Too much people forget about notebooks

Hello everyone,

When I’m talking to other people (from PG community but also random friends) I noticed that a lot of them (but mostly from random people) are not very watchful about notebooks app they’re using even if some of them are aware about privacy basics (being careful about what they’re sharing, social medias, etc.).

The percentage of them using on a regular basis notebook apps don’t seem to think what they’re writing on these apps can be used by companies that own these apps ; for example Samsung Note, check their privacy policy : Legal | Samsung US

When you upload, transmit, create, post, display or otherwise provide any information, materials, documents, media files or other content on or through our Sites (“User Content”) you grant us an irrevocable, unlimited, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to copy, reproduce, adapt, modify, edit, distribute, translate, publish, publicly perform and publicly display the User Content (“User Content License”), to the full extent allowed by Applicable Law.

That’s terrifying, because on these apps you literally write EVERYTHING (some phone numbers, emails, to-do lists about personal work, sometimes passwords because we can’t or don’t have the time to access our password manager to add a new password), some personal stuff, some files including sensitive files, etc.

So what I think is that there need to be more discusses and informations with our own friends, families but also from social medias about what these apps are actually doing with their data, and using a good privacy notebook app like Notesnook, Standard Notes, etc. is very easy to do, I mean, there’s not a lot of effort to make for random people to switch to a better option.

Thanks for reading.

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People also need to know about apps like Notion, Apple Notes, etc. and how NOT private what they’re writing on these apps is. This is absolutely a shame that the casual notes app don’t respect privacy, they should be banned. I mean, in which world an app designed for your own personal and confidential notes, will be able to read and use EVERYTHING you’re writing on it ?

It’s even more vicious than social media, because about social media, most of people know that what they’re sharing is not private.

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Ha! Just based on the title I thought you were going to advocate for using physical notebooks instead… which I probably would’ve agreed with :slight_smile:

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Physical notebooks would only be secure if you put them in a safe that’s hard to break and perhaps nailed/welded to a wall in your residence. Depending on your threat model, a digital version may be better.

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Apple Notes is not open source, so they can claim whatever they want.

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I don’t see how a physical notebook is a secure option.

Even if you hide it pretty well, there’s always a chance someone find it (especially if your threat level is high).

It can also be lost, accidentally burnt, etc.

You can’t bring your physical notebook wherever you want (for example at airport), indeed your notebook is always exposed when you go outside (you can get robbed, etc.).

Digital notebook is always a better option, since you have possibility to encrypt your notes and put them inside a “strong” vault (with a good password, 2FA…) so for example even if you lost your phone at the metro, etc. no one will be able to access to your notes depending how you configured your security settings (unlock with fingerprint, etc.).

Serious notebooks are open source and have E2EE by default, some of them also have encryption at rest, etc.

I used UpNote for a while and while I was very happy with the features I couldn’t use it for highly personal notes due to the missing zero knowledge encryption. I spent 314$ this week for 5 years of Standard Notes Professional and don’t regret it.

I’m happy you switched to a better privacy option !

I used SN too before but unfortunately I had a pretty bad experience with them despite the fact I paid a lot.

After a few months I had some strong issues with syncing, I had like 2 differents sessions from my 2 devices, nothing was synced (when I created a note on device A, the note didn’t appeared on device B), backup didn’t work.

So I deleted everything and switched on Notesnook, their pricing is around 50$/year, but as I’m a student I had educational plan so I just paid 10$/year.

I didn’t had such issues on this app, I’m happy with that and I personally like their UI.

I hope you won’t have the same issues as me on SN, but if that’s the case you’ll know that there are other good alternatives.

yeah yeah, anything not open source is literally satan etc

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Not Satan, but It’s not a trustful app either, especially when it comes from Apple, Samsung, etc.

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Speaking of which, I have moved all my “note kind” software to AnyType, man, I love that app.

I have been trying to find a good notes app that is respectful of privacy and has no lock in, for what seems like eternity. I have decided it doesn’t really exist.

What I do now is use any word processor app or text editor app I feel like and save my notes into an encrypted Cryptomator folder on a cloud. I use a traditional folder and file system to organise.

I want to like it but it’s overly complicated for just notes.

Never heard about this app, would you recommend it as a privacy app ? I’ll make some research about this

Open Source, E2EE… so yes.
Still in beta, but for my use case (work and personal) is AMAZING.

I don’t understand how Notesnook and Standard Notes don’t fill your criterias (or maybe my English is just bad).

Anyway your solution works and if that’s not too annoying for you to decrypt every time your folder with Cryptomator then It’s good.

I saw this message about AnyType : Anytype E2EE Notebook - #25 by Register3435

Because SN is expensive. It’s complicated to set up when you selfhost. They’re helpful when you ask them, but ultimately the notes are relatively locked in. Ie, I can’t look at the notes without the app. Notes book is too young to consider, especially as it has the same problems (for me) as the more mature SN app has)

Cryptomator folders stay unlocked until I lock them on all my systems: GrapheneOS, iPadOS, macOS and QubesOS , which are my main systems (Apple is for work, GOS and Qubes for private stuff. And I can open or write a note with any app. Much more free and much more flexible. A little less convenient.