What's your notes app of choice?

  • What is your preferred note-taking app of choice?
  • Why do you use what you use?
  • What features does it have that makes you enjoy?

I’ve been using Fedora 39 on my AMD FW 13 and it has been going fairly smooth (with a minor hiccups here and there). Using Linux as a daily driver OS is relativity new thing for me. I was doing some background research on note taking apps to find a good alternative for what I have been using for a couple of years now, which is Google Keep. I know, it is not the best option for the privacy conscious. De-Googling my life is an active long-project that I am working on.

Personally I have been getting into Joplin. It is free, open source, and seems like a great solution for someone looking for a service with cloud sync. I might look into getting the basic tier subscription so that my notes can sync across all of my devices.

What about you?

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I used Evernote for nearly 20 years, paying for a personal sub. Loved and evangelized the app,but it’s gone down the drain with the recent corporate aquisition, Bending Spoons.

They may have fixed some of the most egregious bugs, but they also jacked up the subscription price tremendously.

I don’t mind paying for a subscription, but I have no confidence in the current Evernote corp overlords, and the price is simply too high.

I tried a number of apps, and personally settled on Notesnook. It has a subscription as well, but it’s fast and reminds me of the ‘old’ relible Evernote. Without all the feature creep.

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Increasingly reluctant user of Notion, trying to migrate to Obsidian.


Why is it that so many people use Notion, yet so many are growing tired of it?

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Isn’t that just a matter that only people who use it have the opportunity to grow tired of it? The former is a prerequisite for the latter.

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Speaking for myself, I would not say that I am getting tired of Notion.
Instead, as time passes, I am committing more and more information into my Notion account, creating a relatively high dependence on their service.
However, the lack of an proper offline mode is increasingly worrisome to me, creates some unease in the back of my head (what if there is an outage when I really need to access some of my Notion notes ? type of unease).
More generally, the lack of encryption and advanced privacy controls is also a growing concern for the same reason stated a few sentences ago.

While Notion is by far the most feature complete note taking application I have been using so far, I have been looking to migrate to something like Obsidian (offline mode, supports sync, lots of plugins, ability to run it over an encrypted file system, etc…) that gives the user more control of the data. I have been looking at progressively moving some of my notes there, but I must admit it has been quite challenging.


Same. I started on Notion and ended up moving everything to markdown / Obsidian hosted on OneDrive (for work) or syncthing. I miss some of the advanced database/table and tags I could do with Notion but I also do not miss the service dependency, privacy or security. Since it’s markdown it’s much more portable, and I can easily start a document in Obsidian and move it out if I need. Most of the documentation I do is in markdown anyways.

I also had a brief stop at OneNote for my work notes which was nice in some ways (most of my coworkers use it so it’s easy to share notes that way), but not being able to enforce consistent styling across my notes was incredibly frustrating.

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My main hurdle is to find a good enough alternative for this in Obsidian.

Yeah, I definitely miss it. I don’t have any real recommendations - I didn’t look that hard for a replacement. I basically was using it to assign tags to a list of files to make it easy to sort through, so I ended up using a specific folder and filename structure to imitate it. That has worked well enough for me, but I know that Notion can do a lot more than that when it comes to databases.

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Obsidian, though I primarily rely on a physical notebook which is the pretty much always on me.


Emacs with org-mode.

The markup just makes sense, while being, better yet, a plaintext file.
Write, commit, push, and then I have version-controlled notes to share with anyone.


micro IDE or physical notebook.
I can’t stand anything on the web (when I want to note something down, I want to note it fast).

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I have used Evernote for years, migrated to self-hosted Joplin, and even used Notion for a while.

I just ran across https://www.usememos.com/ and am giving it a try, self hosting it of course.

Not sure where I’ll land.

I have Joplin on my desktop, mobile and even configured as a terminal app. I like the power of Joplin.

I have Memos accessible from my laptop through a browser, and am running MoeMemos on Android. So far, I am liking the simplicity of Memos.


Joplin is pretty good. I don’t use the cloud features, instead just syncing the notebook across my devices with Resilio Sync.

I do like Onenote a lot as well, but don’t use it for anything serious. It is a shame because Onenote has a lot of really great features, but its direct ties and need for One Drive are a deal breaker to me.

On Linux there is another application called Paper that I’ve been using. Simple notepad type app, but I really like the simplicity and light weight nature of it. I highly recommend it.


I use Joplin with a selfhosted Nextcloud backend.

Synchronization to several desktops and android mobiles is done via webdav.

Works very well for my workflow.

btw, I sync my keepass password database the same way


Notesnook is my standard app for just writing things down.

Obsidian for school notes, though I’ve never managed to stick to it and create a proper knowledge base

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I went all in on Standard Notes about three years ago. I was attracted to the focus on privacy and all of the different note formats you could choose from.

They have raised their prices since I became a paid user, and while I am grandfathered into a lower price I think it is pretty insane how they are charging now. I am frankly pretty disenchanted with having subscriptions for every little function I use my computer for. Once my subscription is up, I am going to switch to just notes in the markdown format stored in whatever cloud storage I am already paying for.

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I’ve gone through a few options over time:
Physical journal > [default note app on phone at the time] > [.txt files on pc] > Obsidian > Logseq > Daily You > Obsidian

Finally settled on Obsidian because I much prefer its UX to Logseq. Though it isn’t open-source, I just disabled its internet permissions and use Syncthing to sync across devices. This does mean I can’t currently make use of the community plugins, but I’m still learning the basic functions of Obsidian so it’ll be a while before I can appreciate those plugins anyways.


If you just want a really simple note-taking app with sync capabilities, you might want to look at TomBoy, which is completely free and open-source.

If you want it more complex, like Notion, but open-source and with some privacy included, maybe AnyType is for you.


I’ve been using Obsidian for about a year and a half.

My reasons for this choice are:

  • Files are stored locally, cloud-based solutions like Notion are out of the question for me
  • Files are stored in Markdown, which makes migration to future apps which also use Markdown relatively easy, and I can also edit them directly
  • Vibrant community with lots of development and plugins

Features that I love:

  • Excellent search
  • WYSIWYG editor works great
  • Ease of creating a customized theme (with the help of a couple of plugins)
  • I personally really like the look and feel of the “sliding panes” tab arrangement
  • Built-in snapshots - fairly basic but has saved my bacon a few times when I accidentally deleted things
  • Graph view of linked notes - I rarely ever look at the full graph, but the local graph can be useful to quickly and visually find related notes that I didn’t think of

Things I don’t like:

  • Tables aren’t great, editing them feels clunky even with the Advanced Tables plugin
  • Printing is slightly cumbersome, has to be exported to PDF first and then one can print the PDF