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Open source alternatives to Evernote?


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I gather that there are many EN users who are becoming less than happy with the app, for many reasons.

I've been playing with OneNote, and am having trouble getting my EN data transferred. EN exports the data, but the OneNote app to import that data doesn't work. Again, many people have this problem and unless anyone has a foolproof (haha) way of getting my stuff into OneNote, that's not what I'm looking for here. I'm hand transcribing EN notes that are most important and that I use most frequently and will leave the rest in EN and use those as needed.

It strikes me that among the most import factors in choosing an EN alternative are longevity (how long will that new app be supported) and how easy it would be to transfer my data if, in the future, I don't like the new app, or support  for it stops.

This is why I'm curious about open source note apps. From the little I understand about open source, it seems like it ought to be simple to transfer notes and other data.
Would an open source app be more prone to hacking? Anyone tried such an app? Thanks.

 

 

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Data transfer has the problem that each app has its own idea about how to structure the data in the back. You can draw an export, but the importing app must know what to do with it. The ENEX export is pretty popular, because many other apps want to get their share of the note app business. ON is sort of an exception - Microsoft abandoned the importer they had some years ago.

The best approach has probably DevonThink: They read the EN database directly. 3 aspects: It can handle the EN structure pretty well, it is Mac and iOS only, and you need to purchase it.

For any alternative you must solve the import issue, and for this the EN forum is probably not the best place.

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there are a lot of good open-source note-taking apps. Some are probably of excellent quality (open-source code is regularly rated as better than closed-source code for quality and safety). 

However, one of the main advantages of Evernote is synchronization between devices. This requires internet services that cost money to run and maintain. Some companies can afford to run these services at a loss (Microsoft, Google, Apple) just to get people to move to their platforms. I consider that to be a really bad thing. Running and managing a server online with the scale to support Evernote's data is very skilled work and undercutting this work by bankrolling OneNote or Google Notes or Apple Notes or similar is really bad for the market.

So basically:

if you're keeping notes locally, yes, you'll find good open-source alternatives. If however you want to store notes somewhere on line so you can sync them between devices, be prepared to spend some money and deal with some tricky configuration issues.

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14 minutes ago, PinkElephant said:

The best approach has DevonThink: They read the EN directly. 3 aspects: It can handle the EN structure pretty well, it is Mac and iOS only, and you need to purchase it.

For any you must solve the import issue, and for this the EN forum is not the best place.

DevonThink is not an option for me. I'm a Windows and Android. Also, it's 'way too expensive for a casual user like myself.

A quick online search looks like there are some options that sync online between platforms.

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3 hours ago, Brewerpaul said:

From the little I understand about open source, it seems like it ought to be simple to transfer notes and other data.

I don't see this as an accurate assumption   
Open Source products will have the same data transfer problems  

The important points for me are   
#1 Easy export of data 
#2 Non-proprietary formats and no restrictions on formats

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2 hours ago, PinkElephant said:

The best approach has probably DevonThink: They read the EN database directly.

 I'm a Devonthink fan, however it's import feature makes use of EN's export feature, functioning on the .enex format   
It also uses scripting which is not supported by EN's v10 product

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I don't know if this will serve your purposes, but I've used Nimbus Notes for some time and it appears to be a reasonable alternative to EN.  It's very affordable.  Nimbus is clearly positioned to be very similar to EN.  Note that I don't use EN or Nimbus on a cellphone or tablet.  I'm strictly a desktop person so I can't speak to cross device coordination.

Also, note that Nimbus is based in Russia.  I don't use Nimbus for any confidential records so it's not an issue.  They've been around for several years now and I haven't seen any complaints regarding security so I doubt that there's any problem there, but I thought I'd mention it.

 

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My mistake!  BIG apologies to Pavel, founder of Nimbus.  When I first signed up something made me think that Nimbus was based in Russia but I've never had reason to follow up on it.  As for the Russian (Soviet Russia) connection, Pavel is originally from Uzbekistan but is now in Cleveland.  The company appears to be registered in Delaware.  LinkedIn shows 14 employees and it does appear that some may be located in Eastern Europe.

I've been with Nimbus for quite a while and I'm very happy with their software.  That's why I mentioned it as an alternative.  Pavel has clearly positioned Nimbus as an alternative to Evernote and it functions very similarly.  The pricing is very reasonable and Nimbus continually adds enhancements.  It has several features that I particularly like, including some SnagIt type functionality. 

I'm about to try out EN V10.  I'm a little concerned given how many complaints I've seen but I feel fairly confident that I could switch from EN to Nimbus if I had to do it.  Keep in mind that I am not a "power" user so I'm not as sensitive to functionality as some (e.g., I don't do notes on mobile platforms).  I do take a lot of notes, though and I like the EN look and feel so Nimbus is a natural for me.  I'm very happy with EN, as well, so I have no plans to switch.  I use them both about equally but for different purposes.

Since I signed up with Nimbus relatively early on I've been with them through a growth phase.  The company was founded in 2014 and I signed up in 2018.  As a result, I've had some occasions to contact them for technical support and they've always been responsive and helpful.  

 

 

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