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Revisiting subscriptions

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Nov 26, 2018 at 10:17 AM


Ah, as the festive season lights up ahead I find myself confronting - once again - my long list of subscriptions on the App Store and Mac App Store.

Actually, it’s a list that’s rapidly getting shorter, as I ruthlessly evaluate how often I actually use apps which, as a CRIMPer, I would prefer to keep, but in practice barely ever touch.

Also, the (re)discovery of MacJournal’s comprehensive range of features has caused me to question quite a few of my go-to subscriber apps.

Most recent in my “cancel subscription” list is, alas, KeepIt (and KeepIt Mobile). I’ve had just a few too many issues with synchronisation of what is admittedly a very large corpus of documents over the last couple of years, and as a result have found I trust the two apps less and less. Notebooks (although the desktop version hasn’t been updated for quite a long time) is a valid alternative, I feel. At a pinch, Scrivener could also be used as an alternative, although it’s not optimised for info management in quite the same way. And actually, it’s time I took another look at DEVONthink for iOS, too. I need to find some more effective way to manage what is now a very large Curiota collection of PDFs (web pages, references, downloaded docs etc.).

I’m even questioning Ulysses, which I’ve been using for a long time (so transferring the data will be a laugh a minute - but hey, Markdown!). With options such as MWeb around, and in view of iaWriter’s sudden revitalisation, I’m really not convinced that Ulysses offers as much value-added as it could/arguably should. Also, I’ve recently discovered Zettlr, which is pretty darn cool (and free!). Of course it doesn’t have an iOS app (yet).

Favourites I will continue to subscribe will probably include Bear and Outlinely. They’re modest subscriptions for very competent cross-platform apps. On the other hand, I can do something very similar to Bear using Simplenote (although I do love Bear’s interface!). Outlinely is still, I think, unique, despite impending competition from Workflowy, DynaList et al.

One of my new favourites is UpNote (for reasons discussed elsewhere). Yes, it’s a subscription app, but it’s very cheap and works very well. And the developer is charming!

Of course I could simply scrap everything in sight and stick with Alfons Schmid’s golden oldie Notebooks, which did all the things lots of other, more recent apps do years before anybody else. But before I do that, I might harass him on the current status of the app(s), since development has stagnated for a while now.



Posted by MadaboutDana
Nov 26, 2018 at 10:19 AM


Oh, and having said that development work on Notebooks appeared to be stagnating, I’ve just found the following post on Alfon’s blog:


Notebooks 2.0 for Mac should be out before the end of the year! Whoopee!!!


Posted by Paul Korm
Nov 26, 2018 at 11:09 AM


Thank you for your thoughtful post, Bill.

I recently cancelled my Keep It subscription and removed it from my iOS devices since I just wasn’t using the sync feature.  I already sync docs with DEVONthink and didn’t need two document managers.  If Files were more robust and didn’t seem like yet another Apple afterthought, then I might pare down even more. 

I like Notebooks a lot—always have—and it’s good to see 2.0 is on the horizon.

I cancelled Outlinely also, because I wasn’t using it as much as I formerly did.

BTW, today the App Store notified me that there was an update for Quiver (the first update in years, I believe).  But when I tried to install the update the App Store said the app had been removed.  WTF? 


Posted by MadaboutDana
Nov 26, 2018 at 11:38 AM


Oh, wow, yes, Quiver appears to have disappeared from the Mac App Store as well!

Goodness, that’s a huge shame. What a great app Quiver is - I guess that means it won’t be developed any further. I’ll hassle the developer!


Posted by Paul Korm
Nov 26, 2018 at 01:06 PM


Yaogang Lian’s tweet stream says he’s working on Quiver full time and 3.2 should be available soon.  Looks like maybe something got hosed in posting the update to the Mac AppStore.  That happens sometimes.  Stand by.

MadaboutDana wrote:
Oh, wow, yes, Quiver appears to have disappeared from the Mac App Store
>as well!
> >Goodness, that’s a huge shame. What a great app Quiver is - I guess that
>means it won’t be developed any further. I’ll hassle the developer!


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