Another good thing about Evernote is the easy ability to mix in images, documents, and text.
The reasons I want to leave Evernote, btw, is:
1. I worry about their future and would rather a more open solution.
2. Their software, at least on Mac, really, really sucks. It's slow, and has tons of incredibly ridiculos bugs that have been open for a long time. E.g. when typing in a tag, if there's a dash, it will cause a problem with the autocompletion. For someone who uses the tags a lot and has a whole system based on them, having dashes cause a problem is a big deal, and the fact that it hasn't been fixed in ~ a year makes me really question their priorities.
As evernote advanced though, it only got worse. New features and interface changes seemed to be being stuffed in without much of a strong focus on making the core useful features good and resilient. I gave up after I lost some notes for the third time during a sync.
Most of these alternate note taking solutions I find fail miserably with rich text and web content, instead preferring markdown (which I hate for notes). Either that or they are too complicated (e.g. devonthink). And to top it off, they rarely have any good implementations of syncing or cross-platform apps.
I really want them to succeed, but I also recognize they will never make an app that I consider to be perfect or even good. They'd have to get rid of like 50 features, which is a hard thing to do by itself but also not in their MO.
Their software pretty universally sucks - if it was just Mac it would be possible (although not reasonable) to argue that MacOS was an afterthought but IME it's terrible on Windows and iOS too and they just don't seem to care.
I've had weird syncing bugs where the content of one note appears in place of another's, or the note's content has had all the formatting ripped out so everything is on one line, which mostly fix themselves if you clear the app's cache.
They keep saying they've fixed it in release notes but the issue keeps happening, and if you raise a support ticket (I've got Evernote Premium with supposedly prioritised support) you'll get useless responses that suggest they haven't properly read your ticket, days after you opened the ticket in the first place.
It's terrible, and I'd really like to stop giving them money, but I've struggled to find an alternative (tried OneNote and stopped for a reason I can't recall right now, plus the now-dead Vesper and Simplenote) despite a long line of comments below suggesting that emacs org-mode or papyrus and carrier pigeon is a viable alternative.
There isn't even a app on Linux and Evernotes web interface is the worst I've ever used. I _overwrite_ important notes with bs on a regular basis because the Ajax took two minutes to load and writes to something offscreen.
But the Webclipper works most of the time. Laverna does not even have a Browser Plugin.
When you write things down, you're investing in your future. It's silly to use software that isn't making that same investment.
After trying Evernote, wikis, org-mode, and essentially everything else I could find, I gave up and tried building my own system for notes. Plain timestamped markdown files linked together. Edited with vim and a few bash scripts, rendered with a custom deployment of Gollum. All in a git repo.
It's... wonderful. Surprisingly easy. Fast. If there's a feature I wish it had, I can write a quick bash script to implement it. If Gollum stops being maintained, I can use whatever the next best markdown renderer is. Markdown isn't going away anytime soon.
It's liberating to be in control. I find myself more eager to write things down. I'm surprised more people don't do the same.
Edit: here's what my system looks like https://imgur.com/a/nGplj
I don't think i could ever go back to a notes-as-a-service system again.
Being active on the Emacs and Org mode mailing lists, and other forums, I can say with confidence that this is not true.
In fact, I am seeing active development in both Emacs and Org; not just bug fixes, but frequent additions of new features.
> org-mode is only any good if you're using the full power of it (tasks, agenda, etc), which is buying into
Org markup is much more powerful than Markdown. So you can be much more productive by using Org just as markup. One example is '#+INCLUDE: "foo.py" :lines-5-10'.. This is tremendously useful if you are writing notes that export to some format or blogging.. you don't need to copy-paste code snippets, Org will fetch them for you. (I have a customization built on top of that.. instead of specifying the line numbers, I can specify the start and end regexp for the lines containing my snippet). Add org-babel to this mix, and you don't even need to run the snippets, and copy the results manually; again Org does it.
I recently blogged about comparing string related functions between Python and Nim: https://scripter.co/notes/string-functions-nim-vs-python/
I cannot imagine myself writing (and maintaining) that post in Markdown!
On the next update of Nim version, I'll simply run org-babel over the whole file, see git diff to check if anything major has changed, and update the post accordingly.. no copy/pasting ever :)
> a system that's soon going away.
Again, really? What made you think that?
I am curious about the org-source you used for that article, is it public?
- source of that specific post in raw org 
- site source 
(I wish HN supported some markup :P)
That post does not have any #+INCLUDE because all the code snippets are trivial. I would use #+INCLUDE in posts where I have a code file, and I want to talk about only few lines from that.
