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Jasterix
Jasterix

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What's your favorite notetaking app?

Since starting as a full time SWE, I've found myself using multiple note-taking apps:

  1. Notion. Mostly use for meeting notes. I love the organization and search features. I love that you can add attendees and other properties. But the tablet app is painful to use with a stylus. And because it's so structured, I'm less likely to add notes that don't fit in a predefined section.
  2. Samsung Notes. For daily tasks and reminders. This replaced the Cambridge Quad notebooks I used to buy in bulk. I bought a Samsung tablet, and now I'm stuck. The handwriting recognition is the best of multiple apps I've tried. Unfortunately the people at Samsung make it impossible to access and edit your notes on desktop or the web.
  3. OneNote. Which I've been trying to use because it's there and easy to save random screenshots to. But the lack of basic editing features and plugins sucks. The forced notebook and page structure is also pretty limiting. I hate clicking around to find notes and the view easily feels cluttered.
  4. Random sticky notes. For random thoughts, customer service case numbers, git commands to refer back to, etc.

I would love to use one app that does everything these 4 apps do:

  1. Organize my notes into groups and structures that I can easily search and get back to
  2. Be workable on tablet. I'm not asking for much here. Just let me take notes. Recognize my handwriting and let me edit on desktop or the web.
  3. Simple interface that doesn't inhibit random notes or reminders I want to jot down.

Someone suggested Obsidian. Never used it before, but would love to get some feedback from those who have. If there's another app that you swear, please let me know!

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Discussion (22)

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

Unfortunately the people at Samsung make it impossible to access and edit your notes on desktop or the web.

FWIW this isn't entirely true on Windows (not sure what OS you're using on your computer) - Win 10's "Your Phone" app, Samsung Dex, and Windows 11's expansion of the Android Connection all allow you to mirror your Samsung phone/tablet to PC.

Even more specifically, if you happen to have a Samsung PC it looks like there's a Samsung Notes app that you can install from the Windows store (and according to this post there's a work around for non-Samsung Windows PCs as well).

On a less sketchy note - there's a newer feature to sync Samsung Notes to OneNote outlined here. I haven't tried it, but it exists.


I've seen some people recommend Obsidian, but I haven't looked too much into it because it's local storage unless you buy their premium (I was going to say there's no mobile app, but that doesn't seem to be true anymore).

I've tried so hard to move to digital note taking apps, but I always end up back with physical notebooks - something about the physical book helps me remember to actually do things and not just lose my tasks to a page somewhere that I never look at again 😅

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

Yess! I loved the feelings of bringing out the fresh notebook and writing things down. I thought getting tablet would be good step but it's too difficult. I've tried using dex, the old Windows app and the "Your phone" app. The OneNote plugin also just adds a note as an attachment. But the issue is that you can't edit those notes. On desktop your handwriting becomes an image with no way to edit :(

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terabytetiger profile image
Tyler V. (he/him)

Yeah - I feel like the ability to do whatever you want on a physical notebook is just so much more convenient than anything digital can offer other than cloud backup 😅

I use Notion to organize ideas that are more long term plans with no real tasks assigned to them, but anything that needs to get done has to be written down for me to get it done 😅

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

😫😞

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jackkeller profile image
Jack Keller

Freemium based, but I love bear.app, syncs up really nicely and tags can be organized with structure like #work/project/story and so on, plus checkbox todos are no sweat. That said, I'll check out a few in this thread as well.

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samuelnarciso28 profile image
Samuel Narciso • Edited on

Dude, you forgot obsidian.md
It was maked with js and have a lot of pluggins

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I'm trying out Obsidian today, but is like Obsidian.md a different tool?

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samuelnarciso28 profile image
Samuel Narciso

They are the same application 😁

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

haha cool 😅

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dgeisz profile image
Danny Geisz

ngl, RemNote is the best :)

(disclaimer: I work there, but I'm actually high-key addicted to the product for my own personal use)

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I used RemNote all day today and I love it. Much more than Obsidian. I love the quick notes and the UI is super clearn. Also free >the $98 Obsidian charges for sync. The Andoid app is also A1. Had a couple of problems with the palm rejection, but only took me a few tries to get used to putting the pen down first. Sync between my tablet and the chrome window happened super quickly.

The only thing holding me back from switching over 100% is the lack of desktop app. This is my fault but trying to find that one RemNote tab when I have 50 tabs opened across multiple windows is really the only constraint. I usually prefer webapps to desktop apps. But I needed my notes during a call earlier, and finding the tab took long enough for me to give up and try to recall from memory instead. But I'm sure you guys are aware of that limitation, which is prob why you're building a desktop version 😀

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dgeisz profile image
Danny Geisz

Oh buddy, do I got news for you! We do have a desktop app! Here's the download! I totally feel you btw. I actually almost always use the desktop app over the web app.

In terms of my favorite part of the app, at first my favorite thing was how easy it was to turn notes into flashcards (it felt like "downloading" info to my brain!) and while I still love that, I think my favorite thing is how easy it is to link different concepts together. It takes a couple days to get used to, but once you do, there's literally no going back (I'm specifically talking about Rem references and portals, in case you want to check them out)

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author • Edited on

actually all set!

run gif

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I'll have to check it out! What would you say are the best features compared to Notion or other apps?

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I really like this UI. Will def try to use it this weekend 😍

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Notion, Obsidian and Apple Notes for me at the moment.

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I'm surprised you're using all 3. I would have thought Obsidian could replace my Notion workspace completely. Which Notion features are missing for you?

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Obsidian is good but I don't think it can replace my Notion project setup. Obsidian is mostly text based whereas Notion is feature rich with tables, galleries, images and countless integrations like Figma and Github etc...

Plus it has the public API which extends its features even more. Obsidian has a much better writing experience though compared to Notion and its annoying blocks which make copy and pasting frustrating. Apple Notes is my backup or alternative to Obsidian. Currently debating whether to use it at all or stick with Obsidian. Apple Notes is good for having private locked notes etc...

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I agree with you 100%. The blocks are indeed annoying on desktop but it makes Notion frustrating to use on my Samsung tablet. I wonder if it would be possible to IFTTT certain things to Notion. My amin concern with Obsidian is getting locked in once I start installing 3rd party apps 😫

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lairdstreak profile image
laird.streak

Joplin works on windows linux android all I need :) and easy dropbox sycn so all your notes evereywhere all in sync what more would you need :)

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sharpninja profile image
The Sharp Ninja

NotesHub.app has become my goto notes app. It stores your notes as markdown on GitHub and the UI is decent, if a bit sparse.

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jasterix profile image
Jasterix Author

I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads up