Apple went all out on creativity and named the notes app Notes. There’s also TextEdit on the Mac but nowhere else (more of a mini-word processor than a true notes app).
Notes apps are all the rage these days and I’m not sure why. They don’t have many features and some actually have hefty price tags. Others are more todo list apps than true notes apps. Many have Mac, iPhone, and iPad versions that sync notes between devices. Here’s a free favorite.
Simple Is As Simple Does
First, I need to segregate the notes apps from the simple task managers and todo list apps. They’re not really the same. Then, I need to drop the mini word processors from the list because, well, they’re not really the same, either. Then, just because I can, and partly because free is good, let me drop all the notes apps that come with a price tag. That leaves me with the two I use the most. Apple’s Notes, which is built in to macOS for Mac users, and iOS for iPhone and iPad users.
Simplenote is a free notes app that runs on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Kindle and Android devices, and has a web app (ostensibly for Windows users who, apparently, don’t deserve a Simplenote app of their own).
There isn’t much to Simplenote, which is what makes it so worthy of the price. No. Wait. That’s not right. Simplenote is free. And simple. And syncs up notes between Apple’s devices. That makes it worthy.
Click the Plus button at the top to create a new note. Click the Arrow button in the lower left corner to toggle the sidebar. The sidebar is where your notes are visible. Click on one and it gets displayed in the main section.
There’s more than meets the eye in Simplenote. Click the three-dotted Menu in the upper right corner to view word count, character count, and last modified date. There’s also an option to View History, Collaborate (which requires an email address), and a clever option to publish the note as a web page viewable by anyone with the URL Simplenote provides. Delete the note and the URL is removed, too.
That’s very cool and a handy way to share notes with many at the same time. Yes, iPhone and iPad, too.
As good as Simplenote is, unless you have a requirement for Android or Kindle, my favorite notes app is the Notes app in macOS and iOS. Why? It’s more friendly, and a bit more like TextEdit but still obviously a notes app, and not a word processor, but with all kinds of useful features from graphics and photos to lists and much more. Even better, unlike Simplenote, Notes syncs between devices by using iCloud.
What’s not to like? Either way, free is good.