I have different examples of #+INCLUDE in my examples file for my Org to Markdown for Hugo exporter -- ox-hugo. There I use the inbuilt INCLUDE feature where I choose to include only the specified Org sub-tree (using the sub-tree CUSTOM_ID). The above referenced post on Nim/Python is converted to Markdown for Hugo using the same exporter.
This is awesome. Is this available anywhere? I'd like to use it.
It's been a decade and they still haven't figured out mobile.
Unless you're that networking guy that just massively tries to organise a thousand meetings a day on the go - I believe that a laptop is a better way to use your organiser.
I've had a lecturer at the university who still used a console-based e-mail client. He knew all of the shortcuts by heart - and I am pretty sure it would probably take me a few years to casually learn how to use Outlook/Gmail/etc.. as efficiently (and even then - most of the UI-based applications tend to somehow forget that a keyboard exists at all).
You'll ask me: "but what about mobile?". Well - the guy _never_ replied to your e-mails outside his office hours; but when he did - he gave you a proper, short and an informal answer. And to be fair, he seemed to have a great personal life.
Besides, if you are a true power-user of these tools and had been years before - there's quite a high probability that the newer tools would require quite some time to mature in order to make them a fully-functional alternative.
This is to say that I still find Calendar apps on mobile quite tricky to use as opposed to a fast "point-and-drag" alternative on desktop. I would rather open up a laptop unless I don't have it.
That may be true, but it does nothing for people who need to take notes using their phone now.
It's not full org mode for sure, but it's a solid way to read and do simple changes to my .org files on my phone.
When I take meeting notes, I end up using OneNote or Google Docs:
- I have a tree of `Who - What` (and the counter-bikeshedding).
- Images of block diagrams sneak in, especially if it's a planning or design meeting.
- Full text search is handy, one-note especially spoiled me by doing OCR
- I like GDocs in particular for the real-enough-time collaboration. It can help quieter people not get steamrolled in conversation, especially if you have a boisterous note-taker to speak up for them :)
Yes, buying into the todo and agenda systems effectively requires using an external integration script or using emacs all the way through, so that's not all that great. I, too, have yet to figure out how to integrate it into the usual PIM stuff like next loud calendars, etc.
Has anyone else managed to figure this bit out?
- a 'diary' function that allows you to make a page per day. Vimwiki then produces an index page of all diary entries.
- you can go to your wiki anytime from within vim with a command ( <leader>ww )
- vimwiki can generate html files from yout wiki files
- the coolest thing in my opinon: since the whole thing is just markdown, I actually just use vimwiki as my personal website hosted on github pages. You just have to add some Jekyll related files and github can process everything else as is.
A small note on obselescence: I actually don't even know if vimwiki is in active development anymore. Haven't bothered updating it in maybe 4 years and it works fine. So maybe its fine to not roll your own.
My favourite features are nested syntax (highlighting for codeblocks in any language vim has highlighting for)
>since the whole thing is just markdown
I was going to write a complaint about how vimwiki uses its own markup language instead of Markdown, but I looked in the help file to be sure and now I you can set it to use Markdown or even Mediawiki instead (vimwiki-option-syntax). I like it even more now!
I also use it in conjunction with gollum, which works nicely (gives search, live editing, etc).
OneNote is proprietary, with a proprietary file format, but at least it's "self hosted" (your notes live in concrete files you control, not in a service), and it's got a lot of nice features that make it a joy to use.
So users that care about privacy in their notes beware: it does take a bit of work to turn off all of the cloud functionality.
That said, the OneDrive integration is something I like about it; my notes aren't very useful to me unless they're cloud-synced.
Be aware that the files are also proprietary and I only know of manual ways to migrate away. I am still looking for another option.
Actually the file format specification for OneNote [MS-ONE] is open: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd924743(v=office.1...
I use a Mosh client for iOS called Blink to connect to a tmux session on my personal server. I do the same thing to edit on desktop, just from a larger screen.
Notational Velocity (Mac-only)
I moved to Quiver from Evernote, also Mac-only. The solo dev moved to Berlin a little over a year ago, and I would describe the app as minimally supported at this point.
I've been at this a long time, and have run the gamut from Evernote to tagged text files managed in Emacs with some custom macros, long before org-mode was even a gleam in the eye of Carsten Dominik. So I've seen them all, and as noted by many other folks, the rules boil down to one - must have a portable base storage format (preferably Plain Old Text) and/or solid import and export to some such portable storage format.
