de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

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dual
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de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Sat May 18, 2019 4:17 pm

I am a big fan of notes programs. I use them to keep track of financial and other information instead of little scraps of paper or notebooks that get lost and are not searchable. At home I use a notes program (Infoselect) that is deliberately not internet connected. For on the go, I started using Google Keep Notes a couple of years ago. I like the program but I got to thinking about how much of my personal information I was handing to Google. So I looked around for more secure alternatives.

My requirements:
My information is private to me, encoded and not accessible to the company providing the storage/sync, other services for online access.

clean design without a lot of bells and whistles

reliable sync between the portable devices like the cell phones in my family
.
available for different cell phone/tablet operating systems

A desktop PC version

I have settled on Standard Notes https://standardnotes.org/. It satisfies all the requirements and I have used it for a couple of months and it has performed well. One thing I miss is a reminder/tickler function.

I was tempted by Evernotes but after studying it I do not trust them any more than I trust Google.

So my question is are there other notes programs that BH's like and why?

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by jebmke » Sat May 18, 2019 4:21 pm

I use Evernote - have for years.

Does Standard allow for offline storage of notes? I often keep a lot of travel-related notes in Evernote which are replicated to my local device so available when there is either no connection or not cost effective (e.g. outside the US).
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by fortfun » Sat May 18, 2019 4:28 pm

Have you looked at Rocket Book?
https://getrocketbook.com/

I doubt it is as secure as you want but an interesting concept. I tried it briefly at a conference and enjoyed it.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Sat May 18, 2019 5:05 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:21 pm
Does Standard allow for offline storage of notes?
I think so. Here are the features of the free version


Always Free
AES-256 encryption. No one but you can read your notes.
Easy to use, open-source apps on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux
Automatic sync with no limit on data capacity
Unlimited devices
Web access
Offline access

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by SnowBog » Sat May 18, 2019 5:15 pm

OneNote with password protected (encrypted) sections for those things that you think require extra privacy. https://support.office.com/en-us/articl ... 3F0F445933

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Sat May 18, 2019 5:22 pm

SnowBog wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:15 pm
OneNote with password protected (encrypted) sections for those things that you think require extra privacy. https://support.office.com/en-us/articl ... 3F0F445933
I looked at Onenote. I use it on my desktop PC as a lab notebook but with no personal information.

I think it is too complicated and resource hungry to use on my el-cheapo cellphones. Plus I do not trust Micro$oft either :wink:

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by Hitchcock_Fan » Sat May 18, 2019 6:07 pm

StandardNotes looks pretty good. I used https://simplenote.com in the past and liked it. I'm using Apple Notes now.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by SnowBog » Sun May 19, 2019 1:12 am

dual wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:22 pm
Plus I do not trust Micro$oft either :wink:
Short of running (and securing) your own server(s) or setting up some sort of local sync process - so you don't need ANYONE in the middle, there's some level of trust required...

I'll admit I'm biased, but if any "cloud" is involved I'd trust Microsoft (and Apple) before others. At least with them, YOU aren't their "product". And they are profitable enough to be stable (smaller company's might be forced to change their practices and/or more likely to go out of business or have less security/governance).

But to each their own...

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by KyleAAA » Sun May 19, 2019 1:28 am

OneNote fulfills all your requirements and there is a free version. I use it on my (very) old phone and it performs well. Realistically, it is your most privacy-friendly cross platform option by far. Apple is also good from a privacy perspective but not cross platform.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by blackholescion » Sun May 19, 2019 7:01 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:28 am
Apple is also good from a privacy perspective but not cross platform.
While I generally agree with you, it’s important to note you can access a lot through your web browser by logging into iCloud. You can access all your notes via browser. $3 a month gets you 200gb of storage as well which is pretty good when combined with discounted iTunes gift cards (15-20% off is very common). I trust Apple the most of all the tech companies unless proven otherwise. They don’t need to advertise and therefore can focus on privacy because their revenue is from device and services sales (like the aforementioned storage costs).

