In Use – Vesper 2.0 for iPhone

Although I use Evernote for storage and archiving of longer notes, articles, web clippings, PDF’s and the like, many quick notes are just that, short and quick. The type of notes which don’t require any further action, sharing or archiving until I need to refer to them again. When I’m standing in a shop, I don’t want to be searching through my filing cabinet for the pen refill model number, I simply need the notebook in my back pocket where this information is written. To me, if Evernote is my digital filing cabinet, Vesper is the digital notebook in my back pocket.

Vesper_Notes_ListVesper_home

I love Vesper, and it has been on my home screen for the past 4 months or so, being a fast and reliable way of taking quick notes with a minimum of fuss inside a great looking interface. If we go back to the notebook example above, Vesper is the book you grab when you may not necessarily need to write down a note, but simply enjoy writing in the pages with your favourite pen anyway. Yes – in my opinion the user interface is that good. I have never been a fan of Apple’s native Notes app, pre or post iOS 7, and if you are in any way similar, go and have a look at Vesper.

Vesper_settingsVesper_in_settings

Vesper supports tags, photo and text notes, has gesture based (L swipe) archiving, and the usual email/message or copy all actions. Notes can also be reordered or “prioritised” through a tap and hold to drag up or down the list.

Vesper_NoteVesper_Share

Have I mentioned Vesper is a beautiful app? From the design, colour scheme and font (love the smallcaps option for note titles), not to mention the understated icon on my home screen. The icon, incidentally, sits right beside Drafts, another app I use extensively for longer form note taking (e.g. notes while listening to podcasts; email drafts), which usually end up being archived to Evernote, Dropbox, or sent to other apps such as Omnifocus for further action. Of course, I acknowledge a great looking app is virtually useless if it does not have the functionality you require, however for the times I use Vesper, I don’t need anything else – and that is precisely it’s strength.

Why write about Vesper now? A recent free update to the app has now added Vesper Sync for your notes, a missing feature pointed out by any as a downside of the original release. Although the sync is essentially a back up as there are no Vesper iPad or Mac apps yet, Vesper will run at 2x on the iPad. Set up for a free (optional) Vesper Sync account is a simple process using an email address and password, and you are up and running. For those suspicious of a “free” syncing service, John Gruber on the Vesper blog:

Vesper Sync is not a free lunch, because Vesper is not a free app. Sync should be a feature, not something you have to pay extra for.

Although my note collection is very small, (I tend to delete or amend the 20 or 30 notes I have on the go), the syncing is fast and unobtrusive, both key aspects for my continued use of Vesper as a primary quick note/recall app (from what I understand the app scales well with larger note collections). This added feature now bodes well for the development of companion apps, and I believe the Mac app is first in line.

Read more on Vesper Sync and future plans on the Q Branch blog, and you can follow Brent Simmons engineering diary at Inessential.

Vesper 2.0 is currently available on the iOS App Store for AUD$6.49 (or the update is free if you already own the App).

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