (some via HTML tags), landscape mode, mostly free of useless onscreen gadgetjunk.

They haven’t issued an update in a goodly while, though — there are a few bugs that I wouldn’t mind seeing fixed.

I also enjoyed their Todo to-do-list-manager app, before I switched to Things.

   

Simplenote Support

Thanks for the review Jonas! The next version of Simplenote will have a final, improved icon, along with a number of fixes and small improvements. We’re also making refinements to the web app on an ongoing basis that will address some of your concerns. In particular, we’ll fix the problem with not remembering your password.

An upcoming version will support some 3.0 features as well, including hyperlinks for URLs, phone numbers, and email addresses. We’ll also be releasing our API soon so the community can build other solutions around Simplenote. For example, one user has created a backup and export solution here: http://simple-backup.appspot.com/

To anyone sitting on the fence about Simplenote: if you want minimal, no nonsense notes, give it a try, and if you have any suggestions or problems, let us know and we’re happy to help.

Mike

   

Sam

Ths is a great write-up. Thanks! I’d love to see the same kind if article devoted to todo apps…

   

Seth

Another vote for Notebook (and its companion, Todo). Effortless over-the-air sync with Toodledo.com, but also local storage of notes on the iPhone. You can have any number of notebooks also, and you can turn notes into todos and vice versa. It doesn’t get in your way, and it just works. I use it all the time.

   

Retief

Shovebox is workmanlike on the iPhone, outstanding on the desktop.

   

Andy Lee

Does “sync” mean the same for all these apps? What made Notespark stand out for me is that it not only syncs, it *merges*. This means if you edit a note on your iPhone and edit the same note using the web interface without having synced yet from the phone, Notespark will do its best to reconcile all your changes instead of forcing you to choose one version or the other or to save both versions, or worse yet, automatically saving one version and blowing away the other.

It surprises me that I never see the merge feature mentioned in reviews — I’d love to know which notes apps have it and which don’t. I guess for most users most of the time it isn’t an issue, but it seems to me it opens up new possibilities for sharing and collaboration.

   

MatthewF

Here’s the thing about most of these apps when it comes to syncing with some web service somewhere, notably excluding NoteMaster: they sync to some website that could cease to exist in 6 months. Or next month. Or tomorrow.

I have pretty much the same beefs with NoteMaster as you do, but the fact that it syncs to Google Docs allows me to be nearly certain that I’ll still be able to access my notes 5 years from now.

   

JF

Appigo Notebook is much better than SimpleNote IMO. I’ve never lost or duplicated notes with Notebook!

   

James

I use the Drafts folder in Gmail IMAP to store notes – immediately saved and synced across devices, and completely free.

   

Ted Goranson

Well, I use Noteskinerie and just keep coming back to it.

I would urge readers to consider just what notetaking is about in their lives rather than bend to a single set of requirements. We have an opportunity here with this new platform to avoid the notion of one-size-fits all product definitions. Gruber blew it, even in defining a product catogory.

   

Gazoobee

A good overview, but with some flaws. It’s too bad that you didn’t differentiate between syncing and syncing with a web app. Clearly Gruber and everyone else finds this handy and it is for a lot of people but for a lot more, the notes they take on their phones are rather personal affairs. I do a ton of writing and the notes I take on my phone are the ones I would least likely want to have on a website somewhere. All notes apps that don’t provide syncing or only provide syncing with the web are non-starters for me, and I suspect a lot of others as well.

I use “Notebooks” as the best of a bad lot, but I would probably give it even lower marks than the 5/10 it receives here. The reason being that over and above the feature based critique it receives here, it’s a really poorly coded crash-monster with serious usability problems. It’s one of the few iPhone apps I’ve ever encountered for instance where the built in gesture support from the SDK has been “tweaked” by the developer (because they know better than Apple how to recognise gestures of course), the point where it does not even recognise one’s fingers.

For me, the simple ability to change the font and the colour of the page in the built in Notes app would make Apple’s original a winner over any of these. The lack of this ability is pretty much the only reason I use Notebooks instead of Notes. Add folders and it would handily beat them all.

