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I'm searching for a note-taking program / website fulfilling these criteria:

  • Allows import of my current notes (which are stored by Evernote).
  • Notes have a title.
  • Formatted text in notes. (Bold, italic, underlined, different fonts, horizontal lines.)
  • Images in notes. (Not as attachments but instead included in the text.)
  • Searchable.
  • Has a desktop application for Linux.
  • Has an app for Android.
  • Has a website where I can use the notes without a desktop application installed. This website can be hosted by me because if I have the data in an easy-to-use format, I can always just push it to a server of someone else to make sure it isn't lost if I mess up. (This was the reason I originally wrote that it must be hosted by a service provider.) However, by "website" I mean that I can type a URL into an address bar of a browser and can access my notes. This isn't the same as data syncing which would require a desktop application to be installed.
  • Not great but would work: Data export in a free format. Way better: Stores data in a free format internally, too, so that a backup program can always back the current notes up automatically and I don't have to export the data manually every time I want to make a backup of it. Backups shouldn't be made manually and you should never, ever, every rely on getting data back if the backup uses non-free formats.
  • The exported data is searchable with standard software. It can be compressed but this should be done in a single archive (which can be uncompressed by standard software), not like some document files which are compressed individually because this would make it really hard to find text with standard tools. For example a collection of LibreOffice documents (or even worse: Microsoft Office documents) isn't seen as searchable by me because these files are compressed individually so I can't content-search it with a tool like gnome-search-tool or from the command line.
  • Syncs automatically if internet is available.

Evernote is pretty close but doesn't have a desktop application for Linux so I have to run it with Wine which has its problems. I have to export the data frequently because internally, Evernote uses its own format. Plus, the notes have some pretty weird behavior, especially regarding fonts and horizontal lines.


Edit

I learned that there is an Android client for org-mode. It's called Orgzly, is available in the Google Play Store, and it's awesome!

I don't see a way of easily exporting my Evernote notes en masse, atm, but use it in parallel with Evernote, hoping for things which are more specialized for note-taking, anyways.

  • Org-mode of course has titles.
  • It supports the means of formatting (khttp://orgmode.org/manual/Emphasis-and-monospace.html; kind of: http://orgmode.org/manual/Horizontal-rules.html)
  • Images is notes kind of work.
  • It's searchable by nature of using org-mode documents, heck, you can put the into a git and track the changes, if you want!
  • The client for Linux is fucking Emacs (Which is awesome, too, btw.!)
  • I don't care about the website that much, atm., but when I need it, I bet I can do it myself fairly quickly.
  • Org-mode documents are about as free of a format as it gets.
  • Searchable, again, by nature of you not even needing to export the data to have it in a free and searchable format.
  • Syncs automatically: Well, the first half does. I use Dropbox, atm. (because that's the only means of synchronization from outside the device supported right now but they are planning more means of synchronization and you even can vote for your favorite on g+), so the files are automatically synced to Dropbox if I edit them on a computer. However, Orgzly currently doesn't sync files automatically.
  • Alright, my old idea won't work for several reasons. Question, though: Would using Dropbox to sync files and another program to edit them work? Or does it have to be a single program? – Nic Hartley Mar 22 '16 at 0:44
  • @QPaysTaxes Then there probably isn't a website, is there? I guess for an otherwise good solution I could host it myself and use a cloud service for syncing. – UTF-8 Mar 22 '16 at 1:01
  • Actually, you can edit files on the Dropbox website. I'm not sure if it works with .odt files, though, and I currently can't check, because I don't have access to my Linux box (traveling; all I have is a Windows laptop) – Nic Hartley Mar 22 '16 at 1:02
  • If you were open to self-hosting (even with your provider-of-choice) I'd say take a look at Paperwork. Fits all other criteria, and is sometimes called the "FOSS Evernote equivalent". – Izzy Mar 22 '16 at 7:32
  • Has there been any new development? I still can't find anything. Android app is really important because I don't always have mobile internet when I need my notes so cached notes are very important. – UTF-8 Dec 18 '16 at 17:34
1

I would recommend Zim wiki.

http://zim-wiki.org/index.html

  • Allows import of my current notes (which are stored by Evernote).

Unfortunately, some of this process will probably have to be done manually. Getting data out of Evernote is hard.

  • Notes have a title.

Yes.

  • Formatted text in notes. (Bold, italic, underlined, different fonts, horizontal lines.)

Bold, italic, and underlined. Also strike-through, subscript, and superscript.

You can choose the font Zim wiki displays and use typewriter-style verbatim text, but it's plaintext, so it doesn't store font markup in the note.

  • Images in notes. (Not as attachments but instead included in the text.)

Yes, Zim has embedded images:

http://zim-wiki.org/screenshots/zim-image-open.png

  • Searchable.

Yes, and this can be limited to the current page and its sub-pages.

  • Has a desktop application for Linux.

