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Joplin – a note taking and to-do application with synchronization capabilities (github.com)
368 points by adulau 20 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 150 comments



I felt that Evernote was becoming increasingly constraining and slow/flaky, so after trying a few alternatives (text files/dirs, SimpleNote, Apple Notes, BoostNotes, Zim, etc), I've made a leap of faith to Joplin.

My requirements: multi-platform, multi-device, auto-sync (more than 2 devices in free ver.), tags, webclip-ability, preferably markdown format with code rendering. Text diagramming such as PlantUML is a big plus. The idea of owning my notes is very appealing.

My early attempts at synchronizing encrypted notes over OneDrive experienced repeated hiccups (stopped syncing for no apparent reason), so currently trying without encryption. Win10 and Android clients seem to chug along just fine, but the Linux client shows weird errors in the log - trying to hunt down the root cause.

The fact that Joplin is WIP and open source is encouraging. I'd like to be able to have separate DBs, e.g. for personal and business use.

ADDED: forgot to mention that the lack of dark mode on Windows EN client was a constant source of irritation.


It sounds like what you're looking for is Notion. It checks most of your boxes, I believe.


I just switched from Notion (and Evernote, Google Keep) to Joplin, and currently I'm quite satisfied with its offering.

Some cons I felt while using Notion: - Mandatory to log in using a Google account is a _very_ big pushback for me - I need it to work all the time offline. - E2EE encryption? I don't think it's there. It's something I strongly desire for privacy reason. - It's a freemium subscription modal, I have nothing against it, but imho, completely free one is of course better - It's not open sourced, but Joplin is.


Take a look at Standard Notes. It can be self hosted and has E2EE. It's not quite a replacement for some features but there is a web clipping add-on in development.

Note that it is paid, the company has a longevity statement around that.


Thanks for the suggestion. At this point I'd rather avoid mandatory monthly payments in favor of voluntary donations to FOSS.


I can second Notion! I've switched over from Notability + Google Keep + an overstuffed bookmark folder, and it's been working great to keep my notes/projects/shopping lists together.

I just wish they had an API that I could use.


changing between accounts is a PITA though


More on color schemes: in addition to Joplin including a few built-in themes, the appearance of rendered pages can be adjusted via CSS. Playing with it felt more liberating for me than I care to admit.


I use Zim for work use. I find I don't actually need a mobile app since I don't really need to take anything more than temporary notes on my phone.

The nice thing is it uses 17mb ram so I can leave it running all the time which is a helpful thing since all the other electron apps keep my laptop at 18gb memory usage


Same thing here, zim + seafile for the sync. Couldn't be happier


Sadly my experience with the Android app has been less than inpressive, with a memory leak related to React that has yet to be patched, and slows down the keyboard system-wide.


Could you provide a link to the memory leak bug report? I’d like to know more and cannot find one that isn’t closed or doesn’t affect a small subset of devices under particular conditions.


did you test Google Keep?


I use it all the time - it's great but mostly for lists such as TODO, etc. - it is very convenient for syncing across devices where I login with my G. account. My notes are usually longer articles, often with images, tables, diagrams, code snippets, etc.


After years of searching I’ve pretty much settled on one note-taking app: Apple Notes. Quite unexpected to me as well because I started off just to sort of “cache” random notes in it before sorting them out in OneNote. Then I found myself almost stopped using OneNote. It’s just ubiquitous enough when you have a few extra PC devices, (unlike say, Bear) and versatile enough so it’s not limited to texts like Notational Velocity or SimpeNote, and quick and easy enough so I never have to wait for launching or syncing like with OneNote. It’s not enjoy-sparking to use and the text is a bit cramped. But it gets stuff done and I forget about it most of the time. So it’s just almost perfect for me.


Apple Notes is wonderful until you decide to replace your MacBook with anything else and attempt to get by with the painfully slow iCloud web version of Notes. The same goes for Apple Reminders.


That's true. But here in China Android is much much more aggressively spied and surveilled by both manufacturers and government I'm more than happy to stay with Apple.


Android isn't an alternative to MacBooks as far as I know?


The only thing that makes me keep looking for an alternative to Apple Notes is search.

1. You can't restrict search to just one folder.

2. You can't use tags (would be better than folders) and search by them. I have a partial work around (I just type #tag and search for that) but it does't work that well -- the search correctly filters for "#foo" but shows "foo" highlighted in the sidebar...and doesn't scroll to the match.

A small amount of additional functionality would pretty much nuke any need for Evernote or any of these other apps (though exporting is...tedious).


I’m actually currently getting a POC built out for a note taking web app that’s entirely focused on capturing/tagging/filtering, because of these exact reasons. The idea of folders in all note taking apps is just not efficient, and doesn’t leverage the power of searching and filtering solutions.

My app is intended for multi tasking individuals.

@iamdchuk is my twitter handle if you want to connect and check it out soon. I plan to start using the app this week for work myself.


Search by folder should be possible on Mac w some scripting, which means you can add it to Alfred or Quicksilver too.


