Letterspace – Swipe. Edit. Note. (Free) by Sittipon Simasanti is a beautifully crafted note-taking app that is a pleasure to use. There is also a companion Mac app so your notes can be accessed on your desktop. If you’re still in search of a quick note app that is right for you, then Letterspace is worth a look. It is similar to other apps out there like Fetchnotes and Simplenote.
I love writing — that’s why I love my job here at AppAdvice. Over the years, I’ve gone through dozens of writing apps for iOS, and several on Mac, but I’ve settled on some essentials that are part of my daily workflow. On iOS, my writing app of choice is Editorial, with Drafts 4 for the quick jot notes. On my MacBook Pro, I like to use Byword for writing articles. However, even though these are my preferred tools, they’re not especially suited for basic note-taking, except for Drafts. While I have settled on my essential workflow, I can’t help but check out new writing apps that hit the market, and so I was intrigued with what Letterspace had to offer, since it was talked about a bit over the weekend.
Letterspace features a minimal yet elegant look and feel to it, so the app is fairly pleasing to the eyes. The default color scheme is a white background with light blue text and accent buttons, which works well. There are other color themes available, though they are all sold individually through in-app purchases, with some being more expensive than others for reasons unknown. The default typeface is my favorite, Avenir, but there are other eight other fonts to choose from. Personally, I found the default font size to be fine, but you can also tweak it to be smaller or larger. Your notes will be neatly organized in the list view, complete with line previews, and everything can be further organized with hashtags (#) and mentions (@). It’s easy to get around in Letterspace too, since the app feels natural with swiping gestures. Overall, the design of Letterspace is top-notch.
On the first launch of Letterspace, users will go through a quick tutorial that shows the basics of the app. While this is nice, I felt that it is not that necessary given how straightforward everything is. Letterspace uses iCloud for syncing all of your notes between devices, so as long as you are logged in to your account on both iOS and Mac, then your notes will always be available.
When you want to create a new note in Letterspace, just tap on the plus button. The standard iOS status bar chrome will disappear, and you’ll be left with a full screen writing experience. While there are no keyboard extensions in this app, Letterspace does have full support for live Markdown syntax previews, so you can make GitHub-like to-do lists and tag notes with inline #hashtags and @mentions. Whatever tags and mentions you create will be accessible from the side panel navigation menu, which is accessible by swiping right from the left screen edge.
One of the best things about Letterspace is the blue cursor bar that sits above the keyboard. On the iPhone, this is just the cursor bar, but the iPad version has a full blown keyboard extension with quick Markdown shortcuts. Just swipe left or right on the bar and the cursor moves quickly in that direction.
This is one of those things that you will fall in love with once you try it out, and you’ll wonder why this isn’t more common with writing apps. Fixing typos has never been easier! A double tap on the bar will select the current word that the cursor is on, and you can adjust the text selection as needed. A swipe down on the cursor bar will hide the keyboard, allowing you to go back to the note list and the side panel menu.
If, at any time, you feel like changing how the app looks, just hide the keyboard on your note and tap on the “Aa” button. This brings up font selection and size, as well as the themes that you can switch to, though all of the others are locked behind IAP. There is a share option too, which uses the native iOS Share Sheet to share or open the document in another app.
I’ve only been using Letterspace for a short time, but it is pretty fast and simple. I did notice that changes I make on one device won’t show up until a few moments later on other devices, but I think this is due to how iCloud syncing works. If you no longer need a note anymore, you can swipe on it and send it to the Archive. Letterspace has full text search as well, so you can just type in a few keywords and find what you’re looking for.
Letterspace is an uncomplicated app for taking quick notes, and while I love the design of it, I’m not sure if it will have a place in my daily go-to workflow. I use Drafts as my quick scratchpad and send the text off to whatever apps are necessary at the time, and lately I’ve been using Notefile to get snippets of text from my Mac to iOS (and vice versa).
However, Letterspace is a fantastic free alternative for those who don’t use the other apps I’ve mentioned, so I recommend checking it out if you need a basic note app with iCloud syncing. You can find Letterspace on the App Store as a universal download for free with in-app purchases for more color themes. The Mac version is also free and can be found on the Mac App Store.