Turtl Reviews

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Turtl aims to replace note-taking apps like Evernote or, perhaps more accurately, Google Keep. It allows you to make notes, synchronize them and add attachments to them. A tagging system helps keep everything ordered and you can even share with other Turtl users.

The particular appeal is that Turtl is open source, free and, unlike Google Keep, it doesn't harvest your data or, unlike Evernote, keep it unencrypted behind only a simple password (and visible to employees). No, Turtl uses just about the best encryption algorithm, AES-256, to make sure that ONLY you - the person with the password - can read your data. There is even a browser plugin for Turtl to help you capture links whilst browsing.

Turtl is a one-man project, and it's progressing slowly. It is a valiant effort, though, against the onslaught of privacy-invading services and I'm fully supportive of Turl's mission. Version 0.64 has been out for ages, however, and it suffers from several bugs that make Turtl not quite what it could be. The mobile version is quite crashy, for example. And there is no way to unshare stuff once you shared it with someone else.

But it is going in the right direction. Turtl is exactly the sort of app the world should be supporting, not the data-harvesting, democracy-destroying, privacy-invading Keeps of this world.

I have used Turtl for months-on-end. Ultimately, it frustrated me just a tad too much because it's still a rough diamond. But the Trello board is active, so hopefully we'll see a new version out soon. Depending on your needs, Turtl might suit you, so don't let me dissuade you. If you're more in the market for an out-and-out Evernote replacement, check out Standard Notes (encrypted and open source), Joplin (still in heavy depelopment, but it is encrypted and open source) or even InkDrop (not open source, but encrypted and very capable as a note-taking app). None of these have full Evernote-class functionality, but all of them are infinitely more secure and privacy-respecting. If you use Evernote to store files, consider combining a note-taking app from the list I just mentioned with an encrypted file-storing/syncing service like Sync.com, Tresorit or Spideroak. You can always just link to shared files in your notes, instead of attaching them.


Unmaintained Android app

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Last updated 2016-06-14


[Edited by Natterjack565, September 24]

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Be careful with this app, especially when you want to store your important data. I've check my internet connection several times and everything's good. But I can't login my account in recent days. On my PC, it appears pop-up "os error 10060". On my Android, it shows pop-up "os error 11".

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The concept is good but the app is quite clunky

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A free easy alternative to evernote that is encrypted

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  • require user account to use
  • no dark theme