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by GAAP » Sun May 19, 2019 9:54 am

Separate the cloud function from the notebook function. Use a standalone notebook product, use a veracrypt volume on your cloud fileshare of choice (like Dropbox). That's pretty much what I do for stuff I don't want Dropbox admins ever having access to.
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by KyleAAA » Sun May 19, 2019 12:22 pm

blackholescion wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:01 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:28 am
Apple is also good from a privacy perspective but not cross platform.
While I generally agree with you, it’s important to note you can access a lot through your web browser by logging into iCloud. You can access all your notes via browser. $3 a month gets you 200gb of storage as well which is pretty good when combined with discounted iTunes gift cards (15-20% off is very common). I trust Apple the most of all the tech companies unless proven otherwise. They don’t need to advertise and therefore can focus on privacy because their revenue is from device and services sales (like the aforementioned storage costs).
Microsoft also doesn’t need to advertise, as their revenue is from software and service sales. If web access meets your needs I agree Apple is also a good choice.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by revert » Sun May 19, 2019 1:57 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:22 pm
Microsoft also doesn’t need to advertise, as their revenue is from software and service sales.
Bing and Windows ads would like to have a word. 🙂

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Sun May 19, 2019 1:59 pm

SnowBog wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:12 am

Short of running (and securing) your own server(s) or setting up some sort of local sync process - so you don't need ANYONE in the middle, there's some level of trust required...
Standard notes does the following to ensure security https://standardnotes.org/privacy
End to End Privacy: All your data — no matter if you’re using a PC, a phone, a tablet or a gaming system — is encrypted everywhere you don't control. On our servers. On our network. On a public network. In the cloud.

Secure connections. Whenever we move your encrypted data over a network, in order to deliver services to you, it is sent over a strictly secure connection to only our private servers. Because this data is encrypted, we can't read it, and we can’t sell it.

Open-source: We've made all our code open-source, so it's clear how your data is being handled every step of the way. Many companies promise encryption but don't open up their code for peer-review. We believe the definition of end-to-end encryption should mean that code on both ends is open-sourced. While trust in a closed system can be convenient at times, nothing is more trustable than mathematical certainty and utter transparency.

No tracking or intrusive advertising. We are heavily opposed to industry standard tracking tools like Google Analytics, which gathers and analyzes your browsing history to sell you better advertisements. Instead, we use an open-source, privacy-focused, and self-hosted Matomo analytics installation.
Respectful analytics. We are utterly and completely transparent about reporting exactly what we track, and why. We announce when we update those policies. And we confirm with you that you are comfortable with those changes. To date, our applications, including web, desktop, and mobile, contain no analytics or tracking software whatsoever.
They also seem to offer the possibility of using the app with your own server but I have not looked into it.
SnowBog wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:12 am

I'll admit I'm biased, but if any "cloud" is involved I'd trust Microsoft (and Apple) before others. At least with them, YOU aren't their "product". And they are profitable enough to be stable (smaller company's might be forced to change their practices and/or more likely to go out of business or have less security/governance).

But to each their own...
It might be true but who knows. Standard Notes does a lot of things to ensure privacy that Apple and Microsoft do not.
Last edited by dual on Sun May 19, 2019 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by LadyGeek » Sun May 19, 2019 2:13 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (notes).
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by harrychan » Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm

dual wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:22 pm
SnowBog wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 5:15 pm
OneNote with password protected (encrypted) sections for those things that you think require extra privacy. https://support.office.com/en-us/articl ... 3F0F445933
I looked at Onenote. I use it on my desktop PC as a lab notebook but with no personal information.

I think it is too complicated and resource hungry to use on my el-cheapo cellphones. Plus I do not trust Micro$oft either :wink:
App version of Onenote is really clunky. I have trouble typing and moving the cursor so I won't recommend it. I use Evernote and seems to fit the bill.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Sun May 19, 2019 4:00 pm

harrychan wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm
I use Evernote and seems to fit the bill.
What measures does Evernote take to safeguard your data?

Can the people in the company access/read it?

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by harrychan » Sun May 19, 2019 7:50 pm

dual wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:00 pm
harrychan wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:30 pm
I use Evernote and seems to fit the bill.
What measures does Evernote take to safeguard your data?

Can the people in the company access/read it?
Read it yourself. https://evernote.com/privacy

Note, I do not work for Evernote. If you use any cloud service, there will be some level of risk associated with leaks. Your password can be stolen or you forget to log out and someone copies your notes. If you want near private server, you can set one up yourself by hosting your own open source note taking app.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by Dottie57 » Sun May 19, 2019 8:21 pm

I have to say Evernote looks wonderful from a functional point.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Mon May 20, 2019 2:14 am

harrychan wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:50 pm

Read it yourself. https://evernote.com/privacy
I am concerned about the company accessing my information. Evernote states at the link above:
Our systems automatically analyze your data in order to power Evernote features, such as search and related notes, and to tell you about important features and products that we think will enhance your Evernote experience, but we never give or sell your content to any third party for advertising purposes.
That is a red flag to me. I do not want my data analyzed by a company for whatever purpose.

