Do Not Allow Premium Usage in Joplin: Stay Amateur, Not Professional

I'm facing a reaction or silence regarding the topics I've opened and the texts I've written that I can't quite understand. However, I value the Joplin application and the philosophy of free software. That's exactly why I want to issue a warning about Joplin. It's time to abandon the imposition of Joplin Cloud before it's too late. Otherwise, it's not hard to see that Joplin is heading towards a fork between free and premium, where the weight will be given to premium users and free users will be offered a limited experience.

I want to address everyone here, especially the developers. Everyone who loves the Joplin application needs to speak up against it being dragged into a dichotomy like Evernote, with free and premium options. As the application grows, those who can afford it will donate and purchase Joplin Cloud. But there should be no difference between them and free users. Please stop this. Do this for Joplin to rise as a free and successful software.

Regards and thanks...

Still won't fix your slow sync though.


You are fundamentally misunderstanding the difference between the Joplin desktop app and Joplin Cloud.

There is no such thing as "Free Joplin" and "Paid Joplin". There is the desktop and mobile app which are free, and a syncing service which is paid. The syncing service requires money to run. If they stop charging for that, then the service will stop.


I recently installed my own Joplin server on a truenas scale Nas server.

Synchronization is lightning fast.

I use tailscale vpn on the server, windows, and android. This way I have ended to end encryption and can synchronize with the server from anywhere my phone happens to be on the internet.

Of course this solution requires that you invest or have a PC that qualifies to be a truenas server.

I'm an Evernote convert and compared to the pricing in Evernote the Joplin Cloud Server is a savings. The only limitation is the storage space. If you host your own server you can have 100 GB or a terabyte if you want.

You have to weigh that against the fact that you will lose access to Joplin if your server crashes and you need to restore it. If you don't have an accurate backup you may lose some information.

My opinion is that the Joplin cloud service is a fair deal for all but the most heavy users.

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One big limitation of Joplin Server is that it's restricted to personal use. And, if you're a super heavy user with tens of thousands of notes, there's a high chance that you use Joplin for work-related activities as well.

Obviously, if you self host it, no-one will be able to verify whether you use Joplin Server for personal notes only, but it's going to be against the licence nevertheless.

Thank you for pointing this out. I had no clue there are restrictions.

I don't have 100,000 notes, however I do have many large file attachments.

If you've been an Evernote user for many years and then you convert to Joplin your imported collection of notebooks can be larger than what the cloud storage options offer. Joplin I think will eventually want to consider a 50 GB plan.

While I am testing my own Joplin server running on a NAS server I am using Microsoft OneDrive for my synchronization. I only pay a $1.99 a month for 100 GB of cloud storage which is a lot more cost effective than Joplin cloud.

The big thing I lose is web publishing of notes.

I've been using Evernote for more than a decade and have a fairly large database that's all personal and a good friend of mine who is also on Evernote and has been so for longer than I have has tens of thousands of notes, all personal.

Using one of the email-related plugins can grow your Joplin database quite quickly if you're not careful. Do you tell a Joplin plug-in to go out to your inbox and import all of your email and their attachments your database will grow quickly.

I chose not to have Joplin grab email from my mail server. I use Thunderbird for my email and there is a very nice add-on for Thunderbird that allows you to take advantage of the Joplin Web Clipper feature to link Thunderbird to Joplin and you simply highlight all of the email messages that you want to send to Joplin and click one button and poof your notebook has all of your requested email messages in a notebook. I find this option works better for me than having Joplin go out and get the mail. For some users, I do understand that there is an advantage to having Joplin pull selected emails from certain users into Joplin automatically. I don't need that feature.

@whitewall @LeoW

I used to think the same way initially. I've been using Joplin since October. However, a few days ago when I tried to delete and reinstall the Joplin application on my phone, I noticed an issue.

It's unfair that free users have to deal with days of synchronization while paid users can handle it in a few seconds or minutes.

It's not a coincidence that someone from outside managed to fork the Joplin application to work in the background, while our developer Laurent hasn't done this in 5 years.

Anyone who can see the truth will notice that the developer is subtly directing users to Joplin Cloud and presenting it as a premium feature. If we, as users, allow this and don't speak up, those who use Joplin Cloud will have other privileges in addition to synchronization.

Of course, many apps like Evernote, Simplenote, Notesnook are following this path. Considering that Joplin is also a company, we can understand its desire to make money.

However, Joplin had a privileged position among note-taking apps by prioritizing free use. Losing this and transitioning to a premium system would be a major drawback for us users. Please let's prevent this.

What we want is simple. To be able to synchronize with the same quality and speed as a user with Joplin Cloud. If someone is buying Joplin Cloud, they should do it only because they trust Joplin and want to support it, not for speed!

Thank you...

