When comparing Notebooks vs Simplenote, the Slant community recommends Simplenote for most people. In the question“What are the best Evernote alternatives?” Simplenote is ranked 5th while Notebooks is ranked 37th. The most important reason people chose Simplenote is:
Unlike alternatives (such as Evernote) that are laden with features, Simplenote is fast to use and sync. Reviews from the [Verge], [Lifehacker], and a variety of other sources all describe using the Simplenote apps as very fast. While it may not be as feature-rich as other apps, the responsiveness of the app and simple interface keep it easy to use while never slowing down the user when they need to quickly take a note. : http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4741908/simplenote-reborn-first-great-notes-app-ios-android-mac-web : http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/07/the-holy-grail-of-ubiquitous-plain-text-capture/
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro You control how to sync the data - better privacy
With Notebooks, you choose how to sync your data, which means that you can do it using a privacy-friendly service, such as SpiderOak, Tresorit, Sync.com or iDrive, which sync your data using end-to-end encryption. This means that although they use their servers to sync your data, their servers store an encrypted version to which the service does not hold the key. Your data stays private.
Pro Powerful and grows according to your needs
Notebooks have many features including WYSIWYG editing and Markdown support. While these may be considered power-user features, they are there if the user ever needs them. This makes the app versatile, as it can appeal to the user who just wants to take notes just as much as the user who needs to edit complicated documents.
Pro No recurring fees
There are no reoccurring fees connected to this app: pay once for the platform you would like to use it on, and that's it.
Pro Available on multiple platforms
As an Evernote alternative, Notebooks is available on iOS as well as OS X and Windows operating systems. This makes for a convenient way to manage one's notes or tasks on multiple devices
Pro Geared towards fast usage
Unlike alternatives (such as Evernote) that are laden with features, Simplenote is fast to use and sync. Reviews from the Verge, Lifehacker, and a variety of other sources all describe using the Simplenote apps as very fast. While it may not be as feature-rich as other apps, the responsiveness of the app and simple interface keep it easy to use while never slowing down the user when they need to quickly take a note.
Pro Very simple and clean interface
Simplenote takes a minimalist approach to its interface. There are no toolbars full of formatting options or extra features like notebooks to group notes. The entire desktop interface consists solely of a sidebar with your tags and trash filters, the list of existing notes with search, a button to add a new note and a simple view for looking an existing note or writing a new one.
Pro Works offline
Users can edit and create documents offline, can then sync their content the next time they are online. This way a user can work even when there's no data connection without the worry of losing work.
Pro Desktop app is open source
The desktop version of Simplenote is hosted on the GitHub and since it is open source, it can allow developers to fork the code in order to improve the app.
Pro Can export your data
The program enables exporting of notes as text documents.
Pro Collaborative features
Notes can be shared with others or worked on collaboratively.
Pro Open Source
All of the Simplenote apps are open source and ready for your contributions! You can find the source on GitHub:
Electron (Windows and Linux): https://github.com/automattic/simplenote-electron
Pro "Time machine" style revision control on the notes
Each edit of a note is saved in order to allow the user to go back to a previous version of a document. This way, if mistakes are made or something is deleted, you can go back to the previous version without any hassle.
Pro Wide range of great clients with great sync
Official native apps are available on popular platforms such as Android, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, OS X, Windows and Linux. Open-source clients extend this support even more widely to various other platforms, such as webOS and the BlackBerry PlayBook. These apps embody the core philosophy of Simplenote: minimalism and focus on the note taking.
Pro Markdown support via web interface
There is support for Markdown when using the web app. This can be convenient for those who want to use Markdown in a particular note.
Pro Linux client available
Pro Excellent iOS app
Pro Excellent desktop client in the form of nvAlt
Con No Linux support
Not able to install on any Linux-based OS.
Con Each platform app has an individual cost
Say if you want to use the desktop app on OSX, that will have an individual cost. This cost does not carry over if the Windows app needs to be used as that has its own cost as well. Basically you have to pay for each platform you want to use this app on. While there are no recurring fees, the individual cost for each platform can add up.
Con Cloud sharing has to be done with a third party
Notebooks does not provide its own synchronizing and back-up. The user will therefore need to use a service (such as Dropbox) which has built-in support, but which is a service not connected with the creators of this app.
Con Limited ways to reorder notes
You are able to sort your notes alphabetically, date modified, or by last created. There is no way to drag and drop the notes to create a custom order.
Con Search is limited to one tag
There seems to be no way to find notes that have both tag X and tag Y. This isn't a big deal until you have a large library of notes, and want to cross-search for two things at the same time to vastly narrow down your search.
Con No note encryption at rest
Notes are encrypted in transit, but remain unencrypted on Simplenote's servers.
Con No support for file attachments
Simplenote doesn't provide support for embedded attachments. This can limit the use for some as many other note-taking apps do support this type of feature.
Con No way to import notes from anywhere
Con Web access only for updated browsers
They recently removed support for older browsers, and it's not working on the latest version of Waterfox. You need an updated version of a well-known browser.
Con No 32-bit version
Con No reminders
You cannot set reminders to revisit a specific note or complete a task.
Con The search function doesn't see tags
If you search for 'foo' you won't find notes with tag foo. In that regard, tags are completely isolated from the search.
Con No way to bulk-apply a tag
This is a typical workflow action in other apps: Do a search, multi-select notes among the matches, then apply or de-apply one or more tags to all these notes at once.
There's no way to do this in Simplenote. The only bulk operations are Delete and Pin-to-top.
Con No notification when changes made on a shared note
Currently, there is no way to be alerted when a change is made by another contributor on a shared note.
Con Save-to-disk feature is poor
The only way to download your data off Simplenote is via a "download zip" feature that unfortunately loses all the semantic structure of your data (tags, for instance).
Con No integrated social media sharing
The only way you can share notes with others is with a link you're given when you publish your note. There is no integrated social media sharing if you directly want to post your note to Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Con Lack of color impacts usability
There are two themes available, the default theme and a dark theme.
Both use only the single solid color (either white or black) for the background, so there is a lack of visual cues to separate what you're looking at.