All.Notes ($2.99) by Yodito LLC is a lightweight note-taking app for your iPhone. If you’re not satisfied with Apple’s own Notes app, and want something that is a little more flexible, then this is an app that you should check out. It is very similar to Day One and Vesper, except All.Notes has a syncing solution from the get-go.
Pen and paper are a thing of the past — for most of us, the new way of capturing notes on-the-go is done through our iPhones. I’ve gone through my share of note-taking apps in the past, and I’ve stuck with Drafts for quite some time now for those quick-jot moments. Still, I enjoy discovering new writing apps, so when I found All.Notes, I had to give it a try for myself.
All.Notes features a nicely designed interface, though it is strongly reminiscent of Day One in a lot of aspects. All of your notes will be organized in chronological order, with the option to create separate notebooks for notes and sort by tags through the side panel navigation menu. This panel can be decorated with a wallpaper image of your choice, giving it that “personal” touch. Along with basic text, you can attach multiple image files to a single note, which is a feature that even Day One currently lacks (although it’s coming in the future). All.Notes, despite the powerful features, is still intuitive to use and pretty straightforward, as you’d expect from any note-taking app.
Before you really start using the app for notes, I would recommend signing in or creating an account from within the app for the provided in-house syncing service. This will help ensure that all of the data you put in to the app is backed up and synced, and you can re-download it at any time when necessary just by signing in. It’s a free service, and you can have the app sync your notes only on Wi-Fi, or through both Wi-Fi and Cellular data. Your data will be readily available for both the iOS and Mac versions of the app (the Mac version is $4.99 on the App Store).
When you want to create a new note, all you have to do is tap on the “+” button in the top right. You can start typing whatever it is you need right away, so the app is rather quick with capturing text. The first line is bolded to make it stand out more, just like in Day One and Vesper. Unfortunately, I was a bit annoyed at the fact that the app does not seem to support Markdown syntax, which I find to be an essential in my writing. Other things that can be included for the note are location (though you can’t select nearby places like Day One), tags, shortcuts (think of favorites), and you can put it in a specific notebook.
Unlike the other two apps that All.Notes seems to “draw inspiration” from, there is support for multiple photos, which is nice. To add images to your note, just tap on the camera button, and you can import multiple photos from your Photo Library, capture new ones, and view the currently attached images. If an entry has multiple photos, you are able to see a thumbnail for each one attached when viewing it, but only the first one shows up in the note list thumbnail. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t seem to use the EXIF data from images , so you can’t create a new entry in the past (nor can you edit the date and timestamp), which is one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy Day One so much.
You can bring up the side panel menu for navigating between the main sections of the app, which include All Notes, Shortcuts, and Photos. But if you have added various notebooks and tags to All.Notes, you can filter your notes through these instead.
The App Store description claims that the app can also allow you to read PDFs, Office documents, and even plain text files, but I couldn’t really figure out a way to get files into the app. I’ve tried through my email, but All.Notes just doesn’t show up in the “Open In…” menu. So I’m not sure how this feature is supposed to work, but for me, it was a bit of a fail.
All.Notes seems like an “okay” alternative, but I can’t help but feel that it’s nothing more than a ripoff of both Day One and Vesper, but with a few added features like multiple photos and notebooks. To add to the disappointment, it does not provide support for Markdown, there’s no iCloud or Dropbox syncing, you can’t pick nearby places, and it’s unclear how to get various document attachments into the app itself.
If you want to save a few bucks and have the look and feel of Day One and Vesper, then you can pick up All.Notes in the iPhone App Store for $2.99 (Mac version for $4.99). But I still recommend Day One ($4.99 for iOS, $9.99 for Mac) overall, as it’s just a far better experience, minus the multiple photos (for now).