   

phill swenson

You did a dis-service by not including evernote. Great piece of software, internet syncing (no docking needed), and a great desktop client make it way better than any of the above.

I can’t remember ever caring that it doesn’t work with no internet. I had to turn it on airplane mode to confirm it was true.

   

Larry Armstrong

EVERNOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!

   

Bing

Funny how a Notes app roundup called “Take Note” is missing “Take a Note”.

Also funny how so many people missed the Evernote disclaimer in your introduction.

Overall, great review. Thanks for posting it.

   

Mac Man

How about CNotes. It lets you associate notes with Contacts in your address book. Very cool.

   

mike

why there’s no EVERNOTE in the list? it’s free and it’s awesome…

   

Beerzie

I like Simplenote, but the sync DOES NOT WORK correctly. It constantly overwrites my notes, which makes it useless to me. It’s too bad, because if it actually worked, I would love it.

   

Gary

Where’s Appigo Notes or my very favorte, Trunk Notes?

   

Alex Popescu

I’d be very interested to hear how TextGuru (http://brancipater.com/blog/) would rank in this list. And by reading the comment thread it looks like there are a couple more to worth looking at. I’ll probably review this list and post about them in my iPhone apps for geeks series (http://jots.mypopescu.com/tagged/iphoneapps)

   

Gregor McNish

I use and can heartily recommend SyncBook. Simple app with search and basic categorisation, a few other settings I don’t use (like font) but the best thing is that it syncs to a folder of text documents on the mac over wifi, using a free desktop app.
This allows me to easily maintain reference lists and what not, and also allows me (with a few scripts), to integrate notes taken on the phone with my own text-based note taking system.

   

Rob

Never heard of SyncBook, huh? That’s a shame. This is a robust app as Gregor describes

No überNote either?

Let us know when you do Part 2!

   

NB

Not sure if this article is really from August 5, 2009 as all the posts are dated Wednesday 5. 2009, and the article overlooks facts that should have been considered for an article written on that date.

The article incorrectly states that Notes sync is only with Apple Mail, when it now syncs with Outlook. Lack of Folders, and no alphabetical sort on titles makes impractical for more than a few notes.

As others have mentioned Appigo’s Notebook app was not mentioned. I liked it fine until this week when a sync with ToodleDo selectibely overwrite 6 newer notes with older Notes on the server.

   

Seth

@NB Keep in mind that Notebook and Toodledo does not do a true sync. If you modify a note on both your iPhone and in Toodledo, the Toodledo version wins even if the iPhone one is newer. This might (or might not) have been what happened to you.

I try to sync every time I make a change. If I let it go for too long I might have made changes to both sides, which might lead to unexpected results.

It works, but it does require a little care.

   

Richard

I think Notebooks isn’t that bad to deserve a 5/10 score. SyncDocs works well even though it looks ugly. You only have to launch it and it does it’s job. For one, Notebooks is one of the few that can sync directly to your desktop/laptop without the need for an internet connection. If you like that there’s hardly an alternative that can do the same. What you get is a folder hierarchy on your computer with your notes in it as .txt or .html files. You can edit these with the editor you like and sync them back with only two taps.

I can’t understand you give simplenotes a 9/10 score without categories. I mean, what’s the use without it.

   

Kevin

Very thoughtful and informative. I spent more time than I care to admit researching notes apps a couple of weeks ago. I use Evernote extensively, but mostly to archive stuff I need to refer to later rather than as something I whip out to jot down a few notes. I waffled between notespark and simplenote, and finally settled on notespark; I like the push capability and the ability to share notes. I’m also playing with FastFinga, which has a small learning curve, but it’s a great way to jot down quick notes.

   

Gert Sterner

I need to search within a note, cause I make long notes. Jusy bought Awsome Note, NoteMaster and Simplenote but none of them can do that. Anyone knows wich one can do that?

   

Tracey

Did you run across Fliq Notes or The Missing Sync in your research? Curious to know how that compares… It seems to offer categories and password protection, and, for me, the all-important ability to sync with Entourage.

