Notesuite sold off and no longer available.

Notesuite, the promising note-taking application for iPad and Mac, announced a couple of months ago that it had been acquired and that the application would no longer be available. While disappointing, this announcement is not surprising. The company had not released an update to the app for a while, and blew off repeated requests for information about the status of the application. And last spring they ominously released a utility for exporting notes out of the application for use in other note-taking software.

I am sorry to see the end of Notesuite. I thought it had great potential, though it needed some polishing. Why one company would buy another then discontinue the product is a bit intriguing. That’s what happened when Dropbox acquired Hackpad. It makes me conjecture that some of Notesuite’s features will find their way into some other app. (Evernote has recently announced some major new features are on the horizon with their note editor.)

In the end, however, people who paid for Notesuite (for both Mac and on the iOS) are left with an empty bag and a need to find another place to put their work. I am sure it is difficult to sustain a software business, but this feels like just one more cautionary tale: buyer beware and keep your work in multiple places.

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7 comments

  1. I’ve just recently discovered your blog and have really enjoyed your articles. I now consider you one of the best sources on the internet for note software tips. Your last sentence though…. that subject bothers me so much. Not only do we strive to fine the ‘best’ tool that we imagine building up a personal knowledge base but we also have to consider how long it’ll be around. We are stuck in that catch-22 loop of the more deeply we use the unique features of a chosen platform the less ability we’ll have to accurately export the contents and STRUCTURE we’ve so painstakingly built to another platform if we someday need/want to switch!

    Do you just deal with this by expecting to scrub your old notes into a new system every 18 months or so? That may be a very sensible strategy, just using the best tool available and dealing with ‘migration’ as the need comes along. As a long-time OneNote user, my strategy has been the opposite…and I’m really tired of missing out on ‘real’ metadata features just to stay on a ‘sustainable’ platform….

    1. Thank you for reading my blog and for the kind words. Two factors (at least) affect how I deal with “old notes.” First is the type of notes/information. For example, in the 1970s I kept a paper notebook with the list of books I had read, alphabetized by author. When I got my first PC (an old Compaq “portable”), one of the first pieces of software I bought was a flat file database (this was in the days of DOS), and I transcribed my notes of books into a database. That information has migrated among a couple dozen computers, multiple operating systems. Today I have it in Bento, which was abandoned by Apple a few years ago, so I’m once again going to have to move it (probably to TapForms). But this process which has been ongoing for over three decades has been relatively easy, since all the apps I’ve used export to and import from CSV files. Other types of information take on different forms — like a journal I kept of a two month trip I made to the American southwest several years ago. I originally recorded that in a Windows application, but when I moved to Mac, I exported those entries to RFT files, which I have since imported into a couple of different apps. The first info manager I relied upon when converting to a Mac was Yojimbo, relatively simple and effective. Unfortunately, one upgrade to Yojimbo seemed to break something and it didn’t work for me anymore (don’t recall what it was now). So I imported my Yojimbo information into DevonThink, where it remains, sort of inert, but available when I need to dig back into the past. Well, you get the picture.

      The second factor is the fact that I love this kind of software and I’m always glad for an excuse to try a new one, or implement some new strategy with an familiar app. So all this combines to the effect that I don’t really employ a strategy for dealing with this all. I just kind of go with the flow. Thus the continuing effort to find that “Holy Grail” of information managers.

      What is important is that I know it is all on my MacBook somewhere, and I can almost always access the information I need.

      That probably doesn’t satisfy your question, but that’s generally the case. Thanks, again, for checking in.

      1. Actually that is a great answer. Thank you for reaching way back in time to talk about how things have evolved. It’s helpful to know that a person who has put more effort into knowledge management software doesn’t necessarily keep it ALL in the ‘current’ one. I haven’t been in the game as long, but my experience has been similar. Even if I wasn’t disciplined about entry, I can still usually find what I vaguely remember having. I’m always dreaming of that perfect dashboard that shows me a high level view of ‘all’ because I have such a hard time keeping track of the shape and scope. That idea of the ‘grand unifier’ does keep me from trying new platforms because I want one that does it all.

        Maybe the approach of different bucket for different things is better and just manage the boundaries with cross-referencing. Your book notes is a very good example. Would you consider writing a blog post about your thoughts on that? That is one specific area I’m having trouble deciding on a long term approach for. OneNote pages work great for free form notes but OneNote is horrible for any sort of metadata grouping. Been considering just dedicating GoodReads for this job but have hang ups about that also.

  2. I have been using Notesuite for a couple of years with mixed feelings. On one hand it did what I wanted, albeit with some bugs, clearly aware that it increasingly looked like abandoned software.

    Now I have learned from this blog post that it is has been discontinued but when I went to the UK App store and searched for notesuite nothing turns up, including the above mentioned export tool. Does anybody know where I can find that tool?

    I’ve been toying with the idea of using Apple Notes now that it has been improved in El Capitan but it still feels like a very limited option and I’m not too happy about the prospect of using a cloud based application like Evernote because I always want to keep the information available on my computer. The priority right now is to export this data neatly from NoteSuite.

    1. Just to be sure you’re looking in the right place: I was referring to the iOS App Store, not the Mac App Store. (It would be nice if your solution was as simple as this.) Maybe someone else has a solution, if that doesn’t do it for you, but unfortunately, I do not. Thanks for reading my blog and good luck!

  3. i wonder if any one can help to cut a long story short i am unable to access my Notesuite data
    I’m running OS 10.8.5 i dont have an ipad so cant retrive it that way is there a way i can retrieve my data ,i can access the files but they are in .dtn &dti format any help would be appreciated

    1. If you bought Notesuite through the App Store, you should still be able to install it. Check under your “Purchased” tab. I see that I am still able to re-install it.

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