These aren't directories AFAIK, these are folder structure within the Notes app. Would be awesome if there were a way to search it!


Quiver.


I really tried to use Quiver for almost a year. I converted to it from Org-mode in Emacs. The reason for converting was to get better typography and layout. I really want to get header rendered in different sizes, bold really looking bold etc. Quiver looked really nice ans pleasing. But the rendering engine in Quiver is flaky. Headings of the same type end up having different sizes for example. I also never felt a benefit of the cell concept. Instead often accidentally creating new cells that had to be fixed.

I've now moved to Bear, and the experience is much better. Yes, it stores notes in a DB, not as files. But it is a standard, open SQL DB you can talk to if needed. Bear renders markdown nicely, has nice themes. And syncs between devices quick. I now read and write journal notes etc on desktop, iPad and mobile. And Bear supports inline images. This, together with nice rendering of quotes, code etc makes making complex notes possible. If I only could change the caret to a non-blinking, block everything would be great. Notes in Bear really are beutiful and pleasant to write and read.

https://bear.app/


I have nothing but good things to say about Quiver except on the rare occasion and even then I would describe it as performing ok in that regard. It just gets it done and it’s full of features but not too fancy.

Probably the only thing that’s so-so is search but worst case I have to check a couple of notes to find the right one.


I make a folder called "notes" on any given machine and make a new text document inside of it when I have a note I want to make. I know this isn't clever and "it doesn't scale!!!" but I have multiple computers and it's easy to merge the notes into a single backup, and I always know where to go for the notes I take.

If I need to share a note, I use a github gist but it's also just a linear text storage so I'll prolly replace it with something else at some point...


Even if you don't mind the scalability issues, having to deal with possible conflicts if the same note was modified in different places, and barebone UI with no attachments, consider the importance of metadata:

- info on where the note came from (that's why I like web-clip-ability)

- note history and possibly versions

- tags are really great for categorizing and quick/efficient search, etc.


Simplenote would work pretty well in this case. Barebones third party clients for it on all major desktops OSes are available that allow usage of file system.


I was a big Apple Notes user, but I've read horror stories about losing notes in upgrades, which bothers me. Exporting notes for backup is tedious, too. I've switched to Notion for notes and it's been excellent minus one thing: it's slow to start. Otherwise I haven't really missed Apple Notes.


How's the latency these days while you work with it? For me it was the latency while using it that was just a bit too annoying


It saves locally and the syncs to the cloud every few seconds. Latency is zero.


My bad, was a bit unclear. I was referring to the latency in Notion. Planning to give Joplin a try today...looks very promising indeed.


If you have any amount of Apple devices in your daily orbit, it's pretty amazing how useful Apple Notes is.


I like it too and I think due to connecting the mail app to my gmail all my notes end up on gmail under a "Notes" tag which is very convenient.


I'm looking to move away from Notes because it has a serious bug (possibly only when using Exchange, I'm not sure) where notes longer than about 3 pages get truncated without warning. I found this out the hard way when my "big list of ideas to work on later" note turned out to be missing about a year's worth of data.

It's had this bug for several years across a number of versions. I now have a huge buffer of sacrificial text at the bottom of any important note, which I then split if part of that buffer goes missing.


How do you deal with the aggressive auto-correct? Many of my notes are code related and I cannot stand the auto-capitalization.


Does turning off "Correct Spelling Automatically" help for your use case? Check it out in the Edit menu.


Would you pay for an app that exports your apple notes data?


Off topic, but anyone else annoyed by these walls of contributor avatars in READMEs popular in the JS ecosystem? Occasionally they only include a handful of project members, with roles, so it could be mildly useful, but more often than not it’s a pointless list of just avatar and handle of everyone who ever fixed a typo, and if I want to see the list I’d better click on “contributors” which is built into every GitHub project. To me, this seems to be a manifestation of today’s front end devs’ utmost disrespect for people’s bandwidth.

Ironically, this README loads more than a hundred images but I can’t even find a desktop screenshot.


The avatar list I guess is a way to thank the contributors, and it's at the bottom of the readme so shouldn't be a big annoyance for most readers. There's a screenshot of the desktop app at the top of the readme.


I moved to Joplin from Evernote a little over a year ago. It has had ongoing development and new features being added the entire time. The development is very iterative, and functionality comes before fashion, but the UI has been getting improved too.

The backup/sync system is great. Fully encrypted and numerous cloud configuration options. I use it with Fastmail’s $5/mo. service and it’s very easy to setup.

The iOS app could use some more improvements but far better than not having one at all.

Overall Joplin is highly recommended because of it’s compatibility, flexibility, privacy, and no-frills functionality.


One great aspect is that joplin supports iOS 8+. My Ex needed to write a big dissertation that she just couldn't make progress on (unsurprisingly). Her work laptop is too bulky to carry around every day unfortunately.

So at some point I figured she could use my old ipad mini 1 with a size-fitted logitech "ultrathin keyboard" (that magnetically holds onto the ipad, making it one piece for storage) that I impulse bought and never used. So hardware was there, but looking for a markdown editor that supported sync and that old device + her windows laptop was not fruitful. Except well, short story: joplin is awesome for that.

