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How do you keep notes?

Keeping notes at all times is extremely important, so you can track down your thoughts and ideas. Whether inspiration strikes when you're at home or on the go, a note-taking app offers an easy, convenient way to store all this information in one place.

My first note-keeping app was Sticky Notes. I liked how fast and easy to access it was. Tho it became pretty hard to manage larger blocks of information quickly and I really missed some richer formatting options.

Next, I moved to Google Keep. I really liked the UI and the fact that all my ideas were synced across devices, tho I noticed it was the slowest compared to other tools mentioned below.

Sometime later I moved to Trello for planning and Evernote as a note-keeping for larger blocks of information (article drafts, etc). I really liked the simplicity of Trello and the clean UI of Evernote.

My current note-keeping solution is Notion. I like how incredibly feature-rich it is. It's an awesome all-around organizing tool, tho requires quite a lot of learning to understand which patterns work best for you.

Could you please elaborate a bit on what note-keeping solutions have you tried and what works best for you?

Top comments (73)

hwbuk profile image

100% Notion - After reading this article a couple weeks back, the way they structured their Notion for everything not just noting!

fasani profile image
Michael Fasani

Will check it out

inegrus profile image
Ioana Negrus

Hey, I'm using Bear and I really like it. You can save the notes based on tags, you can specify the programming language for a code block and it will be coloured like in a code editor and it super easy to search for what you need. I'll attach a few screenshots.

siddhantk232 profile image
Siddhant Kumar

I have tried notion and it is great. But I really do not need those extras, I am more of a do everything with markdown kind of guy. That is why I use Joplin, it uses dropbox and google drive (and others) for synchronization.

markadell profile image
Mark Adel • Edited

I use Trello for long term and day to day to-do lists.

For taking notes from articles/books/courses/etc I use markdown files structured inside folders by their category, I keep them in a private GitHub repository. To update my notes I use sublime text as it's very light-weight compared to VS code. For sublime text I use Markdown Preview package which allows me to view the markdown output in browser tabs, and Terminal package to open the terminal in my current folder so I can quickly push my new changes to GitHub.

190245 profile image

For me, it depends on what the note is relating to.

Most things start out on my Oynx Boox, be that my scribbled handwriting that no-one can read, or diagrams. I can then sync them across to the laptop whenever I like.

If it's work related, and I have the work laptop with me, notes are taken using Typora in markdown (with Mermaid for diagrams).

Main advantage being that my Ubuntu laptop indexes the content of the notes & makes it globally available for searching.

eaich profile image
Eddie • Edited

Full disclosure - I built this, but to answer your question, this is what I use now for everything.

I draft blog posts, write notes, manage personal tasks, manage full-fledged projects with my teammates on it -

birdo profile image

Looks awesome, I'll give it a try.

javaarchive profile image

Do notes sync in realtime? That'd be amazing for one of my collanrative projects

eaich profile image

They will in a couple weeks. We are currently testing the feature -

phuc1111x profile image

So creative, i think i love it

kvanrooyen profile image
Keagan Van Rooyen

Is this site still live? The link seems to be broken for me

eaich profile image
Eddie • Edited

Hi thanks for asking. It has been rebranded as "Crucial Human Project" and you can find it here - and the notes taking feature has been split off into a separate product called Writer (to be released).


Thread Thread
kvanrooyen profile image
Keagan Van Rooyen

Amazing! Thank you, I had a brief look on my way to work and it looks really good. Great work

avicndugu profile image
avic ndugu • Edited

I used to use whatever notes app that came with the phone. Big mistake: you can't search them or transfer them to another device. I currently use simplenote by wordpress team that works like charm. It has markdown inbuilt, its searchable and can be synced across devices.

zilti_500 profile image
Daniel Ziltener • Edited

I am using Org-Mode, and sync the notes between my devices using Syncthing. On the desktop, I view, edit and search them with Emacs, and on my Android I have the Orgzly app.

