Excellent Note Taking Software

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There is all kinds of note taking software, from simple to complex, cloudy or not cloudy, etc. I’m here to recommend a simple cloudy application that works across platforms.

I should mention that I did have a problem with this software once, which I’ll describe below, but that I’m willing to blame on the OSX operating system, at least provisionally.

Simplenote is simple. It has a running list of notes on the left side, which are automatically named with the first words in your note by default. Then it has a space where you write the note. Nothing could be simpler.

In theory the notes sync across devices. This is where I had the problem one time. I had been using simplenote on my phone (android) and I had it on a mac. Then one day I opened up the mac instance and something went wrong. It deleted a bunch of notes that should not have been deleted. I lost work.

I immediately uninstalled Simple note from the Mac and I won’t reinstall it there. I had just upgraded the OSX operating system, and for a very long time nothing had gone wrong previously. But, you don’t delete my work and not get the ultimate punishment.

Well, OK, it has been a long time and both the OS and the app have been updated, so I’ll probably try again.

The other day, I discovered that Simplenote is now available for Windows and Linux. I don’t use Windows (you don’t delete my work and not get the ultimate punishment!) but I do use Linux, and I now have Simplenote installed there. So far so good.

It is free and open source, simple, installs easily with a deb package, and it is very convenient.

Simplenote also has markdown capabilities. You have to turn that on for a given note.

Simple note also has tags you can use on notes, and you can search through your notes, and that works pretty well.

You can export notes. A simple export tosses all your notes as text files into a zip file. Great way to back them up.

The displayed list of notes can be by last modified (a good way to do it), or last created or alphabetical, and that order can be reversed.

You can change the look and feel a little. I’ve never felt the need, it is very clean and nice the way it is, but if you must have one of those dark themes, you can have that.

The notes can be shared. You can add an email to send them to a collaborator (I’ve not done this, I have no idea how well it works or exactly how it works, but it looks … simple.) You can also “publish” the notes, which apparently puts the note at an internet address.

There is a cool version slider, like undo but dynamic. You turn on the version slider and move it back and forth to see older versions of the notes.

There is an “information” button which allows you to pin a note to the top of your list regardless of sorting, and to turn on Markdown. After you’ve done the markdown formatting you stick a mouse cursor in the eyeball. Trust me, you’ll see what I mean when you try it out.


Here is the web site. You will like it.

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