Focus On The Bare Essentials With Note.S : Daily Journal
Note.S : Daily Journal ($1.99) by Another Works is a minimalistic note-taking/journal app for your iPhone. It makes me think of a hybrid between Byword and Day One, though it doesn't have all of the features in these two apps.
I’m a sucker for writing tools, so while I was perusing the App Store for some material to work with, I had stumbled upon Note.S, mostly thanks to the very nominal, but catchy, icon. So upon further investigation, I was definitely intrigued by the app and decided to give it a spin.
The app launches fairly quickly, so that’s no problem. Once it’s launched, you will encounter a section called “Hello, there!” This is the basic tutorial, and it will help guide you on what you can do with the app. Note.S does not feature any iOS chrome in the interface, so it will be the only thing on the screen while active, which is great for focus. Of course, you may need the time, which will be displayed in the corner of the app’s custom design.
Note.S is divided into three main layers: Sections, Note List, and Note. The Sections screen allows you to create various different “lists” to keep notes in, such as “Diary” or “Travel” — you get the idea. Tapping on one of these lists will take you to the notes that you have in it, which will be empty if it’s a fresh new list. To make a new note, give that pencil icon a tap.
New notes will be timestamped, and you can write as little or as much as you want. The paperclip icon in the corner allows users to add up to two photos (either a new capture or imported from your Photo Library) and one map attachment to a note. Like most users, I wish that there was no limit on the amount of photos that can be included with a note. But hey, it’s currently more than Day One, right?
A finished note can be shared by email, Twitter, or even copied to another location in Note.S. While you can set a default font in the app settings, Note.S also allows you to change the font for specific notes. There is a good selection of both serifs and san-serifs, and you can adjust how big or small they are as well. Go back into editing mode with a tap on the note body, or delete it with the trash can.
As you start to accumulate more notes in your collection, you can view it as a list, or you can switch to the Calendar view. This is very similar to the view found in Day One, where a dot indicates a day when a note was added, and you can view an excerpt of it in the bottom half when the day is selected.
Of course, what’s the point of a note or writing app if you can’t have your data backed up somewhere? Fortunately, Note.S utilizes Dropbox or iTunes File Sharing for backup and restoration of your notes. I’m a bit surprised that iCloud isn’t one of the methods, as I’m pretty sure that more people would rather use that than iTunes File Sharing, which involves wires. The only thing with the backup methods are that you must backup manually, which can be tedious. Your notes can also be protected with a passcode, and you can choose the default font for all notes.
I found Note.S to be a decent note and journal hybrid with the minimal interface and design, but it wont be replacing any of my current apps. I also wish that the app was available on the iPad — it is currently available on the iPhone only. However, if you are looking for something simple for keeping track of notes, photos, and even mapped locations, then this may be worth a look, though I think the price is a bit high for what is currently being offered.