She could use the ipad to write a few minutes here and there during transit and was able to complete it. The markdown file is then converted to latex/pdf using pandoc + pandoc-citeproc (for citations using a bibtex-file).

Support for antiquated iOS versions is rare (making the ipad mini 1 useless in many cases although it still appears to be a capable device) even though many apps don't seem to have a need for higher versions. I suspect that most apps use frameworks that have a version cutoff to reduce complexity if that even makes sense.


I replaced Evernote with Joplin a year or so ago and am pretty happy. It's a little rough around the edges, but it works great and is actively updated. And all my data is stored where I want it to be, with no monthly bill, and no one trying shove "chat" or "enterprise" features down my throat.

Also, as the desktop client is a JavaScript app, it was relatively easy to go in and change a few things that I wanted tweaked. I hate MarkDown with a passion, so I just turned off all that stuff in the toolbar and use it as a plain text notepad that syncs. Works great. (At some point I need to make the effort to figure out the options dialogs they have and submit a pull request where this can be turned off/on permanently.)

I do wish it would clean up the weird note/todo item duality (at least in the options). You can treat a note as a todo item, so the list of notes acts as your list of todos. Or you can just use a note and put the todo items in it (which is what I do). I just don't think the folder interface works well for the todo item paradigm.

Anyways, highly recommended if you're still spending money on Evernote and don't use any advanced features. If you're using web clips or other stuff, someone else will have to chime in.


Genuinely curious why do you hate Markdown with a passion?


When it comes to todo lists I really prefer nested checkboxes, like Dynalist[0] has. That enables me to make a list of projects, where each project has their own todo items, and maybe they have sub items, and so on. I like being able to divide stuff into smaller and smaller chunks, and then checking them off as I go.

[0] https://dynalist.io/


So basically a new take on Workflowy?

I've always felt that text+shortcut first approach beats all of the prettiest heavy categorized approaches.

This sort of thing is best in a disposable fast changing format. Life is too chaotic and motivation varies where heavily organized and category driven systems often fail long term without vigilance.

Which is why simple txt/markdown (combined with some text editor integration like vim-tasks to add things like lists of todo items which can be marked as finished + archived on demand) files remain the ideal solutions..


Yeah, this is why i use Vimwiki[0] both for notes and todo lists. Nested checkboxes and easy navigation through page links. It is vim specific though so that might be a problem for some.

[0] https://github.com/vimwiki/vimwiki


Looks like a strong candidate to replace Google Keep when they suddenly decide to shut it down.


And what happens when dynalist shuts down? That’s why I prefer self-hosted or plain old Apple Notes :-)


Daily export to Google Docs/Dropbox for paid users and free manual export to html, text and I believe cvs for anyone.

One huge selling point for Dynalist, and why I don't mind paying for it, is the data portability is perfect.


Of even SimpleNote, which everybody did buried when Automattic buy it, but still in development and working.


Looks amazing. I've been using some hacky vscode setup to do GTD but this seems like exactly what i want. Too bad it's not open source, i would still pay their instance but i would feel better knowing i have an escape hatch if they close.

Will try it anyway.


I would recommend https://standardnotes.org/ after trying all other (OneNote, Boostnote, QOwnNotes, etc.) note taking SWs. Encrypted linked storage (S3, Dropbox, ...) for files, encrypted notes, multiplatform, multiple editors (code, 2FA, markdown, spreadsheets, your own!, ...) & can be self hosted. Easy (also encrypted) backups. I only miss the diagrams tool (like draw.io) or handwriting (touch/pen) support.


I was a Standard Notes user, including a premium plan, but recently switched to Joplin and I've been very happy with it.

I like Standard Notes' no-nonsense business model, with the downside that the free version is heavily feature-crippled (not even a Markdown editor, just plain text).

The Standard Notes server is self-hostable, but it requires a dedicated backend server [0] which was more hassle than I wanted to deal with. Joplin integrates much more nicely with Syncthing for self-hosted but still peer-to-peer replication.

0: https://standardnotes.org/help/47/can-i-self-host-standard-n...


The reason to use Standard Notes, IMO, is the zero-knowledge encryption. I’ll check out Joplin and the others I’m learning about in this thread but I’m happy with Standard Notes at the moment though.


Just did the same thing. Greatest benefit of standard notes is also that the notes are just plain text.


Does it support Google Drive?


Yes. There is a CloudLink extension for saving the history & notes itself I think, which supports Dropbox, Google Drive & OneDrive. Backup can be also sent daily by the email. And then there is a FileSafe for files - you will simply generate the key (there's a button for it) and upload you files, which will be offline encrypted and then uploaded to your configured cloud storage - Dropbox, Google Drive, WebDAV, AWS S3. The size is currently limited to 50MB (because of the offline encryption).


Since none of the top comments seem to directly discuss Joplin itself, let me just say that I’ve been using it for years, and it’s great.


If it (or Notion.so) supported Inking, I would switch completely from my combination of GDocs, GKeep and GoodNotes5.

