After thinking about a new notes app some more and looking at a bunch of different notes apps, now I am thinking that syncing with Google Docs might not be so bad. In particular, NoteMaster is cheap (99 cents, but has a free version you can play around with that lets you sync 8 notes), and syncs only with one folder in Google Docs, so I can keep any other docs separate. With Google in the mix, I can import notes from text files and edit them online from pretty much anywhere.
Here are the ones I was looking at after searching for “notes” or “memos”:
- 4Notes, $4.99, backs up to website
- ActiveNotes, $0.99, turns iPod into web server so you can edit notes on your computer
- Awesome Note, $3.99, syncs Google docs, but more geared towards to-dos
- BigNotes, $0.99, has password protection
- DigiNotes, $1.99, uses DropBox for notes
- MemoBook, $1.99, this is the one I had been using
- Memos, $7.99, syncs Google docs
- Memos, $0.99, really just a bulletin board for sticky notes
- mNotes, free, doesn’t do categories
- Moes Notes, $2.99, more geared towards audio notes with GPS tagging
- MyNotes, $0.99, support website is a parked domain
- Note Board, $0.99, another bulletin board for sticky notes
- Note Me, free, can’t import or back up notes
- NoteLife, $4.99, syncs with SOHO notes, audio, video, buggy
- NoteMaster, $0.99, syncs Google Docs
- Notes, $1.99, freehand doodles or notes
- Notes Secure, $0.99, password protected notes
- Notes+, $1.99, syncs to computer, but can’t import notes
- Notespark, $4.99, syncs to a website, can import notes
- Notsu, $3.99, does checklists, can e-mail notes to people
- SimpleNote, $4.99, syncs with website and desktop, free version has ads
- Springpad, “free”, the cost is they push “offers” to you
- Sticky Notes Pro, $0.99, puts sticky notes on the lock screen
- TikiNotes, free, has a alternate keyboard that I didn’t think was effective
- WriteRoom, $4.99, syncs with WriteRoom.ws (on Google?)
Anyway, NoteMaster lets me password protect any folder of notes that I want which is good because that means I only have to get involved with passwords if I open particular notes, not all the time. And while the app always opens where I was last, if I am in a protected folder or note, the app doesn’t re-open there.
I went ahead and wrote a routine in Access that will save the notes archive I imported from MemoBook to individual text files. Also the advantage of Google is that it won’t likely go out of business like a third-party website might and is less likely to start charging money or sell my information (or have it stolen). Also there are a few apps that sync with Google, so it would also give me the ability to switch to a different notes program if this one goes bad or a better one comes along.
NoteMaster is also huge: 18 MB. But it does let me do some fancier formatting, add pictures, headers, backgrounds, etc. I don’t know that I will use any of that, but I can if I need to.
The downside is that only Google Docs are synced so all of the notes would have to be converted. I can upload text files to Google, but they wouldn’t be synced unless they are converted to Google Doc format. As long as I don’t get to carried away with formatting, I can even export Google Docs to text format (or Word and others) as a zipped archive, so I can do all of them at once. That’s pretty good.
I played around with it just now. If I upload files with a .txt extension they can either stay as text files (and apparently can’t be edited) or can be converted to Google Doc format. If there is no extension on the file, then Google won’t let me see the contents or edit it, but I can download it if I want. Even if I say Google can convert it when uploading it, Google doesn’t try because there is no extension on the file. Since the title of the notes is the file name, all of my note titles will have to end with .txt. I can rename them by hand over time, but that’s kind of a bummer.