Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Simplenote works, period

I'm finding myself more and more drawn to the "Cloud" life with almost everything I could ever need being available to me at all times via my iPod touch. Dropbox backs up my important files and lets me access them anywhere and it keeps them synced across machines, Mocha VNC for iPhone or WinVNC for PC lets me see my home desktop from anywhere, and Xmarks lets me sync between every browser I could ever ask for (which is essentially Firefox and Chrome on multiple computers). So it just kinda comes natural that I want an iPhone Notes app that will sync as well.

To be honest, the default Apple Notes app is probably one of my favorite of the starting apps. It's great, except it can only sync via Outlook, and I hate Outlook. So I looked around, and there are not many alternatives. The best I've found is called Simplenote, which is free for an ad-supported version or $4. Now first let me say, yes, I've heard how much Evernote is praised and how it's supposedly the best note app/program/web app out there, but it's honestly just too complicated for me. I did download and try it on my iPod, but even the fact that the main menu has choices like "Snapshot note" or "Audio note" just hinted that it might be more than I wanted. (Not to mention that the only feature not useless on an iPod is the text note, which is the only thing I really wanted.)

So anyway: Simplenote. I was hesitant at first because you have to create an account, but I'm honestly pretty impressed. It does sync with the web account quite well and the web app does look and perform rather nice. The only thing is that I would dearly love a desktop application. There are 4 desktop applications listed on the Simplenote website.....except all 4 are Mac only. There's also a Perl script written to sync a desktop folder with your Simplenote account, but that of course only works on a Mac.

It's kinda disappointing, and very frustrating. It's an absolutely wonderful app, but why is there no Windows desktop application? Apparently Simplenote has an API which means it should be very easy to write one, but I just don't know why one doesn't exist.

[UPDATE 7-12-10] Thanks to a comment, I found out about ResophNotes, a SimpleNote program for Windows. I wrote a post for it, but I figured I'd come back here and edit the title/insert an update.

Taking notes,


  1. Here you go!!!

  2. There is also Notes: http://ufridman.org/notes.html

  3. Thanks also, Anonymous. It looks like the Simplenote sync is in Beta, so I'm going to hold off on trying Notes for a while, but I'll definitely keep an eye out.

  4. Seems there are several Win and Mac apps now, as well as those for iPad/iPhone and Android. But nothing for linux?

  5. I want SimpleNote to work with Linux! How about a Notionational Velocity being recoded for Linux? It is open source, after all!

  6. That's not a bad idea, David! I wonder how hard it is to port from Objective-C to Qt.