Simplenote – Everything you Need to Know

Simplenote is a note-taking application that lives up to its self-explanatory name: it makes good quality and productive note-taking simple. With so many people leading such busy lives, keeping track of little things or running your small business can be difficult and time-consuming.

Simplenote can help you in whatever area of your life that needs to be kept organized – and it does so in a way that is efficient and easy to understand.

Simplenote is an application that can be downloaded for free at simplenote.com. It is available on several different platforms:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • Linux

If you have multiple devices, Simplenote will sync across all devices automatically, so you can download it everywhere and always use the same account. It is also available directly on the web, which can be great if you need to access it on a device that isn’t your own.

What’s in a Simplenote?

Simplenote’s features are light and minimal. This is done intentionally in order to give you a powerful and good quality experience without all the complications. Keeping things in order doesn’t have to be complex and Simplenote aims to make it easy for you.

The notes themselves are the main focus of Simplenote. Once you download the application and begin creating notes, they will start appearing on the left-hand sidebar. This can be used to switch between notes easily.


Tags can be added to each note freely. You can create as many tags as you want, and add them to as many notes as you want. Tags are a helpful way to sort notes and keep them organized. Tagging notes that are relevant to each other will allow you to bring up everything related to the topic all at once when necessary.

Once you begin creating tags and adding them to your notes, they will appear as options on your menu. You can switch between them with ease.

Note History

This is a great feature that can be quite helpful. Simplenote keeps track of every change you make to your note, as well as the time you made it at. By viewing the note history, you can toggle through all the different versions of the note, and choose to restore it to any state you wish.

This can be great for times when you change your mind, need to re-do something, or perhaps forgot a piece of information that was removed. You can also choose to keep the note exactly how it is, and only view the previous versions.

Share Note

While you can choose to keep your Simplenote account entirely private, there is also the option to share certain notes. Each note has two share options: collaborate and publish.

Choosing the collaborate option will allow you to grant access of the note to any number of individuals that you pick. They are sent a link to the note through email and will be able to view and make changes to the note.

Secondly, you can choose to publish your note. If what you have written in the note is something you want to make public, you can create a public link. This link can be shared or posted anywhere, and anyone who views the link will be able to see the newest version of the note. Those with a public link will not be able to edit or make any changes to the note.


Each note has the option to create a checklist within. This will add a checkbox next to each item you put on the list, with the ability to check it off once the task has been completed. Checklists are a simple visual that can be useful in helping you get any number of things done in proper order – an example is an onboarding checklist for employees.


Simplenote has a few customizable features that allow you to adjust the appearance of the application to better suit you and your needs:

  • Condense or expand the note display
  • Change line length to narrow or full
  • Sort tags alphabetically
  • Switch theme from light to dark
  • Zoom in
  • Zoom out
  • Go full screen

These are a number of small things that, when changed to suit your preferences, can enhance your experience.

Voice Notes

If you are using Simplenote on your smartphone, you will have the option of taking a note simply by speaking it. This is a great option to have if you are on the go and busy, but don’t want to forget something important. It could be a reminder for later, or a great new story idea – whatever it is, Simplenote helps you remember it all.

Import and Export

Simplenote gives you the option to both import notes from elsewhere, and export your Simplenote notes to put them somewhere else.

You can import from three different places:

  • Evernote
  • Another note in Simplenote
  • Plain text files from your computer

This ability to import makes switching from Evernote to Simplenote an easy process if that is what you want to do. It also makes it easy to sync the two programs if you choose to keep using both of them.

Simplenote also allows you to extract a note and save it as a file on your computer. Having it saved outside of Simplenote itself means you can upload it and use it elsewhere, wherever it may be compatible.

The option to import and export Simplenote files makes the program very versatile and gives you control when it comes to using and managing your notes.

Search Option

If you begin using Simplenote to organize a lot of areas in your life, the notes will begin piling up pretty quickly. This is where tags can come in and be very helpful, but you also have the option to search for what you need. Simplenote has its own search function that allows you to search for your desired keyword(s) in all of your notes. This is helpful if you are looking for one specific thing, or want to find every note on a single subject.

