Shovebox review – a new notetaking app.

There is a noticeable lack of any notetaking app for mac that will sync with an iphone. By notetaking application I mean an application that you can use like a notepad: Write down thoughts on a topic. Come back later and find them. Add a few more notes when you want to. A new application, Shovebox seems to be OK, although it’s still early days…

Firstly to appreciate how seemingly hard this is to do, consider the following apps:


Great for capturing information, but you can’t edit notes on the iphone. STOP PRESS: Evernote can edit notes from the iphone now! Evernote rocks.

Apple Notes app:
Good on iphone but you can’t edit the notes on your mac.

SOHO notes:
My favourite I’ve been a user of SOHO notes for many years, but you can’t even read notes from iphone let alone edit them.

again great app but no iphone application apart from webjimbo is too complicated.

again, it may be a great app but no iphone access to notes and they say they have no plans to develop one.

again, it may be a great app – a lot more than just notetaking but no editing of notes from the iphone

So there have been various workarounds. Some people have been using contacts to store notes, some have been using draft emails. It’s embarrasing to be a mac user and hear about this, so it’s nice to finally have a solution.


Shovebox is a new piece of software just for taking notes. It’s got great potential.

It syncs with the iphone.
You can edit notes on the iphone.
There are rules that automatically sort notes by keywords if you wish.
Amazing selection of hotkeys to grab data instantly.

On the iphone you can only edit the files as text files not RTF (not sure if this will be addressed in the future or not?)
On the iphone app you can’t search notes – only browse.
It’s complicated to actually read a note on the mac! There’s no preview, and I’ve found that sometimes when you click to open the note it doesn’t work.
It cost’s $25.
It’s still almost a beta version. There are some things that are a bit messy, and/or missing.

It will be interesting to see how shovebox develops.


9 responses to “Shovebox review – a new notetaking app.”

  1. Paul

    If you purchase the iphone app first you get a coupon for a 40% discount on the desktop version.

  2. Yes I just discovered that – also if you click on the comment of that note there’s another little secret discount!

  3. jack

    I love shovebox, but comparing it to something like devonthink is a little misleading. Two completely different type apps.

  4. Yes two different apps! But I contacted devonnote support as below:

    Can I edit devonthink documents from my iphone?

    No, not at the moment. We’re working on an iPhone client, however, which will enable you, among other things, to add notes to your database.

  5. […] when the iPhone was released there was no SOHOnotes for the iPhone. So in this article I compared all the iPhone notetaking […]

  6. Andrew

    Seems to me that I can edit Apple notes with both my iPhone and in on my Mac.

    On my Mac, I’m running OS X 10.5.8; Mail 3.6
    On my iPhone, I’m running 3.1.2

    I’m surprised that you can’t edit them!

  7. Yes that ability was added since I wrote that post (which was about 6 months ago)! There is a newer post here about it:

  8. […] Likewise, Shovebox is a nice app  to capture notes into, but harder to search and browse them once they are in. Share […]

  9. Jake

    This is a slightly different subject but i had a trial of shovebox and since it ended, whenever i log in a box will appear notifying me that the trial period is over and also shows me different ways to purchase the software, is there a way to stop this box appearing, I would usually passively quit this but ITS DOING MY HEAD IN! Cheers.

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