   

R

Found your review on googling for awesome notes alternatives prior to buying it … it seems that they have majorly updated their app since your review … they have sync with google docs, passwords, reminders and lists etc … so i’m still in the dark on whether to go ahead with it or not … would you increase the rating with this features added on? Anyways thanks for the heads up on the other apps … will look into them as well!

   

Jair

@Jesse Grosjean: Should have mentioned that it “Requires Mac OS X 10.6 or later”. Are you going to release a version for those of us still using 10.5?

   

Jesse Grosjean

I think I’m sticking with 10.6. I did have it working with 10.5, but the sync logic code is part of all of my other apps, the code was getting filled with #ifdef’s and for simplcity (and time, I’ve got a million different projects going) I decided to just go 10.6 only.

   

Jair

Very sad to hear that. Guess I’ll have to reconsider WS until after I upgrade my OS (no idea when though).

   

Milind Alvares

@Jesse: Glad to hear you’re not wasting precious resources on making it 10.5 compatible. Thanks to developers like you, everyone tends to run the latest and greatest. We don’t want another IE 6 on our hands.

[probably gonna get flamed for this I'm sure]

   

Jesse Grosjean

Also related… today WriteRoom for iPhone 2.5 got approved by Apple. It now does autosync much like Simplenote. Thought you can turn that off in preffs if you prefer to just manually sync.

   

Kranthi Kiran

Yaa, notes apps are very useful for me and I have bought all the apps after seeing this review. They are very helpful and easy programmed

   

Lizza Lee

Can somebody tell the definition of iPad Notes. How will it write and send for the others?

   

Andrea

Awesome Note is AWESOME!! I’ve had this app since I bought my iPhone and it just keeps getting better. It is, by far, the best Notes/ToDo/Journal/Diary app out there. I love that it syncs with Google Docs and has the best interface of any Notes/ToDo/Journal/Diary app out there. So many customization features and now you can add pics to your notes as well. Very cool and I highly recommend it!

   

Farik

Yaa, notes apps are very useful for me and I have bought all the apps after seeing this review.

   

iphone apps

I actually have no complaints about the original Notes. I never have a need for any sort of syncing, so that is not an issue for me. For what I need, simple note taking and passing, the original is still the easiest and most reliable. Also, the price is absolutely right!

   

Phillip Johns

No love for evernote?

   

Danyal

Simplenote has introduced some kind of $8.99 per year subscription fee to be able to use all of its features. What a shame. You might want to amend your review to reference this.

See details of its in-app purchase, and recent comments: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simplenote/id289429962?mt=8

So it looks like I’ll have to fall back to the ones you rated 8/10.

   

Danyal

Ok, well, I took the plunge and paid my $8.99 (or £5.49) in the UK. I take it back, this is quite a well made app. I suppose you get what you pay for.

   

Danyal

Simplenote is also free now… might want to put this in the interview as well. Right, signing off before people think I am a spammer.

   

Tom

Hey, I’m glad you enjoyed my photo enough to use it in your post. Thanks!

   

Esowes

After trying MANY of these apps, the best in my view is one nobody talks about:
BASHOMEMO !

All right, the icon is AWFULL, the name is ridiculous, but:
- super customizable,
- pictures,
- landscape,
- all around search,
- Folders
- shortcuts,
- and : INDEPENDANT SYNC through wifi with home Mac app !

Simple, and complete !

   

Jeff Jacobs

Hi there…I already have 700 notes that I need to sync to a new notes program. I hate using iPhone’s default notes program. My 700 notes are saved on my Blackberry, Outlook and in the iPhones default note program (which I hate)

Is there any program that can sync these notes for me, instead of having to re-type or copy/paste them all?

Thank you so much!
-Jeff

   

Steve

Hmmm….I thought what I wanted was fairly simple but it looks like no one is actually doing it yet…

I need a simple notes app that can organise notes into categories/folders. I need it to have a mac client also and be able to sync over the web using MobileMe for example.

Bashomemo probably comes closest but it’s wifi syncing not web and it cannot sync to multiple macs (I need syncing between my office desktop, my home laptop and my iPhone.

