Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Craig Mod on the speed of nvALT

July 30, 2019

Craig Mod, in an essay that has been linked by just about every blog I’m subscribed to:

One of my most used, most speedy pieces of software is nvALT.1 It’s an oddly named, very bland application. Just a database of plain text files with a plain text editor bolted on. But it’s fast. The fastest piece of text cataloging software I’ve used. It opens instantly and produces results instantly. My nvALT database is full of ten years of notes. Open it and your cursor is already in the search field.

I used nvALT for a long time. I do miss its speed. Currently I keep loose notes in Simplenote. On Windows 10 it opens slower than any other app on my computer. I’ve sent the Simplenote team a few notes via Twitter but the Simplenote app is seldom updated so I don’t have any expectation of this ever getting better.

Does anyone know a super fast note taking software on Windows 10 and Android?

The rest of Mod’s essay is worth a read if you haven’t read it.


kaa says:

@cdevroe now substitute nvalt with The Archive for software that is being actively developed

jack says:

@kaa @cdevroe I’m running the beta of nvUltra, the new version of nvALT. Still fast :).

kaa says:

@jack Is that an open beta? or do you need to sign up and ask for it?

@kaa @jack I signed up a couple of months ago and am still waiting to be let in. Apparently so many have signed up, that nvUltra might be live before everyone is allowed in!

kulturnation says:

@jack It is good to know that the Ultra is on its way. Though I have to admit that I use most of the times Drafts.

kaa says:

@crossingthethreshold @jack I’m sticking with The Archive. Dropped Christian a line about something this very morning, an hour or so later he’d responded. Guy I want to support. The icon is much better than nvUltra and there is a clear roadmap that is being developed and shared. In short, Christian is the kind of developer I like to support – and his product is great. The only thing I’d want to see is whether or not there is any noticable speed difference between the two apps, when opening, because everything else is rock solid so far.

jack says:

@kaa I think it’s still in private beta. The signup form on doesn’t say anything about getting access to the beta but his earlier post suggests it.

jack says:

@kaa The Archive is great. I moved there from nvALT when it was first available. I haven’t compared speed, but that’s a good thing to consider. And you’re right, Christian is super helpful!

0xroy says:

@jack @kaa I’m curious about the iOS app, I sync with Working Copy but iA Writer is opinionated, which is good but nvUltra should have some goodies like critic markup!

seishonagon says:

@kaa private beta, and there’s a loooooooong waiting list. I just got my invite a few weeks ago and I’d signed up early.

@kaa Do you access your notes on iOS? If so, what app do you use? I’m currently using 1Writer, alongside nvAlt on OS X (though thinking to go back and try The Archive again after your obvious enthusiasm for the product).

cdevroe says:

@jack @kaa I’m no longer on the Mac, so I’m still on the search for faster Windows 10 alternatives.

kaa says:

@crossingthethreshold I do but you’ve hit on one of my big gaps. While 1writer has stuff I like, I don’t love it. For years I used Simplenote.

The best editor on an iPhone is iAWriter. Things like the bar on top of the keyboard (with all the shortcuts) and the command symbol keyboard switcher are top class of any app. The issue of course is the lack of proper Dropbox support – however that is slowly becoming a non issue if iCloud gets better.

kaa says:

@cdevroe Notation is great (although no development and the developer doesn’t respond to emails). IAWriter for Windows is great.

laura says:

@kaa Oh wow – just stumbled into this conversation, but thanks so much! I had completely given up on finding a note taking app that does what I need one for. But The Archive looks like it will fit the bill nearly perfectly! Yay!

kaa says:

@laura You’re welcome! To my mind, The Archive is the best successor to Notational Velocity there. Themes, markdown rendered, dark mode, active development and rock solid. What more do you want :).

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