Standard Notes Reviews

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I think this quote sums up why I love Standard Notes: "Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away"

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I tried Standard Notes because I am concerned with privacy and security matters. I am an Evernote user as well and I was looking for a more secure replacement.

I'm really satisfied with the end to end encryption and the general security model of Standard Notes.

I also really appreciate the simplicity and minimalism of the program even though it is becoming more and more clear during the regular use that is not a design choice made for usability but more to keep the software easy to maintain for the devs. The most annoying outcome of this choice is the very different user experience between the desktop and the mobile versions. For example using the advanced editor on the desktop app means that in the android app you will have a note with visible html tags. In the end the software experience feels more broken than simple.

In fact I ended up paying for a subscription basically to get rid of the painful red and white UI of the android app and only in second place for the extra features (which I will talk more about later on).

The episode that gave me more concerns:

I was trying the advanced editor on a existing note with some sensitive information (my bad, I know). I converted some text to bold and then to get it back to plain text quickly I pressed ctrl + z several times. Not only the mark up tags didn't completely get removed but the note information somehow disappeared without any chance to get it back (I still had to activate the note history extension).

After this episode my sense of reliability for Standard Notes dropped quite considerably. I think the note history extension should be installed by default or at least there is the need of some kind of reliability system to avoid accidentally losing data in the notes (an edit button might be useful as well even though it wouldn't have helped in my case).

Regarding some of the extensions and themes:

While using the folders extension the UI is broken so it is impossible to edit the tag because the interaction menu is not clickable. Even though I think that there is no real need of nested tags (especially when the system can't be clearly mirrored on the android app) the actual extension should work correctly.

While using a dark theme the notes background flashes with white when switching between notes. It is annoying.

The default color scheme of the app is a punch in the eyes and it feels like it has been done this way so you end up subscribing just to get rid of the offending red color (which is what I did at least).

A better UI color scheme for the android app should be done or at least one extra theme should be available for the free app.

Overall I have the perception of a really (passive) aggressive business model in many ways and as far as I have the will to help the devs of Standard Notes as a paying user I couldn't help but feeling a bit manipulated in my decision to get a paid subscription in a quite unfair way a few times during my first hours of using the software.

In this light I can't help but seeing also the way the software description is written on their website as dodgy: don't try to buy me with promises of "eternal life" and strong coding ethic when in the actual experience it is so easy to lose all the information on a note.

I'm not saying that the devs are greedy or have bad intentions, I understand their position as in the app business they have to compete with giant companies and this might be really unfair to them. But still my suggestion is to try and be more clear with their customers because the software it IS good and there is no need of marketing tricks to get people to subscribe in my opinion. Especially for a software oriented towards security and privacy a clearer and straightforward marketing strategy would be much more appreciated.

To the company:

I understand (and to some extent also appreciate) the bold effort to stand out (and the software probably deserve it as well) but please try to stay more conscious of the customers point of view, in the process.

TL;DR:

Standard Notes is a valuable note taking app alternative for individuals concerned with privacy and security matters with a strip down user experience that feels overall more lacking than simple, though, and both design choices and a business model/marketing strategy that generate some concerns from a customer point of view. Nonetheless there is really good potential in the software and I encourage getting a paid subscription to support its development.

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Does client-side encryption, works on all platform, properly usable as a journal as well as for note taking. The Best.

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about Standard Notes · · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam
  • Both client and server are open sources (not like Simplenote where the only clients are open sources).
  • Support RTL languages (not like Simplenote, Laverna, Paperwork which they didn't support RTL).
  • Offer hosted plan (free and paid) so you can choose between hosting your instance or sign up on their server (not like Laverna, Paperwork where you have to implement and run your instance)
  • You can choose between several editors!
  • Support End-to-End encryption and extensions!
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Works without any fuss, streamlined, syncs beautifully. I love the privacy features. This is what I want from software.

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Encrypted data stays encrypted. Nobody sees your stuff except you. In this day of you being the product companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google Experian, banks, and Apple sell every day it's nice to see someone who cares more about their user.

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There's no friction between deciding to write a note and actually writing the note, so I end up with better notes! I can open it, write, save and close it in less than a minute. Plus I like that I can choose extensions to add just the features I want, which avoids bloat. I'm a big fan of their security and privacy policies too.

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Encrypted notes. Simplicity both in both underlying design and in usability. Available securely on all my devices. Developers seems easy to reach out to. No vendor lock-in and it's open source. Basically the most carefully crafted notes app I've ever used.

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Really only one working alternative for notes taking across various platforms. Besides encryption, it provides very good search across entire notes, your data is exportable. Mobile app lacks a bit of whistles and... but it has solid basic functionality and that's the most important. I've spent about a week comparing available solutions and my final choice was between Standard Notes VS iA Writer on Android (wonderful interface, I am crazy about it and I wish SN mobile app had the same markdown rendering, but iA Writer has no search option at all across notes folder) + QOwnNotes (good app, but lack of solid search engine, markdown rendering on desktop is somewhat limited) or Typora (nice app, but Folder Tree is sorted alphabetically only and no search across files in folder at all). My final decision was give Standard Notes a try and so far so good I'm happy with it. There's no perfection in this world but SN developer has attitude which as for me it seems to be right and correct as for secure and private note keeping software.

[Edited by sancho, October 09]

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Very clean, cares about security and privacy

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Simplistic, UI is easy to navigate, respects its users' privacy by locally encrypting the notes before syncing them to the server.

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Linux, Secure, Web Support when needed, Mobile Clients, Privacy!

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I use it to sync work and leis...

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Good, functional piece of software. I use it to sync work and leisure notes to one place. The desktop app interface needs some work, though I do prefer a simple thing over too much bells and whistles for simply taking notes. Formatting in premium version also needs improvement, but core functionality (taking notes, tagging them and syncing across devices) works fine. I'm happy to support this project!

[Edited by arttuvanninen, August 11]

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Finally.

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An app that gives me the features I need, and doesn't overdo it with other nonessentials. Quick. Secure.

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