I recently joined Gabe Weatherhead, Brett Terpstra, and Dr. Drang to talk about text on the Generational podcast. It was a really good mix of power users. Everyone is tackling text from a different angle, which led to many interesting perspectives. If text and Markdown are your thing, you’ll be happy with this nerdfest.
… and there was much rejoicing by text nerds everywhere.
- Lots of new features
- Still speedy and useful
The Case for Notational Velocity and Simplenote
Notational Velocity started out as the best way to sync text to iOS. That was the big selling point and the reason a lot of us jumped on it a year or two ago when they hooked up with Simplenote. It was truly one of those “your chocolate in my peanut butter” moments for mobile writers. However, that reason is not as important now as it was. Back then, the Notational Velocity / SimpleNote Tango was the only game in town for syncing text to iOS devices. Not anymore. Now that Dropbox has become the ubiquitous language of syncing to iOS, many text editors sport the ability to easily sync text to Dropbox making it available anywhere from any platform. I get e-mails from readers all the time explaining how they get by just fine without Simplenote. On some levels, this makes sense. While Simplenote is pretty awesome, it doesn’t have the feature list of other iOS based text editors like PlainText, with its gorgeous layout, or Nebulous Notes, nerdgasm inducing macros.
So syncing got easier and Simplenote a bit less essential. For me, however, what continues to make Notational Velocity and Simplenote awesome is the search. All of these text snippets are in one place, easily searchable, and always available.
How I use Notational Velocity
So I use Notational Velocity in three contexts:
- my go-anywhere text bank;
- my ghetto database, and;
- as my hopper of working text.
The Text Bank
I’ve got lots of bits of re-usable text. Maybe it’s the html code for the Mac Power Users logo or maybe it is the perfect jury instruction for fraud. Either way, it is stuff I will use again and want to access from anywhere. Notational Velocity is perfect for this with its quick search.
Whether it is a work project or vacation plans, I love having a note dedicated to it with key information like contacts, reservation numbers, communication logs, and essential details. It is always in sync, available on all my devices, and oh-so-malleable with text. Also, when talking to someone and you can immediately get access to these details, it scares the hell out of them.
Finally, I use it for bits of text that need love and attention. This includes pieces out of Scrivener projects, half-baked posts, pieces of legal briefs, and just about any other text I’m working on.
So I see a lot of relevance to using Simplenote and Notational Velocity, giving me access to 700 snippets of pure gold and several more full of amusing drivel, like my favorite latin sayings. Later this week I’ll post on how I name these notes to bring order from chaos but for now I’ll leave you with this thought: Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est. (The designated hitter rule has got to go.)
I’ve recently discovered Unmarked Software’s TextSoap which has become a very useful tool for a text geek like myself. Expect a full review in the future. For now, just check out the new version.