The Best Syncing Note-Taker For iPhone

There are tons of note-taking applications for iOS, all worthy contenders, but we have a special place in our hearts for Simplenote thanks to its great syncing abilities, excellent search, revision history and easy-to-use interface.


Platform: iPhone
Price: Free (or $US20/year for Premium)
Download Page[imgclear]


  • Syncs all your notes to the Simplenote services so you can view them on any computer with a web browser or a Simplenote-compatible app like ResophNotes (Windows) or Notational Velocity (Mac) ( more here)
  • Tracks your changes automatically, so you can revert to older versions simply by dragging a timeline slider (10 versions saved for regular users, 30 for premium)
  • Share and publish notes publicly
  • Pin and tag notes
  • Virtually unlimited note storage
  • Search through notes instantly
  • Encrypted synchronisation
  • Dropbox sync (premium only)
  • Create notes via email (premium only)
  • RSS feed of your notes (premium only)


Sync performs beautifully and it works just how you’d want it to. Even if you’re a non-paying user you still get a pretty decent revision history (10 copies) so you can revert to old versions of your notes easily. Everything is private and sync is encrypted, but you can share notes publicly in a variety of ways if you want to. Third-party app support is excellent, so if you want to use Simplenote outside of your iPhone and iPad you have tons of options. Paying for premium service ($US20/year) grants you a bunch of extra features like Dropbox sync and note creation via email.


While $US20 a year is less than half of what you’d pay with Evernote, Evernote doesn’t disable as many features for its regular users. And although the cost is reasonable (I gladly pay for it), it’s more than some people will want to pay for syncing text notes when Dropbox-based note-syncing apps will do it for free (via Dropbox, of course). While some third-party Simplenote-based apps support basic text styles like bold and italics, the official Simplenote app does not. A word count feature would also be nice, but there’s very little to complain about. Simplenote does it’s job and it does it well.


Springpad is a popular reader favourite that brings the popular web app to iOS. It’s much richer than Simplenote, in the sense that you can add more media and text decoration. It’s really a lot more like Evernote, which is another popular note-syncing app for iOS, your desktop computer, and the web. Both are free.

Listiary uses Simplenote to create lists. If you wish Simplenote had list-making support, here you go (for $4).

For $US2, you can get Hidden and keep your Simplenote content super-private. If you’re really paranoid about people reading your notes, this one’s for you.

Notesy ($3.99), Nebulous Notes (Free/$2.49), and PlainText (Free) are all great options if you prefer to sync your notes with Dropbox.

Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories. This week, we’re focusing on syncing note-takers.

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