Leanote Reviews

Some initial impressions

Review by JohnFastman
about Leanote and Paperwork, Evernote, Turtl Jan 2017

An interesting Evernote alternative. Open source, works on Mac, Windows and Linux (Evernote has no Linux support). Leanote seems to be two things: Leanote.com (a service) and Leanote.org (where you can get the open source software). The software downloads include clients (used to access the server), and the server software. The latter means that you should be able to - at least in principle - host your own installation of Leanote.

English instructions/information can be hard to find/navigate because they are interwoven with a lot of stuff in Chinese. For example, for the service (.com) you'd be uploading your private notes and other data to the Leanote.com server. What is the privacy policy? How is my data stored? Which laws apply to it? Do I retain ownership? I could find nothing.

I tested the client with the freemium .com service. On that side, this software seems very advanced and full of easy-to-use functionality. As with Evernote, which this is clearly intended to compete with, Leanote supports creating notes that can be organized using notebooks and tags, that you can search and attach files to, insert and resize pictures within, and share. It is similar in its philosophy to Paperwork, except that you can access Leanote via the browser or via a client. I prefer the latter and the lack of a client is Paperworks' downfall.

However, there is no web browser plugin, or client-side encryption.

Perhaps this is possible, but my preference would have been that data is saved locally and that I could then use a sync service of my choice to transfer the saved data between computers. No service, no complications with setting/maintaining up my own servers.

Leanote seems very promising though. But, because of the encryption, the Android app and the browser plugin, I still prefer Turtl.

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