If you’ve ever used the iPhone’s default note-taking app before, you know it suffers from one major issue: organisation.
Letterspace wants to solve that problem, and it’s betting the solution is organising notes with hashtags.
Letterspace is hardly the first note-taking app to use hashtags. Apps like Fetchnotes, Hashnote, and Simplenote have all used them as an organizational system before, but Letterspace manages to stand out from the pack with a beautiful design, with a spare interface and a unique swipe bar that makes scrolling through notes easier.
The swipe bar rests just above the keyboard, and it’s actually pretty handy for moving around a paragraph without moving your hands away from the keyboard. I used my thumb on the swipe bar most of the time, and I discovered you can navigate in all directions (like a normal mouse cursor) as long as you start with your finger on the bar. If you need to highlight a selection, you can just double tap the swipe bar.
To make finding the hashtag key a little easier, Letterspace included a hashtag key directly beneath the swipe bar, along with a hyphen and asterisk key. Since the point of using Letterspace is to make your notes more organised and easier to search, it’s a welcome addition that doesn’t get in the way.
Letterpress also uses Markdown syntax, which is basically a web language for writing on the web that preserves the structure of your document. This means you can create to-do lists by typing in a hyphen followed by a set of brackets, which then lets you check off tasks with an “x.”
Letterspace works across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and the app’s distraction-free, minimalist design language extends across all platforms.
You can easily change the font to something that’s more your style, and while the app’s default background is a stark white colour that can be a bit bright on the eyes, other colour schemes are available. You can test them out for a short period of time, and you can buy them within the app for $US1.99 to $US4.99. My favourite was the Sepia Green colour scheme, which kept text legible but turned the background to a softer, parchment-like sepia tone.
Even with the inclusion of the swipe bar, Letterspace keeps things extremely simple, and it’s quickly becoming my favourite alternative to the awful iPhone Notes app. The swipe bar makes it easier to stay in writing mode without having to poke and prod the screen to highlight specific words, and the rest of the app keeps the focus on making your workspace how you want it. The hashtags are just there so exploring your notes isn’t so much of a pain.
It’s simple system that’s elegant and just plain works.