Simplenote Syncing Gone in Version 3.0?

I’ve been a Scrivener user for years and have come to rely on Simplenote syncing because it’s such a great way to quickly capture notes related to my project. I’ve searched high and low and am I right that it’s gone in the latest version? If so, are there any plans to bring it back? Please do. I’m surprised no one else has posted about this as far as I can tell.

If there are no plans to bring it back, do you have any ideas for quickly capturing notes without having to go into the app on my iPhone, creating a new document, etc.? Please help.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, the SimpleNote side of things has become increasingly unreliable over the past few years, to the point where we don’t feel comfortable offering it as an alternative to our users.

Personally, I have an iOS Scrivener project on my phone set aside for “quick notes”, Depending on the note, I can either create a new document or just add it to an existing “inbox” document and extract it to its final destination later,


I am actually not surprised you are the first one to notice because Simplenote has become quite unreliable over the years and I think its user base is now limited. I used to use it and stopped using it a long time ago. I am not sure what you mean with “do you have any ideas for quickly capturing notes without having to go into the app on my iPhone, creating a new document, etc.?”, but if you mean capturing notes on your phone without using Scrivener there is plenty of options. I’d say the quickest one is Drafts. There are threads on this forum on how to use Drafts fairly efficiently with Scrivener. I haven’t done it in a long time, but I think you can have your notes from Drafts straight into your Scrivener scratchpad. You need to set it up for text files though

Index Card for iOS syncing is gone too–no big loss, haven’t used it since iOS Scrivener came out.

There are two good ways to keep a synced scratch pad type workflow with Scrivener, that don’t involve any particular third-party software:


Simple enough! Call it up with Window/Show Scratchpad whenever you need it on the Mac. To make this work on the go:

  1. In the General: Scratchpad preference pane (which is yes, going to get its typo fixed), set your Notes location to iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, SpiderOak, Resilio Sync folder, etc.
  2. On your mobile, use your favourite text editor to edit the contents of that folder or create new files within it.

You might prefer using a plain-text workflow in that preference pane for this, since most of the best editors out there for mobile are plain-text. For example, Plain Text with the .md extension makes Editorial work nice.

It also might work best to target some app’s dedicated sync folder, since not all can browse sync services freely.

[size=150]Folder Sync[/size]

File/Sync/with External Folder. When the above is too basic, this might do the trick. It’s very flexible with a lot of options, automatic snapshots like Simplenote gave you, direct project integration, the ability to work on whole chunks (or surgical sections) of your manuscript, etc.

Same as above, once you have a folder of files like this you can edit them anywhere in conjunction with a little sync glue and some text editors.

Refer to §14.3, Synchronised Folders, pg. 347 in the user manual, for more information.

Indeed, this has gone, along with Index Card sync. I would stress that we really like Simplenote and Index Card and their developers, so this is not meant t be a negative reflection on them in any way. However, as noted, Simplenote has caused us quite a few support issues over the past couple of years. Mainly it was a matter of resources, though. As there’s only me working on the macOS version, I have to be careful that I can continue to maintain support for various features. If Simplenote changes its API or Index Card changes its file format (as both have done at various points), I have to write new code. With Scrivener for iOS sync along with folder sync to maintain now, it was becoming a little impractical to support Simplenote and Index Card too. Apologies for the inconvenience.

All the best,

I used SimpleNote all the time, which is why I’m not hesitant to ‘upgrade’ to Scrivener 3. Sure, I get a discount to get Scrivener 3 at 25$, but I also have to change from using SimpleNote to buying IOS Scrivener for 20$. Why is there a bundle for buying Scrivener for Windows and Mac, but not for Scrivener for Mac & iOS, since I’m probably not the only one to write on my iPad and import the chapters to my Macbook.

It’s not possible to offer bundle pricing for iOS Scrivener, as it is available only through the Apple Store, and the Apple Store does not allow coupons of any kind.

If you prefer, you can use the Sync with External Folder feature to share files with any iOS application you like. (EXCEPT iOS Scrivener, which opens Scrivener projects directly.)


