Growly Notes 2 is a major upgrade of functionality and interface, but it may not be for everyone.


Reasons to upgrade

  • Sync shared notebooks across multiple computers.
  • No restrictions on using Dropbox or other cloud services to store your notebooks.
  • The PDF problems that appeared in 10.9 Mavericks are solved. PDF notes can be annotated, highlighted, and rotated directly in Notes.
  • More flexible tables that allow almost anything inside them except other tables.
  • Easier and more robust lists, with better control of formatting.
  • Improved audio and video recording.
  • Each notebook can be in its own window.
  • Text notes can be reopened into floating windows at any time.
  • The format panel simplifies formatting everything in your notebook, from the font of text to the notebook itself.
  • Improved search, picture support, file icons, color schemes, trackpad gestures, template sharing, full support for Retina displays, and much, much more.
  • Version 2 reads version 1 files nearly perfectly. The only known problems are listed below.


Things to think about

  • Tables can only have 25 columns. Nested tables are not supported, so text you’ve imported from complex web pages may look quite different.
  • Right-to-left scripts such as Arabic are not supported.
  • Grammar checking is not supported.
  • If you have multiple bookmarks in one text note, you may have to recreate them. A new Table of Contents command makes that easy.
  • Notes 2 runs in the Sandbox (like all App Store apps), so it has less flexibility than version 1. It must ask your permission to use files (but only once), and by default it imports all files into the notebook, which could increase your notebook size.
  • Some people got away with creating extremely large notebooks in version 1. This was an abuse of Growly Notes (not recommended) that just happened to work. Version 2 can still work with oversized notebooks, but it’s slower. Please see the help page “Using Notes Efficiently” for tips on dealing with large notebooks.
  • iCloud is not supported at this time.
  • Version 2 requires an Intel Mac and Mac OS X 10.7.3 (Lion) or later.
  • Notes is no longer a free app, but the cost is only $4.99.
  • Version 1 will no longer be distributed or supported by GrowlyBird.
  • Files saved by version 2 cannot be read by version 1. However, version 2 reads version 1 files extremely well.


We believe that version 2 is a huge improvement over version 1, and we’re very proud of the changes. We plan to continue updating and supporting Notes, and we’re working on an iPad version. We suggest that most users of version 1 upgrade to version 2, but that is your personal decision.