Easy note sharing using tags

People have been using Simplenote to share grocery lists, class notes, travel plans and more with their friends, family, and co-workers. Meanwhile, those with lots of notes have been using Simplenote’s tag system to help keep everything organized.

In the forthcoming update for iOS, we’re introducing a revised system for tags and sharing based on your feedback. We’ve unified these two features in a way that we hope you’ll appreciate. Here are the details:

Tag autocompletion

Start typing and select the tag you want from the live search results. Or tap the plus button to access the tag manager.

Add people as tags for fast sharing

People in your address book appear in your tag search results. You can tag people to quickly share your note with them. If they have Simplenote accounts, they’ll receive the shared note directly in Simplenote (and 3rd-party apps). Otherwise, they’ll receive an email with a link to the shared note where they can view and edit it on the web.

You can think of this as being like collaborative email where both the sender and receiver can make changes to the content, and everything stays in sync.

Group tags

You can add people to tags to create group tags. For example, here at Simperium, we have a Simperium tag that has the members of our team. Whenever we add the Simperium tag to a note, that note is automatically shared with our team.

Improved web app

Tags work better in the web app now, too. You can access all your tags (including group tags created in iOS), and you can add email addresses as tags for easy sharing. Tag syncing has also been greatly improved. The only limitation is that you can’t yet create new group tags using the web app.

3rd-party support

It’s easy for developers to add support for this new sharing system to their apps. All they need to do is support tags. Our platform does the work to figure out whether a particular tag is an email address or a group tag, and it will handle the sharing accordingly.

Coming soon

These enhancements will be available to all iOS and web users as a free update very soon. The update also has a variety of fixes and a couple more surprises.

20 thoughts on “Easy note sharing using tags

  1. That's awesome news. Can't wait for the update! Will it also be possible to rename tags? I'd love to see that!

  2. @David: Yes, in the updated version you can now also rename tags and the change will be reflected across all your notes.

  3. The tag sharing feature is very interesting! I've actually never shared anything from Simplenote, but I'd never before considered Simplenote for that sort of use. I wouldn't have thought a little note-taking app would be implementing sharing features between different users. Perhaps you guys will evolve like Instagram into a social network?

  4. I hope Simplenote could add API-Proxy feature (let us use a server mirror Simplenote's API). As the https connection to *.appspot.com is blocked in China, and iOS's VPN is unstable and disconnected every time the screen locks.

  5. Improving the behavior of tags is great, but not terribly useful to me if they don't sync with the (admittedly unofficial) desktop client Notational Velocity. Its developer has said that he is waiting for the public Simplenote API to be updated to support tags. Will this ever happen? Simplenote is so much better than the mess of Dropbox note apps. Please help make it even better for us who don't entirely live on an iphone.

  6. I actually really want to AVOID sharing notes with anyone.I am using simplenotes as personal note book What does this mean " If they have Simplenote accounts, they'll receive the shared note directly in Simplenote (and 3rd-party apps)" that got me worried.how can I switch of sharing of notes, I found no setting for this? how safe is simplenotes?I am not un-social but not so social with my personal notes if that is ok.

  7. @Alex: Part of the upcoming release will include a new API for tags. Notational Velocity and nvALT both plan to support syncing with Simplenote tags.@beate: Your note will only be shared if you explicitly send it to someone. Having said that, your concern is valid, and we'll consider an option to disable sharing entirely in a future update.

  8. I've just upated simplenote on my iPhone and got a very unpleasant surprise: Ads.Before Premium existed I paid for the no Ads version. Every relese of simplenote detected and respected that. It said i was no Premium user, but it let me uncheck ads anyway.Today's release ends that courtesy. I can uncheck the no ads option, but it shows them anyway. Next time I go to settings it's checked again.Simplenote is hands down the best notes app for iPhone. That's why I paid for no ads in its day. The price seemed right.Now it has a lot of features that could justify Premium, but I don't use those features and premium looks expensive for me and for what I use.The courtesy of no ads anyway was a good compromise. Looks like it ended.I'm really sorry, because the use I make of the app doesn't justify 10$ a year for me.

  9. @Javl: This is a bug that we're working on now. Paid users are not meant to see ads. Apologies for the inconvenience.

  10. Can you explain the purpose of Dropbox syncing in the latest update? Don't notes already sync via the Simplenote site?

  11. @Javl: We've fixed this. Sorry for the inconvenience.@James: We just published a post about how it works.

  12. Once I have shared a note with someone, how can I unshare it? I thought that removing their email address/tag would remove access, but it doesn't seem to.

  13. @sam: This was a problem that we recently fixed, but we'll double-check that to be sure. Removing the last address should indeed unshare the note.

  14. Hi, I use SimpleNote with Notational Velocity and am really stoked on the combo. Trying out the sharing this evening, but finding that while changes to a shared note seem to be syncing to SimpleNote perfectly, there seems to be some inconsistency with NV picking up the changes. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  15. Adding to my previous post: I've been testing it with two macbooks, each with NV open and each logged into their own SimpleNote accounts – watching the behaviour of a shared note. Here's what I've observed on at least a few occasions:- Make change in NV for account A, and NV for account B has a hard time picking it up.- Make a change in SN for account A, and NV for accounts A and B both have a hard time picking it up- When a change fails to appear in NV, going to SimpleNote in the browser and switching the focus away from and then back to the shared note seems to alert NV that a change has been made, and it updates within the next minute.Hopefully someone else is able to reproduce. Thanks.

  16. @sammy: Thanks for the details. Depending on how you've configured your 3rd-party apps, they likely don't sync as frequently as the Simplenote iOS and web apps. We'll work to improve this situation in the future. If you continue to have problems, please send us an email: support@simplenoteapp.com.

  17. I'm seeing a problem where I or a share-ee update on the web and when I look at the note in the iOS app, it not only fails to pick up the changes, it reverts the web version to the last version viewed on the iOS app.

  18. The tag feature is really awesome, I treat it like folders. But how can I rename or remove the tags? I just couldn't find a way to do it. Thank you 🙂