Make no mistake about 21st century computer products. These are complex, complicated beasts that boast fast processors, high resolution screens, and ever more complicated interfaces. That makes it especially enjoyable when I run into a Mac app (that also works on iPhone and iPad) that brings back a certain level of simplicity and usability that many apps have forgotten.
That’s Simplenote. It’s a free Mac app to take notes and keep them synchronized between Mac, iPhone, and iPad (plus, Android and Kindle devices). As the name implies, Simplenote is, well, simple. There are no complicated sidebars, toolbars, or floating palettes of options.
The first line of your note is the title, and notes are stacked in the lefthand sidebar. Autosave is always on so whatever you type or add to a note is saved, then synchronized with your account and other devices. The Mac version displays a word and character count, and has options to publish, delete, add a tag, and search. And, well, that’s it.
Tags and pins make it easy to find a single note among hundreds or thousands. The only homage paid to word processors is the option to insert bullet points into a list. In an odd but effective Time Machine-like way, Simplenote lets you find versions of files that have been saved and edited. Lists can be shared, thanks to OS X and iOS sharing options, and everything is saved and synced automatically.
What if you don’t have your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or another device that runs Simplenote– but you need your notes. No problem. Just login on any internet connected computer with a web browser and your notes are there.
All of this simplicity is free.