Mobile note taking with your private cloud: announcing Joplin/Nextcloud integration

joplin logo - a white serif J on a blue backgroundOpen source Evernote competitor Joplin introduced Nextcloud integration, making it easy for users to keep their notes to themselves. Nextcloud is an open source, self-hosted file sync and share server designed to keep you in control over your data. And notes! Joplin and Nextcloud are thus a great match. Read on to learn more about Nextcloud and Joplin or download Nextcloud and get Joplin.

Joplin: making note-taking easy

Joplin is an open source cross-platform note-taking and to-do application. It can handle a large number of notes, organized into notebooks, and can synchronize them across multiple devices. The notes can be edited in Markdown, and each client has an option to render Markdown with formatting, images, URLs, and more. Any number of files, such as images and PDFs, can be attached to a note, and notes can also be tagged.

Development for Joplin started when Evernote changed its pricing model and limited the number of devices that could access the notes. Therefore it seemed worthwhile to develop an alternative based around open formats, free of any proprietary solution. To that end, three apps have been developed: for desktop, mobile, and for the terminal. They have similar user interfaces and can synchronize with each other.

Initially the apps could only synchronize with OneDrive. And while you still own the data on OneDrive, the service remains proprietary and access conditions can be changed at a whim as it happened with Evernote. For example, copyrighted material attached to a note could suddenly be considered to be breaking OneDrive T&C and could result in the account being closed. Or the API could change, or Microsoft could enforce only using its own app to store notes.

Nextcloud: a great fit

This is where Nextcloud comes in. It is a self-hosted, private cloud solution. Think of the cloud as “other people’s computers”, of course, and of Nextcloud as “same features but on your own computer”. Storing documents, images and videos but also calendars, passwords and countless other things and syncing them to your laptop or phone, you need it, Nextcloud does it. More, it lets you edit documents with others, sharing and commenting on files, have audio/video calls and chat, and so on.

The idea is that you host your own Nextcloud server, meaning you own both the data and infrastructure. And, being an open solution, it is compatible with the WebDAV standard and thus support for it was easy to add. The platform is also well supported and with a strong community, so it is likely to be around for a while – since it’s open source anyway, it is not a service that can be closed, it can exist on a server for as long as one chooses.

Of course, running your own server is not easy for everyone. Luckily there are dozens of Nextcloud providers, companies that offer Nextcloud hosting. for free or a reasonable fee. That way, your data is where you want it to be, at a small, local or otherwise more trustworthy party, instead of in the hands of one of the 4 or 5 big Silicon Valley corporations.

Keep your notes yours with Joplin and Nextcloud!

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