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Cover image for Notesnook is now open source!
Abdullah Atta
Abdullah Atta

Posted on

Notesnook is now open source!

Hi! I am Abdullah Atta, the co-founder of Notesnook. I am really, really excited to share this news with the dev.to community. We have officially open sourced all of our client apps (sync server to be open sourced soon) on GitHub. We'd love if the community chimes in & support us on this new journey!

GitHub logo streetwriters / notesnook

A fully open source & end-to-end encrypted note taking alternative to Evernote.

Notesnook Logo

Notesnook

An end-to-end encrypted note taking alternative to Evernote.

Website | About us | Roadmap | Downloads | Twitter | Discord

To celebrate the open sourcing of Notesnook, we have giving away first year of Notesnook Pro at 75% off. Support us by subscribing!

Overview

Notesnook is a free (as in speech) & open source note taking app focused on user privacy & ease of use. To ensure zero knowledge principles, Notesnook encrypts everything on your device using XChaCha20-Poly1305 & Argon2.

Notesnook is our proof that privacy does not (always) have to come at the cost of convenience. Our goal is to provide users peace of mind & 100% confidence that their notes are safe and secure. The decision to go fully open source is one of the most crucial steps towards that.

This repository contains all the code required to build & use the Notesnook web, desktop…

What is Notesnook?

Notesnook started out as a passion project back in 2019 (3 years after Standard Notes) after I got really frustrated by the lack of good, usable & privacy note taking apps in the market. It might not sound like a pain point to you but privacy is a critical issue in today's digital world & my notes contain my most private thoughts. If you don't share this opinion, I don't blame you.

Google has popularized the "100% free" concept in almost all markets. Look at Google Keep, Gmail, Calendar, Maps & the whole GSuite. Most of it is offered free of charge. Why? Are they crazy? It makes no sense until you realize that Google is primarily an Ads company. They thrive on user data.

If it's free, you are paying with your data.

Notesnook is our take on how note taking should be done. It features 100% end-to-end encrypted sync (free & unlimited for all), encrypted attachments (unlimited storage for as low as $0.99/mo) & encrypted publishing of notes (again free for all). It is a fully cross-platform app built using React & React Native with a primary focus on feature parity. In fact, all our clients have 99% feature parity (something no other note taking app can claim).

A first look at Notesnook web client

Why open source? Why now?

The truth is that we are late to the party. Notesnook was our first rodeo & we didn't realize how important open sourcing is for our users to inspire trust & confidence until much, much later. Better late than never though, right?

Our mission is to make Notesnook a quality product in the open source space like Docker, Nginx, PostHog etc. When we started out Notesnook, we asked ourselves 1 question:

Is it possible to create a privacy respecting note taking service without compromising on convenience & usability?

And here is our proof.

What kind of open source?

We are open sourcing Notesnook under (A)GPL-3.0-or-later. We will not tolerate any compromise on our users' freedom, privacy & peace of mind.

We open sourced Notesnook on September 1 and the response has been huge so far. I summarized our overall experienced in this tweet (would love if you give a follow!)

How can you help?

We are a small company based in Pakistan entirely self-funded without any VC backing us. We don't have thousands of dollars for ad revenue or influential patrons who'll push us to the edge. All we have is platforms like these.

We'd love if you can star our GitHub repo, become a contributor, spread the word of privacy & tell others about your experience with Notesnook. If you have a platform (podcast, blog, etc.), we'd love to get featured. If you'd like to collaborate with us, we are listening.

That's all. I hope Notesnook will make a difference.

β€” May privacy reign

Top comments (18)

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allobrox profile image
Tamas Rigoczki

You are doing great work Abdullah!

Privacy is important to more and more users. Creating free alternatives to data "stealing" apps is essential and if it's open-source it's better.

Keep up the good work!

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Thank you so much! I 100% agree.

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jacksonkasi profile image
Jackson Kasi

it's really helpful for me ( Notesnook ) ✨😊

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Awesome! Let me know if you have any questions!

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jacksonkasi profile image
Jackson Kasi

sure!

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anshulnegitc profile image
Anshul Negi

Great work brother
Keep it up....

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Thank you!

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firozansari profile image
Firoz Ansari

Looks great! Congratulations! I am curious how you are storing the notes if user prefer local storage. Using markdown files? Or in some database like SQLite?

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Data is always stored locally in IndexedDB. It gets synced to a MongoDB database in its encrypted form.

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mshez profile image
Muhammad Shahzad

Great ! Am proud when my countrymen contributes to Open source.

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delta456 profile image
Swastik Baranwal

Congrats on the release!

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Thank you!

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daud99 profile image
daud99

@thecodrr well done.

Coming this from my home country really makes me proud. I believe it will be a big thing going forward.

keep up the good work.

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Thank you!

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tapive profile image
Gary

Cool product. Great UI. I like it!

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thecodrr profile image
Abdullah Atta Author

Thank you, means a lot!

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vdas01 profile image
Vishal Das

Awesome work. Love from India

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takielias profile image
Taki Elias

This is awesome !!!

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.