For years I always kept a small notepad in my pocket. It was great for taking notes when out and about. I always kept a shopping list and a to-do list in that notepad. I also used it to write down telephone numbers of people I met, reminder notes to myself, medical appointments, and more. Of course, that notepad would become dog-eared after a few weeks in my pocket. Replacing it with a new notepad meant I had to laboriously transcribe the notes to my new notepad. I also seemed to never have a pen or pencil at the moment of need. Another problem was trying to quickly find something in the hundreds of notes I had taken.
Of course, today's technology offers different and often better alternatives. If you own a Macintosh, Android device, iPhone, iPad, or Kindle, Simplenote will keep your notes in that device and will exchange those notes with your other devices. Windows owners and everyone else can use the web-based version of Simplenote. A number of Windows, Macintosh, and other software programs will also exchange data with Simplenote. I now can take almost any kind of note at any time on my cell phone, laptop, desktop, or even Kindle, by touching an icon and entering data. Best of all, I never leave home without my cell phone, so the included notes are with me everywhere I go. I can enter or edit notes on the web version, in the Macintosh, in the iPhone, or any other handheld device that supports Simplenote. All new text is then copied to the other devices within seconds.
As you might guess from the program's name, Simplenote is indeed a simple note-taking system. It accepts and displays simple text, nothing else. No graphics, no PDF files, no Microsoft Word files, and nothing fancy. If you want to save pictures, you'll need something else. Simplenote is is designed for text only. Best of all, Simplenote is available FREE of charge. It doesn't even display advertising.
While I do use Simplenote for keeping a genealogy "to-do" list and for taking quick notes when talking to older relatives, I must admit that my primary use of Simplenote is to keep my grocery shopping list. At this moment, I also have notes about the size of my home's windows (I am shopping for new curtains), the combination for a padlock I purchased a few weeks ago, a packing list for my next airline trip, a recipe my sister gave me, and notes from a lecture I attended a few weeks ago at a genealogy conference. I also use it at random times when I happen to think of an idea for a future newsletter article.
In short, Simplenote is useful for almost any kind of text notes.
Best of all, I can enter a note in the iPhone (or Android or Kindle or iPad or devices), and the note appears a few seconds later in my other devices as well as in my account on the Simplenote web site. I can later copy-and-paste notes from Simplenote to most any word processing program, genealogy program, or most any other application. If I have multiple devices, Simplenote keeps the notes in sync on all those devices. All notes stay updated across all devices. There are no extra buttons to press—it just works. If I happen to be at 35,000 feet on board an airliner and out of reach of any wireless network, Simplenote saves the new note(s) and then exchanges data later, when the mobile device again connects to the Internet.
If you have dozens or even hundreds of notes, you will appreciate the capability to search through your notes to quickly find any word or phrase. You can also share notes with family, friends, or co-workers who also use Simplenote. You can also send individual notes to anyone else by email. Your older notes are also backed up when you change them. To retrieve an earlier version of any note, you simply click on the icon that looks like a clock and drag the version slider to go back in time. (That capability exists in the Simplenote web site, but I do not see it in the iPhone version. Therefore, I can only retrieve older versions of notes from the Web version. I am not sure about other devices. Luckily, I rarely need that capability.)
All notes are always backed up on the Simplenote.com servers. Even if you lose or replace your handheld device, your notes are automatically copied to a new replacement device when you install the Simplenote software on it.
Simplenote also can exchange notes with a number of other applications. Windows owners and Macintosh owners alike can find a number of Simplenote-compatible applications by looking at http://simplenote.com/downloads/.
Simplenote has rather simple security. To access your notes on the Simplenote.com web site, you need to enter a user name and password. However, I don't believe it uses military-grade encryption. In short, I don't care if some hacker accesses my grocery list or my list of the size of my curtains; however, I wouldn't keep credit card numbers or other sensitive information in Simplenote.
I like Simplenote. Indeed, it is just that: simple. It works well and is always with me. If you need a simple note-taking application on both your mobile and desktop systems, you might like Simplenote.
You can learn more about Simplenote at http://simplenote.com/ as well as in the Apple App Store, iPhone and iPad App Store, the Google Play Store for Android apps, and elsewhere.