Circus Ponies Notebook Rest In Peace

Well, a pretty good note taking app has bit the dust. Circus Ponies Notebook, which has been around for about 13 years, decided to close it’s doors. This was somewhat of a surprise to me and others. I have used Notebook for several years, it was a good note taking app.


The App

Circus Ponies Notebook was a very versatile app. You could take notes in all kinds of formats. Here is a main window of the app if you are not familiar:

Click for larger image

Just look at the toolbar up top to see how versatile this app was. You could add all kinds of things to your notes. I really liked the tabs on the right sidebar for each section of your document. Circus Ponies served me well for many years, I will miss it. But, I have some questions about it’s demise.


Why is it going away? Was it developed to the end of what the app could do? Did they have problems trying to get it into the App Store? It was all so sudden, I was just wondering why.

I think one thing that may have been a factor is the proliferation of note taking apps on the Mac and iOS since the App Store has come into existence. You can get anyone of 10 different note taking apps that do all kinds of different things; with different feature sets. I have a few on my Mac, many of them are quite well done. Maybe that was the reason, just too much competition.

Here is one more question for you. Circus Ponies Notebook has it’s own file format. How do I save these documents? I have tried exporting them into different formats, but they lose their outline format which is a total bummer. The only export format that seems to work OK in keeping the formatting of your Notebook documents is the Web (html) format. Where you can go with that I don’t know, but I have exported my documents in this format for possible future reference, if not future use. Don’t misunderstand, you can export to .doc, rtf and other formats, but your losing your formatting on your data. If your documents are in outline format you are totally messed up for sure.

If anyone out there knows how to get Notebook docs into a different useable format (some other outlining format perhaps) please let me know.


Whatever the reason, I will miss Circus Ponies Notebook. For now, I will be using Omni Outliner to do my notes. I almost exclusively use an outline format anyway and this app seems to work pretty well.