Listary – Sync Your Lists by Portmanteau icon

Listary – Sync Your Lists ($1.99) by Portmanteau is a simple list app for your iPhone and iPod Touch that syncs with Simplenote.

There are plenty of list apps out there, but there is a new kid on the block on this May the 4th (be with you). This is a list app that syncs with my favorite little note taking application, Simplenote. Meet Listary.

Listary – Sync Your Lists by Portmanteau screenshot

Listary can combine with Simplenote to bring you a feature that Premium subscribers of the latter get: lists. That is, without that $19.99 premium subscription fee for such a feature. When you link the app to your free Simplenote account, you’ll get a screen that allows you to import any notes you already have and turn them into lists in Listary.

There is a caveat to this though: if you are already a Premium subscriber of Simplenote, you already get lists. If you import your already existing lists into Listary, there might be some problems such as blank lines. But that shouldn’t stop Premium users from enjoying Listary as well – just keep things separate.

Now, as an app, Listary is fairly simple and straightforward. There is absolutely no learning curve, and everything feels natural and intuitive. On the main screen, you will have your collection of various lists, as well as a non-removable Trash section that you can use to restore your old lists or just empty it forever.

By default, there are two default lists that will come with the app – How to use Listary and Uses for Listary. You can check these out for a basic step-by-step introduction to the app, or you can just get right to it.

From the main screen, you can add a new list from the bottom left button, or a new item with the bottom right button. When you make a new list and save it, you’ll be taken straight to the list and you can start adding items right away.

When you add a new item, you can add as much text as you need. Each line will be for one item, and you can add multiple items with the “Add another item” option. If you decide that you want to add this group of items for another list other than the one you’re currently in, you can choose a list in the “Add to” option.

Listary – Sync Your Lists by Portmanteau screenshot

Once you have your lists and items entered in, you’ll notice that Listary does it in a simple and efficient way. Checkboxes on items will let you mark an item as complete or incomplete, and you can swipe to delete as well. Items can be moved from list to list, edited, or trashed when selected.

Now, you’re probably wondering how these lists will look when not in Listary. Since it syncs with Simplenote, which in turn can sync with Dropbox (for Premium subscribers), your lists are essentially just plain text. They will also appear in the following format:

List Name

An item

Another item

/ Completed item

It’s simple and quite efficient. Any changes I made in lists were synced back to the Simplenote cloud in a matter of seconds, and I found the lists accessible in Notational Velocity (which I use with Simplenote) and even the Simplenote web app itself.

If you’re not a Simplenote Premium subscriber, you can now use Simplenote for fast and easy lists with Listary. If you are a Premium subscriber, Listary is still good because it keeps your lists nice and tidy, separate from all of your notes. I like this, because I can keep actual notes in Simplenote/Notational Velocity, and use Listary for separate lists.

However, it would be nice to see one feature added in the future – an ability to make multiple levels of bullets for an item. Sometimes, something will require multiple steps to complete, which will need nested tasks within a task. Not sure if it is possible to do in the current plain text syntax, but it certainly would be nice to see. The app still works great without this kind of feature, though.

So if you’re one that prefers to use simple and basic lists instead of a full-fledged to-do app, and also use Simplenote, then definitely give Listary a try. It’s nice, clean, and super fast. The icon looks great too.