Basic membership and notebook collaboration

Operating system


Joplin version


Desktop version info

Joplin 2.14.20 (prod, win32)

Client ID: 9c84248834eb4052b4707ec5f9883d97
Sync Version: 3
Profile Version: 46
Keychain Supported: Yes

Revision: cfd98e3

Backup: 1.4.0

Sync target

Joplin Cloud


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What issue do you have?

I would like to collaborate with one friend only on a notebook.

I thought that by registering for the basic membership this would have been possible (collaboration on one notebook among those I have, while he can't do the same unless he gets a basic membership as well). At least this is what I have first read on the documentation (please correct me if I am wrong).

So after getting the basic membership, I activated the Joplin cloud synch option with my credentials, in the Joplin app. As a result, I can now see the button "share" under the notebook tab, previously it was grayed out.
I try to share with my friend the notebook but I get as a result "sharing is not allowed with this account".

Does this mean: my friend needs a basic membership too? (And activate the cloud synch) or it means that this option is no longer included in the basic membership?
Should one get a pro account instead? Would only one be enough to collaborate on one single notebook? note here that we are not interested in sharing notebooks in general. We need only to collaborate on a single one.

Thank you for your feedback !

update: now the share function is grayed out again and not available any more :frowning:

@Oblivius welcome to the forum.

Notebook sharing is a feature of the Joplin Server / Joplin Cloud software. Notebook sharing can only be enabled using a server running the Joplin server software. It cannot be added for those using third-party could storage services as the sharing takes place server to client not client to client. It's the Joplin server software that does all the work in setting up and authorising the sharing.

So someone who has a "Pro" account on Joplin Cloud can share a notebook with another user on Joplin Cloud by authorising that other user to access the notebook. The server software then makes that notebook available to the other user and both users now have access and can collaborate.

As mentioned above, notebook sharing is a "Pro" account feature. This means that the user doing the sharing requires a "Pro" account (See 1 in the image below).

The person they are sharing with can be a "Basic" account user and they can collaborate with a "Pro" user on a "Pro" user's shared notebook (see 2 in the image below). So the "Basic" account user can accept the share from a "Pro" user but cannot create one themselves (see 3 in the image below).

Note publishing is different (see 4 in the image below). This basically makes a static webpage from a note that is available over the Internet on the Joplin Cloud server. There is no online editing. This therefore requires no Joplin Cloud account for anyone else to access that published note. They do not even need Joplin installed as it's just a webpage.


@dpoulton ,

Could you perhaps explain what the specific differences are between "Callaborate" on a notebook with others, and:
"Share" a notebook with others.

Obviously, share likely has more features, but it would be a great idea if everyone could intelligently distinguish between the two prior to making their purchasing decisions. Is there a detailed description of what the similarities and differences are?


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"Share a notebook with others" means that you can invite other users on Joplin Cloud to share your notebook(s) and edit / create notes therein. (Pro feature)


"Collaborate on a notebook with others" means you and other users with an account on Joplin Cloud can accept and work on a notebook that has been shared by "Pro" user and for which you and the others have been sent an invite by the "Pro" user to accept the share.


I believe that "collaborate" was introduced as a feature as initially all parties to the share had to be Pro users. Basic users were locked out completely. This restriction was later removed to allow basic users to collaborate with a Pro user who had shared one or more of their notebooks.



Thank you.

So I gather that there is very little, or perhaps nothing, that two basic users can collaborate on? Collaboration essentially requires that at least one person be a pro.

Therefore, collaborate does not apply to or offer any benefits to two basic users?

Correct(ish). It does apply in that they can now get accept and work on a Pro user's share, something that they could not do before. Collaborate / share between themselves only, no.

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got it, thank you for your input ! :slight_smile:

It might be a good idea to create a "Membership" section in the FAQ where all of this could be described. I tried to ask this question when I moved to Joplin from Evernote in December 2023, and I never received a reply from anyone. I may not have formulated the question as clearly as has been done here, but this was the information I wanted, and I am sure there are others who have had this question in the past, and future potential users who will have this question in the future.

To be fair it is explained on the Joplin Cloud plans page under Feature comparison. Possibly having to press the information icon to expand the explanation is not that clear?

I am not an admin or developer, I'm just another user, so I do not have any more say over what Joplin does than yourself. However from the fact that these questions are being asked I wonder if Joplin may consider having these explanatory sections expanded by default?

The expanded information icon things don't include all the info that you explained in your reply to LeoW. I'm not completely technically clueless, but the definitions of "collaboration" and "publishing" were also not clear to me, nor was it clear that a Basic membership was required for all of the people with whom I wanted to share some notebooks. I'm in a family situation, so the people I'm sharing with are family members, and we're not making money from our collaboration. I find the pricing a little exorbitant for our case, since most of the family members who might like to refer to the content would only do so occasionally, and aren't that interested in contributing except maybe occasionally. There are maybe five out of ten of us who would be a little more active - three of the five most of all. If I bought a Pro membership and sprung for a Basic membership for the rest of the lot (because none of them would want to pay anything annually for as much as they would ever use it), it would cost almost $300 a year. It would be nice if there were some kind of a family plan.

The ability for a Pro account to share notebooks with Basic account was an answer to this need for "family plans" actually. It means you only need one Pro account and everyone else can have a Basic one.

It does make it a lot cheaper than having to buy multiple Pro subscriptions, but I can understand that may not be enough for everybody.

A family/non-business plan could be something like a basic €120 / year for the Manager of the plan, which would include, e.g., 5 additional users covered under that fee, and the possibility of adding additional users (maybe up to some maximum - 5 additional users would work for me, but maybe this could be more generous) for some additional fee (e.g., €12 per additional user), or some maximum storage limitation (e.g. 15 GB) which, if exceeded, would incur an upgrade fee requirement of some amount. Maybe there would be a way to monitor activity which, if excessive (e.g., most of the users being active more than 3 hours a day), might incur some additional fee. I am the most active user in the family Joplin collection - probably do 95 percent of everything. There are two other users who are a little more active. The remaining seven users have not ever been active (although I have added to their content on their behalf), even though they have had access since about February 2024. Also, it might be good if the Manager of the plan would be able to add and remove the members. Perhaps there could be different types of additional members - read-only and read-write - with the read-only ones costing less. Some of my users never want to add their own content - they want me to do it.