Notes: browser-encrypted cloud notes

notepadNotes is a web application for storing your encrypted notes in the cloud. It takes a different approach from Laverna which stores your notes locally without encryption. Notes, however, works like Evernote on principle.


  • Create a new password protected notebook in the cloud
  • Password never sent to the cloud. If you forget it, your notebook is also gone.
  • Find notes with Sublime Text like fuzzy search
  • Use the backend in your applications using JASONRPC
  • Decent rich text editor

Webpage: Encrypted Notes

qNotesManager: Qt based note manager

We explored many note managers in earlier articles. There are several quality applications like Cherrytree, Springseed, Laverna or purely console based note managers. There’s even Notepadqq, a Notepad++ clone. However, this is a category where new members keep coming on.

We came across qNotesManager, written in C++/Qt. It is a rich text editor cum notes manager.


  • Format note text in WYSIWYG-editor
  • Insert images, lists, tables
  • Add tags to notes
  • Group notes in categories (folders)
  • Filter notes by creation / modification time
  • Encrypt notes
  • Quick note: create a new note with text from clipboard with just one click
  • Multiplatform. Supports Linux, Windows and Mac


qNotesManager is not distributed as a package yet. It needs to be compiled from source. The dependencies are:

  • Qt4 libraries (4.4 or above)
  • openssl
  • qca2
  • qca-ossl2

To compile it on Ubuntu:

$ git clone
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential qt4-dev-tools libqt4-dev libssl-dev libqt4-core libqca2 libqca2-dev libqca2-plugin-ossl libqca2-plugin-gnupg
$ cd qNotesManager
$ qmake
$ make
$ sudo make install

On GitHub: qNotesManager

Geeknote: Evernote from the terminal


Off late I prefer using GitHub Gist for my notes. For confidential or temporary stuff that I do not want to store on a server I use note or Laverna. However, I have friends and colleagues who use Evernote all the time. Evernote doesn’t have a official client for Linux. Here’s an unofficial one which is light and gives you the freedom to use your favourite text editor on Linux.

Geeknote is a console based Evernote client written in python. It supports the following:

  • Use your preferred editor – nano, vi, vim, mcedit…
  • Create, edit, search notes
  • Notebook and tags
  • Read note from the console
  • Sync directories and files with Evernote (file is transferred as plaintext)

Geeknote provides a number of easy to remember cmdline options. Check the documentation for a step by step guide on usage.

To install and launch Geeknote:

$ git clone git://
$ cd geeknote
$ sudo python install
$ geeknote login

Webpage: Geeknote

Memo: quick notes in the console


notepadIf you stick to the terminal most of your time, you might like a console-based utility to save your notes. We explored console based note managers note and nodau in an earlier article. Memo falls in the same category. You can add short notes and manipulate them whenever you want. Here are some common use cases:

  • To add a note:
    $ memo -a "Here's a new note."
  • To show all notes:
    $ memo -s
    //This shows the note number in the first column
  • To search for a note:
    $ memo -f search_string
    //-F to use regular expressions
  • To edit a note, you need to delete it first and then edit:
    $ memo -d 1 -a "My edited note.."

Memo is only suitable for quick casual notes because it does not have any integration with a text editor per se. So it’s difficult to maintain long notes with Memo. It doesn’t seem to support encryption either. Though there are some tips and options for conky integration and exporting to html that doesn’t help the fact that the app is just too simple and it’s easier to maintain a text file and edit it with vi rather that installing an additional software. However, this is the current stage and Memo is a very fresh app released last week… we can expect new features from the developer. As of now, Memo works well as a simple ToDo list manager.

You have to build Memo from source to use it. The dependencies are minimal. To compile and run it, download the source code and run the following commands:

$ make
$ make install
$ memo

Webpage: Memo

Similar software

Haroopad & Scribbleton: next-gen doc processors

Markdown and Wiki-style editors are quite popular among web-authors. We wrote about web-based versatile editors like Laverna earlier. This article covers two more fantastic editors for the writer in you.


Not just another Markdown editor, Haroopad is tightly coupled with the cloud including smart media integration from 50+ online services. It’s still under heavy development and promises many features at the time of writing. Let’s take a quick look:

  • Import content from YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo, Slideshare, Flickr, Instagram, Soundcloud, Wikipedia, Pastebin…
  • Export documents to WordPress, Tumblr, MediaWiki, EPub, ReStructured Text, RTF (promised). Currently supports HTML and PDF (needs Adobe Reader).
  • Export to clipboard.
  • LaTeX mathematical expressions using MathJax.
  • Supports Markdown (Github Flavour), has ability to build extensions for making custom features.
  • Supports lots of modern themes in editing area, skins for transformed documents, UI components for interactive experiences and syntax highlighting for various programming languages.
  • Documents can be transformed into a blog system, WordPress, Evernote and Tumblr. Supports sending documents as email.
  • Vim-like editing mode.
  • Supports Linux, Windows and Mac.

Download the package for your system from Haroopad website.


