Joplin for notes

For the last few years I have been using Markdown for note taking and documentation. I find the syntax quick and easy to use and can be read by numerous applications. If I care to share a document it’s as easy as sending .md files around, uploading to my hugo site, or by creating a mdwiki from it.

In the beginning I was more concerned about being that linux guy that did everything via the commandline and I would do all my editing in vim. Later I tried out vimwiki and orgmode. My syncing between devices was done using git, and used GPG for encryption.

As time went on, I realized I wanted more features… Things like mobile access, picture uploading (especially for screenshot pasting), cloud syncing, and exporting to PDF (to share with people that may not like markdown files).

Over the past year I have been testing out many different note taking apps. Many of them have really nice, but each missing certain features that made me give up on them. But then came along Joplin (github).

pickedJoplin

Joplin’s interface is not as polished looking as other apps like Bear, but I believe the UI will be addressed by the developer soon. I also give extra points to Joplin for providing a commandline version for when I’m feeling nostalgic.

AllClients

Comments about the others

Bear

I love Bear. It’s super clean and polished, and the monthly rate is like $1.50! But the lack of markdown tables and being stuck in the Apple ecosystem (and I’m a Mac and iPhone user!) give it negative points. The keep saying the features are coming, but their development cycle is slow. Encryption is only provided by data being at rest on icloud – They say more encryption features are coming.

I may revisit this app again some day!

Quiver

Apple only ecosystem. My understanding is the iOS app is read-only. For a paid app I feel like it’s just as polished looking as Joplin. The block-types are interesting getting used to.

The presentation mode is a pretty cool idea – Display your notes like kind of like powerpoint.

Boostnote

I really want to like Boostnote, but the iOS app is currently on hold

Laverna

I have had some issues with the webapp, and lack of iOS app. Exporting to other formats isn’t great.

Turtl

Lack of linking to other notes. Lack of embedding images into notes. Lacking in export options.

I might check them out again someday.

Evernote

Everyone seems to want to get away from them. Code pasting is terrible. Encryption is done by selecting text and encoding just that selection. No native linux client. No markdown. Not open source.

Notion

I really like Notion! It can be as simple or complex as you’d like it to be. The thing I struggle with is relying on a SaaS production to have my all my data – It’s a trust thing for me. Especially when there is no encryption.

I may come back to these guys again some day. I would highly recommend looking at them for a team space/wiki.

OneNote

Honestly the thing that drives me the most insane about OneNote is the lack of code pasting – Monospaced text does not count. No markdown. Closed-closed-closed-sourced. The free-formed/start typing anywhere gives me anxiety and I need structure in my life.

Agenda and Mweb

I like that they offer a Note-to-blog workflow but they just lack features I want. Apple ecosystem.

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Andrew Martin
Lead BI Infrastructure Architect

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