The greatest drawback of Joplin today

There is no doubt (at least for me) that Joplin is a great desktop application. It may keep evolving, offer more and better features, but even if it didn't .... it is a great "note-taking" application.
This said, it does seriously lack on iOS and Android, and here is why.
Note-taking is not about writing a poem, it is spontaneous, unplanned, and fast and quickly typing short bits of information - including checklists, etc. The key word in all of this is fast. If you want to jot down 6 tasks with check-marks of things you must do ... before the train stops in 2 minutes, hmm ... try this in Joplin on iOS or Android. Slow start, and click after click just to get to right page, still in reading mode, click on edit ... choose checkbox list, and so on. No (easy) way to adjust text size, line spacing, etc. All of this takes forever ON portable devices (please excuse me saying "forever", it is an exaggeration :wink: ) , while all of this is a piece of cake on a desktop.

So my question is one about what you see in the dev's crystal bowl : are there plans for a serious overhaul of the portable apps, or is this either out of reach, or may be even impossible.


Full ack for most of your arguments, but in defense of the devs it must be said that the new mobile editor is nothing less than a "serious overhaul". On the other hand I must admit that I sometimes use MS ToDo for quickly jotting down things which I share into Joplin later on - just because of the reasons you've already stated.


I agree, this is the point. But actually, I can't entirely agree this is the greatest drawback of Joplin. While the stable release is a bit slow for the mobile app, I can still see it's improving, such as the new buttons toolbar in the pre-released version, which is the greatest improvement.

I think the slow start is a common problem in the early stage of product development, but it will be bound to improve over time with updates.

As for the problem of how many clicks reach the target page, it seems to be a problem that occurs when the note-taking app wants to implement the todo feature. On the contrary, when a Todo-based app is required to implement the note-taking function, a use case like SuperProductivity will appear. At this point, do you have an app for reference? Because I don't have one in mind. I mean a note-taking app that is implemented with good todo features. I think it would be helpful for people to better understand your point.

I don't know, this is not the first time I have seen users resisting this button. For me, it's ok, but I would like to see it change to double-tap any place within the editor to toggle between read mode and write mode, I'm not sure if it will be faster or not, but it's handier.

1 Like

Long-press on the app icon - select "New Note"


... I didn't know about this either


It's been available for about 2 years now.

Tbf, I only know because this feature got me into contributing to Joplin - I was awaiting this feature, but when it got released it was buggy so ended up fixing it myself.


Well, that does solve the problems I mentioned. Without writing a long pamphlet about why and how, here are just a few bullets.

=> on speed: long-press only provides a speedy response when Joplin is already running in the background

=> new note w/ long=press: doesn't sort the new note into a defined notebook, instead it lands in nowhere land. The only way to find it is (after saving the note) to go to "all notes" scroll and remember the title, then open it and move it ... from somewhere ... to a notebook
When you are moving about, this is a guarantied way of taking a note in desperation, and never find it again when you need it.

=> new to-do w/ long-press: this creates a note with a single check-mark (note checked or not), but it does not create a note which can handle multiple to-dos, each with it's own check-mark.

=> another problem for any todo lists created this way: the editing in mark-down vs viewing in wysiwyg style.

PLEASE do try this example before you say, there is no problem: start from the home screen, create a simple to-do list with three lines on one note, *fast, *slow, * awesome, now check the check-mark in front of the "slow line and safe the note. How many operations (click, point, type) were needed, how long did it take ?

A job like this one should be able to finish without pain in under 10 secs, not in a minute and a half.
This is what this thread is all about.

And Joplin (on desktop) is still great !!

That is exactly what I do - use another app for quick notes, and clean up later. And this is exactly what I do not like.

It's the last used notebook by default and it shows it at the top of the screen when editing. And clicking there you can select a different notebook.


I've never said there's no problem. I agree Joplin on mobile is slow, especially on older devices. I was just suggesting a less-known way to mitigate this slowness somewhat.


You can have fast or you can have pretty. You can't have both.

Want fast?

I used to have a super-fast system. Wasn't terrible portable at 30+ pounds but was it ever fast! Those 40 character wide screens (green or amber, your choice) simply flew through the system, faster than a person could hope to read.

