Thursday, October 21, 2021

Mac Notetaking applications

May 17, 2008 by · 22 Comments 

Windows, GNOME and KDE keys for cut and pasting: Control + x (cut), Control + c (copy), Control + v (paste)Image via WikipediaI currently use Notational Velocity for taking notes.The reasons why are:

  • It works via a built-in database, which allows for things to be aggregated in one repository vs. having a huge amount of text files floating around a file structure you have to maintain. This makes it easy to put the one ‘file’ / repository in a USB stick or encrypted disk image easily (you technically can do it with anything, but one ‘file’ is easier).
  • It is encrypted and can require a password (if you set it) to access your notes, allowing me to put personal information in these notes (for example, what flavor of cheese cake is my favorite), without the fear of someone reading them when I loan them my computer.
  • It is simple to use.
  • It is free.
  • It has a search function that is quick and easy in identifying the piece of text you are looking for.

However, all things are not perfect. For one, Notational Velocity is old (not universal binary) and unsupported from what I can tell. In addition, it cannot handle rich media or web code so as to copy paste stuff from the web directly.

This led me to start looking for alternatives:

Yojimbo – So far my favorite of the list, allows you encrypt individual files and to keep simple organization. Wish I could password protect opening the app though.
SOHO Notes – This thing took over my PC like a virus.. powerful in some respects, but overly complicated for my needs
DEVONThink – Too complex for me as well.
Evernote – Allows for synchronization between various formats (web, mobile, app), nice concept, still in beta.
Journier – Allowed me to encrypt and password protect, but created many files and thus defeated the simplicity criteria.
Notae – Simple, but no encryption of any kind.
EagleFiler – Another close shot, but it looks like it just creates an encrypted disk in which to put straight up RTF files. This encrypted disk doesn’t grow though, so it just feels limiting.

I must admit, I didn’t find a replacement for Notational Velocity. The closest I came to it is with Yojimbo, but even there it wasn’t quite a perfect match. Most of these apps are also not free, with an average price of $35 it makes competing against Notational Velocity even more difficult. I’ll keep on trying and looking, meanwhile, here are some others that I haven’t tried yet, let me know if you have:⊂=organize

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