iOS: Speed Notes is a plain-text editor for the iPhone that instantly syncs your notes with your Dropbox account for easy note creation and editing on the go or from your computer.
Speed Notes isn’t the first cloud-syncing note-taking app for the iPhone by any means, so let’s look at the options. Our perennial favourite is Simplenote, which syncs notes to a web-based backend that is the backbone of the Simplenote service. I’ve been a big Simplenote supporter for a while now, but it does require signing up for a separate service, and chances are you already have Dropbox running on your machine. So how about your Dropbox options? You’ve got:
- Previously mentioned Nebulous Notes ($4.49): This is a kitchen-sink style app. It’s full of bells and whistles, letting you choose themes, define macros, and even code from your iPhone. It’s solid, but not really my favourite.
- PlainText (Free): Yes, it’s free, but it also places ads over your notes. If you use your note-taking app a lot (which we do), this is a dealbreaker. For a quick $1.99 in-app purchase, though, you can remove those ads. Looks-wise, I’d call this my favourite of the Dropbox syncers. Functionally, though, it’s not.
- Last, there’s Speed Notes. The most likable thing about Speed Notes is that it copies its basic functionality from Notational Velocity (our favorite desktop note-taking app for Mac; copied by previously mentioned ResophNotes for Windows). It has one main input box, and you type into it to search notes or create a new note. You can use it to create and edit notes in any folder in your main Dropbox directory, and everything else works pretty simply and as expected. The main downside to Speed Notes is that it could use a little polish in its look. It’s not hideous, but it’s clearly not made by a designer. Also, pal-of-Lifehacker and MetaFilter creator Matt Haughey loves Speed Notes.
Whichever you pick will likely be a matter of personal taste, but whether you go for Simplenote or one of your Dropbox-syncing options, I’d highly recommend downloading one of these apps and integrating it into your note-taking and list-making workflows. For a larger explanation of why apps like these are so great, my previous love letter to Simplenote is a good place to start.
If you’ve got a favourite tool for the job, let’s hear about it in the comments.