Further if you read their "transparency section" it is apparent that they will provide your information to the government for "criminal or civil requests."
harrychan wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:50 pm
Note, I do not work for Evernote. If you use any cloud service, there will be some level of risk associated with leaks. Your password can be stolen or you forget to log out and someone copies your notes. If you want near private server, you can set one up yourself by hosting your own open source note taking app.
I think StandardNotes approach of only transmitting and storing encrypted data that they themselves cannot access is better than Evernotes.

Yes my password can be stolen etc but that is a far smaller risk than having my data accessible to the company and them stating that they will analyze it or give it to someone else under some circumstances without my permission.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by cacophony » Mon May 20, 2019 2:47 am

I only discovered Standard Notes a couple months ago, but really like it so far. Does exactly what I want with security, convenience, and no UI clutter or ads.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by inbox788 » Mon May 20, 2019 3:33 am

dual wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:14 am
That is a red flag to me. I do not want my data analyzed by a company for whatever purpose.
I knew Google was tracking my searches, but it was a little disturbing seeing where I've been years ago and had forgotten, but Google hasn't.

https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

It knows more about me than I do. And the I discovered what it knew about my travels, and that was a little disturbing too. Dates, times, places, etc. And then I noticed a city I hadn't visited, but Google says I did, and as I looked further, my plane did a stopover in that city, which I totally forgot about. The one good thing is if I ever needed an alibi, Google could exculpate (or incriminate) me.

https://www.google.com/maps/timeline

And just last week, there were articles about how Gmail keeps track of your purchases. I knew it was scanning and collecting all sorts of data, but it was a little shocking to see the list of purchases it was able to produce just from my emails going back many years.

https://myaccount.google.com/purchases

Now I can imagine what it's doing with personal messages, medical information, financial information and everything else it's able to scan through and organize. I'm more concerned about what I put on docs and sheets, and simply trusting Goggle or other companies with that type of access, even if it's only scanning and AI. Imagine if it got in the wrong hands.

As far as sensitive notes, I'm going old school and keeping things on paper. Any electronics documents are local and not on the cloud. USB drives have their flaws, but you usually need physical access, and they can be encrypted. I think the local files and encrypted backups in the cloud are safer than trusting a cloud provider that has capability to scan your open text. I would probably be ok with encrypted files on Google drive or others as a compromise.

More than anything, I've been overwhelmed by all the information being collected and saved and am systematically trying to figure out what is really needed. I'm guessing 95% of what I'm keeping can actually be deleted, but finding that 5% required is challenging. I need a better personal electronic data disposal policy. What has helped most is nipping things in the bud and not adding to the information collection or closing out accounts and deleting all the information in a few months when everything has settled.

At one point, I was going to digitize all the paperwork, but I realized it was only going to turn physical clutter into digital clutter, so I'm simply waiting it out and shredding the paper. The best way to de-google yourself is to go off the grid. Short of that, avoid starting any traceable actions (duckduckgo) and cover your electronic tracks whenever you can. It might just be time to go out and buy those tin foil hats.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by CFM300 » Mon May 20, 2019 3:48 am

inbox788 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:33 am
I knew Google was tracking my searches, but it was a little disturbing seeing where I've been years ago and had forgotten, but Google hasn't.

https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity
It only keeps those records when you're signed in to a Google or Chrome account. Even then you can turn those features off.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by scout80 » Mon May 20, 2019 6:59 am

If you got a subscription to Adobe Acrobat (https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/acrobat ... S&mv=other) you could create a PDF on your computer and password protect and encrypt it and store it anywhere you like and nobody would be able to read it. Google can't decode it if it's encrypted with a password and you could store it on Google Drive or OneDrive or DropBox or what ever. There are Acrobat versions available for Mac, PC, iOS, Android, Linux so you should be able to access/edit it from any device but it would be worth verifying compatibility across platforms.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dsmclone » Mon May 20, 2019 7:38 am

I guess I'm different than most in this post. When looking for a product like this, my number one concern is that the company is a leader in security. I consider Microsoft, Apple, and Google all similar. Just don't let my data get in the wrong hands. I don't care that Google can target me with ads based on what's in my notes or my email. Actually, I'd prefer they would analyze it even more so that after I actually buy a product, it knows to no longer show ads for that product.


