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Notebooks for Mac 2 beta available

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Feb 21, 2019 at 10:17 AM


... and Andy, and plenty of other impressive individuals who regularly contribute to our beloved forum!

MadaboutDana wrote:
... along with Pierre, of course ;-)
> >MadaboutDana wrote:
>>And Alfons is one of the nicest, most responsive developers it has been
>>my privilege to correspond with. I’m currently using the Notebooks 2
>>beta, and he welcomes and appreciates any and all feedback.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Feb 21, 2019 at 08:23 PM


Dang, it’s an exciting two-horse race between Notebooks 2 and the latest version of MacJournal (beta 2 of 7.0, released this month). They’re both very attractive, very powerful, and quite similar.

And hopefully, both going to be available on a pay-once basis, i.e. no nasty subscriptions!

As someone mentioned elsewhere, MacJournal 7.0b2 is available from Dan Schimpf’s blog at http://danschimpf.blogspot.com



Posted by satis
Feb 21, 2019 at 09:42 PM


Can anyone speak to the UIs of either app? When I tried out MacJournal a year or two ago I was struck by its dowdy, MacWrite—like user interface, which turned me off. (And that’s saying something from someone who still uses EagleFiler!)

I have the current Notebooks app on Mac/iOS and I’m not thrilled with the interfaces there either, so I was hoping for a fresh coat of pixels there too.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Feb 21, 2019 at 10:31 PM


Yes, I know what you mean - both gave the impression of being slightly old-fashioned, especially as other neat apps came out.

Well, the Notebooks 2 beta certainly looks more Mac-like - and above all, behaves more Mac-like, being much more responsive and providing more customisation options.

And while the latest MacJournal 7 beta is quite similar to the previous version, it’s been cleaned up and slimmed down. It’s always been a much more complex app than Notebooks, of course, so there’s an awful lot of “stuff” (much of it unique to MacJournal). But you can customise it to remove the vast number of menubar buttons, for example, and again, it feels more responsive and cleaner to me, at least. The most overwhelming part of MacJournal is the range of things you can do with it, from customising the info bar at the top of each record to viewing entries in a timeline, calendar or map, creating blog entries to building smart journals, using markdown to setting passwords, creating tags, due dates, and so on and so forth.

But then, Notebooks also has unexpected extras, like the to-do functionality. In the end, both apps are excellent repositories for all kinds of data, and are not actually difficult to use. If i compare them with, for example, the excellent but somewhat erratic Scrivener, which can keep surprising you even after you’ve spent a lot of time exploring its many facets, they are both significantly easier to use. Both of them now allow you to edit records in separate windows. MacJournal has an outstanding search function that highlights text in more or less any kind of record, including PDFs. No doubt the same functionality will be coming to Notebooks (PDF search doesn’t work very well at the moment; it finds the records, but doesn’t allow you to search inside them). I intend to patronise both, not least in the hope that MacJournal for iOS will also be updated in the near future (Notebooks for iOS is already very sophisticated).

In summary, then, I’d say that they’ve both been streamlined, and while they’re still relatively “traditional” in appearance, are more pleasant to use than before.

It’s all very exciting!



Posted by satis
Feb 22, 2019 at 12:33 AM


Thanks Bill. I might take a look at MJ as a Day One replacement after it comes out. I’ve got nothing against subscriptions but I don’t take advantage of most of Day One’s features besides Mac/iOS sync (with encryption), multiple journals, and the occasional image insertion.

It still drives me a little nuts that Day One searches will lead you to journal entries but you still can’t find *within* individual entries and have to manually scan for what you’re looking for.


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