Note Syncing in Mac OS X from iPhone/iPod Touch

OK, I’m back, as always, with a question (again I will prostrate myself before the LaL forums since I ALWAYS get the best advice here :slight_smile: ). This time is about the new note sync feature that is avaibable in the iPhone 3.0 release (just as a useless FYI, I use the iPod Touch, the iPhone is ridiculously expensive). I have been jotting notes like crazy lately and I love going back later and reading them in, but the problem is getting them out of and into Scrivener. Here’s my question: Are there any automator (or applescript) actions that I can use to simply pull each individual note out of mail and dump them as individual RTF files into a given folder? I don’t mind rifling through them (in this folder) and then dropping them into Scrivener (I like doing it that way actually, it lets me sort through and edit them) but as it stands right now, I have to “save as” selected notes and then lumps all the notes into one long text file, which I am not a fan of. Anyway, once again, thanks a million for all your great advice, I have always felt humbled and honored to be a part of (or rather an insignificant observer of :slight_smile: ) the LaL community and I look forward to your suggestions!


Notes can be saved like ordinary mail objects out of Mail. Just select the notes you wish to export and it will dump them all into a single file, separated by a brief header with a datestamp and such. This could then be split up in Scrivener fairly easily. You can also save them one by one and then just drag them all. Neither method really seems to me much “easier” than the other—except that saving a folder of notes into individual files might be something that could be scripted from the Mail end of things.

I haven’t got into writing notes on my iPod Touch yet, but rather than using the Notes, I would bite a small financial bullet and invest in an app that syncs with your Mac. For that there is Evernote, which I am impressed by, and I also have Super Index Cards but which I can’t use at all at the moment because it needs to register once with their server — it will then enable you to use provided space to sync with your Mac — but that seems to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. Another app, if you’d rather go in the outliner direction is Carbonfin Outliner which I understand can link with OmniOutliner — OmniGroup haven’t yet released their own. That too has weird connection problems here … is open, won’t usually connect!

I think a small investment in Evernote might serve you well; I can’t speak about Super Index Cards until I’m home for the summer and can get it up and running.


I have the same problem and havn’t found any solution either.
The disadvantage of Evernote is that you have to be online to be able to sync.
There are a number of note taking apps but none of them has the convenience of Apple’s Notes.
There is a new app out called Documents To Go (by DataViz). It seems to have decent syncing. But as I have grown tired of purchasing yet another app for writing on my ipod touch (and then having to find out that the syncing part is flawed) I haven’t looked into it.


@rochefore: That’s true, but when you’re online with each machine, the Evernote sync is automatic, and the solution of mailing yourself text from notes is no better … you have to be online to use Mail. Basically that’s going to be true of anything with an iPod Touch. Things are presumably different if you have an iPhone.

Let’s hope someone is developing an app that will allow you to send notes or whatever directly in whatever format over a direct network in the way you can set one up to work with Keynote Remote.

In the meantime, I still think Evernote is the most seamless solution for iPod Touch users.

On another tack, having moved up to OS 3, my iPod Touch claims to have bluetooth, but I can’t get it to work, that is, I can pair it with my MBP, or presumably my MBA, but it won’t connect or else connects and drops the connection about a second later. Has anybody else tried and got bluetooth to work?


Doesn’t PhoneView give you access to view your notes when you connect your iPod/iPhone to your Mac?

At least that doesn’t require a network connection… although I don’t think it does an auto-sync. I haven’t really used it. Just got it in the last MacHeist.

Ok, as always I am impressed and gratified by the quick responses to my post; Thank you all! I have made myself a solution though and I thought I’d share it since I was the one who first posted the question. Getting notes out of Mail and into Scrivener is a lot easier than I thought. I completely forgot about creating new clippings from selected text (forehead slapping moment). Now what I did was turn this wonderful feature into a Quicksilver trigger (using a proxy and then the services plugin: Current Selection (proxy) > Scrivener/Create new Clipping…). I set this trigger to option>shift>s, select the text of the note and voila! Works perfectly and is even time stamped down to the minute. I have also setup a similar trigger for creating stickies, which I have recently fallen in love with :slight_smile:. I hope that maybe some other anal people will find these tips useful and I thank you all again for your prompt responses!

Forever in LaL Forum debt,


I don’t think Bluetooth file transfer is supported, yet.


I don’t know if they have changed it, but on the older phones the Bluetooth chip they were using was highly stripped down and more advanced functions like file transfer are simply impossible. It only supports headset protocols. It’s probably connecting just long enough to realise your Mac isn’t a headset and then dropping the connexion.