Then some idiots started demanding the screen width be doubled to 80 characters. And then they started complaining that things were now too slow.

You should have heard the bitching at how slow this silly graphical interface called Windows was. Totally unusable. And that wasn't even a graphical O/S, merely a prettier way of doing things overlaid on top of DOS. My old 8080 had a hard time with that crap. I dumped it and went back to a fast system (I did keep the 80 characters though.)

As people demand more and more functionality in a prettier package things get slower and slower and eventually Moore's law will have to end. So, if you want faster you will have to give up some of the pretty.

Joplin mobile should start up in a new note, date/time stamp for a title and ready to accept your typing in the note body. Close Joplin and it's saved. Skip the new "Note" or "To-do" choices, just start typing and make it into a pretty looking to-do list or whatever you want later when you have time on a real computer.
Tap to start, enter a sentence, tap to quit.

Or you can have pretty.

Let's see now, I'd like a to-do list with green letters for the first entry and have it already checked off and then I want blue letters (but red numbers) for the second entry and then . . .
And I want it to all take less than 2 seconds. Not gonna happen.

Fast or pretty? Pick one.

I'd say that Joplin mobile is neither. But is open and cross-platform so it's good enough for me.


I'd tend to agree with that. But, fast/slow are meaningless terms without a qualifier. Joplin mobile is blazing fast compared to Evernote's current mobile offering but painfully slow compared to . . . ???

And, the speed must also reference what is being measured. Typing? Searching? Syncing?

Joplin works perfectly for me. I have my own NAS so I don't sync across the internet and it normally reports the time to sync in milliseconds rather than seconds/minutes/hours (the latter reserved for Evernote.)

I started out with Joplin v1.0.103 (93MB) way back when and haven't looked at anything else since. Well, I've looked, but never found anything that met my needs as completely as Joplin.

1 Like

If I really needed this quick note/todo add using Joplin on my mobile device, I think I'd create a special notebook titled so that it floats at the top of the list (e.g., prefix the name with "1-"). Then, just create a note with a list, numbered or not, with the note/todo separated by list entry. Later on, once it's synced to my desktop/laptop, I would cut/paste all that into the various spots they need to go into.

(Edited for clarity.)

As for me, I wish plugins were at least partially supported on mobile. There's a plugin for setting variables that is useless to me if I can't install it for mobile.

No. 3's the point IMO: "the greatest drawback of Joplin [mobile] today" is ... the inability to perform background syncing, a thing which every other app I know of can do.


I'd say that Joplin mobile has become much prettier - with the new editor that came with the latest update and with the last update but one that brought us full support for the dynamic text size feature of iOS.

1 Like

All true HarSel and very entertaining, but not in any way related to the problems mentioned. There are note and check-list taking apps for Andoid which work fast and flawlessly, even on some old And7 or And8 device. So what is your point ?
The speed I am talking about is not processor and memory speed. It is by design which requires many clicks and other UI actions to get to the point where your input starts.

I think that what I call "design problem" comes with choices made in the past while developing the mobile versions of Joplin. That does NOT mean that a better, more streamlined design of the mobile apps is incompatible with the overall Joplin design. The shortcuts which roman mentioned lead the way, and with a few more adaptations data entry could be much faster. This has nothing to do with how fast the app can do a sync or other tasks.

It would be great to add an option/shortcut to open a dedicated note or notebook (e.g. some "Inbox") instead of only the last. The long press option is cool and I know, we can change the location of the note later but the UI is tedious.

Nowadays, I mainly dump all information I want to store into a daily journal (using the awesome journal plugin). So I would like today (i.e. today's date) to always be the first note shown. Of course, since the title changes everyday it might not be trivial but maybe, hopefully some day we get Mobile Plugins that can help with that!?

When I think about it again, ... would it be a solution to develop a very small, light, independent app for Android and iOS, which could run as a service in the background, and which does nothing but take either a simple text note or a note with a checklist... no frills, no formatting, no editing wonders, no markdown, no pics, no attachments ... just text. It is streamlined to be fast, ready any time. And it stores it's notes in a format and location such that they can be easily imported into Joplin any time, one by one or all at once. Such could solve many of the problems described, and the mobile Joplin apps would not have to change (much), may be not at all.