Writing a review about TextDrop would a be a bit like writing a review about my wife. I’ve already fallen in love. The review would pretty much be a love letter at this point.
What is TextDrop
The developer of TextDrop makes no secret about his inspiration. It’s Notational Velocity in web-form. TextDrop is a web app that connects to your Dropbox account and lets you enter, delete, search and edit text files in any location.
TextDrop provides an “Omnibar” to search for notes. If a note doesn’t already exist, just hit return to have a new text file created in Dropbox.
My favorite feature is also one of Rob’s: Direct links to notes and folders inside Dropbox.
Any note or folder can be bookmarked for instant access. For example, my scratch file, Notes and Notes Archive folders are all menubar bookmarks which gives me instant access to my most used files.
If a file doesn’t exist at the end of a URL, then TextDrop will instantly create it and open it for editing. It’s like a URL scheme for a web app.
While TextDrop provides a lot, there’s also not a lot to using it. There are only three preferences. That’s it. The rest of the setup process is navigating to a folder in Dropbox.
TextDrop is all about MultiMarkdown. There is a built-in preview pane that can be displayed or hidden at will. The rendering is as fast as any native Markdown preview I’ve used. Even better, the two views scroll together so that the Markdown preview is aligned with the raw text.
Full Text Search
The biggest update to TextDrop (this week) is the addition of full text searching. This was a big feature because TextDrop does it right. The service stores all note locally rather than making a copy on the TextDrop servers. That’s a nice piece of mind and also makes the search lightening fast.
The only limitation I’ve discovered with search is that it only works for alphanumeric characters. However, the TextDrop developer, Sam, tells me he may add support for common tag prefix characters like “@” and “#”.
The full text search makes TextDrop a true Notational Velocity on the web.
Share and Publish
Since TextDrop is using my Dropbox account, I get all the benefits of Dropbox behind the scene, like public sharing of files. With a click of a button, the current note can be shared as a plain text file or the MultiMarkdown can be converted to HTML and published as a public link. The links are accessible right from within TextDrop.
If you’re on Windows, your life is already pretty depressing. But some employers aren’t happy with that minor punishment. They also block Dropbox access for security reasons. TextDrop provides a potential solution for those poor souls.
TextDrop enables password based connection with Dropbox. That means even if I can’t login to Dropbox in my browser TextDrop can still connect and display my notes. Clever.
I Like Bit Notes and I Can Not Lie
I have a lot of text files. I’ve broken many apps with my collection of notes. I’ve never had a problem with TextDrop. TextDrop also never complains about the length of a note. The biggest issue I have encountered is a slightly longer index time with the new full text search feature. That amounted to about 10 seconds per session.
One of the best things about TextDrop is that the app isn’t just hanging out waiting for VC money. The developer improves it constantly. Just look at this change log. The biggest gap of releases between September and January resulted in full text search.
TextDrop is about $10 per year right now. I paid $5 about a year ago. TextDrop uses the Pinboard.in sliding scale of pricing. The more people signup, the higher the price goes. I really like that model because it seems fair to everyone and supports steady growth. Your renewal price is locked in at the time of signup.
TextDrop offers a refund policy that’s good for 7 days. That’s a pretty generous offer for an app on the web these days.
UPDATE: It’s all over, folks. Thanks for playing.
You made it to the bottom, so by now you’re either very interested in TextDrop or you’re tired of hearing about it. Either way, you can get a free copy of TextDrop sponsored by Me.
Here’s the gamble:
- You go signup for TextDrop right now.
- Send me the user hash code from your user account page.
- I will pay the 1 year subscription price for 7 lucky winners.
- The lucky winners will be refunded the cost of their TextDrop account.
- You will send me an email thanking me for an awesome app that you now love.
The gamble is that if you’re not one of the lucky 7, then the cost is on you. Them’s the breaks.
So why am I doing this? I paid $5 for an application I’ve used for 3-4 hours a day for almost a year. I’m not even sure how I’d work without it now. That application has become continually more valuable since I spent my $5.
This gives me a chance to give a bit more money and to spread the word about a great product. This will help to ensure that something I love sticks around. I’m selfish like that.
I’m still working on #6. I guess #3 is not helping. ↩︎