Ever wanted a note taking tool that supports Markdown? QOwnNotes may be worth a look (or two) if that is the case.
QOwnNotes is a cross-platform open source note taking program for Windows, Linux and Mac Os X that saves notes locally and optionally in the cloud using ownCloud or NextCloud.
When you run the program for the first time, it will prompt you to select the Note folder, i.e., the directory where it should store your notes. There are four interface styles you can choose from: Minimal, Full, Full Vertical and Single Column. We'll be using the Full style here but if you prefer more space for the actual notes, you may switch to other styles, e.g. minimal to remove some of the extra panes and widgets that are displayed in full view mode.
If you have a Nextcloud or ownCloud server, you can log in to it from QOwnNotes to sync your notes but this is optional.
Note: QOwnNotes tracks anonymous user data by default. You can disable this from the Settings > Network > App metrics > Disable tracking of usage data. There is another option on the same screen called "heartbeat" which should be disabled as well, for your privacy.
At first glance the interface appears quite complex, but that's mostly due to the welcome page which is heavily formatted. Click on the Note icon on the toolbar or use the Note menu to create a new note. Now that you have a blank note, the interface should look a lot less intimidating.
The welcome page highlights some of the formatting options and functionality..
There are three panels on the left side of QOwnNotes: the first is the tag panel, which you can use to add a tag to a note. To do so just type something in the "Find or Create tag" box, hit enter and it will assign the tag to the active note. Once you have added a tag to a note, you can use it to find the relevant note quickly.
Tip: Right-click on a tag to manage or add a color to it.
The next section is the Notebook panel; it contains all your notes. You can use the "Search or create note" option to search for text inside your notes, and to create new notes.
The editor is displayed in the central pane; it supports markdown formatting, and you can view the available options in the default Note section's "Markdown CheatSheet, and Markdown Showcase".
You can use it to add headers, links, create tables, lists, format it with line breaks, or use the toolbar at the top to format the text. The editor supports spellchecking but you will need to download a dictionary using the Edit menu. QOwnNotes supports AES-256 encryption, which you can use to encrypt your notes (from the toolbar). You can also add custom encryption Keybase.io or PGP. There is a type-writer mode, full screen distraction free mode that you can enable from the Window menu. It also has options to toggle the toolbars and panels.
This is the preview pane; it shows you a preview of the content and is great for verifying that the syntax is correct.
The application can function as a todo list manager. To mark a task as done use - [x] before the list item, and - [ ] for new tasks. You can include this within your notes without using the Todolist.
There are far too many options in QOwnNotes, so I'll just mention a few which to give you an idea.You can enable a dark mode from the Interface tab. It also has an option to display a system tray icon so that the program is listed in the system tray area when you minimize it. The layout screen houses options to change the display style which I mentioned earlier.
Surprisingly, the application allows you to change the size of the toolbar icon, font size, list and tree item height as well. The Editor tab has a lot more customization options to choose from.Use the Panels tab and the Toolbars tab to edit the elements that you wish to be displayed on the interface. The shortcuts tab is handy to view all the keyboard shortcuts supported by the program.
Once installed, select some text on the screen, right-click the selection and pick "Create note from extension" and the program will create a new note with the content that you selected along with the URL of the page you were on.
Right-click on a web page when you haven't selected text, and you will see a different option "QOwnNotes", that has a menu. You can use the first option to create a HTML report, or the second to create a note with a screenshot of the page.
Aside from the cloud requirements for the TodoList and syncing, QOwnNotes offers a lot as a note taking tool. Advanced users may also like its Vim mode and option to import from Evernote.
I've been reading QOwnNotes as "Quone"-notes, you know like Kramer did.
Now you:do you use a note taking application?
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