Laverna & other evernote alternatives


We wrote about Nitro and Springseed earlier. Both of these native apps are good alternatives to Evernote on Linux as they can integrate with Dropbox. And then we have Nevernote (aka NixNote) – the multiplatform (JAVA based) open source client designed to work with Evernote. Recently we came across another open source project which is a very capable alternative to Evernote.

Laverna is written in Javscript and can run online in your browser or can be installed locally. Use markdown text to create beautiful notes with Laverna. I drafted this article in Laverna.

Laverna has native desktop clients too.


  • No registration needed for the online app.
  • Laverna uses IndexedDB and localStorage. All the information will be stored only on client-side.
  • Can encrypt the client-side notes with SJCL library.
  • Optional synchronization with cloud storage.
  • Markdown text. Laverna web app uses pagedown and ACE editor.
  • Clean interface. Several editing modes: distraction-free mode, preview mode and normal.
  • Useful editor tools: blockquote, sample code, image insertion, tags.
  • Works as a task manager too. Check the sample note.
  • Local install possible.
  • Runs as a web service, so platform independent.
  • Native client for Linux, Windows, Mac.
  • Self-hosted option.
  • Open source and free.

Webpage: Laverna


  • Dillinger is another excellent cloud based markdown editor that stores the notes locally and optionally in Dropbox, GitHub, Google Drive and OneDrive. It also supports many themes and export options.
  • Remarkable is a fully local application but I wouldn’t mind it because of tons of dependencies.
  • Paperwork is a open source note-taking & archiving alternative to Evernote, Microsoft OneNote & Google Keep.
  • Everpad is an unofficial Linux Evernote client.

GitBook: write, publish your books on Git

GitBook is an ebook writing and publishing service associated with the GitBook Editor project, also hosted on GitHub. Users can either write the books online or use the desktop client. The client has a clean look & feel and almost distraction-free interface which definitely helps writing. The main features of GitBook (Editor) are:

  • GitHub integration and hence inherent version control support.
  • Write and publish directly through GitHub.
  • Publish and update books easily using Git or the editor.
  • Books are readable on the Amazon Kindle, Nook and other readers (PDF, ePub, Mobi).
  • Responsive layout. Device form factor is irrelevant.
  • Books are written using the markdown syntax. Asciidoc and Tex support to be added soon.
  • Multiplatform. Works on Linux, Windows and Mac.

Webpage: GitBook

Cherrytree: feature rich note manager

I covered some good Linux text and code editors under the linux text editor tag. The latest addition is Cherrytree. It is a full scale notes (and code) manager that can store notes in sqlite or xml formats with the additional option of password protection. It arranges the files as nodes and sub-nodes. Supports Markdown syntax, rich text editing, auto-indentation and syntax highlighting for many programming languages. It runs on both Linux and Windows. Many customization options are available. Performance and start-up time are very good on Linux. List of features:

  • rich text (foreground color, background color, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, small, h1, h2, h3, subscript, superscript, monospace)
  • syntax highlighting supporting several programming languages
  • images handling: insertion in the text, edit (resize/rotate), save as png file
  • embedded files handling: insertion in the text, save to disk
  • lists handling (bulleted, numbered, to-do and switch between them, multiline with shift+enter)
  • simple tables handling (cells with plain text), cut/copy/paste row, import/export as csv file
  • codeboxes handling: boxes of plain text (optionally with syntax highlighting) into rich text, import/export as text file
  • alignment of text, images, tables and codeboxes (left/center/right)
  • hyperlinks associated to text and images (links to webpages, links to nodes/nodes + anchors, links to files, links to folders)
  • spell check (using pygtkspellcheck and pyenchant)
  • intra application copy/paste: supported single images, single codeboxes, single tables and a compound selection of rich text, images, codeboxes and tables
  • cross application copy/paste (tested with libreoffice and gmail): supported single images, single codeboxes, single tables and a compound selection of rich text, images, codeboxes and tables
  • copying a list of files from the file manager and pasting in cherrytree will create a list of links to files, images are recognized and inserted in the text
  • print & save as pdf file of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • export to html of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • export to plain text of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • toc generation for a node / node and subnodes / the whole tree, based on headers h1, h2 and h3
  • find a node, find in selected node, find in selected node and subnodes, find in all nodes
  • replace in nodes names, replace in selected node, replace in selected node and subnodes, replace in all nodes
  • iteration of the latest find, iteration of the latest replace, iteration of the latest applied text formatting
  • import from html file, import from folder of html files
  • import from plain text file, import from folder of plain text files
  • import from basket, cherrytree, epim html, gnote, keepnote, keynote, knowit, mempad, notecase, tomboy, treepad lite, tuxcards, zim
  • export to cherrytree file of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • password protection (using 7-zip)
  • tree nodes drag and drop
  • free and open source

Ubuntu users can download the latest version from:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vincent-c/cherrytree
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install cherrytree

Webpage: Cherrytree

Springseed: awesome Ubuntu note manager

springseed_compWhen I started downloading Springseed and noted that the size of the package is ~32MB I was disappointed. What possibly could be the reason a note-taking software has to be 32MB? I didn’t stop the download though and I am glad I continued. Springseed isn’t bloated and is the best notes manager I have used till date on any platform. Springseed is available only for Ubuntu. Some of its excellent features:

  • Starts up very fast
  • A beautiful and aesthetic minimal look
  • Use Markdown syntax on the fly (like in Wikis)
  • Sync notes to Dropbox automatically
  • Use multiple notebooks to keep tasks and notes organized
  • Search your notes by content
  • Links open directly in the browser

Probably a keyboard shortcut is an excellent idea as you are going to launch it frequently if you use it.

On GitHub: Springseed