Example of good looking note-taking apps?

I think it would be good to refresh the design of the desktop app a bit (and maybe mobile too, later). I didn’t put much thought into it when I’ve created it so it’s pretty much just black and white at the moment.

Do you have any good examples of note-taking apps that look good? Notable was mentioned last week - any other we could take inspiration from?

Also if there’s any designer reading this and would like to submit a mockup that would brilliant.


Check this app out: Zettlr.

Folding headers & TOC are useful features.

@laurent I like the app as it is. It is simplicity itself. The ability to resize the sidebar would be appreciated though.

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/cc @nullf @edenpc

Yes I came across this one but I’m not so keen on the design and choice of font. Overall it looks similar to the existing app.

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I have but few problems with the current desktop GUI.
I would like to be able to collapse all sidebars.
And an Undo function in the editor.
And a display mode that hides/shows all checked/uncheck items from a list.
And it would be nice if the GUI on Android was the same.

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@sciurius, I mean more in terms of design / aesthetic. The goal basically is to make the UI a bit prettier to appeal to newcomers. I’m thinking about making this the goal of the next roadmap.

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For design inspiration check out Inkdrop and Bear. Both employ the three pane layout that Joplin uses.


Joplin does have to have at least 2 panes: editor & preview. This is not a WYSIWYG app.

The most can be done is slide in sidebar, the one with the notebooks and tags & sync status. Or sync status with tags and notebooks info can be done in a bottom bar which can be clickable for easier navigation along with open-in-another-app.

File name can be done away with probably. # heading can take up its place and note-list name can be editable for some people like it that way. That 1em side is up there with no use.

The bold/italics/link/can be done like what Dropbox Paper do.

Bear, definitely. Apple Design Award 2017.
Copy it, clone it, duplicate it, its no shame, its great.

By the way, great thread. Most techies don´t care about this.


I think you’ve seen it in another thread, but boostnote is nice. simialr design, still faster to use (IMO), less toolbars, more flexible, more space for writing.

Typora is interesting. Minimal by default, but I do like how it renders markdown realtime. One window, no need to switch, it’s simple. But I see it may be a major change for joplin.


Desktop apps:

  • Standard Notes. Have you ever downloaded the desktop app? It’s beautiful. I like its simple and elegant design, but I wish I could set a monospaced font (which fortunately I can on Joplin).

  • Notable (already mentioned).

Mobile apps:

As far as mobile apps are concerned, I’d appreciate a true black theme (for OLED displays) in addition to the light and dark themes that are already available, and the option to set the default font to a monospaced one, such as Courier New. These features are very important to me.

Personally, I’m not very fond of that standard blue color and that “J” icon doesn’t seem very polished either.

Anyway, I’m glad you’re putting effort into and demonstrating great interest in improving your excellent note-taking tool.

For mobile version, how about easymark?

Easymark UI is intuitive. Hasn’t been updated in almost a year though and not available in my country apparantly.

Also, nobody mentioned Turtl yet. Turtl is snappy, both on Android & desktop.

Forgot to mention Ulysses. Interface is clean and minimal.

Markor is an interesting ergonomic Android App.

Together with Typora the main competitors.


Turtl is not very intuitive on android. I gave it few tries in the past. A lot of clickling / tapping involved to do anything, confirmation windows, etc.

That it is but the interface doesn’t feel laggy.

Yes, please. Bear UI is great and I miss a lot icons in the notebooks and be able to use colours on the notebook list panel.

PS: At the moment I am using emoji and seems to work with Joplin to try to have something useful to find some notes:


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Ah, so many great editors to check out, thanks. :smiley: (Zettlr looks great!)

I've also tried Simplenote and Turtl before I'd found Joplin, and what can I say... I kept looking. :smiley: Especially Turtl's design seemed off-putting to me.

I’ve evaluated almost everything out there, and Ulysses is the gold standard in my opinion. Joplin is better because it’s the only app the runs on Windows/Linux/Mac and mobile platforms and can store files in a non-proprietary way.