Remove Standard Notes

Standard notes seems to break the 3rd criteria (Must support exporting documents into a standard format.) and (at least partially with pro version) the 1st criteria (Clients must be open-source.)

Nothing I’ve come across can handle the text files Standard Sheets creates, although I have not dug deeper than trying to open them with Gnumeric and LO Calc. My understanding is you’re locked into an Extended subscription forever if you want to keep using that.

The editors, it turns out, are proprietary (but with source available). You can move data away from SN and not host it on AWS, but you can’t move your data anywhere else and keep the spreadsheet functionality. It’s a lifetime lock-in for something that doesn’t work and they aren’t prepared to fix.

They seem to use potentially non-open source editors while hiding the fact from the consumer behind a FAQ

Derived editors are derived from either open-source or commercial software projects. After studying a product and deciding it would offer a compelling user experience for Standard Notes, we first acquire a commercial license to use the product (or use the open-source license if applicable). We then study the source code and network behavior of each software we license to ensure there is no unwanted behavior. Then, we build a small wrapper on top of the product, which allows the editor and Standard Notes to communicate between each other to save data in a permission-based, controlled, and isolated manner.
There are four editors in this category: Rich Text, Markdown, Spreadsheets, and Code. These are editors that we do not build, maintain, and improve on directly. When you have a feature or issue for one of these editors, there’s a low likelihood that we are able to act on those features. Rather, we would likely work together to forward the issue to the software maker. We do however keep this software up to date with vendor releases.

Note that you will not find any mention about derived editors here Features | Standard Notes

So if you are on a base/free tier user, it wont have no such issues?

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seems like it

but I think I’m still gonna ditch it due to the aforementioned issues and


Can you post a TLDR of that?

The free version is not very good, to be honest. Not even the most basic rich text (need to pay), no self-hosting (need to pay), not in-text search on the mobile app (yes you even need to pay to have a Ctrl+F feature!). I switched to Notesnook for that reason.


Did Notesnook ever complete an independent audit? That’s the big thing that Standard Notes has going for it that I don’t recall Notesnook matching yet.


I am on the free version, and I can search for the notes.

It’s annoying that they don’t provide simple rich text features, but you can use community plugins for additional functionality.

I don’t mean search for a note in your notebook, but highlighting/finding a certain text within a long note.

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Basically, if you export your notes, you cannot use them on commonly available tools while keeping the formatting. In some cases, when exporting, it ends up as gibberish.

This is not in line with PG norms as OP points out.

If they had a good export function, then I would never really move unless another product was significantly superior in some way. I am happy with the service in general and do pay, but the lack of good export function bugs me somewhat.

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Pardon my ignorance, but is this issue not present (in some form or another) in other note-taking apps like Joplin, Notesnook, and Cryptee?


I easily imported notes from Joplin to Cryptee, just to add my experience there

I don’t think so, no. But IF it is present then it should also be removed from PG recommendations. As it is not following the criteria set by PG

Is copy pasting within the UI not an option you?

Vendor lock-in sucks though, but it is not really a hard lock though, just an inconvenience.

If scaling and portability is a major issue, maybe a note taking app isnt for you? Standard Notes seems to target a more casual user case.

you are missing my point, my point is not that it’s too hard to copy paste. My point is that standard notes is not following the PG inclusion criteria


Clients must be open-source.

Although you could argue that source-available is technically open source

But the biggest issue is this

Must support exporting documents into a standard format.

The logical choice is either to remove standard notes from recommendation OR revise the criteria

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It’s quite ridiculous to say it violates that criteria because of one editor, when all the other editors export to a standard format.

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A violation is still a violation. Those criteria exists not to be broken.

What’s next, should we also add vivaldi because it’s “mostly open source, with only the UI being closed”?


I’ve used joplin for a bit when looking at new ntes apps and exporting is not an issue there as it uaes open formats like markdown.

Its certainly an option thats what I did when I was testing obsidian for myself.

But its very inconvenient when you have nearly 600 notes of varying sizes.

I’ve been doing it in increments as I was being lazy.

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Some EU user should make a data access request. Jt would require them to give the data in standard machine readable format.

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On the last update on Droid-ify there’s a disclaimer “NOTE: Version 3.167.25 is the last one to be free or open-source.”. So sounds like they’re becoming a paid, closed source app now??