I turn everything on for Google tracking so I can get the best experience possible. Oh I'm driving by a new restaurant that is similar to one I've liked in the past, Google please let me know. Google knows that I've been searching for a certain pair of shoes and it sees a sale, please tell me. I'm driving towards a traffic jam, Google please tell me. Google sees that I have a flight on my calendar at 11:30, it tells me when to leave to make it to the airport on time. I have Google Assistant speakers throughout the house and my only complaint is that it doesn't listen more. Google look at my pictures, listen to my conversations, look at my calendar, check my blood pressure, know my age, know my sex, know where I live, read my emails, look at my finances, look at my viewing habits, etc. Anything to help my quality of life. If it does these things well I'll trust it, if it doesn't I won't. Pretty much the only thing I don't want to happen is someone video recording me in my own home.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by KyleAAA » Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm

revert wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:57 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:22 pm
Microsoft also doesn’t need to advertise, as their revenue is from software and service sales.
Bing and Windows ads would like to have a word. 🙂
Which has nothing to do with its Office suite, of course, which is what OneNote is a part of.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by revert » Mon May 20, 2019 4:39 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm
Which has nothing to do with its Office suite, of course, which is what OneNote is a part of.
True - from the comment it sounded like you were talking about MS as a whole and not specifically the office division. Apologies for the misunderstanding :happy

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Tue May 21, 2019 11:24 am

KyleAAA wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm
revert wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:57 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:22 pm
Microsoft also doesn’t need to advertise, as their revenue is from software and service sales.
Bing and Windows ads would like to have a word. 🙂
Which has nothing to do with its Office suite, of course, which is what OneNote is a part of.
With all due respect, the two apps have a lot to do with each other. Both are divisions of the same company. Their profits get aggregated with other divisions of the company when it reports to Wall Street.

Google and Facebook are crowding out other online ad sellers in this extremely lucrative market because their ads are more effective due to using personal information that they get from users of their online apps. This provides a powerful incentive for M$ft to try to do the same.

M$ft has a long history of leveraging one of their products to provide an unfair competitive advantage to other products. In the United States v. Microsoft Corp. case the government accused
Microsoft of illegally maintaining its monopoly position in the PC market primarily through the legal and technical restrictions it put on the abilities of PC manufacturers (OEMs) and users to uninstall Internet Explorer and use other programs such as Netscape and Java. At trial, the district court ruled that Microsoft's actions constituted unlawful monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed most of the district court's judgments.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... soft_Corp.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by AnonJohn » Tue May 21, 2019 11:42 am

Thanks for flagging standardnotes; it's new in this space since I last looked (2014). Offers a lot.

I've used Evernote and OneNote extensively. Both were ultimately unacceptable for my use cases and preferences. Can't see myself ever going back to either.

I settled on zim-wiki, and truly love it. Some idiosyncrasies to figure out, but simple, powerful and flexible. I use dropbox to mirror across devices; works well. Version control is available. Recent dropbox changes may break my workflow.

The large downside: no android or apple app. Will probably eventually get fixed (it's open source and built on plain text files), but initial efforts have floundered. This is not fatal for me since my "archival notebook" is built with a real computer and real keyboard. Quick thoughts on my phone go in an email.

One advantage over standard notes: creating links and webs of links between notebook pages. Zim-wiki is a wiki. You can do things like build a mind-map.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by increment » Tue May 21, 2019 12:00 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:48 am
It only keeps those records when you're signed in to a Google or Chrome account. Even then you can turn those features off.
A while ago there was a tiny controversy, and Chrome had to add a new option to prevent certain auto-signins. But Google has chosen the default because most people prefer the convenience, you know.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by KyleAAA » Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 pm

dual wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:24 am
KyleAAA wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 4:18 pm
revert wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 1:57 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:22 pm
Microsoft also doesn’t need to advertise, as their revenue is from software and service sales.
Bing and Windows ads would like to have a word. 🙂
Which has nothing to do with its Office suite, of course, which is what OneNote is a part of.
With all due respect, the two apps have a lot to do with each other. Both are divisions of the same company. Their profits get aggregated with other divisions of the company when it reports to Wall Street.

Google and Facebook are crowding out other online ad sellers in this extremely lucrative market because their ads are more effective due to using personal information that they get from users of their online apps. This provides a powerful incentive for M$ft to try to do the same.