Will see if I can contribute to this project.


I've replaced both Evernote and my markdown file hierarchy with Joplin (on linux and windows, trying android next), and love it!

Only thing I really miss is the ability to have completely separate instances. While it's theoretically possible to script different configs, they can't be used simultaneously.

Syncing works well both through Syncthing and Google Drivw. Haven't tried syncing through OneDrive, and IIRC the docs had some warning about it.


This subpackage called Webclipper would be cool for parsing articles like Instapaper but instead of a better web version it saves to a markdown file than opens in Vim (or similar).

For some reason I like those old long readme.txt files from the 1990s. The ones formatted with max 80-120 characters wide per line, black background, etc.

https://github.com/laurent22/joplin/blob/master/readme/clipp...

I haven't tried this one yet. But the biggest problem with that approach is the links typically don't work, nor will citations render properly for Wikipedia. So maybe it's preferable using Lynx or w/e just for long-term reading or articles on news sites with disaster web design.


Switched from Evernote and I'm very happy. As often happens, Evernote took on VC money and then were obligated to keep growing and adding features, while increasing the pressure to monetize (see also: Any.do).

Joplin does the simple things I want, well. They are also adding features pretty quickly, but I'm happy with it the way it is.


Nothing compares to Microsoft OneNote - I wish it would work with just regular file storage, rather then requiring OneDrive.

It has all the best features, including client side encryption, while still enabling collaboration.


There's some good news on this front, they are bringing back the desktop version support: https://www.thurrott.com/cloud/office-365/221340/microsoft-b...


I've been using Joplin for a few months now. So far it seems to fit my requirements better than any other note taking app I've tried - and I've tried plenty - including my own Jupyter based solution. - future proof (it's open source) - standard/open format for notes (uses mark down which is easy to write and easy enough to parse if needed in the future) - sync support and conflict detection - Kudos to their implementation here, it's very versatile. I use Syncthing and it's worked very well for me. - support for multiple clients (I use Linux, Android, OS X and Windows) - stable (no issues so far)

The major issue I have is it doesn't support stylus based notes like Onenote. A partial solution would be to extend Joplin to support additional file types so I can keep all my notes together when they are different types. For now, I keep my written notes separate.

If stylus support isn't a requirement for you, I strongly recommend Joplin. I've tried a number of closed and open source note taking tools - Joplin hits the sweet spot for me. For a long time I used Jupyter for taking notes with custom scripts for Search. It's been pretty good however it had two major shortcomings: no android client and the Jupyter client had poor conflict detection when using a a file based sync tool like Syncthing.


I use WriterPlus [0] on Android and ReText [1] on Linux for taking notes (markdown supported). Syncing notes is via Syncthing [2]. All plain text files so not much dependency on the apps themselves. Works perfectly.

Update: This thread prompted me to re-check the options on Android and I found Markor [3]. Much more polished and I was able to point it to the notes folder. Now I have the option of using it or WriterPlus (though seems to me that Markor's option of opening notes in preview mode by default + more customization options makes it better than WriterPlus).

[0]: https://writerp.fileplanet.com/apk

[1]: https://github.com/retext-project/retext

[2]: https://syncthing.net/

[3]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.gsantner.m...


Another alternative is Trilium Notes which ticks the boxes from the title (sync, note, todo) but goes in a bit different direction (unlimited hierarchy, WYSIWYG, scriptability) - https://github.com/zadam/trilium


I’m looking for a multi-platform (linux-mac-ios) markdown editor that saves at regular interval and keeps history and sync via git.

Is there anything like that?

How hard would it be to extend joplin to write a service driver to sync via Git(-hub / -lab / your own server)?


Have you considered Emacs + Org-mode? Works wherever Emacs works (Linux, Mac) and there are apps for Android and iOS. Org files are basically text files that you can commit to git or sync via Google drive, Dropbox, OneDrive etc. Not exactly markdown but GitHub renders org file pretty well.

After trying out multiple note taking apps this is what I settled on. You can use it as simple as a note taking app or configure it to do lots of complicated things like managing your to-dos, appointments, agendas. And my favorite feature is inline code-block that I can execute.


Big +1 on Emacs.

I spent years in the same position we've all been in, searching and hoping for the perfect note taking app to boost my productivity, have a "second brain", write down my fleeting inspirations, etc. etc.

After finding Emacs last year, I feel like I've been under a spell my whole professional life that's been broken. I'm a little embarrassed of the time I've spent griping and pining for the perfect note app. It took me far less time to learn Emacs than it did to try out the 20+ todo and notebook apps on the market.

To all who are still on the hunt: there is no perfect app, and we're all kidding ourselves. You're looking for someone to give you a fish. This is just text we're talking about, it's easy enough to learn to wield it, manipulate it, and organize it, and soon you become the man who has been taught to fish on his own. Plus, when you have the epiphany of how much more quickly you can manipulate text with the control of Emacs and/or Vim, you'll wonder how you spent so much of your life in typing in software without these capabilities.

