Notebooks is the Best Cross-Platform App for iPhone, iPad & Mac

Best Replacement for the Notes App

The stock iOS Notes app, although great for those who need to jot down a simple grocery list, isn’t enough for some of us. We need a bit more in the note-taking department. I’ve searched for the best cross-platform app that allows me to type on my iPad, iPhone and Macbook and found it. Notebooks is that app.

So Many Options

Using either rich or plain text notes, Notebooks allows you to decide which direction to go. With formatting options like bold, italics, underline, font color, ordered and unordered lists, as well as the ability to just type a quick “note-to-self” on the fly, Notebooks gets the job done. You’re able to manage notes individually, or using “notebooks”. Each notebook is basically a folder so you can keep particular notes under each corresponding book. Perfect for someone who wants to keep all their recipes all together, while keeping those important blog links, or quick notes separate. Moving individual notes on the Mac app is as simple as dragging and dropping, while the iPhone and iPad versions you can also move in the note itself.


With the ability to sync instantly with Dropbox, and over 100 customizable options in the Settings, you can easily tweak Notebooks to function the way you want. If you choose not to use Dropbox, you can use four other options: Wi-Fi, WebDav, iTunes Export, and SyncDocs. At first glance it may be a bit overwhelming, so I suggest taking some time to customize everything to your liking prior to writing your first note.

Notebooks is the Best Cross-Platform App for iPhone, iPad & Mac

Once you are done with this, and onto writing your first note on your iPhone and IPad, you are greeted with a keyboard extension atop of the normal keyboard (which also works if you are using a bluetooth keyboard which I thought was a bonus). This feature is what lured me to its competitor Byword before, but this feels more robust. With the option to do things like: Indent, punctuate, cursor moves, insert links & photos, Notebooks also included a nice little character counter to all of it’s apps, including the Mac app. Couple all of this with a Share button that allows you to do everything from Print, to sending to Omnifocus 2, Hit List, TextExpander, and many more Notebooks has become a necessity on my devices.

For Mac, iPhone & iPad

If your like me, and you write a lot (or a little) but want more than what Apple offers you, as well as almost instantaneous syncing between devices, you should head over to the Mac App Store now and get Notebooks Mac for $19.99, and also available for the iPhone and iPad for $9.99. If you just want it for your iPhone, it is available for $4.99.  On top of that, there is a public beta for the Mac & PC version with a 30-day Trial.

What I like: Ability to sync with multiple apps; Automatic Sync; Keyboard Extension more robust than Byword’s

What Needs Improvement: Hefty price

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.

3 Comments on "Notebooks is the Best Cross-Platform App for iPhone, iPad & Mac"

  1. I *LOVE* Notebooks on the iPhone and iPad and use it all the time. But yeah, the $20 price for the Mac version has kept me away.

  2. Greg Alston | March 9, 2015 at 7:34 pm |

    I’m still on the 30 day trial now. I can’t justify it, honestly, so I’m PRAYING for a sale soon. In the interim, I have it set to a dropbox folder (as with byword, simplenote and evernote) so all of my notes are there. You like it on the iphone better than the ipad @Michael?

  3. Thanks for this review. I bought Notebooks way back when it was first released, but had forgotten about it. Finding that the developer had added desktop versions – and especially a Windows version was great. It’s back on my phone, and I bought both the mac and windows version.

    Best part about the Windows version is it’s Markdown support. If you use this at all, you know that Windows support for .md is almost non-existant.

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