Note-taking apps like Evernote, Google Keep, or Microsoft OneNote are a great way of keeping track of all your notes and journalings, but it more often than ever comes with the cost of your privacy.
Most of the note-taking apps collect pretty much everything you have stored in your notebooks and use them to better target ads or just sell it to a third party.
Now that you are aware of privacy risks related to using a notes app, lets dig in to find you a secure notes-taking app that does respect your privacy.
Private Note-Taking Apps
Alright, here are my recommendations for private note-taking apps that you can use to store your notes securely across all your devices:
Joplin is a free and open source note-taking and to-do app, which can handle numerous notes that can be organized into notebooks and tags. It secures your notes via end-to-end encryption and can sync through Nextcloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, WebDAV or the file system.
You can easily import from Evernote and plain-text notes, all of your notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified either from the applications directly or from your own text editor.
Joplin supports multiple languages, has geolocation support, you easily can attach images, files, and much more. It is available for all your devices, and has a web clipper for Firefox and Chrome browsers.
Standard Notes is a freemium and open source private notes’ app that makes your notes end-to-end encrypted across all your devices. It is very simple and easy to use, and has support for powerful extensions, and beutiful themes.
Standard Notes automatically syncs your notes across all your devices with no limit on data capacity and devices. You can add lots of great functionalities like markdown, spreadseets, and code support.
There’s an extension that lets you push note changes to a public or private GitHub repository, and turn on 2FA too, you can use it offline via native apps or by using their online web access.
Turtl is another freemium and open source secure and private collaborative notes’ app. It uses end-to-end encryption for your notes, website bookmarks, documents, and much more.
You can easily organize and share your notes, bookmarks, passwords, images, and files, write notes using markdown format, search across all your notes easily, thanks to Turtl’s spaces feature.
Turtl supports multiple languages, TeX math expressions, and much more. It is available across all your devices, and has browser extensions to easily bookmark websites.
Paperwork is a free and open source self-hosted notes-taking app that is designed with privacy and security in mind. It lets you securely capture ideas and manage your notes and documents on your own server.
It is currently under development, so it isn’t as feature-rich as other note-taking apps mentioned above, and there can be a few bugs here and there, you can easily set up Paperwork on Docker.
Overall, it seems like a really great privacy-respecting alternative to Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, or Google Keep.
Org mode is another free and open source major mode for GNU Emacs, that can be used for keeping notes, maintaining To-do lists, planning projects, and authoring documents with a fast and effective plain-text system.
It is feature-rich with options for clocking, capturing from other apps like web browsers, PDF viewers, etc as well as support for working with source code. It is also available for iOS and Android.
Private Note-taking Apps
That wraps up private note-taking apps that you can you use to securely and privately store your notes online, and have them available across all your devices. I would recommend going with Joplin or Standard Notes for the sake of simplicity and features they offer.
That’s all folks!
I will be updating this page frequently with more private note-taking apps. You can check out recommended secure browsers that respect your privacy.
Do let me know of any feedback, tips, or suggestions based on note-taking apps that you are using, feel free to drop a comment below!