What’s New in NotePlan 2 on macOS?

Posted on Posted in general, updates

NotePlan 2 on macOS is finally releasing soon on the Mac AppStore. It has been quite a while that it got an update. We were quite busy rebuilding the whole app from scratch – first on iOS, now on macOS. The result is a completely redesigned app focused on increasing your productivity and making planning your work faster.

1. New Layout

Version 1 had just a single view opened at a time. Either it was the editor or the calendar/notes view. This was a big pain (and time waste!) when you had to switch between the views a lot. In version 2 we have redesigned the layout so that it shows the calendar/notes and the editor side-by-side in a split view. Further, we added a sidebar hosting the tags found in your notes:

One more detail is that the monthly calendar doesn’t list your to-dos anymore, just the events (however, the week view does). Why? Mostly you see just 3-5 items and it doesn’t help you much if you have a few events as well. The monthly calendar becomes cluttered and confusing quickly. To see your important events like meetings at a glance, we have removed the clutter. Instead, a small badge indicates if and how many to-dos are saved for a specific day.

By removing the to-dos from the monthly calendar we also don’t have to worry about the color of the to-do dots anymore (like orange for an open task) and we can use the original calendar colors for events.

2. Week View

A week view is easy for normal calendar apps, however, NotePlan is not just a calendar app. The problem with normal week views – like vertically or horizontally locking 7 days in a grid – is that there is not enough space for notes and to-dos. A pro user has easily 20-30 single to-dos in one note (like many detailed subtasks). It becomes challenging to display them while still keeping it clean and easy to read. Therefore we came up with a scrollable, vertical week view. So you can have as many events and to-dos as you like, they will always fit in:

3. Calendar Tags

Tags were supported before, but not “really” supported. You could write them into a to-do and then simply search for them, but you never knew which to-dos were out there in the wild. Now NotePlan scans all your notes and looks for these tags to display them in the sidebar. Click on a tag to search for it and it shows all to-dos you ever had with this specific tag in a simple list. You can use it for example to track tasks where you need to follow up with someone:

Or track projects using the #tag instead of @tag (you can use these two kinds of tags as it fits your workflow).

4. Dated To-dos in Project Notes

This feature is already available for the iOS version and now it makes it into the macOS version as well (finally). Instead of scheduling to-dos from project notes by copying them into the calendar notes, NotePlan will attach a date tag now, like this:

The calendar will scan the project notes for these tags and display them in the referenced daily note. From there you can jump back into the project note or check off the to-dos without having to open the note at all:

The date tag can be appended automatically using the schedule dialog or you can type it out. This behavior can be changed in the preferences and will become the default on iOS as well.

5. Schedule by Drag & Drop

One thing the new split-view layout enables is that you can drag a to-do from the editor and drop it into the calendar to reschedule it without using the schedule dialog at all:

6. Add and Edit Events

NotePlan 1 supported adding events, but it was not very convenient, especially defining the start and end time was confusing. Furthermore, repeat and alerts were totally missing. NotePlan 2 fixes these problems using a simple event editor where you can set everything up easily. Additionally, the title field supports natural language processing and can understand what date and time you type, such as “Meet John at 5pm“. Once detected it will automatically adjust the start/end fields for you:

7. Progress Ring

To get an idea of your progress during the day, each note shows a progress circle beside the date title by counting the amount of open to-dos vs “handled” to-dos. Handled means anything which is marked (like done, scheduled or canceled):

8. Notes as List View

Your general notes are no longer aligned in a grid but in a list view which you should be used to from other apps. Swipe with two fingers on your trackpad to reveal the delete button and filter the notes by selecting a tag from the sidebar or search for notes using the search-bar above the note list:

9. Task Manager Dialog

If you hover over a to-do you will notice a menu icon that appears beside it. Clicking on this icon reveals a task-manager dialog from where you can mark the to-do as done, canceled or schedule it to another day:

10. Overdue Tasks

In order to see all your overdue tasks from the past, you can now click on the big red badge beside the month name (if you have any open to-dos in the past). It will open a summary view with all your overdue tasks. From there you can jump into the daily note or check them off as done right away from the results. This way nothing gets lost, everything you ever noted will be there for your review:

Access to Preview Version

If you want to check out NotePlan 2 before the launch and provide some feedback, we have an invite list! Email us hello@noteplan.co and we will put you on the list, so you get hopefully a seat before the launch.