Monday, February 8, 2010

Notational Velocity and Nottingham

Notational Velocity is a simple, perhaps even simple-minded, application for note-taking. In Mac-speak that's called "elegant." It has three panes, one to type in a search term, one to show some headings of notes, and the last for the note itself. It saves information in text format (which can be encrypted) and it has incremental search. That's it.

The program is like a card index without systematic order. Indeed, without any order at all. The chaos of notes can be navigated only by searching or browsing.

It's Amish computing or "software minimalism" at its most radical and therefore can count on a loyal congregation of the faithful and a steady trickle of curious CRIMPERS who might like the idea (but usually will soon abandon it again for what appears as greener pastures).

Nottingham, a clone of Notational Velocity, added syncing to the iPhone using Simplenote, Spotlight integration, Evernote import, and Markdown previews. It also changed the note pane to look like a yellow pad.

The most recent version of Notational Velocity follows suit and adds "native" synchronization with Simplenote, or via files with WriteRoom for iPhone and Dropbox.

Notational Velocity is freeware. Nottingham is shareware ($14.95).

There is nothing quite as elegant for the Windows platform, unless you count the freeware application Scrapbook.[1] It has only two panes, but it sports a menu and toolbar. They are really not needed, as almost everything can be done by keyboard. The search opens a second window. Perhaps the developer, Eric Nitzsche, can be persuaded to make it look and feel even more like these two very elegant programs :).

1. See the comments for a reference to the older version of Notational Velocity.
Friday, October 29, 2010: Resophnotes is at least as elegant and available for Windows. See here. It's now at version 1.1.5.


Anonymous said...

I must admit that the stripped-down simplicity of applications like these is alluring at times, especially for a hard-core CRIMPer like me. But their function-free philosophy does quickly become too limiting.

Have you ever looked over the simple application called rdex? If not, you might find it even MORE simple than Nottingham or Notational Velocity. Information and download here:

MK said...

You are right. Rdex is still more simple.

I also find applications like this fascinating, but they at best complement a more capable note-taking application. Still, as a hard-core CRIMPer, one hopes that there is a new and shiny application out there that changes "everything."

MK said...

Well, I tried it on Windows 7 (64bit).

It worked for a while, and then I got this message:

"Rdex-2.3 has stopped working

A problem caused the program to work correctly ..."

Never had that problem with Scrapbook.

Brady White said...

I made a notational velocity for windows and mac called NoteSync which syncs with Google Docs instead of SimpleNote. Try it out. Let me know what you think.