Keep It now does markdown

It seems as if a new markdown note-taking, editing option comes along once a week. The latest release of Keep It (version 1.4) now supports markdown formatted notes.

Keep It is from Steve Harris at Reinvented Software. It replaced that developer’s former application Together. While Together was a competitor of DevonThink and other catch-all data repositories, Keep It has a focus more on note-keeping — which is not to say that you can’t store other file types in the app, just that it is stream-lined for taking and managing notes.

Before you can use the markdown style note, you need to select it from the “Manage Stationery” dialog.

Here is what the developer says:

Keep It now has a dedicated Markdown editor on both Mac and iOS. This includes syntax highlighting, editing assistance for things such as headings, emphasis, links, images and lists and a choice of styles for both editor and preview.

This isn’t a full review of Keep It — I hope to do that one of these days, because it is a well-designed application with a solid iOS app. I’m going to focus primarily on Keep It’s markdown facility for the time being, although nice features of the app in general that enhance the markdown experience are on the table.

What I like about Keep It (as a markdown editor)

  • Uses a standard markdown syntax — the same engine apparently as MacDown
  • Markdown is just one note type (two others are built into the app: plain text and rich text
  • Handsome rendering of the markdown
  • Markdown preference dialog
  • Provides a host of organizing functions to keep your markdown notes under control and findable
  • Allows for customization of the CSS for the editor and preview themes — though I don’t really know CSS so haven’t tried this function
  • Short-cut keys allow you to apply markdown formatting
  • Can edit the document in the main window, or pop up a separate window
  • Open your markdown document in any text editor you have

Keep It features a markdown settings dialog.

What I like less about Keep It (as a markdown editor)

  • Has just two built in themes for the editor and the preview — both are nice
  • Limited implementation of markdown
  • Does not allow for live checkboxes
  • Doesn’t handle tables (although one of the screenshots on the Reinvented Software site shows a markdown document with a table, so maybe I’m missing something)

Keep It markdown note in preview mode.

The verdict

Keep It isn’t a full-featured markdown editor, but it provides markdown basics with the advantages of a full-featured note-manager. I’ve liked Keep It since it was first introduced. What I didn’t realize is that perhaps I’ve been waiting for markdown to be added for me to fully embrace it as my go-to note app.


I received a note from the developer responding to a few of my comments, which I wanted to share:

I will probably add more themes in the future, along with a theme editor. For now, as Keep It uses the same format for styles as MacDown, you can use any styles that work with that. For example, this site has over 320 that you can preview there and download for free here:

Also the preview can handle tables, but the editor doesn’t provide any help in creating them. Here’s an example (from the guy who made the preview):

| Tables        | Are           | Cool  |
| ————- |:————-:| —–:|
| col 3 is      | right-aligned | $1600 |
| col 2 is      | centered      |   $12 |
| zebra stripes | are neat      |    $1 |

For now I’m not looking for Keep It’s editor to go beyond plain text, so you wouldn’t expect to see inline images or live checkboxes, but it could happen down the line. Really the idea was just to give people the basics, and a way to preview.


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