Mobility

App of the week: Quiver combines coding and note taking in one easy app

What if there was a note taking app that would automatically annotate code and provide previews for LaTeX and markdown? There is one, and it's called Quiver.

Apps like Evernote are great. They allow you to categorize notes, share info, make annotations, and store all your important stuff in one place. Those apps and their robust features would be even better, programmers are likely thinking, if they would recognize coding syntax like Notepad++.

Stop searching for a Notepad++ upgrade: You've found it with Quiver.

1. What Quiver does

At first glance Quiver looks a lot like Evernote: There's a column on the left for sorting notes into individual books, a second column that shows all the notes in the selected notebook, and on the right is the active note.

Quiver's interface is familiar and that's a good thing—I knew right where most everything was when I started using it. The app also comes with 12 tutorial notes, and I highly suggest reading them all.

See: Looking for a programming job in a big tech firm? Find one by playing games with Code Arcade (TechRepublic)

The part of Quiver that stands out is the part that's supposed to: Contextual note cells. Each note is made up of cells that have a particular format: Text, code, markdown, LaTeX, or diagram. Changing the cell type lets Quiver pick up on syntax and instantly deliver a preview of what you're typing.

You can share notes as well, though this is the one area where Quiver falls short of apps like Evernote: Sharing is done by linking a cloud account like Dropbox or via email rather than in-app collaboration.

2. How Quiver is better

Apps similar to Quiver are numerous but they all lack one important thing: Syntax recognition. Sure, there are other apps out there that will do markdown and recognize other simple syntactical languages but Quiver stands alone as a notebook app designed for programmers.

The list of languages that Quiver recognizes is too long to include here. Suffice it to say that if you're going to use it for hammering out code in 2017 you won't have a problem finding your chosen language.

3. Who should use Quiver

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Quiver is designed for programmers, and it's an invaluable tool for them. It's hardly restricted to programmers, though.

LaTeX is a standard in many academic departments, and many LaTeX editors are clunky, old, or difficult to get used to. Quiver is as simple as using any other note-taking app.

See: 3 iOS apps for learning to code in bite-size lessons (TechRepublic)

People who write for the web often use markdown to simplify formatting. With the live preview offered in Quiver you can see just what you're doing while you're doing it, eliminating the need to go back and make changes later on.

There aren't too many people who wouldn't find Quiver useful, at least in the tech and academic worlds. It can categorize and annotate just as well as other popular note-taking apps and all for just a single $9.99 purchase.

If you want to give Quiver a shot you can download a free trial from its website or you can buy it on the macOS App Store.

Sorry, mobile and Windows users: It's a macOS exclusive for now.

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About Brandon Vigliarolo

Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.

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