I’m always on the lookout for nice notes apps. I use Evernote, Notepad, Writeroom, Ghost Writer, and more, and will use a different notes app depending on what I want to do with the notes. The great thing about notes apps is that you can use them for so many purposes: jotting a note down, writing a longform piece, saving a phone number or tip for later, and even making list of things I need to do. That’s why it’s nice to have a lot of different notes apps, so you can use different ones for different purposes.
I came across Fetchnotes recently, which looked like a really simple, easy-to-use app for taking notes online. Let’s see if it lived up to my expectations, and if it’d fit in my workflow to replace any of the other notes apps I already use.
Dead Simple Notes
What makes Fetchnotes so simple is that it really only has two features: notes and tags. When you sign up, which requires an email, username and password, you’re brought to a simple screen where you can add notes and view notes by tags.
A nice little feature of Fetchnotes is that you can log-in with either your username or email address.
To add a note, you simply click “add a note” and start typing. Pressing the enter key is supported, so you can create new lines and there is no real title area. The note is distinguished by the first line. The name of the game is “simple” here, so Fetchnotes doesn’t add an extraneous fields. To add tags, much like Twitter, you simply add a ‘#’ as you type. No extra fields or area for tags; you can add the tags within the context of the note.
We’ve seen this before in a lot of places, most notably Twitter, but even in other newer writing apps like Typerighter. I think this really attests to the evolution of the web and how users drive what makes an app intuitive. Without an app popularizing such a simple delimiter for tags, we might not have what has become a universal way for denoting them.
This is how Fetchnotes keeps you organized; tags are the driving force behind how the app works. When you add a tag in a note, it automatically gets added to the left sidebar, where you use those tags to search notes. Simply click on one to view all of the notes that include it.
Once you select a tag, it will stay selected until you click it again or click “Untagged,” which kind of serves as a reset. By default, “All” of your notes are shown.
If you do opt to keep a particular tag selected, you can view a nice cross section of your notes by selecting another tag, which is (I feel) the true nature of that particular function across blogs, apps, and other websites. The tags serve as keywords for your notes, which make them easily searchable. Speaking of…
I’m not sure this really warrants its own subheading, but the search function works as you would expect. It does a full text search of your notes, updating the results as you time. I thought that was a nice touch.
That’s the entire interface! Notes, tags, and search- they like to keep it simple and I really dig it. There is really no learning curve. Everything is very intuitive. But that’s not everything that Fetchnotes has to offer.
Add Notes from Anywhere
If you mosey over to the Settings area of Fetchnotes you’ll see two boxes: one for a cell phone number and one regarding email. Firstly, Fetchnotes will let you emails notes to it using notes [at] fetchnotes [dot] com. They will associate the notes to your account based on the sending email address. One drawback is right now you can only use the email address you signed up with. They are looking to change that.
You can also send and receive notes via text message. Just add your cell phone number to your account and have at it. Again though, there is no way to manage cell phone numbers. Once you add one, it’s the number you use until you add another one. Then the original number gets replaced by the new one. I can’t find a way to delete numbers.
Fetchnotes via Text
As I said, you can both send and receive notes via text. To add a note, simply text Fetchnotes using the number they sent the verification token to. Add tags as you see fit, just like in email and on the web. You can also request a note by tag by writing, “Fetch #tag.” Fetchnotes will the text you all of the notes with that tag. Below is what it looks like on my Galaxy Nexus.
When sending multiple, long texts, it does look a little weird. I’m willing to bet if you had a list or something shorter, it would look fine.
Apps for Everyone!
On top of that, Fetchnotes has apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and even Linux. This ensures that you can use any medium for the app, which I think is a great consideration.
One thing I was expecting, considering the multi-platform nature of Fetchnotes, was a responsive website, one that resizes based on the device you’re viewing it on. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I guess I can’t expect everything though!
Fetchnotes is a dead simple, multi-platform, ultra portable note taking app. With its striped down functionality, ability to text and email notes, and an app for every major platform, I think Fetchnotes can become a really popular app. There is some refinement needed, like the ability to manage email and phone number, but I think its feature list is right where it needs to be. However, there is a section in Settings called “Groups” that simply has, “Coming Soon…” on the page. I’m very curious to see what that turns into.
Fetchnotes is a dead simple, multi-platform, ultra portable note taking app that allows you to organize, email, and text notes.7