For a few years, Evernote has been the goto app/service for cross platform notes, info and the like.
Until recently, this included me. I’ve written many a blog post for ChurchMag in Evernote. However, this posts isn’t being written in Evernote, but in Simplenote; a new kid (or rather a new version of a rather old kid) on the block.
Simplenote has been around for several years—there’s even an early ChurchMag post from 2010 about it! It’s always offered a nice and simple way of creating notes; but over the years, Evernote became the primary ‘note taking space’ with more features and tools.
However, more features can be a good and bad thing…
I know many ‘power’ Evernote users who find the different tools and new web clipper (which is very clever!) essential to their digital life. But recently I’ve found it all ‘a bit too much’ for what I need.
I just want something to take notes, write basic blog posts, and works on multiple computers and mobile devices.
So when iOS7 came along and Simplenote got a big update/design refresh, I decided to give Simplenote a another go—it’s free, so why not!
I’ve NOT USED Evernote since!
I LOVE the design. Simplenote has always been simple/minimal but the latest design takes it to a new level of minimal design wonderment.
The app is available for Mac, iOS, Android (and Kindle/Android). There’s no Windows App, but the web app/browser version of the service is just as lovely to use.
With fullscreen apps in Mountain Lion, the Simplenote app must now be up there with the best minimal writing apps for OS X.
Rather than folders, notes are organised by tags, with notes appearing in chronological order – with the latest updated at the top. There’s also a very speedy search.
Another thing that’s AMAZINGLY speedy is the note syncing across devices. It’s got to be one of the fastest syncings I’ve ever seen!
Formatting wise, Simplenote is indeed simple—there’s no formatting toolbar.
# However, you can add Markdown!
## It will show up if a note’s published on the web (see below) and in the web version—if you turn it on.
Some other extra nice features were added in the big Simplenote update:
- If you add an email address as a tag, then that person can be a collaborator on that note and you both see the changes—fast (and the collaborator doesn’t even need a Simplenote account)! You can also see and restore previous versions of notes—both features only on Evernote Premium!
- You can also easily post any note to the web. This note is at: http://app.simplenote.com/publish/NkZXj0 (note may get edited in ChurchMag/WordPress so may not be identical to the note on the web—but you get the point), kinda cool. There are services like Twitlonger if you want more than 140 characters, but why not write a note, publish to web and link…?
(I could see it working as a very simple, easy and free way for church worship/leadership teams/small groups to collaborate/view Service lists/prayer lists, etc. across platforms/devices.)
As Singlenote is made by Automattic (the people behind WordPress), one thing I’d really like to see would be a way to connect/publish notes to a blog—now that would be a really killer feature!
So all in all, I’m rather loving Simplenote. If you’re looking for a solid and simple note taking app, give Simplenote a try.
Have/do you use Simplenote?
What do you use for taking notes?