So you’re focused working on something, when suddenly you come up with an amazing idea, or think of something that you’d like to remember for later. If you’re anything like me, you feel the need to write it down right then and there before it goes away forever. But, if you follow any sort of productivity discipline, you also don’t want to lose focus on your main task, or get involved with other intricate apps that could take your precious attention.
A simple piece of paper next to your computer might do the trick, but since you’re already working on your computer, why not do it there? Why not have a simple, small note taking app that runs in your menu bar? We’ve got one of those for you today. It’s good, it’s free, and it’s called Noteworthy+. Why don’t we get deeper into it?
Noteworthy+ lives as a tiny app in your menu bar that functions as a drop-down simple note taking app. It’s a little bit more intricate than most menu bar note-taking apps though, as it supports a neat organization system, formatting, and exporting of all your notes. Best of all, it goes for free on the Mac App Store. Let me explain it better.
How It Works
Noteworthy+ is a little bit more elaborate than similar apps to it, which makes the app more complicated to understand, but also increases its functionality. The navigation is a little too knotty and that’s why the app needs a somewhat lengthy (but intuitive) tutorial showcasing everything it can do.
The navigation is broken into 2 parts: notebooks and notes inside those notebooks. The main window of the app shows you a list of all your notebooks, each one being shown with its title along with the number of notes in it.
Clicking on any notebook will switch the view to display a list of all the notes you have saved in that notebook. Each note is easily editable, just click anywhere on the note and your cursor will appear there, ready for your input.
On the bottom-right corner of the window there’s a big button with a square in it. Even though it doesn’t look like it, this is the “back” button. If you are inside the settings or editing your notes inside a notebook, this button will bring you up a level in the navigation.
The Notes System
The search bar is the center of operations in the app, as it also works for creating new notes and notebooks. It can be found in both the notes and notebook views, and it’s located on top of your lists, looking as if it were another element in them.
As you type on this search bar, your notebooks or notes below will start being filtered based on your search matches. If you instead want to input your search query as a new note or notebook, you can hit CMD+Enter to submit your new note.
If you are located in the notes view, the sidebar will switch buttons into a format toolbar, which can help you create bullet points, highlight, bold and italicize text, change colors, font size and font. All of these formatting options are something that I found quite useful, since most menu-bar notetaking apps don’t offer such customization for making certain parts of the text stand out.
Where It Fits in Your Workflow
I’m a huge fan of note-taking apps like Evernote, but I have to admit that I don’t always find them easy or fast to use. Evernote is great for organizing everything in a very OCD way, picking tags, inserting images and audio to notes, and finding the right notebook for everything… this is is all great for keeping a big organized collection of all sorts of information, without getting lost in the process.
But there are times when I want to just write something down quickly without having to deal with a big app like Evernote. Sometimes I’ll be writing an article or reading a post, and I’ll remember something that I want to write for later. Bringing up Evernote is just not a very fast process and I find it rather distracting.
I like simple, small note-taking apps like this one or Scrawl, because they’re easily accessible and they don’t require me to take focus out of what I’m doing to make a new note. Then, at the end of the day, I take all of the notes that I gathered in my menu bar app, and organize them in Evernote.
Despite the more organized navigation system of this app versus similar menu bar notes apps, navigating around the app sometimes gets uncomfortable, since keyboard shortcuts are not customizable, and there aren’t enough of them. For example, you can’t go back a level in the navigation with a keyboard shortcut, you have to click the “Back” button, which is also inconveniently located in the bottom of the app. Small details like this make using the app awkward at times, but they’re minor details after all.
I used to be a pretty big fan of Scrawl, which is a similar app, but much smaller and simpler. It doesn’t have a whole lot of features other than letting you create new notes; no format or anything. Eventually, the app got a little bit too buggy and stale, to the point where it no longer fulfilled my needs.
That’s how I found Noteworthy+. It’s way more complex than Scrawl, but its formatting and organizing features don’t make it feel a lot more heavy or slower to use than Scrawl. It’s also a lot more stable (it has never frozen on me, whereas Scrawl freezes up all the time in Mountain Lion), and it goes for one dollar less.
Noteworthy+ may not be a huge organizing app like Evernote is, but for me it fills in where Evernote fails, which is in the simplicity field. But what about you? Do you use note-taking apps at all? And if so, which ones? Let us know in the comments!
Noteworthy+ is a simple note-taking app that works through your menu bar. It's more useful than most similar apps though, as it supports things like text formatting, notebooks and note exporting.8
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