Learning Emacs has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my computing journey, I highly recommend checking out a well-configured distribution like Spacemacs.


org-mode is awesome, there's clients for everyone's taste. I wrote one that look like this: https://demo.filestash.app/login?next=/view/org/emacs.org#ty...


I started using (and subscribed to) Inkdrop[1] after recommendations here and have been very happy with it. Yes, it's $5 a month, but it automatically syncs (encrypted locally first), and has a way of doing full local directory backup that you could sync with github. The the editor is really nicely done (full github-flavor syntax highlighting too).

I'm using clients for Mac, Android and linux (manjaro) and all work well. There are also clients for the other major platforms.

One of the things I really like about it is I can do a screenshot on both Mac & linux, saving to the clipboard rather than a file, and paste it directly into an editor and inkdrop handles everything, including creating a file and corresponding markup. And that all syncs too.

[1] https://inkdrop.app/




I'm building a golang app that syncs notes through git automatically.

Basically, you have your notes in a git repo, and this app keeps committing the changes to your remote repo.

If you feel adventurous, you can try it here: https://github.com/tanin47/git-notes (still in early alpha)


I'm currently using Typora and have it set up to automatically open to a certain folder and autosave. That folder is a git repository, and in cron, I simply have an hourly task that stages all files, commits, and pushes.

This might not be an ideal solution, but if you find an editor you really like, its an easy way to add git and backup to your notes.


> Recognition data - Evernote images, in particular scanned (or photographed) documents have recognition data associated with them. It is the text that Evernote has been able to recognise in the document. This data is not preserved when the note are imported into Joplin. However, should it become supported in the search tool or other parts of Joplin, it should be possible to regenerate this recognition data since the actual image would still be available.

This is the feature that has me locked in to Evernote and no one else seems to have. I'll be watching this repo and jump over as soon as it becomes supported.


Also discussed 2 years ago:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15815040

(Not a dupe, link posted for info purposes.)


Relevant but not directly related -

I use iOS.

I have been looking for a note taking app that will directly save my notes to my Google Drive as soon as I take it.

For past 4 years I have been using the default Apple Notes. Back then, I noticed I can configure Notes to be synced with my Google account, and a new label called Notes is created in Gmail. But what I missed is that a separate Google account folder is created Notes and I need to save all my notes there in order for it to be uploaded to my Gmail in real time, and this I noticed only last week. So, for the past 4 years, I have been saving all my notes on my iPhone, in the default folder. And now there’s no other way except to manually upload all notes , one by one, which I have collected over the past 4 years, which goes in thousands, to Gmail.

Last week I downloaded Google Keep. There’s one big difference I noted between Apple Notes and Google Keep. In Apple Notes, the Notes which you have recently created / edited / modified / updated, automatically comes to the top, whereas that’s not the case with Google Keep. I love this feature of Apple Notes so much that I decided to stick to Apple Notes despite the disappointment I faced earlier of missing out on the separate Google folder in Apple Notes

Does anyone know of a way to upload all of my Apple Notes, which I have accumulated over the past 4 years, to Gmail directly in one go? Any workflows available to make this happen?

Any suggestion from anyone would be reciprocated with disproportionate gratitude _/\_

Memento Mori

PS - I am looking for a free software.


A really weird way to end a comment.


I have been using Joplin in my Linux laptop for the last two month. A good note taking for meeting, journal and even technical documents. It sync well with dropbox.


This application makes use of ip-api.com by default, this site is free for non-commercial use only.

this should probably be reconsidered, or least made clear to everyone.


I don't see any commercial offering here, seems to be based entirely on donations.


This doesnt just apply to if the application was sold, but if it is used in a commercial environment, I.E. If you plan on using it at work, this would likely be considered commercial use.


I'm looking for an Evernote alternative since long. Evernote is one of my favourite applications, but I fear the moment when Amazon or Google or Microsoft buys it like Fitbit or Nest. It is going to happen, and I put more and more info into that app.

I'm definitely going to try this and I truly hope it is good enough for me.


Notion.so is a good one


I found that Notion had great features, but I found it to just be terribly slow in general. The app takes upwards of 25 seconds to open on my phone, and even on my computer where the app opens quickly, I still can't flick back and forth between different notes without the app trying to re-sync with the server and slowing everything down.


I'm not sure the best response to "I'm worried the cloud service I use might get bought and changed" is recommending another VC funded cloud service. But I've heard good things about Notion as a product too.


They have export features so in theory you’re not tied down.


If you search 'Markdown' on HackerNews, it'd seem like the 'market' for markdown editors is fragmented: there isn't a single dominant editor yet. I think every week there's a new editor posted (Joplin is an exception given that it's been here for a while). Why is that the case?


I think it is because each comes with its own opinionated workflow, and missing features. Each has a way of writing markdown/connecting notes that is novel, which means each other option is missing that feature.

A take away from this scenario might be that this design space is wanting for a meta-editor. Some tool which allows feature creation in the same context as these markdown/note tools. An analogy might be that this meta-editor is to digital note keeping as racket is to programming languages.