If it's commercial software, pricing will get stupid and/or bug-ridden features that add bloat and that I don't want are added to justify said pricing; the product/company is sold to someone who will do the above; the product/company dies. If it's open source, more or less the same, with the additional stage of becoming closed/proprietary/commercial, which then reduces to the first case. I kind of assume at this point that I will be moving to a different platform every 4 years or so.
I currently use Marxico on both the Mac and PC. Yearly subscription, but it's modest. I journal everything as I develop, and it automatically syncs the output to Evernote.
I start out by adding metadata like @(notebook)[tag1,tag2] so that my notes find their way into the right part of my Evernote structure.
The editor is based on Ace I think, so Vim keys work well. I can paste in screenshots I take, and even embed animated gifs of things happening at runtime or in my IDE.
Markdown support is great, which is good because I tend to structure thoughts in nested lists a lot. This has replaced the need for mindmaps for me, and is a lot quicker to outline thoughts, plans and tasks. Inline source code blocks look great.
I struggled for a while to put up with Evernote Rich Text, and tried Spacemacs for a month or two with Org mode. Hated configuring it, mostly, although I do miss the ability to fold selected parts of my list hierarchies. Org mode did that pretty well.
Marxico is the most comfortable solution I've found so far - at least for a Vim user. The tradeoffs are the usual closed source data liberation issue ones, but I'm looking into ways of getting things out of Evernote in bulk for backup.
- cross platform with sync
I have settled on SimpleNote for now, but I'm not completely happy. It's mac app is low quality and doesn't have markdown, It's open source but they ignore most of the issues.
Bear Notes looks cool but wasn't cross platform.
I am still looking. If this thing had phone apps (I'm on iPhone) I'd give it a go.
Unfortunately the client is proprietary, but the note format is open. 3rd party clients also exist, like an Android app.
I am using it for over 3 years I think.
It just supports Markdown simple. You can choose your extension .md or .txt - depending on what you want to do next with your files.
You can add the bookmarklet or browser extension. It will let you save complete articles and webpages to your email inbox. If it cannot extract useful text, EmailThis will save the page as a PDF and send it as an attachment.
No need to install apps or login to other 3rd party services.
I am actually very concerned with the privacy of the app's users. The only communications I send to your email address are the initial onboarding emails and the saved bookmarks. No drip messages, no promotional emails etc.
> We may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any personal identification information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above.
Especially considering the numerous examples of "anonymous" datasets being de-anonymized.
I'm not saying that this kind of business model is bad, it's just not what I am looking for. I prefer to give away a couple of bucks a year for some subscription than allowing my data to be used for profit indiscretionary.
Incidentally, I am building https://pagedash.com to clip web pages more accurately, exactly as you saw it (via a browser extension)! Hope this helps someone.
(oh, and I'm using FF 55 on Linux)
Update: Fixed the FF bug. Many thanks for taking the time to report! :)
Edit: Okay, looks similar. Except that PageDash lives on the cloud. And hopefully with that comes multi-device support in the future. And also hopefully a much better UI.
- It's incredibly flexible. You can model Trello Task Boards in the same interface as writing or making reference notes.
- They've got a great desktop client and everything syncs offline.
- Latex Support
- Programmable Templates
- Plus there seems to be pretty neat people behind it
I switched to it 8 months ago or so and haven't really looked back.
OneNote is the only one that I think that has this as well.
Did I mention? The devices don't even need to be connected to the internet! They only need to be on the same LAN!
I have other synced folders, including PDFs, music and phone pictures/videos.
My girlfriend and I have a Resilio Sync folder that we use to share stuff with each other. It works flawlessly and we don't even need the internet!
Resilio Sync and Syncthing are amazing tools. If you have any capacity to fix bugs, I recommend using Syncthing (open source), so that you can potentially fix bugs :) It's becoming much more stable, but could always use the support!
I have a free evernote account and don't use it very much but I find it handy for some things such as cooking recipes and walking maps. I think it would also be great for Dave Allen's GTD technique if I could ever be disciplined enough.
If evernote removed the free tier I think I would pay up, the pricing for the personal plans is very reasonable. I'd probably make more use of it too. Humans don't tend to value free stuff.
For someone like me I think they'd have had a better chance of turning me into a paying customer if their model was an initial free period followed by having to pay up.
But I will never pay up if I can get away with paying nothing.
Thus, last year I subscribed to Evernote (which provides both features), and I must say that I am extremely satisfied. Moreover, Evernote's integration with Firefox and Android allows me to quickly save web pages for later reading (this might be possible with org-mode, but not as handy as with Evernote, which just require one tap.)
