Windows users have long enjoyed OneNote, a truly great solution that has sensible note-taking and note-management. However, those of us on macs, even after buying Office for Mac, don’t quite have something that really solves that issue. Well, I’ve finally found a solution that more than measures up to the challenge: Circus Ponies’ NoteBook.
NoteBook looks, feels, and performs like you would expect it to - that’s reason enough to use it for me. The past few weeks, I’ve been managing everything I do, to some degree, with this app. And I’ve only just started discovering the rich featureset. From managing a complicated project that involves a lot of research to everyday idea-management, I’ve just naturally been drawn to using NoteBook exclusively.
One of the best things I found in NoteBook is that the core task that you do (take notes) is extremely elegant and easy. Bullets are easily shuffled, contracted, and deleted with simple shortcuts and external media attachment works perfectly.
Sketching out concepts with shapes and diagrams is also quite easy, and the export functionality is also phenomenal. This app can spit out an entire website, with the same slick tabs and expandable bullets as the app itself. Imagine using this for quickly writing up the entire project outline for a new web project, with research, issues, and wireframes, and then putting it up easily on a local network (or behind some generic auth) for colleagues to share. It’s really quite a flexible tool.
There are obviously other alternatives too. I’ve tried Evernote and while the platform support is excellent, it didn’t result in me significantly changing the way I take notes and organize them. Most importantly, I felt a lack of the kind of support for mash-up notes that OneNote and NoteBook allow you to make, which means including links, images, text, and anything else that is relevant to a note in an elegant way. Also, every note-taking app should be completely and easily accessible from the keyboard, which was another pain point with Evernote for me. Of course, Evernote is available on many more platforms, so it might still be a better option for some.
All I know is that OneNote will no longer be missed on my machine. And even if it was ever offered on macs, I don’t think I’ll be switching anytime soon.