For me the wonderful thing about Simplenote was a distraction free writing app and syncing would automatically overwrite the scenes on my macbook. I don’t know any other iOS apllication that would work as simple as Simplenote. Can you give me examples of alternatives for Simplenote?

My personal favourite, which I used before iOS Scrivener, is Editorial. I prefer it because its integration with Dropbox is tighter that that of any other iOS editor I’ve ever tried. I achieved the same sort of simplicity of editing on the iOS side as you describe, after initial setup of the folder sync. It’s a markdown editor, but of course you can use it as straight text if you wish.

Its downside is that it’s a programmer’s editor, so its documentation is not always writer-friendly. :slight_smile: It’s also Dropbox-only, so if you want some other cloud solution you’ll need to look elsewhere. If you’re interested in how to set it up let me know.

Do I understand correctly that after paying the $25 upgrade to Scrivener 3, I now have to pay full price to get the same version on my IPad?

The current iOS version is compatible with Scrivener 3. If you’ve already purchased the iOS version of Scrivener, you don’t need to pay again.


No, but if you currently use Scrivener 2 synced Simplenote on the iPad and you upgrade to Scrivener 3, you won’t be able to sync with Simplenote anymore, so you will need an alternative for Simplenote on your iPad. Which would be the iOS version of Scrivener, which costs 20$.
So you have a choice between sticking with Scrivener 2 with Simplenote combo, or upgrading to Scrivener 3 with iOS Scrivener combo. The last will set you back 25$ for Scriv 3 plus 20 for iOS Scrivener. So the discount you save - 25 instead of 45 euro for the people who have been using S2 - has to be used to buy S.iOS for your ipad because you lose Simplenote.

That’s an objectively narrow way of looking at one’s options. One could decide to purchase Scrivener for iOS if they want something capable of editing projects on the go—but if all they really want is a very basic system that is more a replacement to SimpleNote, then Scrivener is overkill. We aren’t charging $20 for a Simplenote replacement! That would be absurd. Scrivener for iOS is after all a program with its own corkboard (on iPad), binder, stylesheet-based editing, inspector, the ability to compile and so on. It is capable of being used as a standalone writing platform, intended to be comparable to Scrivener 1 for macOS in capability. The price of it reflects that scope and intent.

If you want to stick with the simple approach, then use one of the methods I described above. There are surely text editors out there for iOS that provide a similarly stripped down editing environment like Simplenote that you could use? iA Writer, whatever, right? Simplenote wasn’t even that special of an editor as I recall—the main appeal was it being one of the first “everywhere” notepads. That’s not even a novelty at this point.

This works fine, of course, but perhaps the following idea merits consideration: if the Scrivener for iPhone main screen (showing the projects) would also give access to the scratchpad files (saved in Dropbox), it wouldn’t be necessary to use any third-party software at all. And it does seem to make sense to jot down ideas that are going to fuel some Scrivener project using… Scrivener.

That might be drifting into another topic, which is partially my fault for showing a scratch pad based method. But the SimpleNote syncing method was never a tool for integrating with the Scratch Pad, it was only project-based. And thus if one is looking for an alternative to what that system gave you, the sync folder method fills the gap. For those that also want a bit more of their project on the go, there is Scrivener for iOS, and then you don’t need any kind of third-party sync or software.

As for whether the iOS version should have a scratch pad that can be integrated with PC/Mac, that has been discussed, and if you search the forum elsewhere you should find other conversations about it, as well as alternatives.

I’m experimenting with both of these approaches. If others have insights, or if the L&L team recommend one over the other (especially in terms of stability or syncing issues), I’m all ears. My use case:

I’m using Scrivener 3 on a home Mac, an office Mac (occasionally) and a laptop (MacBook Air). I am using Zapier to send the contents of Evernote notes to a Scrivener folder on DropBox and I have envisioned creating other such integrations. I’ve tested it with both the Scratchpad folder (which makes content available for any project) and an External Sync folder (for a “Notebook” project) and both seem to be working for text files.

Aside from the “global” versus project-specific issue, has anyone found one method to be superior? Are there format limits that might affect such a decision (for example, can I use this method to save screenshots)? Developed a list of pros and cons?

Thanks for any guidance or suggestions!