Note taking apps

Standard Notes

Best for just text. No real linking of documents. Encrypted and audited - this app is the only note taking app I would trust completely - even with passwords. Free (for text only version)

Best for:

  • Lists or tasks.
  • Plain text.
  • Unordered and unlinked notes, relying on search to find them again (cant link notes, wikipedia style)
  • Just dumping information for finding later
  • Its the quickest to add/access data so use this the most often.

Pro features give it more features, better even than Joplin:

  • inline images (drag and drop when on Desktop)
  • publishing notes online (you are reading one now)
  • more features added regularly

This one suits the type that just wants to capture all info without spending time to sort it out/organise it - but you also can do that if you like.

This is simply the best note taking application, especially if you pay for Extended.

(N.B The only problem encounted is sometimes notes appearing blank when offline on your phone and it was written in one of the fancy editors - you can still access the note if you load it in the standard editor)

Joplin

Best for web-clipper, takes copy of actual site. Free. Most advanced features (even compared to the free version of Standard Notes), closest to evernote. can use external text editor. Stores to Google Drive or other online services (encryption optional), so could store a lot of info for no/little cost

Best for:

  • Web page clipping
  • Having nested/ordered notes with thematic areas to find them
  • Linking notes together, Wikipedia style
  • Inline images or files
  • You use it primarily on one device (desktop is better) as the syncing is not perfect

Had some problems syncing (adding stuff on phone that got wiped) and not sure the encryption is as trustworthy as Standard Notes. Can be kinda buggy. Might be useful for specific purposes.

Crypt.ee

Encrypted. Paid service (store data with them). Has 2 basically separate services - photos and notes. Good for photos. Good for linking documents together with references, so good for research project. Completely system agnostic. Everything stored in thier cloud, so need some trust (even though open source), and I guess the service (and your data) could disappear overnight.

No sharing. No web clipper.

Best for:

  • Photo storing (not linked to notes at all, like a separate service)
  • Linking documents together/referencing other documents like a wiki
  • best for hiding data and leaving no trace on the computer (e.g. shared computer), you can have ghost folders you summon by name only, and you its essentially a fancy website so you could just delete it with no trace
  • Easy to use for non techy people
  • Might be best as a journal, can easily add photos directly inline from phone
  • Website is Tor friendly

Protected text

Another Web-app/online only. You choose a page (e.g.https://www.protectedtext.com/whatever) and set a password. You can now add notes and access that site with that password. Text only. Has tabs so you kind get sub-pages within your page. Has an android app.

Good for:

  • Those that want online-only/website based notes and dont want to or cant install any apps.
  • Android only notes that you occassionaly want to access on a website.
  • If you want to collaborate with other people, you can give them the address and password
  • No sign up required and you could potentially be anonymous (access over Tor browser and don't have any identifying content in notes or page name)
  • Website is Tor friendly 

The project is partially open source, but not audited and the server code is not open source - I wouldn't trust this site with very sensitive information.

I don't see any reason to use this, unless you want to collaborate - stick with Standard Notes.

    Turtl

    Encrypted. Paid service (you store data with them). Good for website book marking. Good for sharing notes. Seems like Pinterest, so good for 'boards' of general interest areas (e.g. fitness/travel) to collect and inspire later. Can share. No IOS app. Can take the following types of note:

    • Password
    • File
    • Image
    • Bookmark
    • Text note

    Has a web clipper, but is only really a bookmarker that grabs an image with the link.

    Best for:

    • Collecting ideas for a project (e.g. a trip, or workout) - similiar to Pinterest

    Evernote

    The only app with text recognition OCR for photos. But privacy is completely compromised. 

    Best for non-sensitive PDFs (e.g. textbooks) to exploit the OCR search (pro version only)


    You'll only receive email when jamesdornan publishes a new post

    More from jamesdornan