Kabuki Vision


NoteMaster and Journaling

App Retirement

I’ve recently made the difficult decision to discontinue selling NoteMaster and Journaling in the App Store.

The first version of NoteMaster was released back in 2008.  It was this first app I developed, and it was one of the first third-party notetaking apps available for iOS. It’s proven to be a useful app to thousands of people, and I’m grateful for all of its success. But over time, things have changed significantly in the landscape of the notetaking apps. Apple’s own Notes app has grown into a very full-featured notetaking app, and it now has all the features that inspired me to develop NoteMaster in the first place, and I’m not sure NoteMaster makes sense when compared against all the other notetaking options.

I want to thank everyone who has used and supported NoteMaster and Journaling over the years, as you’ve made the journey worthwhile.

Developer of NoteMaster and Journaling

Can I still purchase NoteMaster or Journaling?

No. NoteMaster and Journaling have been removed from the App Store and can no longer be purchased for new customers.

Can I continue to use NoteMaster or Journaling if I’ve already purchased them?

NoteMaster and Journaling will continue to run on your devices, running the current versions of iOS and iPadOS. Both apps should run fine with the latest iOS version (iOS 15.4 currently). However, we can’t guarantee that the apps will work on any future version of iOS that Apple releases in the future. There will be no updates or fixes made to the apps from this point forward.

If you need to re-install NoteMaster or Journaling, you can do so in the App Store by tapping your account icon in the upper-right corner, then go to the Purchased section to view all your previous app purchases.

Which apps should I use instead?

There are many great notetaking apps out there currently, and there’s almost certainly one that will work great for your specific needs. I can’t recommned any specific app, but I would recommend that you take a look at Apple’s own Notes app, as it has most of the features of NoteMaster, and many additional featurs that you may find useful.

How do I move my data out of NoteMaster or Journaling, into another app?

Both NoteMaster and Journaling have the ability to sync data with Google Drive or Dropbox. Syncing will make a copy of your data and store it in one of these cloud services. From there you can access your data outside of NoteMaster, and figure out the best way to copy it into another app.

Syncing with Google Drive or Dropbox

Syncing NoteMaster or Journaling data with Google Drive or Dropbox is easy to set up.  The first thing you’ll need to do is decide which cloud service (Google Drive or Dropbox) you want to sync with:

  • Google Drive:  The apps will sync each note or journal entry as a separate Google Drive “document”. You can then access your documents from the Google Drive web site or the Google Drive mobile app. From there you can view, edit, or export the documents into other formats.

  • Dropbox: The apps will sync each note or jorunal entry as a separate MS Word (.docx) file in Dropbox. You’ll be able to view the contents of the files from the Dropbox web site or Dropbox mobile app. If you have Dropbox installed on a computer that can open MS Word (.docx) files, you’ll also be able to open the synced notes right on your computer.

  • Note that you don’t need to already have an existing account for Google Drive or Dropbox to use them for syncing. Many users create an account just for the purposes of syncing their NoteMaster or Journaling data. If you’re not interested in using Dropbox or Google Drive for other purposes, you could create an account, sync NoteMaster to it, then move the synced data somewhere else, then close the Dropbox or Google Drive account afterward.

Setting up Syncing

If you’re not already syncing NoteMaster/Journaling with Dropbox or Google Drive, here are the steps to do so.

  1. In NoteMaster or Journaling, open the settings screen by tapping on the settings button (looks like a gear icon).  Under the heading Syncing, tap either Dropbox Syncing or Google Drive syncing, depending on which service you want to sync with.

  2. Once you choose your service, you’ll need to sign into your account for that service.  Tap the Log In button at the top of the screen, and follow the instructions to sign into your account for that service.

  3. After signing in, the screen will change to show you all the settings specific to syncing with this service.  If your goal is to set up syncing for the purposes of migrating your data out of the app, it is recommended that you turn Sync Automatically to OFF. This way you’ll have full manual control of when the app syncs data.

  4. Perform a sync.  In NoteMaster, close ths Settings screen and tap the sync button that appears at the bottom of the Categories screen.  In Journaling, go back to the main Settings screen and tap “Sync Now”.

  5. While syncing, a spinning sync indicator will appear in the lower right corner of the screen. You should leave the app open with the device unlocked (screen on) while it syncs, to ensure the syncing completes. Depending on the amount of data you have stored, syncing could take several minutes. When the indicator disappears, syncing is complete.

  6. Check your data in the cloud service you synced to make sure everything synced as you expected.  
    For Google Drive, sign into the Google Drive web site (https://drive.google.com) and look inside the folder named “NoteMaster Sync” or “Journaling Sync”.
    For Dropbox, look inside your “Apps” folder, then inside a folder named “NoteMaster” or “Journaling”.

Solving Syncing Problems

My data isn’t syncing with the cloud service (Google Drive or Dropbox)
If changes aren’t syncing between the app and the cloud, there are a few things to check:
• Try syncing manually.  Tap the manual sync button in NoteMaster (bottom of Categories screen), or the “Sync Now” button in Journaling settings screen.  Watch the sync progress and leave the app open until it completes.
• Make a small change to a note or entry in the app.  The change can be as simple as adding a line of text like “Test!” to the end of a note. Then sync manually again, and when syncing completes, check the cloud service to see if you see that new change in its version of the note.
• If manual syncing works, next check the sync settings to make sure that “Automatic Sync” is turned on.
• When checking to see if local changes have synced to the cloud, it is best to check using the web site of the cloud service you are using (https://drive.google,.com or https://dropbox.com). By checking the state of things using the web site, you are ensuring you’re seeing the true state of things “in the cloud”.

