Another update of Notebooks for Mac and Notebooks for PC available for download. The apps are still in beta and available for free.

New in Beta 9

  • FIX: deleting multiple selected books no longer accidentally permanently deletes them
  • Lists in plain text: type return on empty line to outdent instead of terminate list
  • Lists in formatted documents: use TAB key to indent, type return on empty line to outdent
  • Keyboard shortcut: cmd-del to delete currently selected (most selected) item(s)
  • Markdown: support for MultiMarkdown definition lists
  • Markdown: new setting in preferences to disable Notebooks convenience method of converting each newline to a line break. When this option is off you need to add two spaces at the end of a line to enforce a line break: This is less convenient, but it is Markdown standard.
  • Search and replace in current document
  • Formatted Documents: HTML source is now editable
  • Drag & drop images into formatted documents
  • Drag & drop images into plain text (inserts the corresponding Markdown code)
  • Updated style sheets to better support printing
  • Performance improvements

Mac only

  • Search for documents
    • Multiple search terms are now AND combined
    • To search for a phrase, put it in quotes (e.g. “Notebooks for Mac”)
    • When entering search term, hits in current document are immediately highlighted.
    • Type return after entering search term to search current book or all books
    • Toggle the search scope between current book /whole hierarchy
  • Replace
    • Click on loupe icon in the search field to toggle between search and replace in document

As always, we appreciate your feedback, comments and ideas, which you can post right here or send us by mail.

[button style=”download” link=”/Download/Notebooks%20for%20Mac%201.0b9.dmg”]Get NB/Mac 1.0 b9[/button]
[button style=”download” link=”/Download/”]Get NB/PC 1.0 b9[/button]

Notebooks for Mac/PC 1.0 Beta 9

38 thoughts on “Notebooks for Mac/PC 1.0 Beta 9

  • March 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Just noticed a somewhat surprising limitation in Notebooks on the Mac that would definitely be good to address. If I select text in a plain text note and then open the “Notebooks | Services” menu, the selected text is NOT recognized as text upon which services may operate. I don’t suppose too many users commonly take advantage of Services in OS X, but it’s a very powerful and useful feature. Are there plans to support using Services on text or other parts of the Notebooks entries? I’m not looking for any custom services provided by Notebooks itself (although that would be useful as well, e.g. a “Send to Notebooks” text service to create a new plain text document), but just the ability to use existing text services on Notebooks content.

    Still using the OS X version every day and look forward to each update. 1.0 b9 has been working well so far. Thanks!

    • March 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      This is a side effect of our development environment, which does not always use the Mac’s own components. In this case, Mac OS does not realize that text has been selected in Notebooks …

      We are aware of this (and similar) limitations and we will try to find ways to avoid them. (And yes, something like “Send to Notebooks” is on our todo list as well)


    • March 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      I am a Services user, too! Thanks for pointing to this. I noticed it as well and am glad to know it is on the list of “coming improvements.”

  • March 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    If i use local only files,,,can i deselect the plist savings?
    In other words,,,,,whats the purpose within the app ?

    • March 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Ferry,

      the plist files contain details that are specific for documents like creation date, selected font and color, whether it should be treated as Markdown etc.
      If you choose not to save the plist files, Notebooks will fall back to the styles you selected in preferences/settings, but other than that, you won’t have a negative effect.

  • March 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Notebooks is the best iPhone & iPad app I’ve found for Memos, Notes and Tasks since Palm went out of business and now with this Mac app, I’m “lapping it up”!

  • March 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Hi there.

    under Settings/Preferences i can check “show week numbers in calender”
    but i cant find the calender, any suggestions?

    Besides i really like the app for the iPad and the syncing via dropbox between iPad an PC…

    keep up the good work

    • March 5, 2013 at 9:52 am

      This setting refers to the calendar you use for setting a task’s due date (right click on the task in the list view). – This currently is the only situation where we use the calendar…

  • March 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    My apologies if this has been addressed elsewhere. I am very glad to see that files can be sorted by date created, as well as by name and date modified. I’m finding, though, that the sorting seems to still be by date changed, even after selecting date created. Many thanks, though, for continuing to develop and improve this valuable note and document resource!

    • March 6, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Hi Bill,

      thank you for reporting this behavior; to be honest, I have not noticed it before.

      After some experimenting I think I might have an explanation (assuming you are using Dropbox): when your Mac syncs with Dropbox and downloads new documents, the Mac OS assigns the current date as creation date, no matter when the document originally was created. That means that creation and modification dates are the same. – We’ll take a look into this and see how to better handle that.

      • April 23, 2013 at 2:14 am

        Does this mean that the desktop versions of the apps (I’m currently testing the Windows version) don’t use the .plist file for things like the create date? I just noticed that when I sort by Created Date on Windows, the notes appear to be sorted by the file’s creation date, and not the date in the plist.

