Archive for the ‘Writing Apps’ Category

Yes, I know I promised a review of my note-taking apps. But that was then and this is now.

Finally! The goddess is in her heaven and all’s right with the world!

I’ve often used Ulysses on my iPad and iPhone, wondering all the while why they don’t make a Windows version. To get a document written in Ulysses over to my laptop for editing requires me to jump through far too many hoops.

Too many in fact that I finally stopped using it altogether, canceled my subscription and deleted it from my devices.

Never before had I been sad after removing an app, especially one that was so useful.

Enter Notebooks

Not in any generic sense, however. Not “notebooks” but Notebooks with a capital N. The solution to my problem. Once I paid for it (less than $30 U.S.) and installed it on all my devices, I set it to sync to Dropbox.

Now I can start writing on my iPhone, work on it in bed on my iPad, and do a final polish on my laptop.

What’s that? $30 for an app? Well, no. It’s act$30 for three different apps and no subscription fees.

Consider: in order to create an app that runs on the iPhone, iPad, on Windows, on the Mac, and on Android devices requires that you own at least one of each of those devices. Costs a bit of money. And if you’re a programmer trying to make a living from your work, you don’t just give it away.

Oh, and then there’s the software you have to have on those devices to make sure your app is compatible with them. And the last I heard, Microsoft isn’t giving away free copies of MS Word.

But why did I even need a new writing program in the first place? If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know that to me, writing is as necessary as breathing or drinking. Whenever I have a few minutes to kill — when I’m waiting for my tea water to boil or the tea to steep, or when I’m riding on the bus, or when I’m waiting to be seen by the doctor — I write. Sometimes when I’m writing, my ADD-addled brain says, “Ooh, ooh! Here’s another idea!” and I make a quick note of the thought, knowing that unless I do I’ll forget it in about 3 seconds.

With the Notebooks app, I can simply add a new note and jump right back into the previous one. For me, it is the answer if not to prayer then certainly then treasure chest at the end of a long search.

And I’ve also done away with all the other note-taking apps I had on all my devices.


Or, I’m always on the lookout for The Ultimate Note-Taking App


Photo by on Unsplash

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to exist. IA Writer comes close, but it still doesn’t have all the features I’d like. Note’d is pretty nifty, but it too lacks the features I need. Standard Notes has all the features…but you have to pay $10 a month to get them. It is available, however, for all your devices: iPhones, iPads, Windows machines, MacOS devices, and Android smartphones and devices. So if I create/edit/delete a note on my iPhone, it syncs to my iPad and my laptop.

(As an aside, before I went completely digital, my ultimate notepad was a Rite-in-the-Rain notepad and a pencil.)

Which brings us to Apple Notes. From what I’ve seen of it—and used it—it seems to be the best all-around note-taking app available for iOS and MacOS: iPad, iPhone, and Macs. The problem is that in addition to an iPhone and an iPad,I have a laptop running Windows.

Apple Notes started out as a bare-bones note-taking app. But Apple, like just about every other software publisher, lost sight of the First Rule of Engineering: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.

Over time, Apple Notes has been tweaked and massaged and upgraded until it’s now just a short step away from being a full-blown word processor. And if I’m going to use a word processor for taking notes, I might just as well use Notes’ big sister, Pages, which runs on all of my devices.

The Ultimate Test

So I’ve decided what I’m going to do: I’ve downloaded  all the apps I listed above and installed them on the appropriate devices. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to use each of them to jot down the same notes. At the end of the test period, I’ll decide which one I like the best, based on ease of use. Then I’ll get back to you with the results.