Not so long ago, we were huge fans of Simplenote. In fact, we loved the cross-platform, text syncing service so much that we wrote a gushing piece entitled, The perfect Android/Windows note taking combo: Flick Note, Simplenote and ResophNotes.
We thought we had found the perfect way to keep notes synced across our desktop and Android device- and for ages the set up worked perfectly. But then it all went wrong. Very, very wrong.
Sharing a disaster
On our recommendation, a friend installed Flick Note (an Android Simplenote client) on their phone and we shared a list with them. And that was the moment everything went AWOL.
We kept getting endless duplicate notes being created every time an edit was made on either device, each one coming with an email reminder. The notes and emails then started coming in every hour, around the clock, and deleting the notes made no difference.
Eventually we tried deleting all the notes on every device as well as on Simplenote’s website, but still they kept on coming. We wrote to Simplenote but they couldn’t help, eventually giving in and handing us a free year’s premium subscription.
Then all our other notes wouldn’t sync properly (if at all) and this once extremely reliable service became thoroughly untrustworthy.
Starting all over
We tried installing different Simplenote-compatible phone apps but all of them came up with their own individual and equally frustrating take on what would be synced and what wouldn’t. Some would only sync one way. Some wouldn’t sync at all. Some were stuck in the past, with just the occasional note getting through.
We were eventually left with entirely different sets of notes across multiple devices. Uninstalling, reinstalling, rebooting, swapping machines, changing mobiles and even doing a rain dance to the Gods made no difference.
Time to abandon ship
Simplenote simply no longer works reliably, so it is with the greatest reluctance that we are now abandoning this service completely, and will have to go back and add a king size caveat to our previous article.
Looking around the web, it seems that we’re not along in suffering major difficulties, but not everyone has been experiencing the same problems. Perhaps they’ll be lucky forever, or perhaps the clock is just ticking down to their meltdown, but for us we’ve given up.
Sorry Simplenote, but a syncing note service that doesn’t sync isn’t much use to us any more.