Wiki-style document processor to link among your notes. Features:

  • Personal wiki. Store everything from quick notes, to detailed checklists for work, to the outline for that next bestseller novel.
  • Easily create clickable links between words, phrases, and pages to quickly locate cross-reference information.
  • Export individual pages or entire wikis.
  • Access and edit your data from any machine on the network using a shared drive.
  • Local storage only.
  • Supports Linux, Windows and Mac.

Download the package for your system from Scribbleton website.

Palm Note: useful smartphone note manager

palm_note_compPalm Note is a rich note manager with powerful features. It communicates with several web services in order to store or provide accurate information. It is easier to use on bigger screens and has a clean look and feel. Top features include:

  • Google Maps integration
  • Barcode scanner
  • Real-time note syncing across all devices
  • Built-in OCR to extract text from photos
  • Supports markdown
  • Supports Android (4.0+ and iOS 7+)
  • Free of cost


The devs should revisit certain areas to turn this into a winner.

  • Takes a long time to start up of a reasonably fast Android. The tagline claim “…built for speed” fails in results.
  • The bulk shows in the user experience. The apk is 16MB.
  • Needs Google or FB login before taking a single note! Holy crap!
  • Android apk has to be downloaded manually. Not available in Google Play yet.

However, if the features still seem useful to you and you have a powerful processor on your smartphone or tablet, I would recommend trying it out.

Webpage: Palm Note

nvPY: Simplenote syncing note manager

Simplenote user looking for a client on Linux? You’re in luck! nvPY is an unofficial Simplenote client for Linux.

  • Maintains its own database on disk, syncs with Simplenote on start-up
  • Does all syncing by itself in the background
  • Can edit the same note simultaneously in nvP as well as the web interface
  • Works on Linux, Windows and Mac
  • Free and open source

To install on Ubuntu,

$ sudo apt-get install nvpy

or, for the latest version

$ sudo pip install nvpy

To setup nvPY, create a file called .nvpy.cfg in your home directory and add the following:

sn_username = your_simplenote_username
sn_password = your_simplenote_password

Webpage: nvPY

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.

GloboNote: a powerful note manager

GloboLinux is a slick looking powerful app to handle all your notes. In addition to being a note manager, it is also a sticky notes app with rich text editing capabilities. It lets you attach files and images to the notes. The only drawback I find is that it is written in JAVA but given the number of features t has, I guess people with JAVA already installed defnitely check it out. Features at a glance:

  • Use as a note manager, sticky notes app to ToDo list manager.
  • Set Alarms/Reminders. Play custom files.
  • Smart checklist creation. Create to-do list by inserting checkboxes.
  • Create link to an app and double click to launch it.
  • Search Notes even when you are typing. Find and replace.
  • Built-in Calculator.
  • Hide/Show/Park note.
  • Organize notes in group.
  • Attach files or images. Double click to launch. Auto resize image.
  • Paste image from Clipboard. Take screenshot and paste it to note.
  • Restore deleted notes.
  • Lock note.
  • Export note as plain text.
  • Customize the looks of notes.
  • Note templates.
  • Move or Resize note.
  • Always on top.
  • Roll-up note. Compact roll-up.
  • Transparency.
  • URL Detection with launch in browser.
  • Rich text editing.
  • Highlight text.
  • Paragraph alignment.
  • Platform Independent. Runs on Linux, Windows and Mac.

As the app is written in JAVA, it is platform independent and installation is trivial if you have JAVA.

Webpage: GloboNote

Similar software

  • Task Coach
    Simple open source todo manager to keep track of personal tasks and todo lists. It is designed for composite tasks, and also offers effort tracking, categories, notes and more. To install on Ubuntu, run:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:taskcoach-developers/ppa
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install taskcoach
  • indicator stickynotes
    Sticky Notes indicator icon that sits in the system tray and lets you handle multiple sticky notes on your desktop. To install on Ubuntu, run:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:umang/indicator-stickynotes
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install indicator-stickynotes

Console based note managers

xtnotepadAll of us keep notes. In my case I like to keep them organized and I use note managers for that. Though I have initially used graphical note managers cherrytree, springseed etc. because of the visual editing features they provide, I realized at one point that I do not need so many bells and whistles. Many of these tools are bulky, some of them are slow starters and most of them provide more options than you want to handle. So I fell back to console based note managers. Here are some of those I like and find very easy to use and simple to understand. They just manage a number of notes and provide you options to edit them in your favourite editor.

  • note
    As simple as it can be. Type note and it shows you the options to list notes, show topics, add, delete, search and edit new notes. The notes are saved as plain text and you can add the editor of your choice in the configuration file. Mine is vi. Note stores the documents in mysql format and supports IDEA or DES encryption.
  • nodau
    The basic features are similar to note but you always need to start nodau with an option which seemed little obtrusive to me. Isn’t remembering the name of the program enough? You can have encrypted notes with nodau.
  • theca
    Rust utility to take notes with 256-bit AES encryption, multiple profiles, search support.

My favourite is note.