standard notes desktop app

Standard Notes is an encrypted note taking app available for free on Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and the web.

And yup, in case you were wondering, it’s also totally open source.

‘No one can decrypt your notes: not us, not your ISP, and not an intrusive government’

Linux isn’t short of note taking ands to-do apps that work across devices and platforms, with Simplenote, Todoist, Google Keep (my go-to app for cross-platform note taking), Evernote and many others readily available.

Like many of those Standard Notes also works across devices and the web. I can write a note on my phone, read it on my computer, and edit it on my Chromebook by singing up for (and signing in to) a free Standard Notes sync account.

The free sync account lets you add, edit and read your notes on any device. Signing up to (and making use of) the free sync feature will enable end-to-end encryption. 

Whether you’re working for a secret organisation like Torchwood, or just want the reassurance that your diatribes aren’t privy to unauthorised eyes, Standard Notes offers a standard level of security and privacy other apps don’t.

Standard Notes explains: “Your notes are encrypted using your secret key on your device before they’re synced to your online account. No one can decrypt your notes: not us, not your ISP, and not an intrusive government.”

The downside to this level of security is if you forget your password, you lose your notes, as there’s no way to recover to reset a forgotten password. You can change your password as many time as you like when you’re logged in to the service however, so if you’re one of those who, like me, change passwords every couple of weeks, you can.

The fact that all of the desktop apps, mobile apps, and server side code is open-source is a real added bonus. If you really wanted to you could host your own server.

Standard Notes features

  • AES-256 encryption
  • Easy to use apps on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux
  • Open source
  • Automatic sync with no limit on data capacity
  • Web access
  • Offline access
  • Extended account unlocks additional features

Standard Notes: Paid Features

Although Standard Notes’ apps, backend, are all open-source a number of additional features are available to users opting to subscribe to an Extended account.

An Extended account unlocks access to additional features, like the ability to ‘go back in time on your notes (up to 100 years)’, and perform ‘Real-time backups of your notes to Dropbox and Google Drive’ (should you want to).

Extended account users also get access to a set of additional editors (markdown editor, WSISYG editor, code editor, etc), actions (‘share link to note’) and themes.

An Alternative Standard Notes Editor

Support this mission for privacy and longevity in software isn’t too expensive, either. Extended accounts cost $4/month or $36/year.

Download Standard Notes

Desktop clients for Standard Notes are available to download from the service’s website:

Open Standard Notes Website

The Linux client is an Electron wrapped app distributed as a distro-agnostic AppImage. It will run on any modern Linux distribution, including Ubuntu, though you’ll need to give it permission to run first.

Download Standard Notes for Linux

Standard Notes Android, iOS, Mac and Windows apps are also available, and the service can be accessed online through any web-browser.

Thanks Mo B.

appimages Electron