Joplin As Evernote Replacement

I signed up for Evernote way back when it was a Mac only product and in open beta back in 2008. I've been a paying member pretty much since you could be a paying member. But in April, when my current subscription runs out, I'm letting it lapse, and migrating to the open source tool Joplin.

Evernote is one of the key parts of my life workflow. Everything from what blog posts I'm going to write, recipes I want to keep, notes from meetings, planning, to shopping lists. I use it just about every day.

There are several reasons I decided to switch. First, there have been rumblings about the future of Evernote for years. I don't want to get caught with my pants down, as it were, if Evernote ends. The "freemium" business model works for some, but I'm not sure it's the right one for a niche software product.

Second, it hasn't really changed much in the last few years. There have been very few updates, more bugs and problems, and it seems pretty moribund as software goes.

Third, I like using and supporting open source tools, and in looking around for an alternative to Evernote, I found Joplin, and rather like it better than the proprietary alternatives, like OneNote.

Third, Joplin uses Markdown, which is something I use many times a day in many places (like this static site generator takes Markdown files, GitHub uses Markdown, etc.) So having a note taking app that uses Markdown was a nice plus.

Joplin has the four basic features I need:

  • Multiple notebooks
  • Mobile app
  • Synchronize between platforms (I use three: Windows, Linux, and Android.)
  • Web Clipping

The great thing about synchronization is that you can use a bunch of different services. I use DropBox, but there are a bunch of different options, including OwnCloud, which I'm considering migrating to from DropBox at some point.

It's a little rough around the edges, but it's getting better all of the time, and it's actively maintained. The one missing part is a web hosted notes browser, and ways to share notes with others. I'm hoping that perhaps that happens at some point - at least the ability to host your own notes - that would be cool.

It is super easy to import Evernote ENEX files, as well as markdown files.

All in all, if you are looking for a good replacement for Evernote I'd check out Joplin.