iPhone note nirvana [Updated]

I’ve never gotten much use out of notes on the iPhone because I dislike typing more than a few words on it. I’m slower with it than I am with a full-sized keyboard and the bundled Notes app syncs with Mail, which makes no sense at all.

Now that I’m using the combination of Notational VelocitySimpleText and WriteRoom, my iPhone is full of easily-accessed, useful notes that I wrote on my Mac and transferred with no effort. Here’s how it works.

Notational Velocity is designed to create, store and retrieve notes. Its marquee feature is modeless operation. There’s no difference between searching for a note, browsing a note or creating one. It’s extremely fast and efficient.

WriteRoom is a full-screen text editor for the Mac and iPhone/iPod touch. It works well, but I’m really using it just to display notes.

SimpleText brings the two together. It’s a sync service originally created to let Taskpaper and WriteRoom users sync documents. Fortunately, it works with Notational Velocity, too.

Here’s how to set it up

  1. Open Notational Velocity Preferences
  2. Open “Notes” preference pane
  3. Select SimpleText’s folder for “Read notes from folder”
  4. Under storage, select ”Storage and read notes on disk as Plain Text Files”

That’s it. Now every note created in Notational Velocity is instantly synced with WriteRoom and vice versa. It’s simple, it costs all of $4.99 to set up (the price of WriteRoom) and it “just works.”

Update: Many readers have pointed out that Simplenote offers synchronization and is free. I know it’s a very popular app. Check it out if you’re looking for a similar solution that won’t cost you five bucks. I opted for WriteRoom because I enjoy the desktop version and wanted to support Hog Bag Software.