March 25, 2013

Thinking about switching back to Simplenote

I’m thinking of switching back to Simplenote sync after an 8 week trial in the Dropbox-only sync world. I have greater than 1500 notes. I have trialed several apps including Writeroom, Notesy, Byword, Elements, iA Writer, nvNotes, TextForce, Scribe, MyEditor.

Reasons I would switch back:

  • Improved sync - nvALT update from 3/24 adds the new Symperium API for more stable and reliable sync.
  • I’ve found sync errors in Dropbox sync as well. In fact, when I thought about it, I have never seen a sync system that did not produce occasional errors.
  • There is wide variability among the text apps that sync with Dropbox. Examples:
    • Writeroom (my favorite) has fast sync, does not display note date in list, can search large note list, has intermittent choking on typed words.
    • Byword - has Markdown preview, chokes on large notes list, must wait for notes to load.
    • Notesy - has Markdown preview, fairly slow sync, chokes on searching a large list of notes.
    • Elements - crashes on large notes list.
  • I miss Simplenote tagging. Sure, I have been placing tags in the note bodies but it is easy to forget what tags have been used in the past. When tagging in Simplenote, past tags are presented allowing for tag consistency. This type of tagging is not available in Dropbox.
  • Browsing tags in Simplenote app on iOS is much faster on iPhone 5 and is actually useful.
  • Simplenote handles large numbers of notes in sync, search and in tagging.
  • Simpelnote app has a nice, clean UI. I was attracted to Writeroom for same reason.
  • Email to Simplenote is useful.
  • I’m not really using any of the 17 Dropbox actions I set up. 6 were for a Quantified Self trial which I ended after four days (did not want that level of intrusive data collection in an ongoing fashion). Can still use these actions outside of Simplenote if needed.
  • Simplenote’s pin to top” feature is useful for frequently used notes and allows easy access to files.
  • My employer blocks Dropbox but does not seem to know about Simplenote.
  • I have a pre-existing TextExpander system for Markdown annotation / addition in place for use in Simplenote and other apps without inherent Markdown functionality.
  • I miss the ability to revert to previous versions in the iOS app. With Dropbox sync, one must go into Dropbox itself to revert to previous versions.
  • I dislike that most Dropbox-syncing apps require the extra step of editing the note title separately from the note body. In Simplenote the first line is the title.
  • A premium account with Symperium really does yield a higher level of support service.

Simplenote concerns:

  • Will Simperium really add Markdown preview to Simplenote app?
  • The Simplenote web portal on Windows computers with Internet Explorer at work is buggy. I solved this with a thumb-drive installation of Chrome but now my employer has blocked unauthorized thumb-drives does not allow installation of Chrome.

I’m still thinking about what to do…..

  • apps
  • plaintext
  • iphone
  • mac

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