Review: Ideally – Quickly Take Notes on Mac

Review: Ideally – Quickly Take Notes on Mac

What is the most efficient way to make a note when you’re on the computer? Open a new Word or Pages doc?  Perhaps you like to pop open text edit or stickies? Maybe you prefer to grab a notepad and actually write down your reminder or note.  For me, most of the notes I’m taking at my computer are for things that I’m doing at my computer, so keeping the note centralized in my virtual workspace, and quickly accessible is the most important way for me to work.  Ideally for Mac is a new, quick way to take notes on the fly.


Ideally ($4.99 in the Mac App Store) is an extremely useful note pad like app for your Mac.  Nested in the menubar of your Mac, a simple click of the pencil icon or tap of the keyboard shortcut, and a new note awaits.


Utilizing your trackpads multitouch gestures, you can quickly pull to create a new note without the wait for an app to launch or settings to muck through.  To make Ideally even better, you can set keyboard shortcuts to open your notes list or start a new note (by default, they are set to control+o and control+n). With these shortcuts, jotting down that quick reminder, thought, notion, or saving that piece of text could never be easier.

Ideally also features file attachment, which allows you to link images or files to your note for later referencing.  If that wasn’t good enough, your notes and attached files can also be backed up by linking Ideally to your dropbox.


From a visual standpoint, Ideally is reminiscent of iCal on your Mac.  It features a dark faux-leather pattern at the top, complete with stitching, and the notes are written on yellow lined paper.  While some users tend to enjoy the “skeumorphic” look, it is definitely aging itself from the start, as OS X moves towards the flatter, less life-like design (as seen in iOS 7).  The icon in the menu tray also appears a bit large compared to other menubar icons, but is still a sensible and simple pencil (seen at left below).


Verdict: [rating: 4.5]

I frequently take notes, save URLs, and write down things I opt not to tweet when I’m using my computer, and Ideally has made the process much smoother and more enjoyable.  Quickly taking notes, saving images, emailing from within the app, and syncing to Dropbox make Ideally a simple and very useful app for power users.  At the $4.99 price tag, it’s definitely worth a look at if you find yourself keeping notes of things you see online or needing to remember as you work.


  • Simple, response interface
  • Dropbox syncing
  • Zip/Zip+Email options for saving notes and attachments
  • Keyboard shortcuts for quick note-taking
  • No docked icon


  • Menubar icon doesn’t quite fit the menubar
  • Dated, skeumorphic design

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to take notes on your Mac, it’s definitely worth checking out Ideally in the App Store, or heading over to for more!


*The above review was commissioned by the developer in accordance with our app review policy, and has been written in an objective, unbiased fashion.

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