One of the first features of the personal computer was note-taking, and it’s still one of the most used features today. Decades after the first personal computer and tons of note-taking applications later, people are still trying to come up with a better way to take notes. While most of those applications don’t offer anothing new, Letterspace might have set a new course in where things will go.
Say Hello to Lovely Letterspace
Letterspace is a beautiful note-taking and note-organizing app, currently available only for iPhone and iPad (US$ 4.99) and for Mac (US$ 9.99). It will automatically sync among devices using iCloud, so you will have your notes ready (almost) everywhere.
If you are wondering why you should spend your well-earned money on another note-taking app while there are other more cross-platform and free alternatives like SimpleNote, you are not alone.
Letterspace is eye candy. It comes with several themes – a combination of background and link colors and options to set font size.
You can also choose what font you want to use in Letterspace. There are several options, and the default, Avenir Next, is a great one. But everybody will have their personal preference.
While there are those who would pay just to have the aesthetic, the beautiful and minimalistic interface alone wouldn’t be enough to justify the price for most of us. And indeed, there is more to Letterspace than meets the eyes.
One of them is the swipebar on the iOS version located above the keyboard. It behaves similarly to a trackpad in Mac. Put your finger on the swipebar, and you can use it to move the cursor anywhere in the text.
Auto Organize with Hashtags and Mentions
What makes Letterspace stands out among other similar apps is its auto-organizing feature. While others use folders to organize notes manually (and some don’t even have a note-organizing feature), Letterspace takes another approach by using methods implemented by social media and web services: it automatically organizes notes by hashtags and mentions.
There’re no special steps needed to use this feature. All you need to do is add hashtags (#) and/or mention (@) followed by a related word anywhere in your text. They will automatically appear on the sidebar. You can use these two elements to relate to anything that you can think of, but for me, hashtags are for topics, and mentions are for people, places or context.
I honestly felt awkward the first time implementing this method. But the more I use it, the more apparent it becomes. To some level, organizing notes by hashtags and mentions feels more natural than using folders. One of the best arguments is that you can only put a note in one folder, but you can assign multiple hashtags and mentions to one note.
And either way, the more traditional search method is also available to help users find what they are looking for.
To keep the clutter in check, Letterspace has the Archive feature. You can visually put notes away without deleting them by archiving them. Select a note and go to “Note – Archive” (Command + Shift + D).
Markdown and Keyboard Shortcuts
And if you write for the Web a lot, this feature will seal the deal: Markdown support. Creating Web-friendly documents using Markdown is very easy in Letterspace. If you are an expert, you can type the code directly into the text, but it would be faster and easier to use the Format menu or the keyboard shortcuts.
For example, here’s how you can insert a link to a word. First, copy the link. Then select the word and go to the “Format -> Add Link” menu (Command + K). Letterpress will automatically format the text in Markdown.
To use the Markdown-formatted text, you can export them as HTML or PDF. You can also copy them as formatted text or as HTML. After that you can paste them into a word processor or HTML editor, WordPress, or other publishing platforms.
One more thing that you can do with the combination of Letterspace and Markdown is create a “To Do List” (Shift + Command + T). You can mark an item from the list as complete just by clicking on the checkbox.
If you live in an Apple environment, Letterspace might be one of the moat simple text editors available today. It’s beautiful, innovative, and worth every penny. But if you live in a multi-platform world, the app won’t be able to show its full potential.
Have you tried Letterspace? What do you think about it? Please share your opinion using the comments section below.