The best note taking software on Linux

The best note taking software on Linux


The amount of information we process every
day is enormous and memorizing everything is simply impossible. This is where Note-taking software can
help us. So, what options of note-taking software do
we have on Linux? Hello everyone! It’s Average Linux User and in this video, I will share with you
my note taking experience on Linux. The first option is pretty obvious – Evernote. It is not the best in my opinion, but it is the most popular note-taking program. And it was the first note taking program I tried. Unfortunately, there is no native client for Linux. Yes, there are some third-party Evernote clients
developed for Linux, but from my experience, they do not work very well. However, Evernote has a decent web client,
and Linux users can use it with no problems. In my view, Evernote is an excellent program
for general-purpose note-taking. You can quickly make basic text formatting,
insert tables, images, links, create lists and attach files. The main drawback for me is there is no option
to paste programming code with syntax highlighting. The only way to designate code is to use it
as a plain text with some mono font style. Another annoying thing – there is no option
to export notes from the web client. Finally, it is proprietary software, and you have to pay
for premium if you want to use Evernote offline. So, I dropped out Evernote pretty quickly. My second note-taking program was Zim. Zim is very simple software designed to
make wiki pages, and it perfectly meets many requirements of a note-taking program. It is native on Linux, and probably it is the most popular note-taking software among Linux users. All the notes you create in Zim are saved
as plain text and can be read by any text editor. Synchronization can be made through any cloud
service like Dropbox. There are not many options in Zim, and this
is rather a positive side. You can do the basic font formatting, insert
links, tables, images, attach files and create lists. Taking notes in Zim is extremely fast process
thanks to the set of keyboard shortcuts. For example, you type a title and then press
Ctrl+1, and the header of level 1 is ready. If you type some code, highlight it and press
Ctrl+T, it will be formatted with a mono font style. But unfortunately, there is also no syntax highlighting. You can also extend the functionality of Zim
with a set of useful plugins. Spell Checker and Tray Icon are probably the
ones you would activate first. Zim has been my favorite note-taking program
for several years, and I still think it is the best note-taking software on Linux to make many simple notes. However, when my notes became more complex,
I started to look for something more sophisticated. And I found Cherrytree. Cherrytree is my current note-taking software. It is the most comprehensive note-taking program
available on Linux. The amount of features in this program extends
far beyond my needs. But three of them make me love this program
the most. 1. It is open-source and native on Linux. 2. It has code boxes with syntax highlighting
for almost all programming languages. 3. It is extremely efficient thanks to a powerful
set of keyboard shortcuts. Cherrytree stores its notes in a single file
that can be password protected. Synchronization across devices can be easily
made through Dropbox or any other cloud service. The interface of the program is very convenient
by default. If you want, you can change a lot of setting
using preferences. If it is not enough for you, some extra configuration
can be achieved by editing the config file. I also like the tree structure of notes on the left panel. But the killing feature of Cherrytree is its
code boxes with syntax highlights. It makes code reading much easier. And the code can be stored in a box that takes
only a few lines. And if needed, this box can be expanded with
the shortcuts Ctrl+, or shrunk with Ctrl+Alt+, One more feature that I like in Cherrytree is its ability to make several automatic backup copies of the notes’ database. If you removed a note, you could restore it
with no problem from a backup. If you have never used Cherrytree, I highly
recommend you to give it a try. Cherrytree can bring your note-taking experience
to an entirely different level. And if you are on Linux, this is the most
comprehensive note-taking program you can get. If you do not like neither Zim nor Cherrytree, here some other note-taking options available for Linux. Simplenote Simplenote is probably even simpler than Zim. If there was no Zim, I would recommend Simplenote. It is very good program if your notes contain only text. For all other type of notes like images, links,
codeboxes, you need to format your notes with Markdown. The basic instructions are provided within the program. NixNote NixNote is an unofficial client of Evernote for Linux. But you can also use it independently of Evernote. It is a very promising note-taking program. You can create text notes, make tables, attach
files and images. But as in Evernote, there is no syntax highlighting
for programming code. Paper from DropBox DropBox Paper is the best option for note-taking if you do not mind that it is available online only. It is way better than Evernote online client. You can take all possible note types: text,
tables, images, links, attachments, programming code. The interface is very responsive and effective. DropBox provides all the necessary instructions
on how to use DropBox Paper. For me, DropBox Paper is the best option for
collaborative notes. And I highly recommend it. Please, let me know in the comment section
what is your favorite note-taking program on Linux. And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this channel,
if you haven’t subscribed yet. I will definitely make detailed videos about
each of these note-taking programs in the future. Thank you for watching.

