Boostnote is an open source OneNote alternative
Boostnote is an open source cross-platform note taking application designed for programmers specifically but usable by non-programmers as well.
The application is based on Electron; means, great compatibility but quite the large application size for a note-taking application.
Downloads are provided for Windows, Mac and Linux devices, and the installation on Windows holds no surprises. Boostnote was previously available for Android and iOS as well but the developers decided to pause mobile development to focus on the desktop version first.
Boostnote launches its main interface on start.
The interface is divided into three main panes: sidebar menu, snippet listing, and preview of the selected note.
The sidebar lists the default folders "All Notes", Starred, and Trash, and user generated folders. A click on a folder displays all notes that it contains. Each note is listed with its title, tags and update information by default; you may switch to compressed view mode to display only the title.
Notes are displayed in the edit pane when they are activated. You can view them there, interact with content, or start to edit the note right away by clicking into the interface or using the view toggle at the top.
Boostnote supports HTML, syntax highlighting, Tex support, and more. While you may jot down pure text as well, formatting allows you to add links, use different text sizes and more.
The note taking application supports adding multiple snippets to single notes; useful, to create collections of notes that you want associated with each other. Designed for programmers, to group code snippets, it may also be useful for non-programmers as it can be used to group any kind of content in single notes.
Bootnote's preferences offer lots of customization options: from switching to another interface and editor themes to changing font sizes and styles, and using custom CSS.
You find an option to link a WordPress blog to the note taking application in the preferences as well. Notes can be imported and exported, e.g. as HTML documents.
Boostnote is a well designed note taking application with a focus on programming related notes. The application worked well during tests; it is up to the user to use advanced features such as support for HTML syntax or code snippets, or simply write text-only notes.
Boostnote supports tags, different categories, snippet groups, searching, and filter options to display important or recently updated notes first.
The program lacks some options at this point in time that would make it a full OneNote contender: the lack of mobile applications and syncing needs to be mentioned in this regard. Not everyone needs sync functionality but users who would like to access notes on the desktop and mobile devices can't use Boostnote for that right now without syncing exported notes to the mobile devices somehow.
Still, Boostnote ticks the right boxes for the most part: it is open source and cross-platform after all.
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