March 3, 2020

Tot Doesn’t Work for Me

Tot IconTot Icon

Product: Tot • Your tiny text companion
Price: Free on macOS; $19.99 on iOS

Tot is a scratchpad with seven pages. It is marketed as “Your tiny text companion.”

In Tot you can collect and enter the pieces of text which are important, but ephemeral in nature. Task lists, phone numbers, reminders and pieces of code are all little things which you can hold in Tot. Not going to be useful for long but meaningful in the near future is what Tot is best suited for.

Tot WindowTot Window

It supports the basic Markdown syntax. I mean basic. Bold. Italic. Links. Nothing else. Numbered lists don’t autocomplete. Lists don’t autocomplete. No footnotes, no endnotes, no tables, none of the advanced Markdown additions. It is meant to be quick, minimal and pretty and it lives up to that claim.

Tot ShareTot Share

It has a word count attached to the sheet that you are writing. You have the ability to use the macOS share menu to send the text to the destination that you want.

It syncs the seven sheets with iCloud. So, you can access the data between your macOS and iOS devices. Yes. The app has an iOS version. I am going to come to that later in the article.

It is pretty. The seven sheets have different colors and when you are in one of the colors, the icon changes to that color. The developer wrote about it, Dy-nam-ic! • The Breakroom. Tot supports light and dark mode in Catalina and it is beautiful.

Tot Font changeTot Font change

You can change the font of both the rich text view and the plain text view in Tot. However the commands are situated in a non-standard location. Highlight the text, control click, and you get a drop-down menu. The change font, and font sizes options are in that drop-down menu.

Tot does a great job with handling links. Just drag a link into it, and Tot formats it as a markdown inline link with the page title and URL formatted right. Lots of mainstream Markdown based editors struggle with this. Tot does this great.

It is pretty. Or did I already say that.

For macOS Users

If sync to iOS devices is not important to you, Tot is free. Go grab it. If sync to iOS is important to you, then you might want to read on.

For iOS users

I am hesitant to talk about the price of a product. The reaction to the price is dependent on your conception of value. Our individual conceptions of value are different and thus I shy away from this discussion.

If you like Iconfactory Apps, and want to support them, pay the $19.99 for the iOS version and feel happy about it. I will point out the following:

  1. Drafts is a more capable application which will cost you $19.99/year. That subscription price will let you use Drafts on iOS and macOS and have access to the same documents.
  2. ‎iA Writer is available on iOS for $8.99. You can edit your text documents in any text editor you want on the macOS and have them accessible to you on the iOS devices. iA Writer is a more capable MultiMarkdown based editor available on both iOS and macOS($29.99). You don’t have to use the macOS version of iA Writer if you don’t want to pay the price. Use any text editor on macOS. There are a plethora of free options available, including, BBEdit 13 & CotEditor.
  3. Kodex is a free code editor on iOS which can access files on Dropbox. It is free but you can tip the developer $4.99 for good karma.
  4. 1Writer is also able to deal with your Dropbox files and provides you a great environment to write notes in Markdown.

The need is for a quick note-taker. There are a ton of programs on the iOS which will let you take quick notes and have them synced to your other devices through iCloud or Dropbox. Those files are available and editable on macOS through any text editor you choose. I struggle to see the value proposition for Tot.


Tot is well designed and pretty. It is free on macOS. If you see the value proposition, you can adopt the iOS version too. For me, there are better and cheaper alternatives available on iOS. Considering my reluctance to adopt the iOS version, Tot is a no-go for me.

Tot is not recommended.

macosxguru at the gmail thingie.

Reviews Which Are Much More Favorable

Tot Review: Collect and Edit Bits of Text - MacStories

Daring Fireball: Tot

The Iconfactory Tot/Tot Pocket review | Macworld

text editor macOS iOS

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