Joplin is an open source note taking app for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Linux

Jun 24, 2019
Apps, Software, Windows software

Note taking apps are handy and can be used for simple tasks like jotting down lists, to storing important information. The primary use of such an app, at least for me, is that you can pull up the data that you require quickly.  Joplin is an open source and cross platform app that is available for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Linux.

It's also available as a terminal app for macOS, Linux, and FreeBSD, if that is your cup of tea. 

Tip: we reviewed several note taking applications in the past. You may want to check out Laverna, a privacy-focused solution that you can self-host even, neutriNote for Android, or the classic CintaNotes.

Joplin review

We will be taking a look at the desktop application here. The interface of Joplin is slightly confusing at first glance, but the help section that is displayed when you run the app, explains the features quite well. 

All you need to know about are the 3 panes:  

  • The sidebar lists your notebooks 
  • The middle bar is your Note List 
  • The right pane is the Note Editor. 

You save notes to your Notebooks, and its contents are displayed in the Note List. The Note Editor allows you to create notes in rich text format (text, hyperlinks, images, tags, etc), using markdown. There are 3 layouts you can choose from, depending on what a note contains. The sidebar to the left can optionally be toggled from the menu, if you find it to be obtrusive. 

You can also create to-do lists using Joplin, which may be useful if you want to create a shopping list, or a travel check-list. You could also use it like a journal or a diary, or even in class, or at a meeting. Really, it’s up to you. 

You can use Joplin to export your notes in to one of the following formats: JEX, JSON, RAW, MD and PDF. By default, the app saves the notes in the markdown format. 

Joplin can be used to you import JEX, MD (File/Directory), RAW and ENEX. The last one, ENEX, is the Evernote format, which means you can export all your notes from it over to Joplin. 

The best part about Joplin is the synchronization feature, which lets you save your Notebook directly to your Dropbox account.  You can also choose to connect it to your OneDrive, NextCloud or WebDav servers. This way, you can access the content from any of your devices. Joplin uses end-to-end encryption to secure your data from unauthorized access.  

Please note that by default, Encryption is disabled in Joplin, and you will need to setup a password, when you are configuring the sync option to protect the data.

Download Joplin for your device, its completely free. You can find the source code of the app at GitHub. There is a portable version available, which is the one which we tested, and it minimizes itself to the system tray when not in use. 

Closing Words

Joplin is a well designed note taking application that is available for all major desktop and mobile operating systems. It supports note syncing through third-party cloud storage services, and solutions like WebDav or NextCloud that put you in control.

All in all, a great application for users who want their notes, tasks, and other bits of text on all of their devices.

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3 based on 16 votes
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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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