72 thoughts on “The best note taking software on Linux

  • I find emacs org-mode my favorite note taking software on Linux. It was a major part of why I switched to using emacs in the first place

  • I use OneNote. It works as a web app surprising well (On Chrome especially), but I mostly just use it because I use it whenever I'm on Windows. I believe that all of OneNotes' features are free. It's also great that it syncs instantly.

  • Your videos are top notch! BTW- Geany is my favorite note taking software, but I'll have to check out cherry tree. **EDIT** I'm trying out cherry tree… my only gripe so far is that only cherry tree can open cherry tree docs, and it chews up a lot of space in your storage. For example a simple text file with the words "this is a test" takes up 40,960 bytes, and that can add up. While in a normal .txt documet via Geany, which I can also access through vim is only 15 bytes. But I tree structure is amazing, I'll give it that.

  • I add two note mapping software:
    – Concept Mapping Tools: http://cmap.ihmc.us/cmaptools/ #Cmap tools is a really cool software
    – Xmind: http://www.xmind.net/

    Btw i haven't found a way to encrypt my notes with password, I keep a journal, so yah that needs private. I'm using "AllMyNotes Organizer" for Windows, and use wine to run it. It doesn't highlight programming languages, but It's pretty good, it provides encryption, Boolean search, really cool, unfortunately it's not free, i got it for $17

  • I'm another multi-year Zim user, – Cherrytree looks really interesting, but the flexibility of plain text in Zim wins for me, even though the code formatting in Cherrytree is impressive.!

  • Is there anything that can handle stylus drawing? Math notes are kind of hard to take without drawing on the screen. It would be great if it can recognize pressure level.

  • You forgot to mention TiddlyWiki. It is written in javascript, fully customisable, and can run in a single html file if you want. I use it with Node locally hosted on my machine, and stored on GitHub. Pretty impressive tool.

  • Favourite? CherryTree for sure! I even have the PortableApps.com version installed on a thumb-drive for use at my local library. Windows is the only option there… Unless I take a netbook… I have been using CherryTree for a few years now & think of it as a mini office suite. Thanks for the heads-up on DropBox Paper. I will have to install DropBox on a couple of my machines & give it a go. Ciao for now, 😉

  • Plain text files edited with a text editor when possible is best for simple notes. For a collection of richer notes and linked info and data, I love TiddlyWiki (free software and can be used either as a single html file or can also be run on top of nodejs)

  • Are any of these open source, self-hosting and can save webpages the way Evernote does? I find myself stuck with Evernote because of the handy web clipper as I tend to save lots of webpages into my notes. If there was another note taking app where I could save webpages I would consider it.

  • Well, that's pretty sore subject for me, because I want in a first place to fully own my data (do not trust le cloud meme), be able to read it anywhere, from any tamagochi (e.g. android phone), in most convenient way possible, also encrypt with well-established and reliable algorithm (read: gpg) and synchronize across all devices.
    So set of markdown-formatted plain text files controlled via git looks like one and only solution. Yep, there is a plenty of compromises, but still. Can't imagine myself staying in the middle of a street, with a smartphone, trying to make a deal with cherrytree's xml files in headless emacs, lmao.

  • How about CherryTree? I am using it for some time and, in my opinion, this is an excellent note-taking program. Although it is not cloud-based, but you can simply bypass this by placing your notes in dropbox, or mega cloud folder. Perhaps you can make a tutorial about cherrytree some time?

  • Hi ALU
    First let me thank you for great videos your are making.
    I am sure I am not the first to say we learned a lot from them.
    Can you kindly make a more in depth review of cherrytree.
    It seems to have a ton of features and it would great to see the more important ones.
    Thanks

  • If you are going to recommend – how about including the download name. I got lucky with #yaourt cherrytree and it found it. Just hope its the right or same one. Ok, back to testing.

  • Zim Source View plugin allow to put code blocks in a lot of languages as well http://zim-wiki.org/manual/Plugins/Source_View.html . Thanks for the video

  • Your overview shows indeed the better note taking apps (albeit a pitty that you do not mention FileOne 😉

    Before I developped FileOne, I used CherryTree.

    Now I'm using of course FileOne 😉

    I'm the developer of FileOne organizer which started as a Note taking app. It is not open source but it is available for Linux as well. As a matter of fact, I develop FileOne organizer on Linux in the first place (then I port to Windows and Mac OS).

