Select what to Sync - For a different reason this time :)

Hi everyone,

I have been using Joplin for a while and lately I realized that there is a feature that would drastically improve (at least for me) the Joplin sync feature and wonder if anyone else ever thought about that.

Would it be possible/useful to have the capability to decide which Notebook to sync?

I would really love to start backing up my data on the cloud again but some notebooks cannot leave my local machine, this is not for some incompatibility as came up on this post. This is for the fact that those notebooks contain sensitive data and no, the end to end encryption is not enough.

Thanks for checking this, hope you will find it interesting and, in case you like it, not too painful to implement. :slight_smile:


I am in the same situation. I use Joplin as my bookmark and thought repository from my phone, my work laptop and my home desktop. I need my programming-related Joplin notes both at work and at home. But I do not want to carry sensitive information from my employer in my phone and I do not want to store my intimate thoughts in my employer's computer.

@laurent I know that this adds complexity to Joplin, but you started an amazing project and we want to fully use its potential :slight_smile: . Also, some of us can contribute code. Some years ago you mentioned this can already be done in the SQLite database. What is needed to bring this functionality to the UI?

Update: Currently, it is possible to toggle syncing a notebook. What is needed is a table to specify the clients that are allowed to sync a notebook.


Agreed. This would essentially replicate Evernote's "Local Notebooks" feature, which Evernote is phasing out (not available in v10), much to the consternation of some EN users. So in addition to providing useful functionality (there are sensitive notes, whether personally sensitive, or employer sensitive, etc., that simply do not need to be on every device we sync our grocery list to), it could attract a lot of EN users who are stuck on EN v6 and looking for an exit because they need a non-synchronized notebook feature.

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While I do agree with you in general (E2EE isn't good enough for ANYTHING), why would you not use Keepass for such important notes ? Create a separate database if you like, just give your entries a name, ignore the fields you don't need, and add notes or advanced attributes to your liking.

This solution is as "local" as it will ever get, it provides a firewall (which would be hard to control and verify within Joplin), and it is as easy to use as you wish. If ease of (permanent or repeated) use is your concern, adjust the time the kdbx remains open, and use 123 as password.

Password apps are designed to store passwords, not longer form notes, or notes with rich text features such as tables, outlines, etc. You can't create links between these notes, or between these notes and the non-sensitive notes. I could probably come up with half dozen other reasons if I thought about it more.

Sync is not the only reason for a note taking app. Sensitive notes benefit from all those other features.

In the meantime I also realised that Joplin uploads all the pictures, even orphaned one.

Long story short, I thought that I could just remove the sensitive notes from Joplin before syncing on cloud; however, I realised that even tho my notes containing sensitive data were not synced, all the screenshots contained in such notes were uploaded to the cloud. Resulting in me having to delete 5k items, clean them, re-upload a portion of them and, unfortunately, stop to use Joplin for sensitive things.

I will keep using Joplin for my notes, research, etc. But unfortunately I think it is not something safe for critical data.

If I'm not mistaken, cherrytree allowed for password protected file? I didn't try it though.

I went from it to joplin because I like markdown ability, but when I was on cherrytree, I'd just use several DBs per what I need, and put those I want to sync in dropbox folder. That worked, but you had to be careful about overwriting (eg, close the note on one computer, wait for sync, then open on the other), and it didn't have android app.
Also, those dbs got huge.

Maybe solution with joplin could be similar? Have ability to have more databases it can open? And then you just sync or not sync each.

Like how you can have keepass with several dbs, and each db remembers own settings like time to lock and such, it's not an app setting.

Another idea - I use atom+ private github repo for my tech stuff, joplin for my craft/private/todo lists. Both are synced with my phone, but I can't yet edit tech ones from the phone, but that's fine.
For sensitive stuff that wouldn't leave my official computer, I'd use joplin on it without any syncing, or syncing with official account.
My private joplin wouldn't be synced to my work computer anyway. Plus I have it at my phone.
And I don't want work stuff on my private phone.

So so far my combo works for me.

I was using CT in the same way with GitHub combo etc for many years. :smiley: I switched to Joplin for the fact that I could have all my notes and research with me all the time. What I do with my free time is directly related with my job, so my free-time notes and my job-related notes/researches need to stay together and with Joplin it was way easier to do that.

The wish for a more secure Joplin was just to don't keep open CT and Joplin resulting in having just one single note taking app open.

By the way, yes, CT can pass protect the notes (Joplin can too even tho I had several problems with sync encrypted notes) but that does not change the fact that some notes must not leave that os.

Can't speak for the need of MD in sensitive notes, I trust you here.
But links between the notes you want to sync, and the ones you do not want to sync will certainly cause interesting challenges.

Just for context, in my sensitive notes I keep code blocks, screenshots and some of them are quiet long so I like to add titles and line separators. Like all fancy stuff to be faster to skim it when needed. So MD it is not a must, but it makes my life easier :smiley:

Can't be too difficult. Despite all their bungling, Evernote manages to do it.

We both realize that Laurent hasn't responded, but I remember he is not to font of growing the numbers of options and settings too much. Would it be enough for you if a special char (e.g. / as first char of ) in the name of the notebook stopped it from being sync-ed until that char is removed ?
I don't think easy comparisons like "Evernote can" do always work or go down very well, for technical and psychological reasons.

Yes, absolutely.

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for me too

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