Notes app alternatives

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silvermoon

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Jul 17, 2013
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#1
The stock one is fine if all you want to do is jot down an idea or the name of a movie or song, etc. The only feature that I like is that I can access my notes across multiple devices. So I started to explore different apps and downloaded Springpad and Evernote, but they are only available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod so there is not any Mac support. It should have an option to format text and sync to iCloud. I also want to be able to use the app from both the Mac and iPhone.
 

Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#2
I use the stock Notes app. It does everything I need and syncs between devices. I don't like having any more apps on my phone than I absolutely need, so I tend to stick with the stock apps. I tested Evernote and some others, but they are just too bloated for my needs.
 

silvermoon

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Jul 17, 2013
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#6
I use the stock Notes app. It does everything I need and syncs between devices. I don't like having any more apps on my phone than I absolutely need, so I tend to stick with the stock apps. I tested Evernote and some others, but they are just too bloated for my needs.
Yeah, I definitely agree with this. I'm still going through my apps to see if I can eliminate any that I hardly use or that are just taking up space. It would be nice occasionally to be able to bold or underline some text when I want to take notes.
 

silvermoon

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#7
I use the stock notes app myself but I do keep work documents that I need to access from anywhere in Evernote. It has a Mac desktop and I have it on my Galaxy S4 as well as iPhone and iPad. Works well for me.
How is Evernote? I'm interested to know about the Mac version. I have used it once or twice before on my phone but didn't really take advantages of all the features.
 

Kriss

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Jun 8, 2008
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#8
How is Evernote? I'm interested to know about the Mac version. I have used it once or twice before on my phone but didn't really take advantages of all the features.
Well, first... It's free. So if you download it and don't like it, you can always remove it. I have pages and pages of notes that I was able to copy to Evernote docs on my Mac and have them anywhere I go. The worst issue I've had with it is forgetting my user name when I'm away but that I have on a note in the notes app. lol.
It's gone through several incarnations since I've had it and I haven't lost any data. I have several groups of documents. Personal, Work, Private. They all have dozens of "notes" in each category. I can copy between my Mac Notes app and Evernote easily, back and forth. It's saved my butt out in the field more than once.
 

Kadelic

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Jan 4, 2010
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#13
Take a look at Notefile. Syncs across devices and has a Dashboard widget, as well as a dedicated app for OSX. I've been using it for a few years and love it. I haven't bothered with the Mac app since the widget and web app work fine for my needs. One feature I really like about Notefile is the ability to download a .txt file of all your notes from the web app. I have inadvertently deleted an important note from my phone, and once the sync with iCloud occurs, it is lost unless you disconnect the Mac or other synced device from its internet connection before waking it up. I've accidentally deleted whole notes that contained months of researched items and ideas. Call me fumble fingers, but I've tried to incorporate downloading these text files as part of my regular backup routine. I wish the stock Notes app had a permanent backup function.

On a side note, if you're using Time Machine does the stock Notes app get backed up in OSX?
 
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Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#14
On a side note, if you're using Time Machine does the stock Notes app get backed up in OSX?
Time Machine backs up the iCloud login, notes and settings, but since it syncs them over the cloud, it would display the latest updated notes the moment is has an internet connection. It would instantly override and remove the lost note you were trying to retrieve.

There are a couple ways to be 100% certain you won't permanently lose an important note. You could email it to yourself for safe keeping each time you update the note or you could get a dedicated iDevice that is kept in airplane mode or turned off so you can grab and rename the original before iCloud can remove the important content you mistakingly overrode or deleted. A Mac that is turned off at the time will work, but you have to unplug your router before you boot it. An old iPhone that's left off or in airplane mode would work as well. I agree that a true backup and restore feature that's independent from what is synced would make the stored notes more secure.
 

silvermoon

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Jul 17, 2013
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#15
Take a look at Notefile. Syncs across devices and has a Dashboard widget, as well as a dedicated app for OSX. I've been using it for a few years and love it. I haven't bothered with the Mac app since the widget and web app work fine for my needs. One feature I really like about Notefile is the ability to download a .txt file of all your notes from the web app. I have inadvertently deleted an important note from my phone, and once the sync with iCloud occurs, it is lost unless you disconnect the Mac or other synced device from its internet connection before waking it up. I've accidentally deleted whole notes that contained months of researched items and ideas. Call me fumble fingers, but I've tried to incorporate downloading these text files as part of my regular backup routine. I wish the stock Notes app had a permanent backup function.

On a side note, if you're using Time Machine does the stock Notes app get backed up in OSX?
It looks like a great app, but I don't have $4.99 right now to give it a test drive. I'll keep in in my wish list though.