Joplin Reviews

about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 9 Helpful Report as spam

I think I have found my OneNote replacement. After Microsoft announced that OneNote is being deprecated, and its replacement is probably never going to support offline notebooks, I was looking for something new, mostly a tool that would still let me decide where I store my own data (the fact that it's 2018 and Microsoft still doesn't understand this need, or has forgotten about its importance, is baffling).

Joplin offers desktop clients as well as pretty full-featured mobile apps. This already disqualified most other alternatives. I occasionally want to check off a few items on my to-do lists while I'm out and about. There is also a sort-of folder structure using multiple notebook files. It's not as powerful as the very helpful hierarchies of OneNote, but it's a start. You can kind of fake a structure for your notes using tags, but I'm generally not a big fan of tags. For my current needs, it's enough, though. And maybe a more powerful organisation feature will be in Joplin's future.

Having Markdown syntax instead of some proprietary formatting is definitely a plus. Having all of my notes stored in plain-text on my hard drive makes me feel much more secure about not losing access to my data. Synchronisation integration is great, too. I had Dropbox sync set up within minutes, and working on both a Windows desktop and an Android app.

There certainly are more downsides. The application is developed in a modern fashion, which includes some trends that are definitely regressions. For example, the desktop apps are based on Electron, which makes them comparatively slow, sluggish, heavyweight and memory-hungry. Working with an Electron app is simply no comparison to a proper, natively compiled application. (I sometimes wonder if young people today even have a concept of how quick and snappy working on a desktop computer used to be back in the day, before broken-loose web technologies and managed code ruined the day =D). That Joplin for Windows is an 80+ MB download, and installs as close to 200 MB, is just ridiculous; the application feels like it should weigh in the region of 1-3 MB tops. But I also understand that an open-source project doesn't have unlimited resources, and I'd rather have a managed-code application that is available across this many platforms, than native apps that take much longer to reach the same level of functionality. And also, OneNote wasn't exactly a light-weight application either, even though of course that came with the benefit of a massive feature set.

Joplin remains my note-taking app of choice for now. The only alternative that seems like it might be as good, is TagSpaces. I also looked into Knowte, MyTetra, Elephant, KeepNote, KeyNote NF, and Wikidpad, but all of those were ruled out already because they lack a suitable mobile solution.

[Edited by Anamon, May 14]

reply

I was looking for something new, mostly a tool that would still let me decide where I store my own data (the fact that it's 2018 and Microsoft still doesn't understand this need, or has forgotten about its importance, is baffling).

I think:

  • they understand it
  • they haven't forgoten it
    but...
  • it's more lucrative for them not to offer it. If they store your data, they are in control of it. For example, without telling you, then can index it, parse it, feed it into AI. That can be used in multiple ways for profit. For example, to understand who uses their systems and why. Or they can sell it to advertisers... now or at a later date. It also will help them to submit data to three-letter agencies. Controlling the data on their side will mean it's easier for them to profile you. It's also unlikely that you will find any concrete commitments from MS about how your data is treated if you close your MS account. When is it deleted? From all servers? How quickly? How irrecoverably? But yeah, I don't think they have forgotten or don't understand.

Yes, I also don't honestly think that they have forgotten :) but I also think that it's a very short-sighted business decision. Sensibility about these issues is rising. And I don't even primarily mean the security and privacy issues – since I have set up Dropbox sync for Joplin, that's obviously not a major concern for me, hehe. But I'm thinking about the increased reliance on cloud service availability, and people starting to notice the dangers of not having local control over their data.

The strategy seems especially short-sighted concerning business users, which are a big deal for Microsoft. Even their own OneNote FAQ states that they understand that the cloud-only solution will disqualify the application for many business users.

The GDPR might even give me some guarantees in terms of the deletion and retention questions you mention, at least as a European customer. But that's just the one side of the equation that is about, what if they store my data and I don't want them to. Personally, I'm usually more concerned about the opposite question: what if I rely on them storing my data, and they do a poor job of it or decide they don't feel like offering that service anymore. The GDPR has some rules about that, too – keyword data portability – but I'd rather not get myself into that situation in the first place.

about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 9 Helpful Report as spam

This is an absolute gem. Replacing Evernote is a holy grail of privacy-oriented people who want to stay productive. Joplin does this better and more simply than any other program I've found to date. It's genuinely difficult to describe how relieved I am to have found it and given it a chance.

It's biggest advantages are:

  • it's cross platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, Android and iPhone). Evernote has for a long time treated Linux users as second-class citizens.
  • unlike in Endnote, you can enrypt your notes and transfer them encrypted. Excellent!
  • it's not tied to any specific syncing service/cloud, which means you can just get it to save in the folder of your choice and sync that however you like.
  • it's open source!
  • it has a simple but capable search and a tagging system (admittedly not as sophisticated as Evernote's but I'm sure it will be good enough for 90% of users)
  • unlike other open-source programs aiming to replace Evernote, Joplin allows you to:
  • attach (not just link to) any kind of file type to a note. And multiple files (your move, Turtl). This includes embedding images. Eat your heart, Laverna.
  • import notes from Evernote
  • work on mobile
  • Set reminders and todo lists!
  • it's free!

Disadvantages:

  • To get formatting in your notes, you'll need to learn markdown. This is a simple set of symbol sequences to get bold, italics, bullet points and titles, subtitles, etc. It sound inconvenient, but after about 30 minutes of practice, you'll have it licked. I promise. It's really a very small thing to learn.
  • At the time of writing, images embedded in the note cannot be resized.
  • pdf files are not previewed
  • no links between notes (cannot share/cross link between notes)
  • can't narrow searches by multiple tags

Note that Joplin is new. Its stated intention is to replace Evernote. It's likely some of its shortcomings are going to be addressed in the future.