Of course all the obvious requirements apply. Has to be usable out of the box, has to just work, has successfully convey it's ability to be changed to the end user.

I think emacs is such a solution, there are no features in the list of hn posts under the search "markdown" that it doesn't have. But emacs is missing all the requirements. It is not usable out of the box.

I think this meta editor could best be built on top of emacs, but this will require a lot of work. I have been playing around with this idea for a couple of years now and it's slow going but fun to think about.


I've been looking at the ProseMirror as a way of building this meta-editor that could have plug-and-play components. The issue is, although the library is open-source, there hasn't been many open-sourced components that people have built. Ideally, we could go one step forward and abstract away the npm library; then everybody could build their custom editor by mixing components. One editor that sort of does this is StandardNotes but I haven't tried building something for it yet.

[1] https://prosemirror.net/ [2] https://standardnotes.org/extensions


Typora: Format a paper

iA Writer: Write something eloquent


Joplin isn't a Markdown editor, it's a note taking and todo list app. It just happens to use Markdown as its entry format. It seems like it's a "Markdown editor" in the same way as reddit or github.


I gave Joplin a try and syncing with Dropbox wasn’t flawless.

Still searching for a markdown editor that runs on both iOS & Linux and does auto save & auto sync.


Isn’t any text editor compatible with Dropbox? I mean Dropbox does the syncing and your editor just saves the file there, right?

You don’t even need the same editor. You can use one on Linux, one on iOS and another on Windows.


I miss worded: Looking for a note taking app with markdown to replace Apple notes. Autosync & auto save should work with self hosted service.

In the discussion above saw many good suggestions, none that fitted the requirements.


The reason is that existing solutions are inadequate/not-powerful-enough, so the moment a developer is limited by what the app has to offer there's a chance a new note-taking app gets developed to solve that specific need.


well this looks more like a todo program than a markdown editor


I haven’t found something that does it all for me. I still use Evernote. Every time I get a real paper mail, an invoice or a receipt, I scan it with my phone and save to Evernote. For the PDF OCR search. Thats my only Evernote usecase.

For notes I use Bear. Which is, IMO, the best UX for note taking on iOS. But. It doesn’t have a web GUI or a Linux app. So. I can’t really keep using it.

I’ve tried them all. Joplin, SimpleNote, Evernote, Turtl, Laverna, you name it. But none of them have both Linux Apps and a great iOS app/experience. (80% of my notes is done from iOS).

One day I’ll have to go out to write something myself.


> One day I’ll have to go out to write something myself.

I resonate with that. I need to be able to add attachments to my notes - ideally with OCR capabilities. Evernote does that, but I've had a hard time finding something else for the Linux desktop.

It's 2019 (almost 2020) and a cross-platform note taking application that does notes + attachments + OCR it's still not available (I am not referring to "workarounds" or "tweaks", attachments as links, etc). If anyone knows one I would love to hear about it.

I am currently using a web app that I have built myself, it does notes and attachments but I am still working on implementing OCR via Tesseract (form images and PDF attachments).

@surfsvammel, if you decide to go that way and start building something, give me a shout - email in my profile.


BTW, Google drive does OCR search within PDF and images files. It can even convert scans to Google docs.


I started with Evernote some years ago and so far I haven’t found anything better. The PDF OCR is great and having a web interface is also very convenient, e.g. for using it at work.


Bear is working on a web app. But they give no timeline for now.


I tried a few note taking apps but in the end came to the realization that regular editors are actually better at the job.

My reasoning:

* _Sync_ should not be solved by the note app (applications that implement sync themselves are usually buggy, I prefer to outsource sync to nextcloud / dropbox / ...)

* I want the same _editing capabilities_ as usual (block edit etc., note apps are usually less power full editors)

* A _tree organization_ is important to me, which is trivially solved using editors and the file system

* There are _Markdown_ packages for pretty much every editor.

Note taking apps tend to ship these features but are not as mature as editors are.


Big company evil, let's take ownership of our own data etc. But if Dropbox is supported as a sync conduit - why is Google Drive missing?

Especially noticable on Android where Google is obviously omnipresent


I use it every day, it's great and very portable. All the data is backed on Dropbox. Only a bit too heavy considered that runs on Electron.


Tdo is built for handling many little tasks by using only a keyboard. Feature-wise, markdown is used for formatting, RegEx and custom CSS task highlighting, search supports logical operators (AND, OR), Firebase enables realtime sync, etc...

[1] https://github.com/codaxy/tdo


Issues when I tried Joplin last time (this year):

Android: no auto-save. type something, close it, lose everything.

Scrolling is a pain. Need to reach the end very fast? Forget it.

https://github.com/laurent22/joplin/issues/899


To add to the list for those willing to try alternatives, here is a multiplatform markdown note taking application I've been using for a while: https://tamlok.github.io/vnote/en_us/


https://apps.apple.com/us/app/nirvana-for-gtd/id1022913190

Nirvana hq and David Allen GTD are great for being organized and feeling in charge of all your tasks


Would you consider data privacy and features that enhance protections for end users becoming popular? Bear Notes just added a "vault" style feature. With all the leaks, hacks, and mis-use of personal data, surely there's something brewing in the market?


