I have a rubbish old netbook that I use for writing when I'm out and about. It's of such limited specifications that I use notepad++ for this rather than a real word processor.

Recently I lost some work to file corruption, and decided I'd rather switch to a cloud-based service like google docs or office online. However, such are the limitations of my hardware that even these services cause the dear little thing to struggle terribly.

I don't really want to use a file-storage solution like dropbox. Not only is this slightly less convenient than direct cloud-based editing but it'll require running another service in the background, taking up precious memory from my 512MB.

I don't really require any functionality better than standard windows notepad. So are there any super-light cloud based text editors?

(Moral of this question: don't skimp on hardware, it's a false economy)

  • 2
    Depends on your requirements on "file organization". If there are "virtually none", some simple service like pastebin.com might be sufficient. Even supports syntax highlighting :) – Izzy Jul 14 '14 at 9:54
  • If you're only storing text files, you could consider a git repository. BitBucket allows you do create private repository. Downside is, you'll have to get a bit familiar with git. – merours Jul 15 '14 at 8:50
  • @Izzy I'd like marginally better file organisation than that, but it's otherwise ideal. If you want to paste it as an answer, I'll accept it. Thanks! – Bob Tway Jul 15 '14 at 9:03
  • OK, done. As for "marginally better file management", I've added an alternative – "git" was the keyword making me remember Gist... – Izzy Jul 15 '14 at 9:22

Some easy solutions include:


There are multiple pastebin services around, like Pastebin.com or Pastebin.Mozilla.Org, offering different sets of features. Some are pretty basic, others include syntax highlighting and more. Disadvantage often is you need to remember the URLs, so there's almost no "file management" available – though some services offer you creating an account, so you can manage your snippets.


fxm suggested using a Git repository, which triggered some memory with me. Instead of having to deal with Git directly (and learning all its commands), as useful as this is for other means, you could try Gist – which basically is another "pastebin", using Git as backend. This way you can "combine forces": start using it as "pastebin" (creating your own account is recommended), and take a look into Git in parallel to expand features (hint: Pro git is a free book to learn Git available under a Creative Commons license. Special fun: it's community edited, and uses – guess what? – Git for managing the project :)

I'm using both services from time to time (mostly pastebin). Make sure to check in advance from the different places you need to access these "web apps" from – I've made the experience that some "corporate proxies" tend to block the one or other. But that can most likely be said for all kind of web apps…


Try SimpleNote.

According to my Chrome task manager, it's using about 55MB of RAM; so it's pretty lightweight. (In comparison, Google drive, with both the drive and a single document tab open, takes up about 200MB.)

I used the service for years and really liked it, but recently moved my files over to DropBox and just used that to sync/backup them.

Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure about the future of the service. Their DropBox sync (a paid/pro feature) stopped working, and the 3rd party Windows application I was using on the desktop was losing files and change history, thus my decision to change.

If you stick to using their web app, I don't think you would experience the problems I was having, and it really is a nice service. For your use case, I think it is worth checking out.

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