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how to recover disappearing Notes

There appears to be a bug in Apple’s in OS X 10.8 that sometimes causes notes to disappear. If you need to recover the text of any note that’s gone missing on your mac, try pasting this into It’s all one line, so copy and paste it as a whole, then hit ‘return’:

cd ~/Library/Containers/; strings NotesV1.storedata | grep body | open -f

The resulting TextEdit window can be searched or scrolled through for your missing text.

Due to this problem, a lot of people are giving up using altogether and switching to alternatives like Evernote or nvALT. However, if for some reason you either want or need to keep using Notes, you might try saving that command above as its own little App that you can keep in the Dock (beats having to dig out or remember the Terminal code all the time).

To do so, we’re going to use the Applescript Editor. It lives in the /Applications/Utilities folder, but you can access it simply by clicking on Spotlight and typing Apples.

With the Editor open, paste this into the window (note, this is slightly different from the command above, as we have to tell AppleScript how to use the code):

do shell script "cd ~/Library/Containers/; strings NotesV1.storedata | grep body | open -f"

Press ‘Command-K’ to compile the script. If there are no errors, hit ‘Command-R’ to run it. If everything checks out fine, then hit ‘Command-S’ to bring up the ‘Save’ box. Change the ‘File Format:’ option at the bottom to ‘Application’, give the app a snappy name (‘findNotes’ ??), then choose your Applications folder as the destination before hitting ‘Save’.

Save Dialog in Applescript Editor

The last thing to do is to go to your Applications folder and drag the icon to the Dock. Now, you can simply click the icon to produce the TextEdit window whenever a Note goes missing.

(Final tip: by the way, if you don’t like the Applescript icon in your Dock, you can always change it to an icon of your own! 🙂 )

Related posts:
getting to grips with AppleScript
sync notes between mac and android
FastTasks – download the free OS X utility from Applehelpwriter

sync notes between mac and android

Having an Android phone and Mac computer…not what  intended…and syncing between them can be awkward. I use Dropbox on both and avoid iCloud for various reasons (some related to security), but I’ve always found syncing notes a problem.

My Android phone has a couple of notes apps , and my mac has, of course, the horribly-lemon yellow, Stickies, and even Reminders can be used , not to mention TextEdit. The result was that I found I was keeping notes in several different places and then not knowing where to look for something, hunting around trying to remember which application I’d left some obscure, half-remembered note to myself in.

Then I discovered Notational Velocity. This is a great, free, open-source app built for OS X and it’s got all the simplicity I need. It has a combined search and enter field reminiscent of Spotlight, and the interface is clean, fast and efficient, requiring minimal keystrokes or trackpad movements.

On top of that, it can link to a web-based notes app called (also a free service). Notational Velocity and will sync to NV’s sister-app, Notational Acceleration, which is basically NV for the Android platform (and if you have an iOS device, there’s a Simplenote app for that too). Once you’ve got all of these set up, you have a notes app that you can use on your android phone, you mac, or log into from someone else’s computer, and the whole lot will keep in sync automatically!

Total cost: zero! 🙂

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