I use DevonThink. It's great-- excellent capture-from-web features. It has See Also, and folders.


I’m 20 days into my trial of DevonThink and I’m getting close to pulling the trigger. I’m using it as a hybrid read-later pocket replacement + personal knowledge database. The combination of “See Also” auto suggestions for inbox sorting and deep search capabilities is everything I had been wanting in a PKM suite. I wish they had extended the auto-sorting/suggestions to the tags feature, it’s my favorite feature of Pocket.


Is there a Windows or Web client for DevonThink?


DevonThink Server has a feature limited Web interface


Can the Server be launched on a Windows machine?


I recommend Ulysses app due it ability to sort notes by drag and drop an export multiple notes as one document. Didn’t find this functionality so far in any other app. Only minus is Ulysses it is fact that runs only Apple devices


I read few comments against OneNote, may I know what's the problem with that? (Other than no Markdown—but even Evernote doesn't support it)


I use OneNote, and it works beautifully. I've used it for years. I use it for planning events, I use it for meal prepping, I use it for just about anything. It's like a second memory bank for me.


Onenote is by far the best option, wish they would stop shooting themselves in the foot with there new crippled versions


Why are new applications still adding dot folders/files to the home directory and not following freedesktop standards?


Sometimes all you want is a notebook. If it needs to be digital... -> www.minimal.app


What do people who also want Latex use? So far I haven’t found anything better than VSC.


I use LaTeX in Joplin with no issues. It uses the KaTeX lib to render the equations.


We have KaTeX (and AsciiMath) support in Notable (https://notable.md).


Joplin supports Latex-like equations. And Typora and Mark Text have inline Latex support, but they're only on desktop. So there's not really any mobile & desktop solution that has Latex and Markdown as a priority feature.


emacs. On a daily basis, I write using org-mode and compile to latex


Is there anything like this that is Vim-centric? Pretty please?


What does Vim-centric mean? Not asking to disagree, just wondering what this refers to. Thanks for any clarification.

I don't use vim, so it's just a matter of curiosity for me - but it's always interesting to hear what kinds of tools other developers like to use.


I checked out the CLI for Joplin and it's a multi-pane environment with a command line at the bottom. This is also true of Vim, especially if you like panes, or "splits". For those of us hooked on Vim (I am silent on its merits), there is a state of flow that is quite pleasant, and you find that you want that flow wherever you can get it. The arrow keys just are j,k,l,; for example, and just lifting a hand from the home row position feels awkward if you're in deep enough. :)


Todo.txt [1] is not VIM-only, but text-based and simple. I use and enjoy both the Android and CLI clients, but since it's text-based and (typically) Dropbox synced, you could feel free to edit with VIM, which I do from time-to-time.

[1] http://todotxt.org/


I've been using [vim-pad](https://github.com/fmoralesc/vim-pad) with Dropbox and it's been wonderful. It just saves markdown files to a directory so you could swap Dropbox for Syncthing or what have you.


Joplin just released support for Vim keybindings. But, it also has a button you can press to edit a note in your favorite editor, such as Vim.


There's an option for Vim bindings in the options, under general in Joplin.


OneNote on Linux, if only such a thing existed.


wow thats the worst mac desktop app i've seen for a while.

Can this be synchronized with Google Drive using any driver?

Thanks


Had the same problem, decided to make my own. With pouchdb / couchdb for sync. Https://tagidea.net All free


Disclosure: I work at a competitor note-taking app called Notable [0], so I'm somewhat biased.

I've made a comparison table [1] comparing Joplin and other popular note-taking apps, you may find it useful.

Joplin could have been my go-to note-taking app, but IMO they made a few bad design decisions and there are few things I really don't like about it, maybe listing some of them from my point of view could be useful either to Joplin's maintainers or potential users:

- Notebooks are indefinitely nestable but tags are not, why?

- Joplin's icon is SO out of proportions, it looks way out of place in my dock, it may sound silly but I might not have used it just because of this alone.

- There's a button for opening the current note via a third-party editor, this is quite powerful because it means you can use all the fancy plugins and capabilities your general purpose text editor has, but why are all metadata about a particular note stored who-knows-where rather than putting them in the note itself as YAML front matter so I could have edited them directly too?

- Attachments are stored on disk as plain files, that's great because now you can find them and edit them without going through Joplin if necessary, but those files are named with unique ids so actually finding the files you're looking for will be a problem.

- And why not storing all notes on disk directly too, so that you could have done fancy things like running a global search and replace on them, run git on them...? Storing them in a database is generally better for performance, but you can do both.

- Notes have a separate title field, why wouldn't I want to write my titles in an H1 heading in the Markdown content directly instead? The default notes look a bit silly because of this, coming effectively with 2 identical titles.

- The UI looks pretty ugly, there are too many buttons, the interface isn't properly responsive (at some widths the toolbar gets cropped, labels spawn multiple lines etc.), useless things like the "Watching..." label are displayed etc.

