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Note taking / memo app suggestions for Mac?

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Hey folks! Just wondering what everyone is using these days for taking notes on Mac 🙂

I'm setting up a new laptop, and this need came up – once again. On my previous (work) laptop I used TextWrangler and stored notes as markdown files to a directory called "notes" as "YYYY-MM-DD_note-name-here.md", and on the one before that I used Evernote (not sure why but somehow that didn't feel particularly comfy). I've also tried OneNote, but overall it felt quite confusing, and perhaps a bit too "power user oriented".

As long as I can take notes easily, store them in some sensible way (preferably ordered by date and perhaps tagged or something), and perform searches on them I'd be perfectly happy. For a while I thought I'd found the perfect solution in an app called "Bear", but turns out it's commercial, and I'd really prefer something free... though it's still on my list, in case I don't find anything better 🙂

Any suggestions – what do you use, and why?

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I used EverNote for a few years, however as the company grew they seemed more interested in additional users than fixing existing features (in my opinion).  I left that app and used OneNote for awhile.  I never had issues with OneNote, however I soon just stopped using it.

In the last 6 months, I have been using Drafts https://getdrafts.com/mac/ on iOS and on MacOs.  I've use this app along with Ulysses https://ulysses.app basically for writing, jotting down ideas and note taking.

I like the Drafts app for how easy it is to create different categories of text that i can update on any device at a later time.  Honestly, you most likely can sync things with the other apps also.  

Good luck on your search.

 

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I use FSNotes on MacOS - and it's open-source 💪 :  https://github.com/glushchenko/fsnotes

Quote

Key features

  • keyboard centric
  • global shortcuts (clipboard save / search)
  • markdown and RTF markup (files stored on disk as plain/text and rich text)
  • markdown preview mode
  • elastic two pane view (vertical and horizontal layout)
  • blazing fast and lightweight (working fine with 10k+ files)
  • open files in finder / works with external editors (changes seamless live sync with UI)
  • pin/unpin important notes in top
  • synchronization over iCloud Drive
  • multi folder storage
  • fast copy markdown code to clipboard
  • live markdown highlighting with code blocks (over 170 languages)
  • themes for code highlighting
  • markdown images preview in editor
  • images drag and drop

 

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I have enjoyed Notion over the last few weeks. However, I do use ClickUp for project management etc, and it has a built in note feature which I use more often (simply because you can convert a note to a task).

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@wbmnfktr, that is what people are "claiming". If I had a surface/pencil combo, I would definitely use it. I have found though that just being able to use "cmd + tab" to quickly go to my not app without lifting off the keyboard is really useful for me. A lot of times I do just keep an empty txt doc open in text edit and "word vomit" into just for quick ideas/thoughts, and then just add them into notion later at the end of the day.

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Never tried it actually... @louisstephens but still consider using it.

The Surface/pencil combo is - especially after some updates in the past - pretty perfect.

The "open txt-file for notes"-workflow is awesome since ever. I do this every day and move my notes once in a while to whatever tool I use in that moment. In VS code it's perfect as you don't have to save to keep changes. In VIM - which I try right now - I enabled autosave for .md files and that works pretty good as well.

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If it‘s more for quick dumps of things on your mind and less the super structured kind give nvALT a try. It‘s super fast, keyboard driven and iirc has a great search.

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I use mostly google keep for taking notes because it's really convenient, but I use Typora for writing on my mac. If all you want is to have your notes on a directory and have them searchable, Typora is actually perfect.

I can also attest that nvALT is a great option, especially if you use it with simplenote to keep the notes synchronized through devices.

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