Mac Developer Circus Ponies Closes Up Shop For Good [UPDATED]

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On January 5th, Circus Ponies, the makers of the NoteBook app for OS X announced that it's closing its doors. Very limited techical support may or may not be available.

The Circus Ponies website now says:

After 13 years in business, Circus Ponies has gone to that great Alphabet company in the sky. It was a good run, but we are done (as in no longer in business).

If you need a copy of NoteBook 4.0 (3.x and earlier don’t run on OS X El Capitan) or need technical support, you can try sending an e-mail to There's a chance someone will respond but no guarantees.

The company was known for its NoteBook app, a virtual electronic notebook allowed the user to take notes and organize information on a Mac.

We've asked founder Jayson Adams for more details, and if we learn more, this report will be updated.

[UPDATE: January 6. Jayson contacted me and wrote: "The people reporting that we were purchased by Google have lost their minds a little. I understand why someone might connect the dots that way, but neither nor says anything about Alphabet owning us. I mostly just thought it would be funny for Circus Ponies to be the “C” in Alphabet. I am flattered that people would think that Circus Ponies was on par with Google and all the other multibillion sub-corporations Alphabet owns."]

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It's a tough business nowadays for small OS X developers.

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“Circus Ponies has gone to that great Alphabet company”

That almost makes it sound like they were bought by Alphabet, the new parent company of Google. Odd way to phrase it.

John Martellaro

iVoid: Same idea here. Looking into that.


There’s still NoteTaker from Aquaminds ($25 in MAS); it and Notebook both come from the original NextStep app:

Scott B in DC

This is the danger of adopting the ecosystem of a small company. I still have notebooks that I do maintain that I am going to have to convert.

I stopped using Notebook in favor of Evernote primarily because of Evernote’s sharing amongst my devices capabilities. I think it was their lack of being able for the notebooks to be portable and that they failed to gain a steady revenue stream from something like subscriptions did them in.

Too bad. I did like notebook. I thought as an app, it was superior to others. It has the page formatting features I wish Evernote had!

Ian Sillett

I shall miss NoteBook. The only software of its type that I’ve ever felt at home with, primarily because it was the only one that managed outlining in a way that suits the way I think. Outlining. Remember that? Seems to be the feature that time forgot. Two problems that I had: the iOS version never met my expectations. No Windows version made it hard for me as a collaborative writer (important in my workplace).
Of course, I still have the software but will find it hard to continue using, I suspect.
I shall miss Circus Ponies too. Favourite software house name. Great logo, I think. Best wishes to them in the future.


My sentiments are similar to those above, particularly to Scott’s.

I stopped using NoteBook quite awhile back, primarily because of the inability to integrate it easily to other apps in my workflow. If anything, I think this is a lesson learnt that might serve as a warning to any new productivity apps in development by other companies.

Integration and inter-operability are vital to scientific workflow in particular.


Interesting how Gruber decided to post specifically about this, and even used the (fairly obscure, decade+ old) link I provided in my first comment here… but never gave you guys credit.

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