Circus Ponies Notebook: First Impressions

Recently I was looking for software to use for taking notes on books I’m reading. For various reasons Evernote wasn’t working for me. Then I randomly ran across a mention of Circus Ponies Notebook, which sounded too cutesy, but turned out to be a quite reasonable program. It is Mac and iPad only.

As you can probably guess by the name, it uses a notebook metaphor (I prefer the look of the 3-ring binder to the spiral). You can have tabbed divider pages plus outline pages plus to do lists plus some other things I haven’t looked at yet. The outlining is quite well done. The iPad version even has special keyboard buttons for indenting/unindenting.

Sticky notes can attach to pages, though this didn’t work too well for me on the iPad (I couldn’t move them around, and they covered up text).

One feature that I haven’t made much use of, but which looks like it will come on handy in the future, is the multidex. The notebook automatically indexes all your text, so you can find things easily later.

So far I’ve been using it for taking notes on topics, like content strategy or anthropology, where I want to keep notes from several books/articles/etc in one file. (I believe it was designed for students, so this is a pretty obvious thing to do with it.) I think it might also come in handy as a worldbuilding bible, especially for settings that I revisit at various times and places in their history. The multidex would make it easy to find out if I already had notes on, oh, the dining habits of the people from such and such country.

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