When comparing Ulysses III vs Notebooks, the Slant community recommends Ulysses III for most people. In the question“What are the best Evernote alternatives?” Ulysses III is ranked 33rd while Notebooks is ranked 36th. The most important reason people chose Ulysses III is:
A few themes are baked in and a big selection of [user-contributed styles](http://styles.ulyssesapp.com/) to choose from are available on the Ulysses Style Exchange.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Highly customizable
A few themes are baked in and a big selection of user-contributed styles to choose from are available on the Ulysses Style Exchange.
Pro Does not distract the user
Ulysses has a clean, unobtrusive, easy to overview interface that allows focusing on writing. By default it's split up in 3 panes with sidebar, sheet pane and content pane from left to right. Unnecessary panes can be hidden.
Pro No Markdown syntax knowledge required
Markdown formatting can be applied from the right-click menu, with keyboard shortcuts or from an optional markup bar. Necessary elemants to links, images, and footnotes are added by filling in a popover.
Pro Can paste rich text and import from Word
Pasted rich text and imported Word documents keep their formatting when converted to Markdown.
Pro Attachments can be added
Attachments such as images, text notes, keywords and writing goals can be added to content. And to organize them keywords can be added.
Pro Great tools for organizing and finding files
Ulysses saves everything in the app so there's no file management outside of the editor involved. It organizes content in groups (folders) and sheets (files), has a powerful, easy to use search and allows adding keywords to attachments to help them be organized and found quickly.
Groups can have an unlimited amount of subgroups and the title of subgroup shows up in the pane view. Sheets can be split up, merged, glued together and easily moved around in the sheet pane by dragging and dropping. Great for splitting up larger documents into manageable chunks while still keeping an overview of the whole project and having the ability to move sections around quickly.
Contents of a group can be filtered by text, keywords or change date within headings, code blocks, images or any other marked up text. Filters can contain a combination of conditions and be saved to make a new group. Saved filters can be moved around to different groups and will return filtered results for that group. Selecting multiple groups will show the combined sheets of those groups.
Pro Keyboard navigation
You can operate Ulysses via keyboard only. No need for mouse.
Pro Multiple preview and export options
The editor can export to Plain Text, RTF, Word, HTML, ePub and PDF with customizable styles for each option. It can also preview HTML directly in the browser.
Pro Inline formatting
There's no live-preview pane or an external previewer necessary. Ulysses displays styling inline.
Pro Includes features for not losing place
Ulysses has options for highlighting current line, showing line numbers and enabling typewriter mode. Typewriter mode defines a place on the screen where the cursor should be so eyes are kept focusing in one place on the screen.
Pro Syncs via iCloud
Content can be synchronised across devices via Apple's iCloud.
Pro Comprehensive documentation
Ulysses comes with an excellently written documentation that covers everything there is to know about the software, including an extensive list of keyboard shortcuts as well as short and sweet introduction to Markdown and its benefits.
Pro Allows the user to work anywhere and on any Apple device of their choice
Ulysses is available for both macOS and iOS. This, combined with the cloud syncing allows users to work on their projects using any Apple device they have at the time.
Pro Displays statistics including how long it takes to read the document
The editor tracks statistics that shows how many characters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages a document contains and estimated reading time for slow, average, and fast readers. The statistics display in a popover that can be torn-off so it's constantly visible.
Pro Helps get stuff done
Goals such as how many characters, words, sentences, paragraphs, lines or pages should be written can be set to help get motivated.
Pro Powerful organization features
Groups, tagging, and notes for each document.
Pro Helpful support
Staff is helpful in answering questions on how to use the app.
Pro A demo version is available
A time (10hrs) and usage limited demo for Ulysses III is available.
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
Ulysses now operates on a subscription-based model. $4.99/month or $39.99/year. It is not currently possible to pay once and keep it.
Con Overwrites imported markdown files
When previously written markdown files are imported, they're converted to Ulysses' version of Markdown and original files are overwritten.
Con Cannot render code blocks
You can go around this limitation, but it is complex and not so pretty looking as it is in other Markdown Editors.
Con Lacks a LaTeX-exporter
Con Proprietary file format
Text is saved in a database in proprietary format. Meaning, your notes can't be accessed other than through the app, and cannot be moved other than by exporting them.
Con iOS and Mac versions have to be bought separately
The iOS version costs $24.99 and the macOS version costs $44.99. They have to be bought separately in order to be used on those devices.
Con Automatic switching of sheets can be confusing
Scrolling down when at the bottom of a sheet will switch to next sheet. When unexpected, this behavior can be confusing to some.
Con No proper right-to-left support in PDF
Ulysses lacks right-to-left support that was available in the previous incarnation of this software.
Con Proprietary Markdown extensions but no MultiMarkdown
Con Not cross platform
Con Cursor rendering issues
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.