Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by Bakari Chavanu

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Like many writers, I use several note apps for various purposes, but I rely on one quick note app called MiniNote Pro, which I think is the best quick note app for the Mac. Let me explain why.

While there are several notebook applications for the Mac, including the default macOS Notes app, I use FlipLab’s MiniNote for typing or pasting content that I will eventually delete or transfer to another notes app for later referencing.

To my knowledge, there are not too many quick note apps like MiniNote. But recently iConFactory released Tot, which they call a tiny text companion.

In this article, I will compare both apps and explain why though I find Tot a very well designed app, I choose to stick with MiniNote instead.

MiniNote’s Floating Window

I’ve been using MiniNote for several years now. The application is accessed from the menu bar, but it also allows for using a keyboard shortcut to open it.

But the number one reason I use MiniNote is because it opens in a floating window, instead of remaining attached to the top of the menu bar.

For me, the floating window is very important because it means I can put the notes window where I best view and type in it. Especially when typing on my 21” iMac, I don’t want to have to keep looking up at the menu bar area as I type.

BetterTouchTool icon

Because the floating window can be triggered with a keyboard shortcut, it means I can use my assigned BetterTouchTool finger gesture or a Keyboard Maestro string trigger to quickly open the floating window.

MiniNote does not have all the features and folder hierarchies found in other notebook applications, but that’s not its purpose. MiniNote is for quickly jotting notes and accessing them without the hassle of waiting for the application to open.

MiniNote does allow for formatting text and sharing text to other apps like Notes, Messages, Reminders, Drafts, etc. You can also set to have the MiniNote window automatically disappear as soon as your cursor leaves the interface. You can also assign a hotkey for creating a new note, as well as changing the interface to dark mode.

That’s pretty much it for MiniNote. Like I said, the main reason for liking and using it is for the floating window.

MiniNote has a free version and pro version ($4.99), and it can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, and it also has an iOS version.

Overview of Tot

Tot is another quick notes app that is accessed from the menu bar. It more minimalistic than MiniNote, and in some ways more attractive.

Tot also has a floating window, but unfortunately it always opens pinned to its icon in the menu bar. It has to be manually dragged from the menu bar each time it’s triggered opened.

Tot allows for only six note windows, so it’s definitely not for storing lots of notes or documents.

Tot has full support for Markdown, which means it provides much more text formatting features than MiniNote does.

Your notes in Tot can sync seamlessly across iOS and macOS devices.

While I like the design of Tot, that fact that the floating window re-pins to the menu bar, means that I’m less likely to use it.

Tot is a free download from the Mac App Store.

Your Turn

Both MiniNote and Tot are great utility apps, especially if you like me and you don’t like using pen and paper. (Note: here’s my other recommendations of other utility or productivity apps for Mac.)

Depending on your needs, both of these apps are great to use, but let me know which one you prefer, or which note application(s) you use.

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