Home / GitHub Page

Joplin Features Evaluation toward a Roadmap for an Outstanding Note-taking App

Some intro...

I liked Joplin since I know it in Dec 2019. Adding to that, the developers and community here are very supportive and friendly.

I’ve been using Evernote since it’s open for beta in 2008 and during these years I evaluated a lot of note-taking softwares but didn’t find any that compete with it until Joplin appear in the game :slight_smile:

Although Joplin is strongly competing with Evernote, however, still (in my opinion) need some features to overcome Evernote completely and even become the outstanding product in the market.

In my process of evaluation any software, I weight the importance of every feature to me (from 0-5) and how the software fulfil this feature. This simple method give me much help in making fast choices. (I may post later my own evaluation of some note-taking apps, like Evernote, Joplin, Org mode, Workflowly, Boostnote, Simplenote, Notion, TiddlyWiki - if you need to add any more, let me know).

Here I collected all features that an outstanding note-taking app like Joplin should consider and put my evaluation (from 0 to 3) to every feature as per my needs and I urge the community members here to collaborate on the same sheet. May be this will give insight about prioritizing features and bug fixes to dev team.

Steps

  1. Open “Evaluation” sheet,
  2. Add your discourse tag name (e.g. @rami.sedhom) in a new column in “Evaluation” sheet,
  3. Start your evaluation for each unbold feature using number from 0 to 3 using MoSCo method:
Weights based on MoSCo
0 = I don’t need this feature at all
1 = Could/nice to have this feature
2 = Should have this feature
3 = Must have this feature

Simple guidelines

  • Don’t edit existing column,
  • Keep comments here, not on the sheet,
  • Feature and calculation columns (column A:B) and group rows are locked, however if you want to add feature, put it in a comment here and I’ll do my best to add it to sheet asap,
  • If you want to do massive change to the sheet and you’re in the core team, it’ll be my pleasure to open locked ranges to you,
  • Using your discourse tag name as column label will make addressing the correct person here easier.
3 Likes

Hi @rami.sedhom, I am not able start editing in a new column, the sheet appears to be locked? When trying to write in a blank column to the right of your own evaluation scores the edit box on phone is marked with “View Only”.

Greetings

@johano, You are right, my fault in permissions. I corrected it. Thanks to re-try and let me know.

Something I’d highly recommend doing, especially for those of us that don’t know what a lot of these features are, give a brief description of each one. RTL (right to left) isn’t something used much here in the US, so I had to google search that and a few other terms here.

@bedwardly-down, I could understand your point. Would you drop here some terms that need definition. I’ll try to work on them.

1 Like

The abbreviations for starters should be spelled out in full at least in parenthesis (example: RTL(Right-to-Left)) and until today, i had no clue what a backlink was. Things like that.

On a side note, what is the reasoning behind asking people to rate having an iOS app and why rate it 0? My main phone is an iPhone and, despite the app’s obvious short comings (as per all the bug reports made here and on github), having Joplin available for all of my platforms is a major selling point for my using it

1 Like

@rami.sedhom Great, thanks, I can now edit.

As @bedwardly-down remarks, it would be helpful to have a note attached to the “Feature” cells with an additionsl short description to avoid ambiguity or puzzlement.

Have a look at your formulae under Keep other resources - there seems to be an error there.

Thanks again, and good luck from Scotland :slightly_smiling_face:

I added description in comment in every cell containing abbreviations full text.

A backlink is a backtrace link from one note to other note when 2nd note is linking to the first note.
I think it’s non-sense, I can’t explain that in simple words :slight_smile:, let me try in an example:
If “Note1” has link to “Note2”, “Note2” should have automatic link (called backlink) to “Note1”.
Check this request for Backlinks feature.

BTW, since I mention “Backlink” thread in this post, you’ll notice that this thread will be backlinked there under first post automatically. This is a nice feature in this discourse forums.

Anyway, I guess if you have no clue on something, it’s not important to you at all and you can evaluate it as 0.

0 is just my personal rating since I don’t or plan to have it. But for you, you can put as 3 since you have it and planning to use it for Joplin. Bottom line, it’s personal evaluation about your personal needs. Calculations will sum up the importance of every feature according to community needs.

Thanks for noticing this. I corrected it.

1 Like

Thanks for clarifying. I do disagree with one statement here:

Anyway, I guess if you have no clue on something, it’s not important to you at all and you can evaluate it as 0.

I consider the way you worded this a bit rude and non-conducive to a positive discussion. Not knowing what something was until I did research on it doesn’t warrant stating that it’s not important to me in any form.

