Life Notesbeta

A new notes app for Mac
built around simple files and folders.

Download Beta

macOS 10.14 or later

New in version 0.3.5:
  • Full text search via the location bar

Keep notes, PDFs, and related documents
right next to each other.

Each note is a file, every folder, well, a folder on your Mac. All show up in Finder. Other files and documents are shown with a preview and the option to be opened with their default app.

Create an outline of your blog post, term paper, or book.

Rearrange your thoughts as you see fit. You can add notes as sub-notes to other notes, folders, and even files.

Bi-directional links with backlinks to cross-reference notes.

You can add links to other notes and files. When renaming a note, all related notes are updated automatically. Each note that is mentioned in another note includes a list of backlinks at the end to navigate both ways.

"Zettelkasten"-ready

Note file names are prefixed with the current date in YYYY-MM-DD format; very handy for sorting in Finder. For linking between notes, there's no need to reference notes by an abstract ID, because the app takes care of keeping links up-to-date when renaming or moving notes.

BONUS: To-do lists built right in.

Type "[]" to start a new to do list. You can mix and match numbered, bulleted, and to-do lists. A summary of open to-dos is shown in the bottom right of each note.

Data Longevity

Will your notes app from today still be around in 10 years? Your carefully crafted knowledge base, can you still access that in 20 years? How well does your data age?

Imagine one morning you wake up and realize that the software update that installed itself automatically last night now crashes your notes app. The backup copy that you keep online is gone, because the company behind the service was acquired, pivoted on its heels and is now onto bigger things, and not even that old copy that you emailed to yourself is within reach, because, well, you are offline.

The best protection against getting locked out from an app and your data is to not rely on any particular app in the first place. Using a data format that is compatible across many apps, ideally simple enough so that even in 20 years from now there will still be apps around that will be able to open it.

The most basic form of keeping notes in an accessible form has to be plain text files. Many people favor Markdown over plain text, because it supports text formatting and referencing images. The app uses HTML as its data format. The advantage here is that this allows embedding images inside notes and note contents can be previewed in their formatted form in any browser (and copied to other word processing apps from there, if needed).