I take a lot of notes, be it my age or being constantly busy I need to write things down. Because of this I’ve tried a lot of applications from Evernote and OneNote through to Google Keep.

All of these software items are generally quite good however they do come with issues from lack of proper cross compatibility, costs and their propritory format issues.

The question is what else can you use to take notes with?


Up until recently I’ve been using Notable

The Markdown-based note-taking app that doesn’t suck.

Notable is a good lightweight app which creates a markdown file in a predefined folder, which is handy as these can be opened by most other good editors so there is no lock in.

While the functionality is limited, it fitted what I needed was Markdown, images, tags and pinning. There are however plenty of other features listed on the site which may be of use to others.

  • Built-in cheatsheet for quick reference.
  • Built-in tutorial for learning the app while using it.
  • Multiple data directories are supported, so you can separately store different notes collections.
  • Attachments can be added to any note, even via copy/paste, and they are also stored on disk individually.
  • Tags are indefinitely nestable.
  • Import your existing notes library from other apps like Evernote or Boostnote.
  • Export your notes to Markdown, HTML or PDF.
  • Fuzzy search is used when searching.
  • Markdown editor which supports multi-cursors, line numbers, a minimap, scrolling beyond the last line and more.
  • Linking to other notes and attachments is supported.
  • Share a note simply with a link.
  • Todos can be used for task management.
  • Code blocks are syntax-highlighted and can be copied with one click.
  • Float on top of other apps, optionally while being translucent too.
  • FutureBuilt-in synchronization, so you won’t have to resort to Dropbox/Google Drive/etc.
  • FutureBuilt-in version control, integrated into the app and easy to use.
  • FutureMobile apps, so you won’t have to resort to third-party Markdown editors.
  • FuturePlugins, so that if we don’t provide that feature you need you can probably just download a plugin for it or write one yourself.

The software is available for Windows, Linux (in may formats) and Mac

This week however I found a new application which I’ve moved over to

Standard Notes | A Simple And Private Notes App
Standard Notes is a private notes app that features unmatched simplicity, end-to-end encryption, powerful extensions, and open-source applications.

Standard Notes

This is an initially free cloud based not taking app, which pitches itself as an alternative to Evernote.

Feature wise out of the box the software is supported on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, IOS and Web Interface which makes it great for the cross device setup I’ve got.

All communication and notes are fully encrypted using AES 256 and the notes you write are automatically sync’ed to the web (encrypted) so no forgetting to click save (something i do all the time). Having these notes sync while writing also means that opening the app on a mobile device (or another platform) we see the last state of the note taken.

There is also no limit on the devices you can install Standard Notes on

While the software is opensource, money is still needed to fund these projects, and Standard Notes does this using subscribed extensions which bring things like themes and plugins including 2fa to the software.

Generally speaking the software itself looks nice, and its nice to have a multi platform solution I can run on Desktop, the Web and Mobile devices which performs automatic saves. This fits my personal workflow very well across Linux, Mac, ChromeOS and Android.

On the desktop side, its a nice simple interface which the paid extensions add to however even in the free version it still feels a bit more polished than Notable.


Two note taking apps with two very different ways of ensuring your notes are available with you wherever you need them. Notable with Nextcloud is more desktop centric and Standard Notes being the cloud fed option.

By davidfield

Tech Entusiast