In 2008, a software startup called Simperium released the first version of simple note (opens in new tab)an application to make take notes (opens in new tab) easy for users. A year later, it released a premium version of the app that removed ads and added extra features like syncing notes with the Dropbox storage app.
In 2013, Automattic, a well-known software company, bought Simperium and its flagship Simplenote app. Automattic is best known as the developer of WordPress, the popular content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites.
After buying Simplenote, Automattic released Android and Linux versions of the app and also suspended the premium version, making it free for everyone. In 2016, the company released the source code for the Simplenote client apps, making it open source (opens in new tab) and very customer oriented.
Simplenote: plans and pricing
The best thing about the Simlenote app is that it is completely free. Most note-taking apps are freemium and require payment to access advanced features. In contrast, anyone can access all of Simplenote’s features right after signing up.
Signing up to Simplenote is easy. To do this, visit the official website or download the app on your mobile device (iOS or Android) or PC (Windows, macOS or Linux). All you need is a valid one e-mail (opens in new tab)that you verify before getting an account.
You’ll have instant access to your Simplenote dashboard after you’ve completed the sign-up process. You should notice that the dashboard is minimal and uncluttered. The first characteristic to observe is: take notes. There is a new note icon resembling a book and a pen. Click on it and a new note will open for you to type.
The text editor on Simplenote is simply faulty. It only supports boring text without any formatting, which we consider a drawback. Many people like to format the text on their digital notebooks for aesthetic purposes, but the app just can’t do that. On the plus side, this feature can be a plus for people who like simple things. With such a text editor, it is very easy to focus on taking notes and not get distracted.
The only function that resembles formatting is the ability to: add checklists to each note and mark them when they are done. This feature makes it easy for users to create and manage to-do lists (opens in new tab).
One great feature we noticed in the app is the ability to publish notes. After typing a note, you can publish it online and get a link for it. Enter that link in a browser (opens in new tab)and you will see your note as a web page. This feature allows users to access or share their notes with other people from anywhere. You don’t always have to log into the Simplenote app to check your notes when you can online.
Another notable feature that Simplenote offers is: collaboration (opens in new tab). You can invite other users (via their email) to view or edit your notes. There is no limit to the number of people you can do this with.
Simplenote: Interface and Use
Ease of use is one of Simplenote’s strengths. As we mentioned before, the app is simply faulty. The interface feels like a paper notebook, minimal and uncluttered, but with unlimited space. Every digital layman should be able to navigate through the app without any problems.
Simple Note: Support
If you’re having trouble with Simplenote, there’s a dedicated support email you can contact and wait for a response from the company’s staff. Remember it is a free app so support is not guaranteed but is more of a favor to customers.
There is also an official help page on the Simplenote website. This page contains user guides and answers to frequently asked questions about the app. It should be the first place to consult whenever you need help before opting for email support if you don’t find satisfactory answers there.
Simple note: the competition
Simplenote’s main competitors are Notion, evernote (opens in new tab), and Ulysses. The main advantage of Simplenote over these competitors is that it is free to use. But it lacks the kind of advanced features you find with these competitors, such as text formatting and grammar checking.
Simplenote: Final Verdict
We consider Simplenote to be a very good note-taking app. It’s free to use, so you don’t have to worry about any payments. It also has one of the most user-friendly interfaces you’ll find in a note-taking app. Its main drawback is that it lacks many advanced features often found in competing apps.