No servers, no being-at-the-mercy-of-a-corporation, no cloud, just simple, structured text files :)

ekafyi profile image
Eka • Edited

I have Notion; I use it for big-picture "systems" stuff (finances, bills, domain renewals, health & household stuff).

I have a private Github repo for daily logs, divided into "work" and "life" (the latter for anything outside of work). They are short and loosely inspired by bullet journal.

For nearly everything else I use Bear. Quick notes, long notes, learning notes, copy-pasted stuff, post ideas, resources, etc. I tried more elaborate setups but I always fell back to this setup. I used to have my bookmarks in Notion, but I just found it easier to make tagged notes on Bear.

abdurrkhalid333 profile image
Abdur Rehman Khalid

In My Case, I always tend to use a Notebook or a Register and a Pen while learning a new skill or thing. And I am a fan of writing down things by hand as I think that the muscle memory of hand is linked to the memory skills.

For the Planning purposes and in order to organize the work-related tasks I use Evernote as it is simple and you can access your notes and summaries on multiple devices in a very convenient way. I also have tried to use the Trello and it is nice I have to say that but it sometimes gets messy and complex so I have not used that very much.

I have always tried to note down things that came into my mind while riding the Motobike at a slow and steady speed, and things during lectures and learning that I think are important and I can forget those easily.

downey profile image
Tim Downey

In the past I've tried OneNote, Emacs Org-Mode, physical notebooks, etc.

But I have trouble keeping up with it. These days I make use of scratch buffers in my editor, will Slack myself small tidbits, and, on occasion, write a short post in the notes section of my blog. I'll do that if it's something that if its something I had to lookup and had trouble finding -- who knows maybe it will help someone else!

dangoslen profile image
Dan Goslen

Honestly, I still stick to a notebook that I carry around with me all the time.

I write my daily goals, to-dos, etc. on it in the morning and carry it around with me all day. Any meeting notes or things I need to remember I put in there.

The downside is that it isn't searchable. However, I have found I hardly ever go back to my personal notes for things from several years ago (even when I used Evernote) and instead go to the things like Wikis for a product, comments in a user story in Jira, etc. This just means that important notes that I wrote down from a meeting I have to put in a place closest to the context it was about - which is technically duplicate work.

I don't mind it, however, because I still write down what I think was important on any given day, and if it was really important I have copied the note to a more permanent place closest to the context it was about by the end of the week.

Great conversation starter! Fun to read all the approaches and tools in this thread!

birdo profile image

Hey Madza!

I've pretty much experienced the same journey as you regarding note keeping.

Except when I purchased an iPad (incl. Pen). The App I use is GoodNotes. An iPad w/ pen works especially great for brainstorming since you can scribble shapes anywhere oh the canvas and combine them with hand-written text and screenshots.
But that's about.. I dislike the organization of the "notes" within GoodNotes since it's all about folders within folders - where you lose track of the "whole" easily.

So right now I'm in the middle of building my dream note-taking & TODO structure within Notion. I'm not only using Notion for note taking (e.g. university or projects) - I'm also using it for personal planning stuff and ideas.
I think I'm going to combine Notion with GoodNotes "sketches" i.e. importing them into Notion.

My Notion "Landing Page" (wip):

landing page

University TODOs (filtered table):

univ. todos

Actual Notes:

actual notes

nothing interesting here but:

Notes in GoodNotes (iPad):

ipad GoodNotes notes

jingxue profile image
Jing Xue

For short and quick notes, I just use my iPhone's Notes app. It's literally at my finger tip almost all the time.

For long standing, accumulative, Indiana-Jones's-notebook-level notes I keep them in Google Doc. I haven't used EverNote in years so maybe it has gotten better, but when I did use it the editor felt buggy and sluggish.

When I'm working on a client site, project-related notes must be kept on client's network of course. For those I use OneNote.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

I also use Google Keep. However, I'm not sure if I can export my notes as a backup, which is a little concerning. Other than that, I keep written notes in my bullet journal and sometimes in Google docs or Text files on my harddrive.

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