Applications of interest for notetaking


Typora for me is the best application for writing Markdown on MacOS. Many applications do a great job of text editing and previewing, but only Typora does real-time preview. It will change the way you think about markdown.


For iOS, it's the best application I've found for working with markdown files. It will sync with iCloud and Dropbox, and it will preview markdown using GFM. The only downside short of being Typora and real-time rendering is that 1Writer does not "pigment" code. Thus if you write a fence for some code, and you specify the language according to GFM, you won't get colour-keyed words.


FSNotes is the closest app to a winner for me. It handles files directly as .md, so you can select a folder and directly edit markdown. There is a matching iOS app as well. All of this is good, and it's even free if you can brew. However there are a few shortcomings for me personally... the real-time editing of Typora is better, and you can't have nested folders. Those shortcomings might even be advantages to you, so check it out. FSNotes does do code colouring on iOS, too.


A fantastic full ecosystem within the Apple world. It integrates seemlessly, syncs well, and has a lot of great features. Where this doesn't work for me is two areas:

  • It's not "real" markdown
  • Code fences don't pigment

Also, see what I say about json. It's not "locked in", but you do have to purchase to export markdown.

Special note about Agenda:

Despite the fact that Agenda is not my perfect notetaking app, it's worth sharing that for a paid product, I absolutely love their model. They sell a "true subscription". Unlike other software that they call a sub, but really you rent it for the time you use it, Agenda says it's yours forever. You will have to renew after a year if you want any new features, but that's how it should be. When you had a magazine subscription, you kept the actual paper when you stopped paying. If you lose the software after you stop paying, that's renting, and I don't support any app that works that way.


What was one of the most promising applications, I've become very sour with this app. I had data loss, and that's just not acceptable. It's one guy working part-time on the app, and the promised iOS app never appeared beyond a read-only. Some really neat tricks in the app, as you can combine different kinds of note pieces, such as text, code, etc. Really, it's nothing you can't do in markdown, but the conversions to a presentation mode are slick. If you're on one Mac all the time, it's worth a look. Just make sure you make backups.


A great free service, you're limited to two devices when free. It does a lot of note-y things, but doesn't handle code well, doesn't export well, and is a subscription service. Not interested in anything where I pay monthly or lose my stuff.


It's a json-type app, and it costs per month. Very clean, but lacks features in a way they call "minimalistic". Whatever. Also, it's another rental.


MWeb is a very interesting application in that it tries to do a lot of things well, and gets some of them right. It offers iOS with full sync and it keeps files in an .md format. Unfortunately it has a "library" that is all self-titling through a database, and as such allows for some organisation but sacrifices files being in your normal structure. There's a secondary way to look at a folder that's good, but it's no better than Typora opening a directory. It can also publish to websites and blogs. Not bad, but I'm happy with Grav because I can publish directly to GitHub and it auto-syncs.