NotesTab 3: The Best Note-Taking App in Your Menu Bar

Taking down notes, whether by hand or on my computer, has always been an integral part of my workflow. Capturing information wherever and whenever, notes always in handy considering that I have such a short memory span to work with.

As such, note-taking apps like NotesTab are of great interest to me, and since version 3 of FIPLAB’s note-taking menu bar app is available for download, I thought I’d take a look at what has changed and what features were added since reviewing it a couple of months back. Likewise, the pro version offers several additional features to make the note-taking experience even better, which I will touch on later in the review. If you’re hesitant to spend an extra $4.99 for the upgrade, but would like to know what you’d receive if you do, read on.

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NotesTab 3

notestab official website

NotesTab official website.

FIPLAB have certainly invested a lot of time and effort in rebuilding and improving NotesTab. Dubbed as “Note taking finally done right,” the Mac version is redesigned from ground up with a handful of changes to its overall UI.

NotesTab now has a much better-looking icon and retina support, perfect for those working with the latest retina-display MacBooks. Text is much bigger in size and easy to find, the dashboard itself is wider with more room to work with, and its core features remain intact, such as dynamic search, favorites, share via email, the anchor button, and keyboard shortcuts.

notestab export

Export your notes to RTF or TXT formats.

The note itself is a welcoming refresh of its older design. The lighter background color works well with the text, plus you get to export to RTF and TXT and delete notes via right-click. Ads have been removed from the bottom portion of the app, giving it a nice “pro” feel to it.

Overall, as a tool to capture sudden bursts of creativity, reminders, and things that you shouldn’t forget, NotesTab 3 makes the note-taking experience much more interesting while maintaining its core functionality.

NotesTab Pro: A Huge Difference

While I believe the free version is enough for day-to-day note-taking, the real difference is in the additional features that come with the Pro version.

Priced at $4.99 on the Mac App Store, NotesTab Pro brings you a set of new features to enhance the note-taking experience in various ways. Apart from these key feautres, NotesTab Pro allows you to summon the app or create a note using keyboard shortcuts, provides an ad-free service and many other useful options. Let’s break each feature down.

Real-time Cloud Sync

notestab universal

Sync NotesTab across the Mac, iOS, and Windows 8.

NotesTab 3 made its comeback alongside two new versions: iOS and Windows 8. With NotesTab Pro, you can sync all of your notes using the app’s real-time cloud synching service and make them accessible on any three devices.

As such, having cloud sync enables you to create and read notes even when you’re away from your computer. You can have your notes on your iPhone, iPad, and/or Windows 8 devices, and so can take them with you with ease. If you’re the type who’s always on-the-go, this will definitely come in handy.

Full-screen Editing

notestab full screen

For a boost in productivity, go full-screen mode.

The second notable Pro feature is full-screen editing. The app completely transforms into a desktop-like app, filling up the screen to get you to focus solely on your notes. You have your list of notes and the search bar on the left and the wide notes editor on the right.

Once on full-screen mode, you’ll see several of the basic features at the bottom of the window—formatting options, share/delete a note, and sorting options to name a few. To add a new note, simply click on the plus button at the top rightmost part of the app.

Detachable and Resizable Window

NotesTab Pro has the freedom to move around your desktop, as compared to the free version in that it is tied to the menu bar. You can drag NotesTab to a spot on your desktop where it sits and runs silently. To call it out, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+N or click on the app’s menu bar icon.

notestab resizing

Resize NotesTab easily.

You can also resize the NotesTab window depending on how large or small you want it to be. Just hover your cursor to the corner of the app and drag.

Styles, Themes, Opacity Control

NotesTab Pro brings to the table more customization for both notes and the user interface as a whole. It comes with two themes, Wood and Dark, and allows you to control the opacity of the app when set against everything else on your desktop.

notestab opacity

You can control Notestab’s opacity.

You can change the font face and size of your notes by going to the app’s Preferences. You’ll see various options that you can tweak to suit your needs, and at the bottom of the list is the note font (6 different fonts to choose from) and size (i.e. 12, 14, and 16).

Lastly, you have three basic note formatting options to add emphasis to your notes. You can bold, italicize, and underline important information or words. you can select and use basic keyboard shortcuts (Cmd+B/I/U), or use the bold, italicize, and B, U, and I buttons found at the bottom of the window.

Distinct Improvements

Compared to how NotesTab was when I reviewed it back in March, the latest version is a leap forward with pro features that enhance the user experience. Moreover, the guys at FIPLAB are definitely on the right track, so much so that a user who desires flexible and a dynamic note-taking experience would have to try NotesTab Pro out.

Of course, on its own, NotesTab 3 is a breath of fresh air with plenty of room to grow. As such, users can rest assured that the app is under active development and taken care of with great dedication.

Your Thoughts

What do you think of the latest updates to NotesTab? Would you be willing to upgrade to the Pro version? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


NotesTab 3 brings to the table a beautiful and slick user interface and options to make note-taking flexible, convenient, and fun to do. The Pro version offers many other features on top of the basic ones, including real-time sync, detachable window, and more font styling options.