How to Import Circus Ponies to Outline (and Beyond)

UPD: check out the latest of CircusPonies-to-Outline import.

Circus Ponies NoteBook was a great note-taking app for Mac. It had reputation, loyal users, and over-20-year-long history in business. Why would anyone consider import from Circus Ponies to another note-taking app?

The thing is that earlier this year Circus Ponies has announced that they would no longer continue to support the software and that Circus Ponies is shutting down.


While it’s always heartbreaking to see a fellow indie developer discontinue a great long-term project, we’d like to offer an alternative and welcome all Circus Ponies users to migrate their notes to Outline.

Check out the details on Circus Ponies import below…

If you’d like to import your Circus Ponies notes to Outline, you can now do so using a special utility. Here are the steps:

  1. Join the waitlist for an import utility beta version. Download the thing to the computer with Circus Ponies installed, when the time comes.
  2. Make sure Circus Ponies is v4.0.1 or newer.
  3. Download Outline v3.8 or newer and install it to the computer.
  4. Manage the utility privileges in System Preferences > Accessibility.
  5. Run the utility and choose .nb notebooks.
  6. Behold the import magic.
  7. Let us know what you think of the results (we promise to ask).

Exclusive Offer for Circus Ponies Riders

Among things to consider while trying the Circus Ponies import, there is the price. If you don’t have a copy of Outline for Mac or want to recommend the import to a friend or colleague who doesn’t have the app, Outline needs to be purchased.

While it is not free, giving your Circus Ponies notes a new life can be cost-efficient. You can order Outline for Mac, 30% off the price. Go to our web store and use the coupon code CIRCUSPONIES at the checkout for that.

What If..?

Q: What if you run out of business like Circus Ponies? What happens to my Circus Ponies notes then?

A: Well, we are doing our best to never let that happen. But in case the world goes upside down and we decide to become farmers or astronauts instead of making the best note-taking app in the galaxy, you will still always be able to export your Outline notes to OneNote. That’s one of the basic Outline features.

Q: What if I want my Circus Ponies notes on an iPad?

A: In that case just do the import magic on a Mac, adjust the notebooks’ settings in Outline so the notes are in a cloud, and then open your notebooks in Outline for iPad.

Q: What if I don’t like how the import looks and feels?

A: Shoot your feedback to We will do our best to suggest you a solution.

Q: What if I like the results?

A: Share your feedback with the community. (And consider giving us a positive review in App Store)

Q: Could you repeat, what if I don’t own Outline for Mac?

A: You can give the import a try before purchasing Outline. Just download the trial version from our website. The trial period is 14 days.

Q: What if I have a question which is none of the above?

A: Shoot it to! We promise to help you.



UPD: check out new stuff about the import.

7 thoughts on “How to Import Circus Ponies to Outline (and Beyond)

  1. Pingback: Outline App Offers Import Utility for Circus Ponies Notebooks | MacLitigator

  2. Great news! CPN was a handy app, the only one that has a good balance between free form and structure — dynamic index, page structure, etc. Outline is not there yet but I am exciting to see that they are quite responsive. With the next MacOS update lurking on the horizon, the announced conversion utility would be a life-saver.

  3. Are you still working on a tool which will import CircusPony Notebook files into Outline? I have had my name on the waitlist for quite awhile, and have heard nothing.

  4. Great news!

    Looking forward to importing my CPN files to Outline.

    Outline is very close to being a complete solution. Just add:
    - an improved TOC tool, possibly with the ability to create a ‘root’ page with dynamic TOC that grows with the outline (I currently paste a TOC in the first page);
    - two navigation buttons to be able to navigate back and forth between entries/pages such as a root TOC page; and
    - a very basic drawing/mind-mapping tool (see

  5. Hi There,

    I have requested, but not gotten the import utility that is mentioned in the above instructions. Also, the import process is still unclear to me, could you clarify your instructions, as below?

    “4. Manage the utility privileges in System Preferences > Accessibility.
    5. Run the utility and choose .nb notebooks.”

    If you mean Apple’s System Preferences, there is an Accessibility “pane,” but there is no “utility privileges” in it.

    Thank you,


    • Right this moment there is no standalone utility for import, as the thing has been inegrated into Outline for Mac. Our tech support team is reaching you out for step-by-step guidance within a couple of hours!

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