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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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