I’m syncing with multiple devices and things aren’t staying in sync across devices
If you’re syncing using multiple iOS devices, it’s important to remember that the apps aren’t syncing direclty with each other. Rather, the app on each device is independently syncing dureclty with the cloud service (Google Drive or Google Docs). Therefore when you have sync issues between devices, you need to look at the syncing of each device individually and see if each is syncing with the cloud service. Walkthough the troubleshooting steps in My data isn’t syncing with the cloud service (above) for both devices to determine which one has the syncing issue.

I’m seeing duplicate notes after syncing
Duplicate notes after syncing is usually caused by the sync system being reset somehow, and the app syncing the existing copy of notes stored in the cloud service back into the app as a “new” note. This can be “fixed” my manually cleaning up the duplicates. 
On one device, manaully delete one of the copies of each note or journal entry. Before you delete a duplicate note, you may want to open each copy of each note to make sure you are keeping the one with the latest correct information, and deleting the other one.  Then perform a sync, which should delete that same version of the note in thre cloud service. If you are syncing with multiple devices, you can then perform a sync on the second device. 

I’m seeing a warning that says the app wants to delete some or all of my notes.
This happens when the app has previously synced a note to the cloud, but now no longer finds that note in the cloud. By default, NoteMaster would want to delete the copy of the note stored in the app, in order to make things “match” the state of things in the cloud. But since note deletion is a destructive action, it will instead warn you about this before it actually deletes the notes. The only way to “fix” this is to reset syncing and start over using the current state of the notes in NoteMaster as the starting point. See Starting Over with Syncing for more information.

Starting Over with Syncing

Sometimes when you have syncing problems, it is easiest to just start over completely with syncing. This can be especially true when you have duplicates, or deletion warnings, or complex syncing issues involving multiple devices. This section is a step by step guide to reseting things and starting over with syncing from scratch.

  • Turn off automatic sync. We don’t want the app to automatically sync while we are setting it up to start fresh, so the frist step is to turn off automatic sync in the app on every device you are sycning. You can turn this off in the sync settings in the app.

  • Decide on a “primary" device. When we start over from scratch, we are going to use the state of notes on one device as the basis for everything, and sync that state to all the other devices. Therefore if you are using multiple devices, you must choose one of them as the primary device that we are going to start from. It doesn’t matter which device it is, but it is easiest if you choose the device that has the notes closest to the state you want to start them in. If you’re only syncing one device, then this one device is the primary of course.

  • Clean up notes on the primary device. We are going to use the primary device as the basis for our notes that we want to syncing everywhere else.  Therefore, on the primary device, clean up everything so that the state of your notes is exactly how you want them everywhere else. This includes manually removing any duplicates.

  • Reset the sync system on the primary device.  On the primary device, go to the settings in the app, then go to the settings for the chosen sync service, then tap “Reset Sync System”. This will force the app to act as if it is going to sync for the very first time.

  • Remove all data from the cloud service you are syncing with. We’re going to re-sync everything to the cloud, so we’ll need to make sure the sync folder in the cloud starts off empty.

    In Google Drive, go to the "NoteMaster Sync" folder (or "Journaling Sync” folder) and remove its contents (but leave the sync fodler itself where it is). Alternately, you can move the contents somewhere else for safekeeping…the important thing is that the NoteMaster Sync folder is empty.

    In Dropbox, go to the “NoteMaster" folder (or “Journaling" folder) inside the “Apps" folder, and remove its contents (but leave the sync folder itself where it is). Alternately, you can move the contents somewhere else for safekeeping…the important thing is that the NoteMaster/Journaling folder is empty.

  • Manually sync on the primary device.  On the primary device, perform a manual sync by tapping the sync button in the app (located at the bottom of the Categories screen in NoteMaster and in the Settings screen in Journaling). Then wait for this initial sync to complete, leaving the app open and the device unlocked the entire time it is syncing. Its important to leave the app open and device unlcoked during this time, so that we can make sure the sync fully completes without interruption. You may want to turn off auto lock on your device in order to prevent it from locking automatically during this time.

  • Check the results in the cloud. Now that the initial sync is complete, we will want to check the results in the cloud to make sure everything is exaclty how we expect.

    If syncing with Google Drive, go to https://drive.google.com and look inside the sync folder (named “NoteMaster Sync” or “Journaling Sync”). Make sure all of your notes have been synced to this folder or one of its subfolders. Try opening the notes to make sure the content has synced over correctly.

    If syncing with Dropbox, you’ll want to look inside your “Apps" folder in Dropbox, then look inside the “NoteMaster” or “Journaling” subfolders. Make sure all of your notes have been synced to this folder or one of its subfolders. Try opening the notes to make sure the content has synced over correctly.

  • Sync with the other devices. At this point we have our primary device synced correctly with the cloud. If you are syncing with multiple devices, you can now sync them one at a time. For each other (non-priamry device), do the following:

    • Reset the sync system.

    • Manually perform a sync and wait for it to complete, leaving the app open and the device unlocked.

    • When the sync completes, check to see that everything has synced over correctly.

  • Success! At ths point, all your devices shoud be syncing correctly with the cloud service. You can now turn automatic sync back ON on each device if you wish.


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