August 05, 2010
I absolutely adore developers who realize that their platform isn’t the only platform. Developers who know there is something else out there and are OK with it. A lot of devs think their platform is the best, and that if the customer doesn’t feel that way, well they just don’t get it. That’s true on both the Windows side and the Mac side. But when the dev goes a bit further and enables the opposite platform to integrate, well that’s just perfect.
SimpleNote is just one such application. I guess it started with the iPhone app. And if they ended it there, I would know nothing about it since I don’t own an iPhone. But they also have a web app at https://simple-note.appspot.com/index.html (shown here). I am not a huge fan of working in the cloud: having the content up there is fine, as long as I can edit on the platform I care about. So if they ended it there, I would still probably not know anything about it. But the magic came when they opened up that web app for other developers to integrate in with.
What got me interested was Notational Velocity. And I am not really sure why I got interested. After all, the Notational Velocity website is terrible. After reading the page, I had no idea what it did. But for some reason I ran it on my Mac and I got it: a text-based non-relational database with a query interface so frickin easy that anyone can use it. Just start typing. If there is a note with that text, the title will show in the list. Keep typing to narrow the search. Arrow down to select your note, or just press enter to start a new one. Give it 30 seconds and it will totally click.
At that point I checked out the web client. It worked pretty much the same way and now I really saw the value of having it up there. This is probably the right time to check out the Extras page at SimpleNote. There are Windows-based apps that work with it as well. So I installed ResophNotes.
While it doesn’t have quite the same level of ease of use as Notational Velocity, I was quickly able to get the sync going and see all my notes there as well. I edit on Windows, see the notes on Mac, make some changes on the web site, see them on Windows. It just works, and it works on most of the platforms I care about. If there was a Blackberry app as well, I would be in heaven.
Now you might look at this and wonder why I would get excited over a simple notepad app. After all, Evernote does all of this and more, right? While its true that Evernote is an amazing application, it never sucked me in quite as well as this. I personally feel that Evernote is trying to do too much, at least for me. SimpleNote and its derivations are just what I need when I want to make a quick note of something, and then find it easily where ever I am right now.