Soulver App: The Smart Notepad Calculator for Budgeting and Tracking Expenses

How are you budgeting and tracking expenses?

Keeping track of money is vital for any business, but finding the right productivity tool for budgeting and tracking expenses can be a challenge. For example, let’s say you want to quickly sketch out costs for a project, or note down expenses for a business trip, but you quickly discover the productivity tools you have at hand aren’t up to the task.

Paper’s not dynamic, and traditional calculators (and their desktop/mobile equivalents) lack context, merely giving you numbers. Notes apps offer context, but don’t do anything useful with your figures. At the other end of the spectrum, proper SaaS accounting software is what you should be using for financials, but these systems are overkill and unfriendly when you want to quickly experiment with costs, and may not be accessible when you’re away from the office, and need to note down – and add up – a few figures.

Enter Soulver, the smart notepad calculator

Soulver is a smart notepad calculator app designed to cut through the complexity. It provides a simple, approachable, and powerful interface for working on calculations. It can be a ‘scratchpad’ for figuring out the basics of a budget, a temporary home for data you’ll later add to your financial package of choice, and a means of sharing ideas in an easy to digest format.

Getting started with Soulver

It’s useful to work with Soulver as if scribbling down sums on a notepad – only this notepad performs the calculations on your behalf. Hence, the term “smart notepad calculator.” As you enter lines into the app, you can take advantage of its ability to interpret natural language and intelligently extract figures.

get started with soulver

By way of example, say you need to track ongoing expenses for a business trip. If you were doing this in a standard notepad, you might write something like this:

Hotel: 3 nights at $199
Taxis: $25 + $15 + $42
Food: 2 * $25 (hotel) and $37

Put that into Soulver and each line ending will automatically display a subtotal; these will be added together, and be displayed as an overall total at the foot of the window. Also, your document remains fully editable at all times making it easy to make quick calculations and adjustments on the fly. Add new figures and details – or change existing ones if you make a mistake – and everything updates instantly.

More than just a notepad calculator

Soulver is more than just a notepad calculator, it’s a “smart” notepad calculator. More specifically, it’s a notepad calculator app with extensive features developed for quickly and easily calculating just about anything in any scenario. Take for example the live currency conversion feature.

What if your trip is overseas, and you need to figure out expenses in your native currency? Create a new line, and then click/tap each of the previous line subtotals. This adds them to a new sum as live ‘answer tokens’. After the last of the tokens, type ‘in EUR’ (or a different currency abbreviation). In the answers column, you’ll see a conversion. (On the Mac version, you can also tap the line’s info button to see several additional currencies.) Easy!

Take things further with Soulver

Dynamic Answer Tokens

Even better, the aforementioned tokens are dynamic. This means they update should their line’s calculation be adjusted (for example, adding an extra night in the hotel). The way live figures ‘cascade’ in this manner opens up potential for complex nested calculations, but in a format that’s manageable, readable, and easy to apply to just about any scenario.

Simple structures, intelligent formatting, and variables

Soulver’s smarts don’t stop there. You can add structure to documents with headings (each starts with an @ symbol – nothing to the right evaluates) and labels (type a colon and nothing to the left evaluates). Percentages can be added in natural language without troubling your brain – use the likes of ‘42 + 10%’ or ‘24 less 27%’. And then there are variables, if you want to get really fancy with your multi-line calculations.

The business case for Soulver

Even at its most complex, Soulver affords you a global view of calculations, primarily crafted in easy to understand language, and in a plain text format that can be updated in an instant. In short, it’s about saving time. Sure, you can use a spreadsheet or financial package whenever you need to work on an initial project estimate, but chances are you’re faster writing things down like you’d say them or think them on paper, free from cells and formulas.

The business case for Souvler

Also, when you’re using an app that’s essentially infused a calculator into a notepad, experimentation becomes second nature – you can quickly play with dynamic multi-line calculations, plugging in new figures and seeing what happens, or creating lines with subtle variations and comparing them.

Sharing your work is simple, too – you can of course send native Soulver documents to other people using the app; but for those who don’t, there are options to share a calculation as a styled email or PDF.

Where to download Soulver – and other notepad calculator alternatives

Soulver is available for macOS ($11.99, Mac App Store) and iOS ($2.99, App Store). You can find out more about the app – and download a free ten-day Mac trial – at acqualia.com/soulver/.

Although Soulver is arguably the most refined, elegant and user-friendly notepad calculator app around, broadly similar concepts exist for other platforms. Calca and OpenCalc are available for Windows, and Android users should check out CalcNote.