How I use Joplin creatively for fleeting notes

Hi, first time posting here.

This was going to be a request for support, instead it's turned into a guideline for someone having similar ideas.

I use Obsidian as my 2nd Brain and Personal Knowledge Management. Have been using it for about a year now and love it. Between two Win10 laptops I sync via Cryptomator and Dropbox.

Because I was unable to work out how to connect Obsidian encrypted via Dropbox with my Android 9 phone, I opted to use Joplin for writing notes on my phone, and syncing between phone and laptops. Joplin with it's built in encryption and sync is just wonderful.

Writing on my phone is my quickest input method. I always have my phone with me, I get my ideas in a supermarket queue or in the middle of the night, so my phone is the handiest and quickest input method.

As it turns out, I like not having Obsidian on my phone. It contains all my really personal stuff, so I've come to appreciate the separation between Obsidian on my laptops for my main work, and Joplin on my phone for fleeting notes I get any time of the day or night.

I use glide (swipe) typing on the phone. I had the original Swype keyboard, unfortunately that got killed off. Now I use Gboard. Swype was way better, it was the best out of all glide keyboard I tried, but alas it's gone. I use OpenBoard when I'm typing more sensitive stuff on the phone.

So glide typing on my phone is my preferred input method. Into Joplin. Joplin on Android works brilliantly. It is a delight to use and enough to organise all my fleeting ideas. When I'm back at my workstation, I can transfer the markdown files over to Obsidian as I need.

The problem was, just lately both my Win10 Joplin Portable apps wouldn't sync. That was going to be the subject of this thread, a request for help ('sync is stuck, i.e. the sync symbol goes round, for days on end' only on the laptops, on android everything was fine). That was version Joplin 2.8.8 (prod, win32). However happily as I was writing this thread, version Joplin 2.9.17 (prod, win32) Revision: a84a8e7 just came out. I've copied the portable exe file into the Joplin folder to overwrite the old exe, started it up, in Settings > Synchronisation > Advanced clicked on the Delete local data and re-download from sync target button, and happily the syncing issues are resolved.

In summary, if you use any other form of note-taking app, such as Obsidian or Logseq, Joplin is a fantastic addition as a way of creating markdown notes of fleeting ideas on your phone, and keeping your main database separate on your pc workstation.

Hope this is a inspiration to someone

Oblique :heartpulse:

Win10 laptop:
Joplin 2.8.8 (prod, win32)

Just updated to:
Joplin 2.9.17 (prod, win32)
Revision: a84a8e7

Android 9 phone
Joplin 2.8.1

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Thanks for sharing your workflow! I just wonder how you handle the fact that Joplin doesn't leave file names of notes and attached resources intact. Doesn't that affect re-importing them to Obsidian?

Good point. I copy & paste the files and the file-names one after the other. Double the work but it only takes and extra second.

I don't usually have attachments, as it's mainly fleeting ideas as I said. If I do, say an image, I don't upload the original anyway. As I'm storing my Obsidian folder in Dropbox 2GB, I have to watch file size. Doing a screenshot of an image is a much smaller file size than the original, and the quality is fine. On a sidenote, Obsidian has a very useful plug-in that instantly uploads your image to Iimgur. So they get uploaded (saving Dropbox space, and it just works). Only my sensitive images go into Dropbox via Cryptomator. It all works very smoothly if it sounds a bit complicated.

So, how does a @former_evernotist feel about having all your files in mainly one folder lol? :smile:

Obsidian is quite sophisticated compared to Joplin, they're both brilliant at what they do!

Holds true for me as well: The majority of my notes is just one line long - so maybe software that can handle lists well should be best for me...

So, how does a @former_evernotist feel about having all your files in mainly one folder lol? :smile:

That's what is so appealing for me in Joplin: It looks and feels so much like Evernote (and not like OneNote for example which has quite a different concept concerning UX). Obsidian with its Zettelkasten-appeal follows a notably different design principle as well (haven't got a backlink in all of my 4000 notes as far as I remember).

And let's not forget the benefits of open source (and its drawbacks of course) - which means that we can't easily compare Joplin and Obsidian with each other. In a discussion about "open source alternatives to Obsidian" Joplin isn't even mentioned - exactly because it has a different concept I suppose:

1 Like

That's all true, and both great at what they do, which is two different things for two different purposes


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