Notesnook

Notesnook is a privacy-first, zero-knowledge, open-source app that is well-designed and easy to use. It has almost every feature you could want in a note-taking app and then some.

edit: this post was originally published as part of my weekly review. I've separated out the newsletter content from the app review for people only interested in the app.

Notesnook is a privacy first, zero knowledge, and open source app for Android that is well designed and easy to use. It has almost every feature you could want in a note-taking app and then some.

It could be one of the best apps but it needs a few fixes. I really enjoyed testing it this week and to learn that they're going Open Source during the same week that I was doing my review was simply bonus points for them!

At $6.99 per month for the Pro version, which I didn't try, you can export to Markdown, HTML, PDF and attach images. That's a bit steep and the fact that the editor seems a bit buggy means that I am going to keep a close eye on this one. If you're into playing with apps, do check it out!

Screenshots

References

  1. notesnook.com/ - Web site
  2. docs.notesnook.com - Help pages
  3. streetwriters/notesnook - github
  4. @notesnook - Twitter
  5. Notesnook is going open source! - post on 2022-08-09

People

Quotes

Zero knowledge private note taking
Write notes with freedom, no spying, no tracking.
Going open-source in August, 2022. Help us by giving a star on our GitHub: https://github.com/streetwriters/

Ugly

  • Export to PDF and HTML didn't work, icon kept spinning likely because it's a Pro feature
  • Bug where, after unlocking app via biometrics, the note screen is empty. Going back to main screen and back into note shows the note
  • The UI to add a notebook is confusing
  • Add attachment from the menu didn't seem to work and no error. If you try  using "+" then you get the warning it's a paid feature
  • Editor is buggy

Bad

  • Price of $6.99 CAD a month for Pro
  • Couldn't get the highlight to work
  • Adding a Hyperlink without first selecting text and you can't type the text label
  • Text editor has an easily reproducible bug where I type and letters are displayed but the cursor doesn't move along with the text
  • Can't add tags within a note
  • When sharing a note via email app, subject line is not filled in and there's  extra blank line between each bullet
  • Export to text or Markdown has extra blank lines between every bullet
  • Add attachment didn't seem to work, I couldn't see or select any files
  • Outliner seemed buggy, couldn't collapse and expand predictably

Good

  • Created a title for me with date and time
  • Default font is very nice
  • Text formatting: bold, italics, underline, strikethrough, code
  • Horizontal rule
  • Bullets
  • Numbered lists
  • Hyperlinks
  • 6 Heading levels
  • Formatting toolbar
  • 3 fonts (Sans-Serif, Serif, Monospace) and you can mix them on the same line
  • Undo and redo
  • Handy toolbar button to remove formatting
  • Favorite a note
  • Tags on notes
  • Attach an image (Pro version)
  • Dark mode
  • Copy a note's text
  • Duplicate a note
  • Read only mode
  • Export a note to text
  • Task lists
  • Backup and restore
  • Text alignment
Quote

Great

  • Very nice UI
  • Well designed menu "..." with buttons
  • Fast
  • 3 privacy modes: none (no locking of the app), medium (locks on app exit),  max (app locks when switching to another app)
  • Biometric lock on app
  • Filter by tags
  • Themes with 4 colors
  • Pitch black mode
  • Notebooks
  • 3 styles of bullets: solid dot, circle, solid square
  • 6 different numbered items: number, letter, Roman numerals, etc.
  • Search and replace within a note which is rare
  • Toolbar button to jump to the start or end of a line, very handy
  • Colors on notes
  • Image from URL
  • Math formulas which would be awesome if I needed it
  • Subscript and superscript
  • Embed an iFrame, not sure when I would use that but interesting!
  • Font sizes from 8px to 120px

Awesome

  • Strong encryption for notes
  • Privacy first and zero trust
  • Open Source (A)GPLv3 inspired by Drew DeVault
  • Can start using it without an account! It was a little hard to see (top right of the first screen)
  • Tables with a widget to make them
  • Version history
  • Export to Markdown (Pro)
  • Export to HTML (Pro)
  • Export to PDF (Pro)
  • Publish a note (didn't try)
  • Outliner (see Ugly)
  • Pin a note to Android notification so it's easily accessible
  • Take a note from the notification bar, and then another one, very cool!
  • Customizable toolbar!
  • Code block with a programming language setting