The never ending quest for the best note system

Posted on Jul 16, 2020

There are three note applications and systems on my mind at the moment.

1. Evernote

Old faithful. Despite some dark times, Evernote is still solid and reliable as it always has been. I’ve been on the beta recently and there are some good changes coming soon. Evernote still does a few things extremely well. - Capture (from webpages and other services) - Sync (I rarely have conflicts and notes show up almost instantly) - It’s everywhere - it’s easy to start with But, it doesn’t have some of the latest ideas like the two other apps I’ve been playing with.

2. Notion

Notion sucks as a note-taking/data storage app. The apps are slow web views and it never feels like you are working with text. Exporting notes isn’t easy and there is a steep learning curve… BUT - The organising tools are amazing - Collaboration is great - The whole idea of Databases is extremely cool - You can have notes and project management tools in one place I hate capturing data in notion, but I’ve been using it to organise writing my newsletter and it works so well for this. There is a web capture tool but it feels a bit awkward which sums up a lot of Notion. It’s cool but awkward.

3. Obsidian

Roam research, but local and using markdown files. I was just writing a note in Notion and wanted to make some relational notes as you can in obsidian. Unfortunately, Notion doesn’t work that way. I started using obsidian on my Work PC, with an iCloud folder so in theory, I can add markdown notes anywhere (using drafts on my iPhone) and I’ll get all the benefits of obsidian. but…
- obsidian doesn’t have a tool to save webpages - obsidian doesn’t have a mobile app (so it’s all just plain text on iOS) - obedian doesn’t connect to third-party services for easy imports I could probably save webpages as PDFs and then link to those files, but that isn’t quite the same.

So… what do you want to do?

I guess I could … - Use multiple apps, each for its own strength… But using one app would be simpler. - Settle for just Notion, not have relational notes (maybe they’ll come later?) and deal with the other issues. - Settle with Evernote and use a task manager (todoist?) for project management - Use Obsidian and be a cool tech guy who does everything in plain text…and maybe use PDF version of saved web pages…

Or maybe there’s another app like DEVONThink…but that’s an Apple exclusive…