Yes.

  • Has an app for Android.

No, but it is in progress:

https://github.com/jaap-karssenberg/zim-android-mockapp/wiki

  • Has a website where I can use the notes without a desktop application installed.

Zim has a built-in webserver:

http://zim-wiki.org/manual/Usage/Publishing.html

  • Stores data in a free format internally, too, so that a backup program can always back the current notes up automatically

Zim is a bunch of text files and directories.

  • Syncs automatically if internet is available.

A Zim notebook is just a bunch of files and directories, so any syncing software will work.

http://zim-wiki.org/manual/FAQ.html

  • Thanks. Best one, thus far. The notes aren't editable via the web interface but at this point, I'd switch anyway. However, without an Android app, I can't use it when I'm no the go and don't have a mobile internet connection (which sadly is still commonly happens). I upvoted your answer but don't quite accept it, yet, but will do so once the app works. I also just wrote an update into my quesiton (in case you're interested in alternatives for yourself). – UTF-8 Dec 22 '16 at 22:33
0

Consider the notes application by Google: Google Keep

Google Keep Site - Here's the online site to access your notes:

http://keep.google.com

Android App -- here is the google app that can sync offline too:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep

Google Keep has a lot of features:

  • Reminders
  • Colors
  • Images
  • Tages
  • Lists
  • Checkboxes
  • Searching
  • Offline
  • Export / Import to Google Docs
  • View as List / Staggered
  • Last time I checked, Google Keep didn't support placing images inside notes at specific points. Is this now a feature? – UTF-8 Mar 22 '16 at 1:12
  • @UTF-8 it supports images, even multiple images, but it puts them all as a mosaic at the top of the note. – Baronz Mar 22 '16 at 1:15
  • I just checked, too. Not being able to freely place images makes a lot of my notes unreadable. Furthermore, Keep doesn't have horizontal lines which makes notes like this one impossible. – UTF-8 Mar 22 '16 at 1:27
0

I would suggest rednotebook - plus dropbox for the online side of it.

  • Allows import of my current notes (which are stored by Evernote) yes but you might need some work first
  • Notes have a title. yes
  • Formatted text in notes. (Bold, italic, underlined, different fonts, horizontal lines.) yes
  • Images in notes. (Not as attachments but instead included in the text.) Images are embeddable anywhere but are stored separately so as to maintain pure text.
  • Searchable. Very
  • Has a desktop application for Linux. Yes and windows/osx
  • Has an app for Android. Not at the moment
  • Has a website where I can use the notes without a desktop application installed. This website should not be hosted by me (for good reasons) but by a service provider. Your files would be accessible from Dropbox but you would be limited in what editing you could do without the app
  • Not great but would work: Data export in a free format. Way better: Stores data in a free format internally, too, so that a backup program can always back the current notes up automatically and I don't have to export the data manually every time I want to make a backup of it. Backups shouldn't be made manually and you should never, ever, every rely on getting data back if the backup uses non-free formats. Notes are stored as plain text files - prompts you to trigger a backup every month, backups are .zip files.
  • The exported data is searchable with standard software. It can be compressed but this should be done in a single archive (which can be uncompressed by standard software), not like some document files which are compressed individually because this would make it really hard to find text with standard tools. For example a collection of LibreOffice documents (or even worse: Microsoft Office documents) isn't seen as searchable by me because these files are compressed individually so I can't content-search it with a tool like gnome-search-tool or from the command line. Exports to plain text, html or pdf
  • Syncs automatically if internet is available. Dropbox would take care of this

Free, Gratis & Open Source.

0

NB: This might not satisfy the "web interface" requirement -- I know Dropbox allows free access to Word Online for files on Dropbox, but I don't know if that extends to .odt files as well. Ditto for the mobile app -- it's definitely possible to edit Word documents, but I don't know about .odts.

Try something simple: OpenOffice. To get it to work on multiple platforms at once, with syncing, Dropbox. Dropbox also allows web editing for at least some files. Because it just latches on to an existing directory structure, any existing backup software works easily with it. You can install it on Linux.

The only possible problem is that it requires adding another app to edit on mobile (Word), which may or may not be capable of editing .odt files.

Aside from that, it should fulfill all the requirements.

  • *.odt files are not searchable. – UTF-8 Mar 22 '16 at 1:30
  • @UTF-8 Uh, that's false. .odt files are... files. If you have a program that's capable of reading them -- for example, OpenOffice -- then it can search them. I'm not sure if Dropbox/Word mobile can read and search them, but again I can't test at the moment. – Nic Hartley Mar 22 '16 at 1:31
  • Word Online and Word mobile are able to edit .odt files. Anyway though, if you use LibreOffice (a fork of Open Office), you can save your documents as .docx files. Still, Dropbox (web) doesn't seem to be able to search the contents of any files. – mic Jul 21 '16 at 12:54

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