3.9 out of 5 with 23 ratings

CherryTree Reviews

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I have a hobby of making huge archives of data and stuff that I come across while I crawl through the internet, reading and learning. This archive, as of writing this, is about 5 GB in size, 2000 files filled with information, images, videos, and whatnot, hand processed in LibreOffice, GIMP, and other stuff. This archive is just a whole bunch of folder and files on my local disk. I spent a long time finding something that could potentially hold all this data in just one space, in one file. No, a simple tar.gz file wasn't going to cut it, and that is because I also wanted to be able to search each of these files' contents for certain words in the future. Just having them as folders and files wasn't good enough. Sure, I could search the file names themselves using FSearch, but what if I wanted to search for a certain idea within one of my odt files, not just searching for the names of the files? FSearch couldn't do that.

Enter CherryTree. Its hierarchical approach to note-taking is similar enough to my current archive's structure. It has a serviceable text editor, with highlighting, lists, and headings. It can attach files to the database you are working on. Most important of all to me, it can search through the contents of each "node" in the hierarchical structure. All I have to do now is to copy and paste all the contents of each file I've created into CherryTree. Voila! I can now search to find whatever key phrase I want! (Well...that's the plan. It's going to take time to make this goal a reality. That I know it is possible with this software, however, makes me glad.)

That's enough about my personal usage of it. Users will find that there are quite a few options in the preferences to tinker with to make your note taking experience just how you want it. You can also password-protect your notes in either an SQLite or XML file if you wish.

My only gripe is that dragging and dropping files into CherryTree doesn't really work the way you might want it to. Doing this will give you only the file's path, not embed the file itself into the database. You'll have to attach files the old-fashioned way by navigating to the file when prompted to do so.

Nevertheless, I think if you are the type of person who likes to keep their ideas and notes organized in a single file, then CherryTree is a good...pick.

[Edited by TerrifiedTyphlosion, December 04] (typo)


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Used for more than one year and I'm going back to Zim. If you won't use images, than CT is great. If yes, you'll use images, then use anything else. CherryTree unfortunately lacks image resize on its interface. So if you are working with many text and images and just need the thumb view it will resize the file itself, not the shown picture. I opened a feature request on its page almost 2 years ago but didn't got any reply either.

Only text => Go with CherryTree
Using images on your notes => Go for Zim, OneNote and many others.

[Edited by joelfabiani, October 28]


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The best hierarchical note taking application out there. I use it for structuring code, keeping notes and more. It's amazing that it keeps it all compact in a single file, which only ends up being a few megabytes even after hundreds of pages of text, notes and code.


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This is the best note/text software I have ever seen! It allows you to work on multiple text documents with quick and easy switching without needing to have lots of instances of libreoffice open - your desktop is not overwhelmed with CherryTree. This is hands down one of the best pieces of software overall in my opinion. Another big positive is that it is free software (free as in freedom) - would not use it if it wasn't. Guispen is a legend!


great app, however not so reliable so far

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The behavior is not always logical and obvious(e.g. when creating a node - it appears that 'selected node', the cursor - may be "hidden" in folded tree, in that case you would not know where exactly you've just created a node)
Also the search doesnt always work well, i.e. doesnt return a result
and so on

even with all those issues this is by far the best app of such kind


Good open source alternative to OneNote or Evernote for Linux as well as Windows

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While looking for an alternative to OneNote for something to work on Linux as well as Windows I have tried a large number of notetaking applications and CherryTree provided the best fit for me. You might want to take a little time to think through how you want to use tags and to create terms for use in its search function - but once you do it is very flexible and powerful.

One thing that is important to me and that is not supported in OneNote but is supported in CherryTree is support for relative file paths. One the other hand CherryTree's drag and drop capability is much more limited in comparison to OneNote's - you are left to use copy and paste to take content and sometimes links into Cherrytree.

Of course Cherrytree does not have a cloud and mobile version but OneNote does - albeit one that is much more limited in its functionality.


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  • By far my favorite note app due to its simplicity yet very well organized design and useful features. Has some (minor) glitches and shortcomings, but I love its design.


  • Feature rich (hierarchical notes, tables, code boxes, image import, db import/export, etc.)
  • Not bloated with features you don't need
  • Super easy to keep all your notes on dissimilar topics all in one place, well organized and easily navigatable


CherryTree occasionally crashes for me (Windows). Not sure if the root cause is CherryTree or not. I may send feedback to the developer(s) and see what's up.