I really like Omnifocus as my task manager, it has all the functionality I need, surely it would not be too difficult to create an app like this that was note based rather than task based? I am quite surprised that what I am looking for doesn’t seem to exist…

   

Steve

Thanks Milind – Plain Text looks like exactly the kind of thing I need – Just one question – what would I use as the Mac client as it looks like it is just for iOS?

   

Livia

Let me just say my vote is for Awesome Note all the way! I’ve only been an iphone owner for a month, but I’m loving it. I’m a busy mom and organize many things in all areas of life. It’s been fabulous to be able to sort thoughts and things to do based on whatever criteria suits my situation. There is a lot of options within each folder to customize the look (and I don’t mean the colors and fonts!). I can see summaries, lists, details, today’s to do list, meeting notes, etc.. I haven’t tried lots yet, but I have 30 folders or so and it is essential to my organization (not to mention it’s saving me lots of paper and I don’t loose it!) I wish I could do a custom sort and search, but it hasn’t been a big deal. Hopefully that will come in an update. I am extremely happy with my $3.99 purchase!!

   

Jim

I found a great tutorial

http://www.sync-iphone.com/notes-2/sync-iphone-notes.html

showing how to sync iPhone notes with computer

   

Summer Camps

You you should make changes to the post subject Take Note: A roundup of ‘notes’ apps for the iPhone to something more specific for your content you write. I liked the post nevertheless.

   

Robert

Hi Guys,

I am looking for an app for the ipad that I can type, copy and paste documents, edit them, Highlight and write like TakeNotes, be able to scroll the document up and down.

I do public speaking and find it convenient to use my stylus to highlight my document, scribble a note here and there. I am yet to find such an app.

Anyone knows??

   

TheGooch

I recently went on a “get organized” binge and the acquisition of Awesome Note was a result. It stores , ideas for projects, comments on posts, and lists of things ( employment history, residences, etc ) . I don’t you the Todo feature as I use ToodleDo for that. *Note that I use the Getting Things Done(GTD) approach.
Pros:
I like the way you can quickly create notes, customize the view( notepad and other backgrounds), the folder feature is great, as is the synchronization with Evernote. I’m a newbie with Evernote, so there is probably a lot of potential that I am not tapping.
Cons:
-No Desktop/Web Interface application. I can enter data in Evernote, but it would be much better to have a familiar interface on my desktop.
-Cannot edit the year – I tried making it my diary application, but you can’t edit the year on your notes. So diary entries for previous years cannot be imported. This effects storage of diary entries, residential history, employment history, etc where you have a range of years to deal with. I wrote their support email address about this, so I hope that it gets fixed in one of the next few releases.

   

jansonyong

Thanks for sharing this post.It is truely a useful information for me

   

roby

Would love an update on this review. I’m trying to find a notes app that does direct MacBook Pro to iPod Touch synching– WITHOUT going through a 3rd party’s web site or web app!

It should also have folders–and NOT display the time in a memo if I do not want it to.

I’ve browsed various sites, reviews, and haven’t found it. I use Notebook from Appigo (fantastic company and app), but it doesn’t permit direct synching. One has to go through Toodledo, so one’s notes are parked somewhere on someone’s server– not good at all.

   

UC_student

Excellent site and blog – this is exactly what I was looking for – Keep up the great work and please update this blog perhaps twice a year? Thanks

   

Chema

Hello! Excellent compilation.
Is there any of the NOTE APPS that sync with google docs but instead of creating a “rich-html file” … create instead a “plain text” file?
The reason of this is that Microsoft Outlook NOTES cannot read any other file that a simple text file. And in my office everyone use PC (sadly) but they have iPhones!! So… I’m getting crazy trying to solve this problem.
Thanks!

   

Lawrence

I would like to know if there is an app which I can use my computer to create the note and then add it to my iphone. For example it would be great if I could use my computer to create a note and then add it to my iphone say for example in Notes. And to be able to open Notes on my computer and edit/delete them. Not the most coherent or intelligent post but I am sure you get the idea :)

   

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