M$ft has a long history of leveraging one of their products to provide an unfair competitive advantage to other products. In the United States v. Microsoft Corp. case the government accused
Microsoft of illegally maintaining its monopoly position in the PC market primarily through the legal and technical restrictions it put on the abilities of PC manufacturers (OEMs) and users to uninstall Internet Explorer and use other programs such as Netscape and Java. At trial, the district court ruled that Microsoft's actions constituted unlawful monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed most of the district court's judgments.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... soft_Corp.
It has the exact opposite incentive with its business apps, where trust and data privacy are EVERYTHING. Plus, the people who ran the company back then aren't around anymore. Making a few billion dollars in the short term by doing that just doesn't make business sense. They charge for Office directly, they don't need to use ads.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Tue May 21, 2019 5:13 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 pm
It has the exact opposite incentive with its business apps, where trust and data privacy are EVERYTHING. Plus, the people who ran the company back then aren't around anymore. Making a few billion dollars in the short term by doing that just doesn't make business sense. They charge for Office directly, they don't need to use ads.
Sorry, not buying it.

Instead of putting your trust in some conjectures about the trustworthiness of a megacorp, consider the privacy features of Standard Notes none of which is present in Onenote

open source
therefore it can and does have periodic security audits
data are encrypted both at the company website and locally on the user device

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by KyleAAA » Tue May 21, 2019 5:16 pm

dual wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:13 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 2:11 pm
It has the exact opposite incentive with its business apps, where trust and data privacy are EVERYTHING. Plus, the people who ran the company back then aren't around anymore. Making a few billion dollars in the short term by doing that just doesn't make business sense. They charge for Office directly, they don't need to use ads.
Sorry, not buying it.

Instead of putting your trust in some conjectures about the trustworthiness of a megacorp, consider the privacy features of Standard Notes none of which is present in Onenote

open source
therefore it can and does have periodic security audits
data are encrypted both at the company website and locally on the user device

Trust isn't required. OneNote supports encryption of notes both locally and in the cloud. Standard Notes is fine, too, but it doesn't have a privacy advantage. All of the talk about ads above is purely theoretical, since notes can be encrypted.

I don't think open source automatically implies regular security audits, but even if it did, do you think mega tech corps don't do the same?

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Wed May 22, 2019 1:03 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 5:16 pm

Trust isn't required. OneNote supports encryption of notes both locally and in the cloud.
With a closed source app like Onenote, trust is definitely required. How do you know M$ft does not keep a copy of your encryption code?
I don't think open source automatically implies regular security audits,
True but Standard Notes has had a third party security audit.
https://standardnotes.org/help/2/has-st ... rity-audit

but even if it did, do you think mega tech corps don't do the same?
See above. With a closed source app all you have is the word of a convicted monopolist that the auditor was able to do his job and that the company reported his conclusions fairly.

Standard Notes is fine, too, but it doesn't have a privacy advantage.
We could not disagree more. I have presented plenty of evidence that this is not true.

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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by Dottie57 » Wed May 22, 2019 1:12 pm

One of the things I like about Evernote is their web clipping ability. But to have same content on more than 2 devices, there’s a monthly or yearly charge.

Is there any web clipper app for use with other options?

mamboking
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by mamboking » Wed May 22, 2019 7:01 pm

I used Evernote for years because of its web clipper. I've recently switched to OneNote and I believe the most recent version of its web clipper has surpassed Evernote's. Give it a try.
Kevin

SnowBog
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by SnowBog » Thu May 23, 2019 4:37 am

dual wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:03 pm
With a closed source app like Onenote, trust is definitely required. How do you know M$ft does not keep a copy of your encryption code?
Based on your comments, I doubt anyone will convince you... But for anyone else reading...

Open Source doesn't inherently make something more or less trust worthy. (Did you read/understand all of the code? Likely, neither did anyone else...)

If the company behind Standard Note is privately held, I'd argue there's way more risk there... And if they aren't yet profitable - how long will they be around and/or able to sustain their current practices?

Those concerns don't really exist with places like Microsoft and Apple. And given they are public, with lots of media attention, regulation, etc. there's way more "checks" on them...

In Microsoft's case, most of their free consumer services are arguably a way to drive quicker innovation for their paying customers. Essentially you are a beta tester for capabilities that they'll package and sell to typically corporate customers. They don't need to monitize your use...

But then again "nobody knows nothing"... Go with what you think best fits your needs. That's the beautiful thing in life - choices...