UPDATE: I no longer see any crashes. I believe the problem was my work computer was still running Windows 7 (!!!) It never crashed for me under Win 10 (which I use at home). I only ever saw it crash on that one computer running Win 7.

Interface sometimes seems to have been developed in its own universe rather than using standard libraries, toolkits, etc. Example ... Creating and editing tables is workable but not like any table editing you've probably seen before.

[Edited by rmbjr60, July 13]


In my case is not crashed and I have almost a year of use, in fact I use 3 or 4 instances of cherrytree at the same time, but if anyone read this, I want to said that cherrytree have and option to auto save X minutes and backup every X minutes and keep X number of backups, just in case you have issue you no lose anything, to my knowledge this is on by default, you can configure the option in "preferences then miscellaneous"

Is true it seems was developed in its own universe :D either way if you take the time to view the menus and learn you most used key-shortcut, CT work wonderful.

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wow! very nice hierarchical note :)

Pros for me:

  • Tags, don't underestimate the tags and the key-shortcut to search for something :) you can navigate quickly between tons of notes.
  • Search function, the first time it seems slow for 1 or 2 sec (tons of notes), then the following is ms, super quickly.
  • Use various instances of cherrytree. Really you need to try it.
  • Slow consumption of ram and cpu compare to alternatives.
  • Bookmarks. As the name suggest, use it to manage a lot of nodes.
  • Anchor and Node Links... You can organize it how you want it. Ex, you can reference a node to other node (links), you can reference to a specific section (Anchor)

Con for me:

  • no mobile :/ sometimes you need it... and not, I don't want to use joplin, is nowhere near the same.
  • UI the first time is weird. It seems from the roadmap this will change for better.
  • No custom icons in a easy way :/ yes sometimes you need it. Either way, you can change it or add more icons there is a topic on how to do it on github.

[Edited by Johxz, July 22]


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My observations, here are a few things I don't like::


  1. Why does anybody need a full always-available menu for import? That should be in a submenu (or dialogue) in the file menu.

  2. The export menu should be a submenu under File.

  3. No way to get custom icons in the tree instead of mostly cherries (yeah, yeah, cosmetics).

  4. No Easy way to adjust the syntax scheme formatting/colors.

  5. The tree could be more compact.

  6. Problem with encoding if the text is ?yrillic.


  1. Infinite nesting...

  2. Well-thought-out search.

  3. Using an anchor.

  4. Using tags.


I left that editor behind.


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I was looking for an open source alternative to Workflowy. This is about as close as I could get. The UI isn't all that modern, but it is fairly configurable. You can change the fonts used and their sizes. The size of the toolbar items can be changed, you can actually make them really big. In my case I disabled the toolbar; the icons mix badly with a dark theme.

The other thing that is a bit annoying is the icons. They are tiny and quite dated too. Maybe a nitpick on my part? Still, at least you can change the default entry icon from the cherry to any of the options they provide, such as a dot, like in a bullet list.

I'm happy with this application. It does everything I need it to do well, without subscriptions or needless cloud dependency.


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This is the best database/list/PIM program so far. It is a database attached to a word processor. It's small and simple to use. It does what is says and does it well. There is a table of contents on the left while the right holds the actual info. It will handle *.txt or *.rtf format and save it's data in a folder location of your choice. You can even insert pictures. And it's cross-platform so you can save your stuff and swtich between Windows and Linux. (It's still much, much simpler to use than those databases that come with most office suites. One of the things I've learned to absolutely dislike are databases - especially the ones that come with office suites. Whoever came up with those was a genius in mental torture. How in the name of St. Patrick are you supposed to work with that. Well, here is a really easy to use database that doesn't require you to do any mental Olympics...)


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CherryTree replaced Small KeyNote NF iconKeyNote NF in my laptop because CherryTree had a better Search function, better editing features and is frequently updated. Excellent auto-backup of your CherryTree database. 100% free and no ads.


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Good-looking and feature-full note taking software. Not just for programmers but for writers and researchers as well.


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After 2 years of using CherryTree daily for work and personal stuff, I have "defected" to Obsidian. But this is not an Obsidian plug, your mileage may vary.
With the transition to GTK3 in late 2020, older and half-forgotten bugs seemed to have resurfaced in CT, including the fact that text body / tree separator state is no longer saved upon exit, so you need to manually readjust it in every single session. Annoying little bugs that the author states he cannot reproduce so ends up ignoring them. Well, that's a stalemate, mate.
CT was really great in its old GTK2 form. It may come into its element once again with GTK3, but I for one have moved on.