Other than that, I do like the idea of getting community feedback on priorities for this project. On the 0 rating comment, I misread 0 as “Should not be a priority” vs “Something I won’t use, so not a priority for me,” if that makes sense. It’s because of how the other options are worded. Maybe reword that as something like “0 - Have no opinion / Will Not Be Using In The Future.” That way it’s not possibly misunderstood in the future.

Thanks @rami.sedhom I have filled in the survey, can indeed be useful to get user feedback on current needs and future improvements. Two small remarks: 1. a OneNote importer could be useful as well; 2. now I have filled in a 2 for the enex import (prior to that even a 0) but that is because I have imported all my notes from Evernote already :wink:

2 Likes

I added import “from OneNote” at row 52

Great, thanks for the update, I have added my score for that one also.

I’m almost done adding my values, so not very useful for me anymore,
but it would be easier to fill out when you turn on alternating row colors.
And maybe you already turned it on, but freezing the first column would help future editors, since it’s they’d be editing further from the feature list on the left.
If you understand what I mean.

And thanks for creating this list. Hope @laurent will find it helpful too :slight_smile:

Also not sure what you mean by “password” under “security”, but for instance, to password protect the whole program/app would not be very useful to me, however being able to password protect a specific notebook or note would be very very useful.

And maybe you would want to split “Free and open source”?
For instance, for me, “Free” is less important than “open source”

And, adding the definition of certain acronyms/abbreviations is useful, but what would be even more helpful would be to give some examples.
Or maybe everyone here will, like me, understand the implicated possibilities when a feature like, API, CLI or Plugins is part of a program like this. Then this would not be needed.
(Just trying to help and get the best possible outcome from this. A good accurate dataset)

2 Likes

Made my pensum !

Like Bruised, I just regret that free and open source are together. Open source is 3 for me, but free is only 1. (but then a reasonable price would be a 3).

Olivier

2 Likes

@Bruised and @oliviermarti, i didn’t even think about that. In all honesty, there are a plethora of open source projects that are not free that are well worth supporting. Check out Bitwarden (offers a free tier but its best features are tied behind a $10 subscription) or Protonmail ($50 a year for full access and them to host your mail server with source code available for those that want to run the service from their own servers). Open source doesn’t mean devs don’t have expenses and I’m ok with proprietary software from devs that are highly transparent, especially with their privacy policies.

2 Likes

Good points @Bruised

  • :ballot_box_with_check: Alternating row colors,
  • :ballot_box_with_check: Freezing the first 2 columns and first row.

I agree for splitting Free and Open Source. I wish I had thought of that before. Since we have 10 evaluations now, how do you suggest to introduce this to the sheet for already existing evaluations?

For the password, I actually meant to protect the mobile app with a Pin like Simplenote :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thanks (from the future responders :wink: ) for the changes to colors and freezing.

About the Free and Open Source:
1 way you could introduce it is by copying the values that are currently there in the “Free and Open Source” row.
So in other words:
Changing “Free and Open Source” to just “Free”.
Adding a row underneath with “Open Source”.
And If the field currently has a value for “Free and Open Source” of say 2. Both fields (“Free” and “Open Source”) will read 2.
Then the respondent could go back and change the value (of they want). And future respondents can fill it out straight away.

It’s not ideal, but especially with the knowledge that if the first 10 respondents have both fields the same, they probably didn’t change it after the change to the sheet. This would still be very valuable information for Laurent I think.

To further add to that, I would definitely make sure you define what “free” is in this context. There are multiple camps, especially in the Linux world, that will have varying degrees of what it means. The most common ones are: 1) Free as in beer 2) Free as in no monetization whatsoever (including donations, tips, etc) 3) Free with incentives to support (like patreon or developer being able to work on it full time).

On the first two, I would gladly rate 0 because (as soon as I’m able to) an app like this definitely deserves my money. For the third one, if a free app solves my main problem while also has the ability to cut down some of my extra apps, I’ll gladly pay the extra subscription to the dev instead (Joplin is definitely replacing GoodBudget for me now that I have my budgeting system tweaked to my liking for the most part). The third free definition, I would whole heartedly rate 3 for this reason.

Thanks for creating the list Rami. This kind of data can be useful however I feel it’s not in a format that makes it easy to use or contribute to. Are there no existing services we could use, where your list and votes could be exported to?

1 Like

You could possibly create something like it through your patreon page. Last time i used the service for my own endeavors, i believe there was a free teir or public option for making polls about these sort of things.