        I think the only reason I’m noticing this is that I’ve manually modified the Create Date for several files on the iPad as I bring in some old notes and adjust them so that I can sort by date created. When I opened the app on Windows, I noticed that my notes were sorted differently.

        • April 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

          Hi Ed,

          as far as the current beta version is concerned you are correct; the creation date that Notebooks uses is the local creation date, not the one stored in the plist file. We will change that before the final release, though.


  • March 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

    In a future release (across the Notebook suite) would it be possible to create a Markdown document from the outset? Presently on the Mac app it takes three steps either way you shake it, so far as I’ve found:

    Create Plain Text Document > Copy as Markdown > Delete Plain Text version
    Duplicate previous Markdown Document > Rename > Edit

    If a user wants to check their formatting as they go the present method is a little cumbersome; it would be helpful if Markdown documents were a selection from the get-go. It would also be very nice if the Preferences pane included an option to make Markdown the default new document.

    Thank you very much for your time; I appreciate it very much and I look forward to your response!

    • March 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Brandi

      I agree, we probably need to add Markdown as an extra document type. Not only would that simply the process you describe, it would also enable us to support .md documents in a more standard way, which means that they would always be stored as plain text but displayed as formatted document on the fly. – We do have that on our todo list.


      • March 8, 2013 at 6:10 am

        Hello Alfons,

        Thank you so much for your response; I’m very glad to read your thoughts and to know that more Markdown support on your list. I appreciate all the work and effort that has gone into Notebooks thus far, and can’t think of any other app I’d rather use for journalling and creative writing.

        Thanks again,

      • April 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        Let me second your proposal. Keep my .md documents what they are (pure text and not html with embedded text) and display them by default as formatted until I hit a shortcut or click a button to edit them.

        This would be just fine for the iOS versions of course.


  • March 13, 2013 at 7:51 am

    After spending so much money on all the other notetaking apps so popular, like Zoomnotes, Notability, Notesplus, Noteshelf, Remarks, and others I have not found a notetaking app as beautifully designed for me as Notebooks.
    But I’d really love to be able to highlight and annotate pdfs and other documents in it. Is this possible? If not, could you look into it for the future?

    • March 14, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks a lot for your feedback, Antonia. I am glad to hear you like Notebooks!
      We are definitely looking at PDF annotations, but we won’t be able to implement that for version 1.0. – Things are looking better for the iOS versions, though.

  • March 18, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Hi Alfons,

    I echo the praises of other Notebooks users. Notebooks is elegant and has an ingenious feature set. It is cross-platform and has the perfect balance and orientation of note taking and task management for me!

    The killer feature for me is the ability to capture my thoughts in rich text and embed tasks as I go along. The “Process” workflow is a genius idea, but I have two problems that may be due to cockpit eror on my part:

    1) “Process” on my iPhone and iPad both fail to consistently extract all tasks from a note
    2) I can’t find the “Process” action on the Mac beta client

    Regarding #1:

    I have read the Handbook section on Extracting Tasks, but I am still having problems getting this feature to work. I used the “!!” Symbol from the handbook example by changing the marker in settings/tasks/prefix.. (I used “!!” without the quotes), then used the new marker (without the “”) to flag an existing tasklist within a rich text document. The first time the program extracted just one of the marked tasks, but also included a task that still had the old marker.

    So, I thought I should delete the old extracted tasks book and start fresh. To do this, I deleted the old task book, then changed all the old markers to the new marker to identify the following embedded task list within the document:

    !! Define target demographics
    !! Investigate location options
    !! Calibrate rent or lease details
    !! Build basic business case
    !! Refine business case
    !! Identify funding requirements
    !! Get professional input
    !! Make deployment decision

    However, when I invoke “Process” to extract the tasks, only the following four tasks are extracted in the order shown:

    Refine business case
    Build basic business case
    Calibrate rent or lease details
    Investigate location options

    Both the iPad and iPhone exhibit the same behavior. Can you please explain if this is a bug or cockpit error?

    Regarding #2:

    Is the “Process” action implemented on the Mac beta 9 client?

    Thanks again for the perfect app for my needs!

    • March 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Hi Donovan,

      let me start with the simpler topic:

      #2: most of the “Process” actions are not yet implemented in NB/Mac, but they will follow

      #1: I do not think this is a cockpit error, because part of the tasks are correctly extracted. So maybe the rich text is the problem. I tested your example with both plain and rich text, and the result of the extraction always was as expected. To find out what is wrong I have two suggestions:

      1) if you paste your list of todos into a plain text document and then invoke the “Extract Tasks” action, does NB extract all items?
      2) would you mind sending me your original rich text document by mail? Maybe it contains some unexpected format that NB is unable to handle…

      Thank you,

      • March 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        I emailed the document. The problem is definitely associated with rich text formatting because I copied the contents and pasted it into a plain text document and all 8 tasks were extracted in the correct sequence.

