Automattic was recently listed by the Wall Street Journals as one of the world’s 73 most-valuable startups. Funded in 2005 by Matt Mullenweg, it is mostly known for being the driving force behind WordPress.
WordPress is not their only product, though. Among them, there is Simplenote, a note taking app that values simplicity. I have been using it for a some time now, and I think it’s worth trying.
The app is free to use and it’s available on multiple platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Kindle. It’s also possible to use it from the web.
It comes with a lot of good features: instant synchronisation across different devices; tagging; revision history (to go back in time and never loose changes).
The design is simple and sparse, but very effective. The interface is defined by a three-color palette: white, black, and blue.
On desktop, it offers a three-panel view with the list of tags, the list of all your notes, and the note itself.
On mobile, you have the list of all your notes, and then a menu with the list of your tags.
Both on desktop and mobile it is extremely fast, light, and reliable: it occupies minimal space, and it works both offline and online.
The only critique I can make is that the web version is the only one offering support for Markdown at the moment. Since the app is focused on text-only notes, Markdown is a great addition that makes it possible to add some styling and visual hierarchy in the notes. Being able to see the notes styled on every platform would make the experience feel consistent.
Other than that, I think it’s a great niche-product, that really focuses on simplicity and achieves its aim. I recommend trying it if you take a lot of text-based notes.