I think that Laverna is interesting for users like me: it provides a web app with a nice interface, it implements the first feature I need (easy photo taking), and if really an Android app is on the way, integration with Android services might allow to save web pages is Laverna using one tap like Evernote.
For instance, recently did some CTO interview screenings via phone. It was really easy to set up a Trello board with a card per candidate, drop them in the list matching their current position in the pipeline, attach a resume, recruiter notes, due dates etc. The interview itself I threw as a bulleted list into Workflowy and just crossed things off as they were covered. Took notes in notepad and uploaded to the Trello board at the end. Invited stake holders to view the board and sent out a daily email with progress. Interviewed 8 candidates this way in a total of about 10 hours, including all the time spent prepping and scoring and communicating with the hiring team.
So if it needs to be mobile, I am using onenote, but have to use the web app in Linux, and search is useless on the web app. So for desktop only, I use Zim. Cross platform, lots of plugins, stores everything in a file system with markdown.
I haven't been able to get SVG to render in the notes though, which would be awesome, then I could just edit my diagrams and pictures with Inkscape.
I can read the notes on mobile devices as they are just in markdown, but a mobile app really is needed.
Does Zim now support Markdown as a storage format? If so then perhaps the issue of storing arbitrary text is resolved.
The txt files are in markdown. For whatever reason though, they decided @ was a good choice for a tag and not #.
Self hosted Dokuwiki has been my note taking tool of choice, usable on multiple devices, easy to backup, easy to export notes but markdown sounds good.
Is it possible to share notes or make notes public?
but permanent notes instead of any onenote, tomnote whatever I just use google spreadsheet, I find it very useful, because I like have a single spreadsheet for one big topic (like one spreadsheet for the company I work at) and then I separate for subsheets for subtopics, I find this method to be perfect!
subsheets could be:
1. useful urls
2. useful commands
4. high level overview
But for the love of god, why did they make link colour orange instead of the default blue? And why can’t it be changed via preferences? They had one job…
I've lost so much data from Evernote's atrocious conflict resolution that it's my central concern. I don't see any mention of that here.
Use case: edit notes on a plane on laptop, edit notes on phone after landing, sometime later use laptop again and zap.
For simplistic notes, well Google Keep is enough.
Still looking for alternatives :)
It doesn't work so well across devices (especially mobile), so I tend to carry around a small notebook, and then when I'm back at my computer I type anything useful that I'd captured in my notebook into org mode.
Sometimes I just take a picture of my notes in my notebook and then use the inlineimages feature to display the image inline, that works pretty well too although there's no OCR.
It seems to work OK.
Cons: no mobile app, no OCR for docs, no web clipper
Handy for nicely formatted prose, not so useful for code snippets.
Just wanted to say that the nodes app in nextcloud is very handy too!
Actually, if Nextcloud could embed this Laverna somehow... that would be awesome.
I'd probably start using it right now if it was already available for Android.
The other alternative sync method offered is Dropbox, and if it's also using the remoteStorage library as the interface as I'm assuming, it would have to depend on their Datastore API, which has been deprecated for more than a year now AFAIK (https://blogs.dropbox.com/developers/2015/04/deprecating-the...). Is that aspect of the app still functional? If anyone knows any other user-provided data storage APIs like Dropbox Datastore or remoteStorage that's more actively developed and supported, I'd love to hear about them.
The concept of apps built on user-provided and user-controlled data-sources, envisioned by projects like remoteStorage and Solid (https://solid.mit.edu/), has always been immensely appealing to me. If users truly controlled their data, and only granted apps access to the data they need to function (instead of depending on each individual app to host user data in their own locked-off silos), then switching to a different app would be a simple matter of granting another app access to the same pieces of data. Lock-in would no longer be a thing!
Imagine that! We could have a healthy and highly competitive app ecosystem where users choose apps by their own merit instead of by the size of their moat built on nothing but network effects. Newcomers could unseat incumbents by simply providing a better product that users want to switch to. Like a true free-market meritocracy!
Sadly, this is a distant dream because both newcomers and incumbents today realize the massive competitive advantage lock-in and network effects afford them. Incumbents will never give up their moat and allow the possibility of interop without a fight, and newcomers all end up racing to build up their own walled-off data silos because they have ambitions to become an incumbent enjoying a moat of their own one day. Even products that are built on top of open protocols and allow non-trivial interop tend to eventually go down the path of embrace, extend, extinguish, once they reach any significant scale.
I'm starting to think strong legislation around data-portability and ownership may be the only way a future like this could stand to exist, but the incumbents of today and their lobbying budgets will never let that happen.