Note-taking, it’s an important part of your personal informatino system, allowing you to either come back to useful information and or develop your thoughts on something over time.

I’ve been using EverNote pretty happierly for quite a while now. It’s a well thought, and flexible enough to support systems such as GTD. But for me, it falls short in a couple of areas:

  • The content doesn’t paste very well to other sources. It often requires further formatting
  • It doesn’t support MarkDown
  • It doesn’t support structured data
  • It provide a Kanban view

So off on a hunt I went, to see if there was another Note-taking application that would meet my needs. While on the hunt I discovered what I’m criteria really was:

  • Available and synchronised on all of my devices; Android phone and tablet, both Windows 10 work and personal
  • A web clipper extension for Chrome and Firefox
  • Markdown as the default
  • You can copy and paste from it without reformatting (pretty much implied if it stores the content as MarkDown)
  • Available offline
  • Well developed and current
  • The ability to easily access multiple notes at once, such as; each note as a file, or an API

What this last critria really meant was I’d be happy to pay for it (given I am now with EverNote Premium anyway) if it could give me with the right access. Or I’d choose an application that allowed me to determine where my notes would be saved, these were typically open source applications as well.

The following appeared to be possible contenters:

Another thought I had was “Do I actually need an application for this, if my notes are just MarkDown?” Perhaps I could use a bunch of files commited to a git repo, or use synchronised cloud file storage. How would I search through my notes? I could use the search feature in a cloud git host? How would I search when offline? This could all be done. But wait “If this was easy what would it look like?”. I’d just use an application.

After a bit more considered and bit of trialing of some of the contenders I’ve settled on given Joplin ago for a while. So far so good, it synchroised my notes to my OneDrive, and each note is a single MarkDown file. There is also a web clipper, which I haven’t tried yet, that will convert the HTML of the page to MarkDown.

I still have quite away to feel like I’ve got a well functioning personal information operating system working, in that it has other fasits to it not just Note-taking. I will say, and it’s pretty obvious, that Note-taking is a corner stone of anyones personal information operating system.