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 8 Helpful Report as spam

A truly cross-platform, free, open source Evernote alternative that supports encryption, any syncing service you like, tagging, todos, time-based reminders, and has no privacy-violating aspects. You can import from Evernote. Only disadvantage: you have to learn markdown. (This takes 30 minutes and is a trivial inconvenience, when you consider the advantages of Joplin.)

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 3 Helpful Report as spam

It is new
It is open source
It can take notes
It does the encryption
It is local and works with cloud drives

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 2 Helpful Report as spam

It does what Evernote does in addition to being in charge of your own data, plus encryption.

Like Evernote it has:

  1. desktop application
  2. mobile app
  3. browser extension (a.k.a webclipper). you can take notes your self or clip the web pages and add it to your collection.

Unlike Evernote it has:

  1. Linux application as well (Appimage)
  2. multi layer folder structure of your notes (in Onenote and Evernote you are stuck with only 3 layers which does not cut it for real note organization platform)
  3. you can save your data in your own preferred folder on your computer which can be synced to your Dropbox or any other cloud storage
  4. Dropbox API which means it can communicate with Dropbox server directly
  5. very transparent active development ( I tried to find the release notes on the webapp of Evernote but I couldn't find any)
  6. feature suggestion and voting for everyone
  7. opensource code. meaning if the developer stops working, others can continue. Also everyone can audit the source code and make sure no funny business is going on.
  8. Patreon page where you can (if you like) donate money to the project as much as you like (from 0 to infinity)

[Edited by mehradmahmoudian, July 13]

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

The most Recommended note taking application. it can automatically sync to so many device you have. In PC there's native application for Linux, Mac, Windows, in Phone there is apps for android and ios, joplin has ability of e2e encryption. Any kind of file can be attached and synchronized. Markdown and math notation of latex is available by default, no need to download or buy extension to work with these things. Lets Support this amazing opensource note taking application by buying some cup of coffee and tea to the developer. https://joplin.cozic.net/donate/

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

This is the Evernote replacement I have been waiting for! Initially I thought using markdown would be a disadvantage but I have found that my notes now have a simpler, cleaner look. Sure there are no coloured table cells available but I found that getting that to work consistently in Evernote was a bit hit-and-miss anyway. The syncing works (I currently use Dropbox but may try Nextcloud) and so does the end-to-end encryption. You can link notes to notes (or pretty much anything else). You can export notes to PDF and, unlike Evernote, printed notes are clear (Evernote has never printed italic text properly for me).

What put me off before downloading when looking at screenshots was the layout with the markdown pane being visible next to the "rendered" pane. This is not a problem, pressing a layout button on the toolbar switches between both panes visible, markdown only and "rendered" only. You only need to see the markdown pane when you are editing.

I was able to import my entire set of notes from Evernote. It did take time to tidy them up but this resulted in me learning how to use markdown (it's not difficult). I am now installing the Android mobile client and I am going to have a go at the LINUX CLIENT (hooray!) next. The web-clipper is easy to install and use and has some nice features. I have only been using this for a couple of days and I am SO impressed. I have not finished testing it yet but I have already decided I will be donating to the dev regardless. This person needs supporting.

reply
about Joplin · · Report as spam

Awesome App, I was looking for an open source note sync alternative that allows to keep your notes saved locally (or using an external cloud service)! Great job!

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

A truly great piece of software with a lot of potential to become the best open-source cross-platform note taking app. Have been using it for a few days now, and here is what I loved the most:

  • it's open source
  • notes are encrypted (if you enable encryption of course)
  • syncs flawlessly between two of my PCs and an android phone
  • side-by-side live preview with the ability to hide either side
  • great markdown support (with checkboxes!)
  • syntax highlight for programming languages
  • hierarchical notebooks structure (just drag and drop a notebook onto a parent)
  • web clipper is a nice add-on, haven't used it much though

There are some downsides of course, but they are rather small, especially if you keep in mind that the project is still very young, it's free and open-source:

  • there is no trash or archive feature, so no way to restore deleted notes
  • android app functionality is a bit lacking (no buttons for quick formatting, no pin-code locking, etc.)

Other than that Joplin is great as it is. I've tried 10+ other apps in this category, and this gem is the best so far. Those of you who are trying to find an open-source privacy-respecting note taking app should definitely give Joplin a shot.

Thank you very much for great software!

reply
about Joplin · · Report as spam

Joplin accomplishes its goal very well. It is a wonderfully functional replacement for Evernote and, with the recent addition of syncing with Nextcloud, positions itself as an up and coming competitor to any notetaking app on the market.

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

It does everything a note taker apps needs to with a clean interface and end to end encryption. My only gripe is not pasting photos and no direct import from Onenote (but that's probably more onenotes fault)

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

You can read markdown and LaTeX on the fly while typing it.

reply
about Joplin · · Report as spam

I want to keep my data and I was searching for an alternative to OneNote. I also want synchronisation between all my computers. I've tested at least dozen of notes software ans I think I've found the good one. Easy to use, neat, light, young enought to goodly evolve : all I am looking for !

reply
about Joplin · · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

I switched from OneNote to Joplin. It works on all platforms I use and doesn't need an extra server part.

Just awesome.

reply