alternative to evernote

I’ve been trying a bunch of programs out, and I’ve narrowed it down to three that I like for different reasons.


Pros: open source and free (donations accepted), tagging, dynamic text/hyperlinks, attach pics, note info, notebooks, full-text search, easy to use, offers a plaintext editor and regular editor, has extensions to change the editor and other things, allows import from Evernote and other programs, has an app, has web clipper add-ons for Firefox and other browsers

Cons: It didn’t recognize my notebooks, so what I did was go back to Evernote and all the notes in each notebook with a special notebook tag. For example all the notes in my SPN notebook now have the tag “.1spn” indicating that they were in the SPN folder. When I transferred everything to Joplin, I did a tag search, then just dropped all of those notes into my new SPN notebook.

Joplin doesn’t use their own servers, which is actually a good thing because this puts you in charge of your own notes and nobody can touch them. If Joplin ever disappears from the net altogether, if you still have the program, you can still access your notes and sync them across platforms because none of it was ever in the hands of Joplin.


Pros: free with paid extras (that aren’t expensive if you buy the long-term package), tagging, note info, easy to use, plaintext editor, session history, sync, allows plaintext import from Evernote and other programs, has an app

Cons: No images or attachments at all, no PDF or EPUB support, a little too simple if you want to do anything other than plaintext editing.


Pros: free, tagging, session and note history, sharing with other users, some dynamic text/hyperlinks, full text search, app

Cons: Overly simple and doesn’t allow attachments of any kind. Notes over 1000 words are not recommended. I couldn’t find an import feature, but I didn’t look that hard.

I also tried TagSpaces and Turtl, but I didn’t like either of them enough to review here. I read a lot of good things about Bear, but it’s exclusively for Mac/iOS users, so I couldn’t try it. If you use Apple products, I suggest checking it out because it looks really good.

I refuse to try OneNote as Microsoft has a tendency to screw their users, charge way too much, and there are compatibility issues when moving from one computer to the next. Google Keep was too simple for what I need, as were all the others I checked out.

After trying them all out, I decided to go with Joplin. It has the features I’m looking for. The sync can be done through services like Dropbox, which I’m assuming will be a little confusing for some users, but it’s totally worth it for all the features this program has! The default editor is plaintext, but just change the view and you’re good to go 🙂

@treefrogie84 and @dreamsfromthebunker