Every once in a while, a new service comes forth and claims to be unique, productive or an improvement over what’s already available in the market. And when this service or product is being offered for free, it instantly becomes a lot more appealing. Notebooks - available for Windows, Mac and iOS – opts for an understandably similar approach. It basically allows you to create and synchronize notes via Dropbox and WebDAV. Why would anyone use Notebooks over Evernote or OneNote, you might ask? Well firstly, OneNote is a paid application and secondly, the native Dropbox integration gives Notebooks an edge over the former (and Evernote, for that matter) by virtually freeing you from any limitations on the maximum number of notes you can have. Read on for the full review!
During its first run, the application automatically looks for your Dropbox/Notebook directory if you’re already using the iOS app, meanwhile opening the Preferences window in case you have to manually choose the directory. In the latter case, all you have to do is create a Notebook folder in your Dropbox and select the directory in this window. The Preferences window also allows making other application-specific changes. For instance, you can specify the Default Document Type (Plain or Rich Text), Font, Text Color, Background Color, Background Pattern, and Style. In addition, you can select the default theme, and adjust the time interval to Autosave Documents (in seconds).
Notebooks sports a simple looking UI. To the left, it displays a list of some default notebooks, and this list is further expanded as you insert new books later down the road. You can create as many new books as you wish, and then insert notes into them. The right section of the window houses the text body where you can jot down your content, both in simple and rich text format. The toolbar includes all the basic editing tools, letting you change the typeface, font weight and style (bold, italic, underline) and text alignment, as well as insert pictures, URLs and other elements.
Both notes and books can be created via heading to the File menu. The File menu also houses some additional options such as Rename Book, Duplicate Book, Duplicate Document, Save etc., which should all be self-explanatory.
The notes you create are then automatically saved to your Dropbox. This in turn allows you to share them to your other devices for which Notebooks is available, including PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Notebooks is currently in public beta and available for free on Windows and Mac. However, the iPhone and iPad variants costs $5.99 and $8.99 respectively. Testing of the app was carried out on Windows 8, 64-Bit.