Yukon
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by Yukon » Thu May 23, 2019 5:04 am

AnonJohn wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:42 am
I've used Evernote and OneNote extensively. Both were ultimately unacceptable for my use cases and preferences. Can't see myself ever going back to either.
Mind sharing what was unacceptable? I'm a current Evernote user but never been thrilled.
AnonJohn wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:42 am
I settled on zim-wiki, and truly love it. Some idiosyncrasies to figure out, but simple, powerful and flexible. I use dropbox to mirror across devices; works well. Version control is available. Recent dropbox changes may break my workflow.
I like the sounds of a simple, powerful and flexible plain text file system! "Break" your workflow as in cause you to utilize a different mirroring system?

I've never heard of Zim.....thanks for sharing! Would love to learn more about your preferences and utilization. Thanks!
Don't Work Forever.

hudson
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Windows' Notepad...Old School

Post by hudson » Thu May 23, 2019 9:52 am

I've been using Windows' Notepad since the late 80s.
I use it daily. I really like it when I have to take text off of an image. I'll open notepad and put the box right below the text that I want to copy and type away...no memory needed. Then I'll just copy and paste where I need it.
If it were anymore basic, it would be MS DOS.
The only security I've got is Windows 10 Pro's bitlocker.

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dual
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by dual » Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 pm

SnowBog wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 4:37 am
dual wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 1:03 pm
With a closed source app like Onenote, trust is definitely required. How do you know M$ft does not keep a copy of your encryption code?
Based on your comments, I doubt anyone will convince you...
I would say the same about you. In my previous answer to you I listed many differences between StandardNotes and Onenote that make StandardNotes more secure. Yet you failed to address any of them. Let me repeat them here, perhaps you will address them and tell us how Onenote is as secure as StandardNotes.
Standard notes does the following to ensure security https://standardnotes.org/privacy

End to End Privacy: All your data — no matter if you’re using a PC, a phone, a tablet or a gaming system — is encrypted everywhere you don't control. On our servers. On our network. On a public network. In the cloud.

Secure connections. Whenever we move your encrypted data over a network, in order to deliver services to you, it is sent over a strictly secure connection to only our private servers. Because this data is encrypted, we can't read it, and we can’t sell it.

Open-source: We've made all our code open-source, so it's clear how your data is being handled every step of the way. Many companies promise encryption but don't open up their code for peer-review. We believe the definition of end-to-end encryption should mean that code on both ends is open-sourced. While trust in a closed system can be convenient at times, nothing is more trustable than mathematical certainty and utter transparency.

No tracking or intrusive advertising. We are heavily opposed to industry standard tracking tools like Google Analytics, which gathers and analyzes your browsing history to sell you better advertisements. Instead, we use an open-source, privacy-focused, and self-hosted Matomo analytics installation.
Respectful analytics. We are utterly and completely transparent about reporting exactly what we track, and why. We announce when we update those policies. And we confirm with you that you are comfortable with those changes. To date, our applications, including web, desktop, and mobile, contain no analytics or tracking software whatsoever.
End of quote
Snowbog wrote:
Open Source doesn't inherently make something more or less trust worthy. (Did you read/understand all of the code? Likely, neither did anyone else...)
I disagree. StandardNotes has had an external security audit of publicly available code but this is impossible with a closed source app like Onenote
If the company behind Standard Note is privately held, I'd argue there's way more risk there... And if they aren't yet profitable - how long will they be around and/or able to sustain their current practices?

Those concerns don't really exist with places like Microsoft and Apple. And given they are public, with lots of media attention, regulation, etc. there's way more "checks" on them...

In Microsoft's case, most of their free consumer services are arguably a way to drive quicker innovation for their paying customers. Essentially you are a beta tester for capabilities that they'll package and sell to typically corporate customers. They don't need to monitize your use...
What world are you living in where Microsoft and Apple are not concerned about profits?
But then again "nobody knows nothing"... Go with what you think best fits your needs. That's the beautiful thing in life - choices...
I disagree. There are objective, quantifiable reasons why Standard Notes is more secure than Onenote and AppleNotes

SnowBog
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by SnowBog » Thu May 23, 2019 6:26 pm

dual wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 pm
What world are you living in where Microsoft and Apple are not concerned about profits?
You misunderstood... Profits drive companies, that's my point... For either to try and squeeze out a few more cents of profit at the risk of losing millions of dollars to their core revenue would be bad business... They lose "trust" and they probably stand to lose more money than Standard Notes has made in its lifetime... That just doesn't make sense to me...

But maybe I'm a "glass half full" guy... (Or maybe naive - corporations DO make dumb decisions at times! But I just choose to believe that profit motives will continue to correct the bad ones overtime. Or the market will correct them eventually.)

