Today we’re taking a live look at Joplin for note-taking. Ultimately I’m looking for a DEVONthink replacement. I’m now in a mixed operating system environment and DEVONthink doesn’t support anything but macOS.

Some highlights from the video.

Joplin supports embedded PDFs but you need to create a note, then drop the PDF into the note to make it work. There is no OCR of PDFs and no highlighting of PDFs inside Joplin.

You can drag/drop video files into Joplin if you’ve downloaded it. That means you’ll need a tool like Downie and maybe something like Permute to convert it to a video type your system understands. I get them both on macOS via SetApp.

The web clipper is pretty good for generic text-based web pages. It struggled to grab anything useful from YouTube, though a commenter on the video mentioned that if you open the transcript it will grab that for you, which would be useful alongside the video you download.

You can run sync on your own via NextCloud, and a number of other services. I could then run it on my Synology and have my own local sync service. I didn’t tackle this in the video because I was limited on time.

You can do some scripting of Joplin by accessing the REST API server that runs when Joplin is open. I found a few tools during the video that can do some of this.

The keyboard commands are okay. Maybe they’d be enough once I really started digging into the tool, but at first look, they’re only okay.

My final verdict right now is that Joplin is not a DEVONthink replacement for me so I’m still looking for the right tool to replace DEVONthink.

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2 responses to “Can Joplin Replace DEVONthink”

  1. Jan-Philipp Avatar

    That is in fact a very interesting and devastating road I am also on.

    Ideally a file based tool to manage all foreign knowledge (Obsidian for thinking).

    Seems like there are not so many options. Closest alternative is Keep It (also only Apple). Then Evernote – no option.

    I came across Cubox, which unfortunately don’t support PDF’s.

    Other contenders are (no Linux), Eaglefiler (Macos only).

    I am currently thinking of going more the “basic” route, using file explorer and PDF’s / Files. SingleFile Plugin makes a great File-Based Archiver for Websites.

    Only full featured alternative I know of is the Readwise Reader. But here – SaaS.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Someone else suggested that I go with the full search/OCR that is on my synology for receipts and then just keep Zotero for citations…or at least make the two jobs use different methods.