    It allows you to combine Documents, Notes, Agenda, Email, Web browsing and multimedia in a single desktop app. Small and scalable at the same time. You can also share treeview and corresponding data secure with other users of FileOne.

    FileOne organizer runs on Linux, MacOS and Windows and can be used as a desktop alternative for EverNote and OneNote.

    You can check the FileOne (F1) Facts:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8-jJ23XLLQ

    …..and the FileOne (F1) intro:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22JcQB3SR7A

  • the best video Ive ever seen about the productivity tools, thanks for introduced CherryTree, I was looking for a notetaking witch i can access my notes from my android phone and tablet as well as my pc with native application it is not match with this part but feature-wise it was exactly what i was looking for.

  • I currently use Treepad (www.treepad.com) under Wine in Linux. I love the program, but am considering a true Linux alternative. Thank you for the nice roundup.

  • provide some tutorial or info on video editing on linux for natron or any thing else but it should br animation. now just cut and copying clips in kdenlive

  • Good review, Alu. Please, do a tutorial of Markdown inserting code, comments and how can I get an index of all the stuffs. This is way to GitHub, Reddit and Wiki… See you. I love your channel.

  • Have to tried "Joplin?" I just read an article that said "Joplin is an open source cross-platform note-taking and to-do application. It can handle a large number of notes, organized into notebooks, and can synchronize them across multiple devices."

  • another really good one is called Notes-up, atm it can be a bit tricky to install it on plain ubuntu (bc its developed for elementary os) and you will find it in the AUR
    It is made using the GTK toolkit and its quite nice and minimalistic

  • i think that the best note-taking app is Joplin, i have it on my pc with windows and manjaro, my netbook with manjaro, my tablet and my smartphone and all sincronize perfectly, it supports markdown an katex, its great

  • all are good but … in my case (more than 1500 note ) the most important factor is the SEARCH FEATURE … yes why should i use a note taking app if the search can help me find what i am looking for

    Tree-based vs Tag-based ? i prefer to use them both to gain more superpower through SEARCH
    evernote unfortunately so popular these days — is more geared to Tag-based search and just a little of stack of notebooks

    my DREAM is a web app like Firefox bookmarks –
    Pros : tree-based – tag-based – good search –
    Cons : not accessible outside FF, only URL no rich text editing, no API knowing that i do little coding sometimes

  • We have recently published a new free cross-platform note-taking application called ThetaPad (http://thetapad.com). Please consider using it – it is simple enough, fast and feature rich for comfortable personal information management

  • Good article/video, thank you! I found cherrytree on my own a few weeks ago and agree it is very full featured, fast and easy to use.

  • I have been using cherrytree with mega for some time now and it is great! the thing that I dont like about it is that there is no android app…

  • I use plain text for note taking and I've made a custom syntax highlighting scheme for .txt files in Sublime Text with many formatting features such as bold, titles, highlighting, URL's, checkboxes, lists and many more.

  • The top three have got to be, emacs org-mode, vim + vimwiki, or just an r markdown file that you compile into pdf. Yet neither one of these were considered.

  • I love standard notes, notes are synchronised with an Ios/android application, protected using A256 encryption and there is a client on linux.

  • yuck evernote. Notion.so is better with syntax highlighting feature and better looking UI, but it's not perfect (doesn't have Vim bindings).

  • I use simplenote, the best thing about it is that it has a client for every system including android and Linux ,and synchronization is very easy

  • THX for The effort ..I just installed Cherrytree for 5th or more time and I just don't like it. I deinstalled it and I installed Zim instead on my Deepin linux;
    I love the workflow in Zim sometimes I use basket. CTRL + U highlights text Yellow (in menu it is mark)
    Or type CTRL+F paste text to searchbox and checkbox click highlight is't purple ..in my case
      Used to be a fan of Evernote..but since the offline mode is gone..I'm gone too ..

  • I think this video should be remade for 2019. See what has changed, what other software you might recommend, what software you might no longer be recommending etc.

  • ANY text editor can be note taking app if you use cloud service. This list is redundant.
    On the other hand, if you have note app with integrated cloud that works on ALL platforms, that would be interesting info.

  • Please take a look at Standard Notes. I'll not completely sold on it, but it is up-and-coming, with native apps on Linux, Windows, and Android. (Maybe Mac too, but those three are important to me.) Good code support too.

    If you're not eliminating web-only note taking, Microsoft OneNote is also good.

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