And if I'm wrong, most of us are going to lose lots of money... Microsoft and Apple are sizable holdings in Total Stock Market indexes... So I'd like them to continue to be very profitable!

KyleAAA
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by KyleAAA » Fri May 24, 2019 1:08 pm

dual wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 pm
I would say the same about you. In my previous answer to you I listed many differences between StandardNotes and Onenote that make StandardNotes more secure. Yet you failed to address any of them. Let me repeat them here, perhaps you will address them and tell us how Onenote is as secure as StandardNotes.
It's extremely important to realize that none of those things actually makes StandardNotes more secure. Rather, it is your assumption that because of them it is likely StandardNotes is more secure. I do not accept your hypothesis, as it contradicts my direct experience.

dual wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 pm
I disagree. StandardNotes has had an external security audit of publicly available code but this is impossible with a closed source app like Onenote
It's extremely unlikely a large tech company doesn't have internal security audits at least as stringent, especially since literally billions of dollars are at stake. The type of audit touted by StandardNotes is fairly superficial.

dual wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 pm
What world are you living in where Microsoft and Apple are not concerned about profits?
I think you missed the point. Stringent security audits and data privacy ensure growing profits. Not doing proper security auditing and not keeping user data private leads to losses. So yes, the big companies care about profits, which is why they don't do what you're paranoid they do.

dual wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:20 pm
I disagree. There are objective, quantifiable reasons why Standard Notes is more secure than Onenote and AppleNotes
You didn't state any.

astrohip
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by astrohip » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:11 pm

dual wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:17 pm
I am a big fan of notes programs. I use them to keep track of financial and other information instead of little scraps of paper or notebooks that get lost and are not searchable. At home I use a notes program (Infoselect) that is deliberately not internet connected. For on the go, I started using Google Keep Notes a couple of years ago. I like the program but I got to thinking about how much of my personal information I was handing to Google. So I looked around for more secure alternatives.
First, a shout-out to InfoSelect. I've been using it since (quick search in InfoSelect :D ) June 1991. Happy 18th anniversary to me! DOS version originally, then a Windows version in 1997. Nothing beats its search function. I no longer use it for notes (will explain below), but still use it for the reminder function in its calendar. It offers more reminder granularity than any other calendar I've been able to find. To this day. And I still have old data stored in it, that I need to search upon occasion.

Your post was the first mention I've heard of IS in probably five years. Or more. Kudos! :beer

I also use Google Keep. But mainly for quickie reminders. I can enter a quick note on my phone, then set the reminder/popup function to get a reminder to do something. But I only use this for one-time short-term reminders. Just today, I entered "water softener salt", with a popup to appear next time I'm at Home Depot. I also use it for on-the-go Lists, using the Checkbox function. For example, I might have a list for a trade (painter, electrician), and I can keep adding to it every time I think of something. When I finally call them, there it is! But I don't use it for permanent info.

So, to your question... have you considered a Password Program? I use LastPass for my passwords, but it also has a Secure Notes function. I keep all kinds of info there. It can also have images & files attached to any note. LastPass replicates to all your devices (well, any you choose), and the data is NOT accessible to anyone without your key/password. Not even LP can access it.
"Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being." - R Branson

AnonJohn
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:38 pm

Yukon wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 5:04 am
AnonJohn wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:42 am
I've used Evernote and OneNote extensively. Both were ultimately unacceptable for my use cases and preferences. Can't see myself ever going back to either.
Mind sharing what was unacceptable? I'm a current Evernote user but never been thrilled.
AnonJohn wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 11:42 am
I settled on zim-wiki, and truly love it. Some idiosyncrasies to figure out, but simple, powerful and flexible. I use dropbox to mirror across devices; works well. Version control is available. Recent dropbox changes may break my workflow.
I like the sounds of a simple, powerful and flexible plain text file system! "Break" your workflow as in cause you to utilize a different mirroring system?

I've never heard of Zim.....thanks for sharing! Would love to learn more about your preferences and utilization. Thanks!
Hmmm. I made this switch in 2014. But I did find some notes in Zim. :)

Apparently, I didn't like this in Evernote: Inability to paste in the android app (presumably resolved), messy xml representation of the notes when exported (which leads to lock-in); syncing was only about 95% reliable. Thinking more, my two biggest dislikes were their insistence on tags as opposed to hierarchical notebooks and tendency to try to lock you in. Stacks didn't work well for me, being too "flat". Yes, they can be equivalent to tags, but I'm a visual guy and like my nesting. I want both tags and a tree to organize things. Zim excels there. The second piece was lock-in. I just felt like they really wanted my data to stay permanently in Evernote, including by making cutting and pasting (e.g. into Word) of advanced formatting difficult. They did a few things along the way to make it harder. I'd also gotten some minor glitches in their version upgrades and didn't love the search implementation.

