What happened to Circus Ponies?

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Jordi Mora

Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:44 pm Post


Hu
Hugh
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Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:34 pm Post

Like Steve Zeoli, who writes about CP's demise here, I was attracted to switch from Windows to OS X to some extent by the lure of Circus Ponies - though Scrivener was the primary magnet. As Steve says, the manner of their departure was unfortunate. But I for one was sorry to see them go, because their application was not bland.

I've no idea why they've packed up, although their concentration on an overly-skeuomorphic design may not have helped, and competition in the notebook market from one medium-sized orangutang, Evernote, and one very large gorilla, OneNote, must have made life difficult.

But clearly they continued to the end to have some faithful users.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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ChrisRosser
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Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:05 pm Post

I briefly flirted with CP but while I thought it was good, I never really had a place for it in my workflow as I had already adopted VoodooPad. VoodooPad is another great and unique app that's got an uncertain fate, having been sold off by Gus Mueller to a company that's done next to nothing with it.
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Tacitus
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Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:24 am Post

Hugh wrote:Like Steve Zeoli, who writes about CP's demise here, I
But clearly they continued to the end to have some faithful users.


I used CP Notebook in the past and agree that whilst it had its problems it was a useful app. Not altogether convinced that Evernote's 'freemium' business model is really sustainable, whilst MS could drop the Mac version of OneNote purely on a whim. Getting your stuff out of either of those would likely prove a nightmare.

The real difficulty for anyone moving from Notebook to another app is getting your stuff across. I've recently tried moving an old notebook to both Growly Notes (a Mac OneNote clone) and OneNote itself and came to the conclusion that cut/paste was possibly going to prove the easiest method. I really doubt any of the small notebook type devs would want to take on the reverse engineering of the NoteBook APIs in order to produce a suitable translator.
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Hugh
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Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:23 pm Post

Tacitus wrote:
Hugh wrote:Like Steve Zeoli, who writes about CP's demise here, I
But clearly they continued to the end to have some faithful users.


I used CP Notebook in the past and agree that whilst it had its problems it was a useful app. Not altogether convinced that Evernote's 'freemium' business model is really sustainable, whilst MS could drop the Mac version of OneNote purely on a whim. Getting your stuff out of either of those would likely prove a nightmare.


Evernote has recently seemed slightly less confident of its offer than it was; OneNote is (I imagine) of long-term marketing value to Microsoft in attracting younger computer users, especially students, to MS Office.

DevonThink Pro Office can import Evernote notes; I'm not sure about the other DevonThink flavours, or whether any of them can import multiple notes in one go.

As an alternative, Alfons Schmid's Notebooks app seems to be highly regarded by those who use it, and of course there's also Apple's (improving) Notes app.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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matsgz
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Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:25 pm Post

Mourning lost friends, I still miss Journler, an app that in my mind beat the shit out of the competition, developed with a keen ear to its users by a devoted creator - till he suddenly lost interest in it. Sic transit.
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Siren
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Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:12 pm Post

matsgz wrote:till he suddenly lost interest in it

About three minutes after he took my money! Not that I'm bitter. Oh no.

Sad to see Circus Ponies Notebook go, although I used to use its cousin NoteTaker (Aquaminds) instead, and didn't own a copy of CP until after I had already switched all my note-taking to DevonThink Pro. The note-taking market is hugely crowded now, and dominated by the mass-marketed products of very large companies -- completely different to the climate when I first became interested in this sort of software, when the product offerings available seemed much more niche and individual, with developers who were genuinely involved with their customers and who saw a real need for their specific application's distinctive functionality. A sad result of big brands taking over the universe, with offerings that are no better than those already available but whose adoption requires less active decision-making from the customer.
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AndreasE
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Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:48 pm Post

matsgz wrote:Mourning lost friends, I still miss Journler,


You rub salt into my wounds! :cry:

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Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:26 pm Post

Has anyone identified another notebook app that can handle the work load of cpn? I am absolutely grief stricken. I didn't see this coming. I have a very large notebook of research, and am now trying to find someplace to relocate it. It would be too cumbersome for omnioutliner and scrivnr. If bento was still around... It looks like aquaminds notetaker hasn't been updated in 3 years, so I am worried that spending time and energy to put it there will be a waste of time. Suggestions please!!

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Hugh
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:46 am Post

vivian wrote:Has anyone identified another notebook app that can handle the work load of cpn? I am absolutely grief stricken. I didn't see this coming. I have a very large notebook of research, and am now trying to find someplace to relocate it. It would be too cumbersome for omnioutliner and scrivnr. If bento was still around... It looks like aquaminds notetaker hasn't been updated in 3 years, so I am worried that spending time and energy to put it there will be a waste of time. Suggestions please!!


http://www.outlinersoftware.com/topics/viewt/6249/0/an-alternative-to-circus-ponies-notebook
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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xiamenese
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:02 am Post

DevonThink (Pro (Office))? Tinderbox?

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Edited for addition
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
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Cassady
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:31 am Post

Another vote for Devonthink. Brilliant information manager - very active forum site as well.

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Hugh
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 1:31 pm Post

Just to be explicit, Curio (http://www.zengobi.com/products/curio/) seemed to gain the majority vote in the thread I linked to above. Growly Notes (http://www.growlybird.com/notes/) received an honourable mention as a (very) low-priced alternative.
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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Gabbe
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:24 pm Post

Hallo!
I miss CPN too.
I left the program when the forum disappeared from the Circusponies-site last year.

As substitute I am now using a mix of programs:
DevonthinkPro (for storing and searching files and mail - mac - iPadversion a mess)
Scrivener (for writing and links - mac)
Notability (for notetaking - mac and iPad - good sync - but no hyperlinks)
DayOne (for todos, lists and diary - mac and iPad - good sync).

I have got better functions now but a worse integration of course.

I used Curio for many years, it's a more visual program - and no alternative to CPN in my world.
Funny to work with and a group of dedicated users.
If you have to consider costs - I left it last year because of their upgrade policy -
just to keep it going I had paid - info from upgrademails in my DevonThink:
2008: US 149 (program)
2009: US 69 (update to Curio 6)
2010: US 69 (update to Curio 7)
2013: US 50 (update to Curio 8
2015: US 50 (update ti Curio 9)
Total: US 387

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Hugh
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:10 pm Post

On the costs of Curio, Gabbe, I understand where you're coming from, and for similar reasons my own upgrades of Curio have been, er, sporadic. However, in defence of the software, I think one could argue that it can be used successfully to replace a number of other applications - note-takers (of a visual kind), index-card generators, list-makers, diagram-creators, mind-mappers to name a few. (Even today some standalone mind-mapping applications effectively cost $100 or more, and Curio's mind-mapping capability is good for most purposes.)
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'