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Apps for Scratchpads

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Posted by Dellu
Jun 24, 2022 at 03:59 PM

 

I used to write scratches (things I am doing “right now”/logs) using my writing apps such as KeepIt/Curiota/DT etc.

The problem with that method is the scratchpad note gets lost in the jungle: and often get lazy to find the note, and to add items to it. For that, I am thinking use very simple app for this purpose: to write scratches.

What I want is an app that satisfies the following 5 requirements:


a) note menu item: I should be able write from the menu item; and the menu item should be independent of the big note app
b) transparent storage: to a mac folder
c) expandable window: no rigid windows
d) Should be sticky (floating) over other apps
e) text formatting: should support either markdown or rtf formatting


Thus far, I have tried a number of simple apps. Here is my comparison of those apps.

1. FiveNotes:

√- note menu item
x-  transparent storage:
x- expandable window
x Can be sticky (floating)
√ text formatting


2. Antnotes:

√- note menu item
x-  transparent storage:
√- expandable window
√ Can be sticky (floating)
√ text formatting

This is better than Fivenotes because notes can be exported; and has a global shortcut to show the notes. I can use the export command to make the Scratch visible to Spotlight; by overwriting the old version. This is not as good as directly editing a text file. But, is better than having no way of making the file available to spotlight.


3. Unclutter:

√- note from menu item
x-  transparent storage:
√- expandable window
√ Can be sticky (floating)
x text formatting—-it supports only plain text. This is the major issue I have about this app.

4. Quick notes:

- I couldn’t find this for macos 10.13.


5. FromScratch:

x- note from menu item
x-  transparent storage (txt, md or rtf)
√- expandable window
x Can be sticky (floating)
x formatting


6. Clipto:
This more or less like Obsidian: a complex system with internal storage.


7. Handynote:
- This is similar to Antnotes.


8. Tyke:
—no formatting
√- note from menu item
x-  transparent storage (txt, md or rtf)
√- expandable window
x Can be sticky (floating)
x formatting


9. Mininote Pro

√- note from menu item
x-  transparent storage (txt, md or rtf)
√- expandable window
√  Can be sticky (floating)
√  text formatting (rtf of markdown)
This is similar to Antnote: there is no much difference between these two.
From function perspective: Antnotes = Mininote Pro


10. Sticky:

x- note from menu item
x-  transparent storage (txt, md or rtf)
√- expandable window
x Can be sticky (floating)
√  formatting
—-there is no advantage over the Antnote except the sync with Evernote feature.

11. Notelife (formerly SOHO notes):
- it also has a menu item (Flash). But, it is not possible to create or edit notes from the menu item. It can only search items.
- the Flash also requires the main app to run; much similar to Scrivener’s scratchpad.


12. Evernote: 
√- note from menu item
x-  transparent storage (txt, md or rtf)
x- expandable window
x Can be sticky (floating)
x formatting


13. Devonthink: 
√- note from menu item
√-  transparent storage (txt, md or rtf)
x- expandable window
x Can be sticky (floating)
√  formatting


Thus far, Antnote and Mininote Pro come closest to my needs. Still, they miss the transparency requirement.

Have I missed another app that could satisfy these requirements?

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jun 24, 2022 at 04:56 PM

 

Have you looked at Tab Notes? I think it meets all your requirements… I don’t use it, but I remembered it when reading your post.

 


Posted by mry53
Jun 24, 2022 at 05:00 PM

 

SnipNotes meets my needs, which sound similar to yours

 


Posted by satis
Jun 24, 2022 at 06:48 PM

 

SnipNotes is fantastic. Mac and iOS and Apple Watch apps and unlike some apps like UpNote it has a real menubar app from which you can enter notes, even if the app is not running.

https://www.snipnotes.de/en/

I also use the free Tot app on my Mac for super-quick notes on the fly, usually while on a call or website. (There’s a companion iOS app but it’s a pretty unreasonable $20 so I passed on it.) I have no idea where the notes text resides on my machine though.

https://tot.rocks/

 


Posted by Larry_in_Bangkok
Jun 25, 2022 at 05:54 AM

 

Dellu wrote:
>Have I missed another app that could satisfy these requirements?

... Thank you, Dellu, for posting about scratch pads, note-taking.
Very interesting to me because I take notes frequently.

... Observations:

... I wondered: “Dellu asks for an app, but are there other, more efficient ways to meet those requirements?”

... #1: Your list of possible apps seems very short, quite limited.
May I ask what was the source for the list above?

...#2: Your requirement for “sticky/floating” suggest you are a mouse-user, rather than a fluent touch-typer.
Is that correct, or not?

... The app I am using is DEVONthink.
The user-interface is torture, but everything else about it is superb (for taking and retrieving notes).

 

 


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