That's right on mirroring. There are lots of options that should work, but I'm being lazy and sticking to dropbox for now.

My basic model is to KISS, be cross-platform, and be quick for entry / export (including a preference for keyboard over mouse). One of my major uses is clipping articles, things I read, etc. It is easy to include the links as hypertext in zim. Zim has tools for doing meta-analysis if you want to make tag or link maps, but I don't usually go that far. It also has a nice journal / calendar feature I use. I also use the "Table of Contents" that auto-builds based on heading styles.

I try to use my zim notebook for archival knowledge (things I'll want to consult or know or understand again) and for short-term / disposable "working paper" that goes in my journal / calendar. The former is reasonably formatted / tagged / organized, the latter isn't. I also keep a somewhat overlapping paper journal for reflection, developing ideas, improve focus, creativity / inspiration, personal growth, and habits. When the paper journal gets used up, the "best of" gets migrated to zim.

As an example of utilization: My top-level notebook "Financial" (2014) contains sub-notebook called "Library" (2014), beneath which "Quotes" (2015), beneath which lie "Simplicity" (2019) and "Stock-picking" (2019). I save the collected gems that Taylor posts occasionally on these pages.

In Simplicity, I found these:
  • Edsger Dijkstra, famed physicist: “Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.”
    Albert Einstein: "The five ascending levels of intellect are: smart, intelligent, brilliant, genius, simple."
    Warren Buffett: "There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult."
For whatever that's worth! I'm definitely a zim convert, but will also admit it's not for most people. If you like wiki's, emacs, Markdown, or LaTex, zim may be for you! For me it has just enough WYSIWYG to be useful without being overbearing.

jlyonmn
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by jlyonmn » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:48 pm

Turtl is a note-keeping program that is built around robust privacy protection as it's central feature. It uses strong encryption and is open source which means that it's encryption algorithms are secured but in plain sight. The company has no access to your information. The program is free, but the developers accept donations from users who value the product.
https://turtlapp.com/

megabad
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by megabad » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:11 pm

dual wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:17 pm
I was tempted by Evernotes but after studying it I do not trust them any more than I trust Google.
I don't get it. Why not just encrypt your data? I think one of our guys uses Saferoom at work to do this and then just uses OneNote and Evernotes. Who cares if Evernotes/Google can access your notes if they are encrypted? I have no idea why anyone would need encryption for personal notes on a phone, but it can be useful at work for confidential info. At megacorp I think we just use our own private OneNote/Sharepoint server (Microsoft doesn't have access). I have never found most of the note taking apps very useful. I think they are all horribly designed so I just use Apple Notes for personal things because it preinstalled. Anything important goes in spreadsheets (offline, unsynced, and encrypted).

lotusflower
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Re: de-googling my life: Keep Notes alternatives

Post by lotusflower » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:17 am

megabad wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:11 pm
dual wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:17 pm
I was tempted by Evernotes but after studying it I do not trust them any more than I trust Google.
I don't get it. Why not just encrypt your data? I think one of our guys uses Saferoom at work to do this and then just uses OneNote and Evernotes. Who cares if Evernotes/Google can access your notes if they are encrypted? I have no idea why anyone would need encryption for personal notes on a phone, but it can be useful at work for confidential info. At megacorp I think we just use our own private OneNote/Sharepoint server (Microsoft doesn't have access). I have never found most of the note taking apps very useful. I think they are all horribly designed so I just use Apple Notes for personal things because it preinstalled. Anything important goes in spreadsheets (offline, unsynced, and encrypted).
Saferoom sounds cool, but then you can't do a full-text search of your notes, which would be a deal-breaker for me. I don't pay for a lot of software but I do pay for Evernote so that I can use it on more than 2 devices. I think it's great, but I don't use it to save passwords or deeply private writings. I wouldn't worry about storing economically confidential data in it, like business plans or financial data.

Standard Notes sounds great too, but I'm doing fine with Evernote. I tried OneNote recently and I found the search and the inability to sort notes by title or date made it really awful to use.

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