Standard Notes

I’ve been using SimpleNote for a long time. It’s a great simple cloud-synced notepad and a very nice free service Automattic maintains. Type some text at it and it remembers, you can access it with a nice desktop app or a nice mobile app or any website. The problem is SimpleNote isn’t built for much security. They store your notes in plaintext on their servers. That’s probably OK but if they ever have a security breach we’re in trouble. And oddly, my notes turn out to have some pretty secure content in them. In particular I often temporarily save a password or SSH key to them. Not permanently, but with undo it’s not clear you can ever really delete anything.

Enter Standard Notes. It looks to be very similar to SimpleNote in concept, but it has end-to-end encryption built in, so it’s more secure. (Also you can never recover your notes if you lose your password.) It’s free and open sourceish, looks like they have a Freemium business model where you pay for extra features like fancier editors with formatting, reskinning the UI, etc.

Notes are tagged; in that way it’s a little like Notational Velocity / nvAlt.

The Windows desktop app is Electron and looks to share code with the web interface. The UI is a bit funky, it does not look like a native app, but it’s totally usable. Not sure how the iPhone app is implemented (I’m guessing Javascript as well) but it looks fine.

Trying it out is easy, there’s an import from SimpleNote that works OK, main wrinkle is all my deleted SimpleNotes showed up again.

I love the voice of their help page. Someone very opinionated (in a good way) is building this product. I particularly like this quote:

Your data is a liability to us, not an asset.