        My search for the perfect notes app will be over if you can fix the process operation with rich text docs, add the process features to the Mac app and address the quirky behavior when creating bullet lists on the Mac app. You are very close.

        Thanks again for a great app!

  • March 19, 2013 at 9:35 am


    I’ve been a user of Notebooks on the iPhone/iPad for some time now, and have just started to use the Mac version. It’s great to have a desktop version of the app!

    One request, that I hope is coming – will it be possible to have a combined Notebooks/Documents view, where the documents are “nested” underneath the different notebooks (rather than having two separate columns as now – one with the notebooks and one with the documents).

    • March 19, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Adrian,

      thank you for your feedback. We had that kind of nested hierarchy in earlier beta versions of Notebooks, but it somehow felt clumsy when multiple levels/branches were open. That is why we decided to change the interface and introduced the three column layout. – We are open to feedback, though, and I don’t want to promise, but maybe we will give the user an option to switch between a single tree and multiple columns.


      • April 29, 2013 at 5:49 am

        I would also like a nested tree view rather than 3 column. I like to see all documents in different folders (books) at once, rather than more clicks to expose them. Thanks!

        • April 30, 2013 at 7:37 am

          We had this kind of tree view in early beta versions of Notebooks but decided to change it, because navigation and organization is much simple with this three column layout. We *might* enable the tree view again, but I do not want to promise…

  • April 18, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Are there tags (Contexts) in the Mac version yet?

    • April 18, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Not yet, but they are on our todo list, of course…

  • April 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Interface looks fantastic but as soon as its installed it takes every folder on my desk top and makes it into a notebook. Is there a way to turn this off. Is there a way to turn this off? I just want the notebooks I create.

    • April 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Paul,

      all you need to do is set a different root directory in Notebooks’ preferences. – Notebooks always shows the contents of the folder you point it to and presents folders as books, but it does not “change” anything in your structure unless you drag & drop files and books around.

      I hope that helps.

  • April 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm


    – A keyboard shortcut for Preview as Rich Text (when editing a text document)
    – When Previewing as Rich Text, make esc key act like click on Done.
    – A keyboard shortcut for the (to be added) Send to email. This one would have to fill the body of a new email with the content currently displayed : either pure text or formatted text.

    • April 28, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Would you go the right route of keeping markdown tagged texts as is (not embedded in html) and displaying them as formatted by default until some shortcut or Edit button is hit, my first 2 items of this wish-list would become irrelevant.

      Some way to precompose a mail message with the content of a note, as is possible on iOS would be fine. For now, I Open the note to get it in Safari from where I cut and paste the rendered HTML to a mail composition window. It does the trick of course, albeit some more direct way to do this would be very Mac way. Ideally some dropdown options would allow to compose as text, as formatted or to attach the text or formatted version to the new message.


    • April 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

      Thanks for your suggestions, I put them on our todo list!

  • April 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Additional wish:

    – Would love to be able to define a font for editing plain text, and another one to render its formatted preview.


    • April 30, 2013 at 7:31 am

      Actually, you could do that already now by setting a font in the style sheet you use for your formatted documents. This font will then be used in the formatted preview, while the standard font is used while editing the Markdown text. – I know, this is not exactly what you are asking for, but it could be a workaround.

  • April 27, 2013 at 12:06 am

    This has been the best notebook / ToDo app on the iPhone for a while. The desktop application makes it even more powerful and convenient. Thanks!

    I’m hoping you can help me synchronize Due Dates from Mac to iPhone. I’m using Notebooks version 1.0b9 on my Mac with Notebooks app version 5.0.6 on my iPhone and syncing between them with SyncDocs 0.6.7. If I set a note’s Due Date on the iPhone it transfers correctly to the Mac on the next sync. However, if I set a note’s Due Date on the Mac it does not transfer back to the iPhone. I’ve tried enabling the “Save system files (.plist)” option in Notebook’s preferences on the Mac and this makes no difference.

    • April 30, 2013 at 7:45 am

      Hi Bob,

      first of all, I would recommend to update Notebooks on your iPhone to the latest version 5.2.2; not sure if that fixes the issue, but it would be a good idea anyway.

      During synchronization, SyncDocs compares the modification dates of the files, which means that the clocks on your Mac and iPhone need to be in sync (more or less at less). Could that explain why the changes are not transferred from your Mac to the iPhone?

      Finally, have you considered using an alternative sync option (Dropbox, for example)? The developer of SyncDocs is no longer maintaining this app…

      I hope that helps.

  • April 29, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Is there a difficulty in implementing manual sort (custom sort) on the Mac version? I’ve been waiting for this feature milestone before I feel I can begin using Notebooks, for which I plan on using Mac, iPad + iPhone versions.

    • April 30, 2013 at 7:37 am

      Yes, there actually is… We are working on it, though, and custom sort should be available in the final version 1.0 (at latest).

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