For me, as somebody who is converting from Evernote the Joplin cloud option for $4 or $5 a month is about $10 cheaper than what I'm paying to Evernote now. So, it's not just a matter of trusting Joplin it's a matter of having the features that the Cloud sync provides and doing so for a savings of $10 a month at the same time. It's all a matter of perspectives. If you've already been paying a lot more per month for Evernote then the Joplin cloud is an inexpensive alternative.

It's also unfair that some people get to ride in cars while others have to ride the bus.

If people didn't pay for Joplin Cloud, it wouldn't exist. It costs money to run the servers. Are you saying that if everyone can't sync in seconds for free then no one should be able to?

Joplin is a desktop app. It doesn't need to sync to work.


There's also another perspective.

Nobody is paying a licensing fee for the software itself. Other choices have a fee for purchasing the software never mind the synchronization hosting.

There are reasonable options for synchronizing a phone and a computer directly without using a Cloud Server.

Towards the end of this week I will be putting some of these options to the test.

I have an app that is open source runs on Windows Linux and Mac and turns your computer into a webdav server.

Theoretically anyone should be able to turn their locally stored database on their home computer to a Mini Server and have the mobile app use webdav and point it to the webdav server link URL for the PC. The phone should be able to synchronize over webdav directly over the local Wi-Fi. I won't know how fast it is until I test it.

Pair that with tailscale VPN. And you can synchronize your phone to your computer from anywhere.

Lots of fun testing to do Thursday.

I think this is a misunderstanding of the license. My read of the license is that you are not a allowed to sell access to a server that you host, i.e. the joplin software itself can not be at the core of a business enterprise. This is supported by section 2.2 of the license (emphasis added by me)

[...] the Licensee is entitled to access and use the Software for non-commercial purposes for taking personal and professional notes, sharing notes with other users of the Software, and synchronising data.


If you are a business or Corporation and want a lot more storage space than is provided by Joplin cloud is there an option for that business to purchase and legitimately use for business purposes a Joplin server that they host at their own company or wherever they want to?

I believe there is, but I don't know for sure. You would probably have to email them to ask. There's a contact us link on the joplin cloud site

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Yeah, I saw that too, but then later on there is this part:

2.3 Unless authorised by the Licensor in writing, the Software may be used for personal non-commercial purposes only.

the Licensee is not allowed to:

vi. Use the Software or grant other the right to use the Software in a way that generates income or commercial profits

and if the notes are related to a job that itself generates money, I wouldn't risk it.


You can think of synchronization like the fuel of a car. Even a Ferrari can't go anywhere without fuel. That's how important synchronization is. Therefore, making synchronization premium is equivalent to offering the paid version of the application.

Dear Leow,

I don't know which country you live in. But solutions that you may find cheap can become quite expensive for people living in countries where the currency is not the dollar or euro, especially in countries where the currency constantly loses value against these. Please also consider this in your comments. For example, a unit that costs $1.99 for you could be $64.53 or $4 could be $129,70 in another country. Think about it this way.

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Thank you for your thoughtful response.

I am merely comparing what I am currently paying for Evernote and what Microsoft charges me and what Joplin would charge me and comparing those with each other. Not with anybody from other countries.

Paying for Joplin cloud here is a savings for me here.

I understand that other countries have different fees for similar services.

I was just saying that for me I can save $10 a month or actually now $13 a month by using Microsoft to host my data rather than evernote where my data is now.

I am in the United States. Can a $2 product becomes a $65 product in another country? . Other countries might have local storage options that are not available here.

Perhaps that's why a lot of people are choosing to self host.

Living in America is great. Your annual inflation rate is probably equivalent to our monthly inflation rate, maybe even less. However, some time ago, it was officially stated that there were food and gasoline queues in America and Europe, and that many people were homeless. I'm glad that you're not one of them.

By the way, I read your deleted message and I'm sorry to hear that's how you felt. You're a user I value. If you write a post that doesn't require deletion, I'd like to hear your thoughts and discuss with you.

Thank you. I almost was homeless at one point years ago. I miss my dad but I have a home because he left me his. Otherwise I would be in financial distress.

Housing here both purchasing and renting have gone up tremendously here. It is impossible for somebody that graduates from high school or even College to rent an apartment never mind by a home.

When I first moved to Florida in 2007 I was paying $950 for two bedroom two bath with a washer and dryer and a garage. Now that same unit is about 2,500 a month or more.

I could never in a million years afford to buy my own home. In fact the next financial burden I'm facing is having to replace the roof on my house. When it needs to be replaced which will probably be within a year or so it will cost tens of thousands of dollars and I don't know where it's going to come from. I'll likely just have an uninsured roof.

And that's not a good thing when you live in Hurricane country. 2 years ago hurricane came through here and tore 25 tiles off my roof.

Inflation is not as bad here as it is in other countries although people still feel the crunch. I went shopping at a supermarket the other day and didn't even buy any meat or chicken or real food and one shopping bag came to $50.