- The database location is not customizable, if it were you would have the ability to store multiple notes collections separately, and you could achieve synchronization for free just by putting your database inside Dropbox for instance.

- Some shortcuts are weird and/or missing, for example there's a shortcut for cycling between previewing, editing, and the split editor. That might be useful sometimes, but don't people just want to toggle between editing and previewing or between previewing and the split-editor most of the times? There should be shortcuts for doing that instead.

[0] https://notable.md

[1] https://github.com/notable/notable#comparison


If your opinion is biased, as you said, why do you even share it? Just be honest that you want to advertise your (commercial) product.

Your "comparison" is just a long list of what you think if bad about Joplin, as if there could not be a single good thing about it - there's nothing neutral or fair about any of it. You're just denigrating competition and advertising your own stuff.

I guess it's to be expected from someone whose tagline is "the app that doesn't suck", yet heavily copying features from all these other apps, which presumably, suck.


> If your opinion is biased, as you said, why do you even share it?

I think I may have something interesting to say given that I'm writing one of these apps myself, and mentioning for example that in Joplin tags aren't indefinitely nestable but notebooks are is not like I'm making stuff up, if I weren't writing one of those note-taking apps that wouldn't really change that fact.

> Just be honest that you want to advertise your (commercial) product.

Partially my comment was prompted by the opportunity to target new potential users, i.e. people reading this thread are people interested in Joplin, which is an app very similar to mine.

Partially I want to share what I think about Joplin from my perspective.

> Your "comparison" is just a long list of what you think if bad about Joplin

Well, I started my sentence with: "Joplin could have been my go-to note-taking app", meaning there's a lot about it I like, mentioning that I like that it supports Markdown is not an interesting point to make I think, plus I'm actually praising some things, like the ability to edit a note in a third-party editor, is mentioning an ever more powerful way to implement this (i.e. notes stores as plain files on disk with metadata in the front matter) not interesting?

And not all the things I don't like about Joplin are even solved in Notable, some are though, obviously, or Joplin would have been my note-taking app too.

> as if there could not be a single good thing about it

As I said that sentence started with "Joplin could have been my go-to note-taking app", which I think implicitly says a lot of good things.

> there's nothing neutral or fair about any of it.

Ok, what's not fair or neutral about stating the fact that tags aren't indefinitely nestable?

Or maybe your point is that since I'm working for a competitor app I can't talk about this?

> You're just denigrating competition and advertising your own stuff.

I don't think that's fair to say, obviously I wouldn't have made my own note-taking app if I thought Joplin didn't have any important shortcomings.

Would my comment have been fairer if I didn't mention I'm developing Notable? I mean I'm a person who tried Joplin and there were some things I didn't like, how am I supposed to be talking about these things then? How would you have phrased my comment?

> I guess it's to be expected from someone whose tagline is "the app that doesn't suck", yet heavily copying features from all these other apps, which presumably, suck.

If the very first calculator did only additions it would have sucked, if any later calculators _also_ did additions that doesn't imply that they must suck as well.

Plus that's kind of a cheeky tagline that's meant to say the following: I tried other note-taking apps, I couldn't find one that I really liked, so in this sense they sucked for me.

Like if you absolutely need a web-clipper I guess Notable would suck and Joplin would not suck _for you_.


Would be useful to also list disadvantages of notable. The most obvious is no app for android, which made it instantly usable for me.


I haven't done that as this is more about Joplin than Notable, but the comparison table I linked mentions the lack of an official mobile app.


I gotta say I’m a lot less interested in trying Notable when the owner shows up in a competitor’s thread, lists a wall of what appear to be minor nitpicks without describing their own app at all and says “here try my app, that I’ve recently switched from open to closed source!”


Well everybody has his own preferences, what are nitpicks for you may not be nitpicks for me, and btw I'm prefacing the list by saying that Joplin could have been my go-to app actually, implying: "if it only got some of the things I'm mentioning, which are relevant to me, right, according to my preferences".

I don't think it would have been right to make specifically a comparison between Joplin and Notable in a thread about Joplin, in fact my app also has some of the issues I'm mentioning, not all of them of course or I would be a Joplin user now, what does it matter what my app does to the points I'm making? I'm talking about Joplin as a person who tired it.

The link to my app is kinda there for people who might be interested in that, which is also one of the reasons I made the post in the first place, but I would have written something regardless if I'd be passionate about these note-taking apps without writing one myself.

Would my post have seemed fairer if I didn't mention I'm working in Notable? Or like am I disallowed to talk about other note-taking apps now that I'm developing one and I know something about them? Like, given that I develop Notable and there a few things I don't like about Joplin which didn't allow me to become a Joplin user, how do you think I should have phrased my post?


I see notable used to be open source, but now isn't. Why?


There's been some discussion about this here [0], the TL;DR is that as developing it has become my full-time job, and I'm trying to make it sustainable/profitable, releasing everything as open-source comes with some risks that may go against that objective.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/Notable/comments/dcqan6/notable_is_...


No-Go for me when there isn't mobile support, but once that's there, I am very happy to switch to that.




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