Friday, May 13, 2016

Ulysses, Again

There is an enthusiastic review of Ulysses at Lifehacker. According to it,
Ulysses isn’t exactly a plain text editor. For a long time, the pitch for Ulysses was “plain text enhanced,” and while I hate to succumb to advertising catch phrases, that does describe Ulysses well. It’s a smarter version of plain text that can work as just plain text, or handle much more if you want it to. More than that though, Ulysses is an entire environment for writing. To use Ulysses well, you’ll want to dump everything, from your notes to your book manuscript, into Ulysses.
The author thinks it's also great for taking notes because
On top of having a solid system for organizing your writing manually, Ulysses also has an incredibly powerful little search program inside of it. Tap Command+O and type in your search. The results will include any text with that search term. Find the sheet you want, press Return, and Ulysses takes you straight into the text editor for that document. This doesn’t sound like much, but it makes so you can easily bounce between sheets without ever touching the mouse, which is useful when you just want to write.
In other words, it has simple search only. No "not", "or", or "and". No regex either.[1] So, how many notes is it good for? Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands? I would think it may be a few thousands.

Perhaps this is just my prejudice, but I am not interested in any application that supports just a few thousand of notes. A life-time of note-taking needs an application that can manage tens of thousands of notes or more.

There are too many apps that suggest they are capable note-takers but which are severely limited. Take Growly Notes, it is severely limited in the size of its notebooks: "For example, if you’re keeping class notes in Notes, don’t keep an entire semester’s classes in one notebook. Make a folder in the Finder for each semester and make one notebook for every course. This will keep the size of your notebooks down, which will make Notes faster. It also makes it possible to close the notebooks you’re not currently using, which will also make Notes faster."{2] This means it is not a serious alternative to OneNote, for instance.

1. I own a licensed copy of Ulysses, so I can add that it also allows you to chose formatting.
2. I am sorry to say that I own a licensed copy of this one as well. It's useless to me.


Jordan T-H said...

FYI You can use Ulysses as an interface for notes in a folder just like NValt.

MK said...

I know that you can use Ulysses as an interface for notes more or less like nValt. That was one of the premises. The I tried to answer was question was how good it is as such an interface.

I am willing to be convinced that it can be used for large-scale note-taking. It's just that neither my own use nor the article convinced me that it can be so used.