Simplenote can Improve your Focus

Whatever it is you choose to use Simplenote for, there are some options available that can help you focus on what you’re doing. Taking quick notes and setting reminders can be easy, but doing any real writing can come with many distractions. If you want to focus on one single note for a while, you can hide the menu from view and see only the current note.

You can also choose to set the application itself to full-screen mode. This will remove distractions such as social media and web surfing as they will no longer be in view and will become more difficult to access.

Simplenote Markdown Formatting

Simplenote supports markdown formatting on the web app, iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux. You will have to manually enable markdown formatting on each note before you are able to use it.

The option for markdown formatting is great for those who want to use Simplenote to share and publish their notes. When markdown formatting is enabled, it essentially allows you to use basic HTML coding that will help format the final product. This includes things like headers, bullet lists, italics, underlines, etc. If you are unsure how markdown formatting works and how to use it, Simplenote does provide resources that will help you learn the basics.

Once you have written out your note and entered all your formatting codes, Simplenote does allow you to preview the whole thing before publishing. One you enable markdown formatting, a preview option will appear on your note. You can simply click the button, which will be an eye icon, to go back and forth between editing and preview modes.

Simplenote Keyboard Shortcuts

To make things even more simple and efficient, Simplenote has a series of keyboard commands that can be used. Once you learn the shortcuts, they can save you a lot of time by eliminating the need to use the mouse. The Windows and Mac versions have slightly different shortcuts available, but in general, some of the things you can do are:

  • Create new note
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Reset font size
  • Move focus to search box

Simplenote for Writers

Every writer has a different process, a different method of research, different note-taking preferences, and the list goes on. There are programs out there to suit the differing and ever-changing needs of all writers. Simplenote caters to the type of writer whose planning and outlining process is more minimalistic. Simplenote doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, it can’t do 12 different things at once, and this is just right for some writers.

A few examples of what Simplenote can do for writers:

  • Create a basic outline
  • Store and organize simple research notes and references
  • Be a catalog of characters with their information and backstories
  • Be used as idea storage for future projects
  • Allow them to take notes and record ideas on the go
  • Supplement other writing applications and software

For the writer who likes to keep things light and basic, Squibler would be a nice compliment to Simplenote. Squibler is a book writing software that is designed to make the creation of your first draft simple, effective, and fast. The suggested goal when using Squibler is to write your book in 30 days. This is not necessarily a timeline for getting everything done, but rather, a goal for completing the first draft. The first draft is always the hardest part, but once it’s done, you have something to work with!

Squibler has a great outlining tool that allows you to arrange your chapters and scenes in the proper order, with a simple drag and drop mechanism. This allows you to write your story in any way that you want. You can start at the beginning, middle, or end. With Squibler, you won’t have to worry about endless scrolling, copying, and pasting when it comes time to edit. There is also a place to store notes and references for quick and easy access.

Simplenote and Squibler are a great potential pairing as together, they can take you through the entire process of writing a book. Simplenote can be used to brainstorm and research, with Squibler being the next step to write the actual content. Once the book itself has been completed and adequately edited, Squibler will also help you through the publishing process! Whether you want to publish as an ebook or go the more traditional route of print publishing, Squibler will help you with your formatting and exporting.

Simplenote for Bloggers

Due to its support of Markdown formatting and the ability to share your note in several different ways, Simplenote can be a great way for bloggers to begin creating their content. Private notes can be used for research, ideas, and general notes. You can write, edit, and format your post all in one place, and it’ll be ready to go when you’re done.

Simplenote is even better for those who may own or work on a blog with others like a HR jobs blog. Notes can be shared and edited as a team, with all parties being able to give their input. Whether you share directly from Simplenote or export the information onto another blogging platform, it is a great way to keep all your blogging resources organized.

Simplify your Life With Simplenote

Simplenote is so light-weight, clean, and minimal – but it provides tremendous quality and practical help for its users. Whether it be to research a novel, write an essay, organize your life, keep track of school assignments, or manage a business, Simplenote makes it easy. With no extravagant features or excessive lists of options, everything is streamlined. Notes can be searched and everything is accessible with just a click or two.

The best part is that Simplenote is completely free. You can download it on all of your devices, and you don’t have to pay a thing for any of them. So, what are you waiting for? Let Simplenote simplify your life, and give yourself more free time for everything else you need to do!

Josh Fechter
Josh is the founder and CEO of Squibler.