The Archive is the new best plain text notes app for the Mac, and a perfect alternative to nvAlt. If you love Notational Velocity and its spinoff, nvAlt, but hate using abandonware, then The Archive is for you.
Apple’s Notes app has gotten great in iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. It’s fast, it’s easy to clip content to new and existing notes, search is instant, and you can collect pretty much anything into a note. You can even share individual notes, mark up PDFs, draw on pictures, and scan paper documents.
It really is a powerhouse. But one thing Notes doesn’t have is a sensible way to get your notes out of the app. Notes export is limited to PDF. If you decide Notes isn’t for you, you’re stuck. Fortunately, some third-party apps will export your Notes into universally compatible plain text files. Even better, one is free, and the other costs just 99 cents.
Plain-text nerds probably also enjoy over-organizing things. If that sounds like you, then NotePlan might just send you over the top, joy-wise. NotePlan is an app for iOS and Mac which combines plain-text (and Markdown) notes with a calendar.
Ulysses 3 by Soulmen Category: Text Editor Works With: Mac Price: $40
Ulysses 3 is a superstar text editor which takes a whole new approach to, well, to editing text. I love it – it’s my favorite new piece of software in a long time – but there are one or two gotchas which could stop me using it full-time to write posts for the web.
There are many, many ways to keep a journal using your various iDevices, or paper, or even — if you’re desperate — your Android phone. (Kidding — a sharpie turns the back of any Android handset into the perfect paper-emulation device.) But they tend to be either high on effort — manually writing up everything yourself — or somewhat proprietary, keeping all your info inside an app or service.
But thanks to the ever-amazing internet automating service IFTTT (If This Then That), and some new channels, it’s now possible to roll your own plain-journal, pulling from various sources automatically. And it even includes pictures, which is quite a trick for plain text.
Plain text geeks, prepare for nerdgasm: Jesse Grosjean’s Folding Text app is out of beta and in the Mac App Store. Folding Text, as you may remember, is a Markdown-compatible plain text editor with special superpowers.