Vesper, the note-taking app developed in part by John Gruber of Daring Fireball, has been updated with a cool new feature that allows you to easily see the timestamp, character, or word count for a Vesper note… without adding a lot of on-screen clutter.
Welcome to the final part of our series about note-taking for writers (or anyone else). Today we’re going to look at getting clippings and bookmarks into Evernote, to be stored and accessible alongside your scanned, paper-based notes (Part 1) and your text notes grabbed on your iPhone or Mac (Part 2).
We’ll use a few apps and services to get this done – EverClip, Mr Reader, IFTTT and Pinboard are the main ones.
As ever, you could just do much of this using Evernote and its web clipper, but this only works in Safari and Chrome on the desktop. In 2014! Clearly that’s no good. Let’s see how we can do it better.
Welcome to Part 2 of our series on note-taking for writers (or anyone who takes lots of notes). In three posts we’re looking at ways to take notes on paper, on your iPhone or Mac, and collected from the web, and combine them all (optionally) into Evernote for easy browsing and retrieval. In theory you can do all of this just by launching Evernote, but that app is pretty terrible at capturing notes.
Part 1 dealt with paper notes. This part is all about grabbing quick text notes on your iPhone and Mac, and then using Hazel to send them to Evernote. Have fun!
Write, the distraction-free note-taking tool that’s been a great success on iOS, is ready to make writing easier on your Mac.
Whether you’re a student, a blogger, a novelist, or simply too forgetful to remember what you need to pack your holiday, Write’s incredibly simple design and clutter-free user interface can make writing a more enjoyable experience. But don’t let its minimal beauty fool you — Write is packed with handy features.
I started writing stories this year – short fiction and a couple of novellas so far – and I’ve found I need to make a lot of notes. The iPhone is pretty great for this, as you’d expect, but not always: Sometimes it’s just not appropriate to tap away on a cellphone, and sometimes you might want to make little drawings, or maybe you just find it easier and faster to pull out a paper notebook or index card.
The biggest advantage of iPhone notes is that they are sync-able and searchable. Paper is neither. But using a combo of apps, old-school paper hacks and an easy-to-maintain “workflow”, I came up with a simple note-taking system that keeps paper and pixels together, both equally searchable, sync-able and usable.
PhotoFlip has the beginnings of a great idea, let down by poor implementation. Here’s the idea: The app lets you add notes to the photos you have in your iPhone camera roll, without copying those images. That is, the pictures stay in your regular photo library, and the app just displays them with your text note added underneath.
It’s a great idea right? It uses almost no storage, and doesn’t double up on picture libraries. You can even snap photos from within the app and they’re saved ion the regular camera roll, and everything is synced via iCloud (if you want anyway).
Microsoft today launched a new OneNote application for Mac after more than 10 years of desktop exclusivity on Windows. You can download it now from the Mac App Store, and just like its iOS counterpart, it’s completely free.
Mural.ly is a mood-board app, or white-board app, or cork-board app, or whatever you want to call it, and it works in the browser and as an iOS app. I’ve been testing it out (briefly) and so far it’s pretty great. It even lets you access your Evernote notes and drop them into a “mural.”
Text selection on iOS is still a pain in the ass. Some apps fix it up with extra buttons above the virtual keyboard, but Thoughts 2, an iPhone notes app, adds extra buttons to the text selection itself. This makes it easy to expand and contract the selection one character at a time which – given the fickle nature of text fields in iOS – should help a lot.
MarginNotes is an interesting app that may just be a little too confusing to use, or may be the perfect document markup app ever. I still can’t figure out which.
The app will open EPUB and PDF files and let you mark them up, adding comments, margin notes, sketches and anything else, and also lets you add entire outlines, or turn the document into an outline – I’m not quote sure. Let’s take a quick look: