Evernote is a fantastic app, but there’s no official client for Linux. Even the Mac client doesn’t cut it for some people. So what are your other options?
You could use an alternative note-taking app, but if you have lots of notes in Evernote already or you’re in love with its cross-platform abilities, you do have some third party options. Here are 5 of the best.
GeekNote (Linux, FreeBSD, Mac)
Some people — for any of a number of reasons — just love working from the command line. Whether you like the simplicity of a text-only interface, you find yourself staring at Terminal frequently, or you just like to feel powerful when interacting directly with your computer, the command line can become your note-taking tool too.
If this sounds like you, GeekNote might be your thing: it lets you access, read, and edit notes and notebooks from the command line. You can even work with tags. You can use nano, vi, vim, mcedit, or any other console editor that you like to work on your notes, and whenever you’re done, GeekNote will upload your changes to Evernote so that everything remains synced. You can even search your notes from the command line.
The GeekNote syntax is simple, and doesn’t require you to be a computer genius to understand it. If you want to try it out, you can use the web interface on the GeekNote website to access your Evernote account. If you like it, just follow the instructions to download.
NixNote (Linux, Mac, Windows)
If you want to use Evernote on a Linux computer, NixNote (formerly NeverNote) will let you do it. It’s an “incomplete Evernote clone” that offers local and synchronized notebooks, and will synchronize your changes with the Evernote server. The app also offers local encryption of your database for added security.
While the interface is less than polished, it will let you use Evernote on Linux. The creator of the app is quick to point out, however, that because NixNote has no affiliation with Evernote, there could be issues that can’t be solved by the NixNote team.
There’s not much documentation available for the current version of NixNote, though there is a public Evernote notebook that contains a user guide. It hasn’t been updated in quite a while, but it will give you an idea of the differences between NixNote and Evernote and how to get started using it.
Another client with a strong focus on Linux, Everpad is optimized for Ubuntu and Unity. It supports many Evernote features, including tags, places, notebook stacks, and note sharing. Technically, it’s not even an app — it’s an app indicator and a Unity lens, making it a lightweight and versatile way to access your Evernote notes. Its integration with Unity also means you can search Evernote notes along with all of the other files on your computer.
With a slightly more pleasing interface and a few more features, Everpad looks to be a solid competitor for running Evernote on Linux, though the forthcoming NixNote 2 may shake things up a bit. Unfortunately, development on Everpad has ceased (or at least slowed down significantly), so it’s unlikely that it will be getting any updates or improvements.
However, many people find Everpad to be the best way to use Evernote on Linux. Despite its bugs and lack of significant development over the past couple years, it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a Linux client.
Alternote (Mac, $6.99)
While the Linux clients currently available place a premium on function, Alternote is all about form. This Mac-only client provides a new way to interact with Evernote and has a strong focus on a clean, distraction-free note-taking environment.
The interface very much fits with Apple’s latest designs of their own programs, and will appeal to Mac purists. The app’s night mode looks a lot like the night mode included in many iOS apps, and Markdown support lets you quickly and easily work with formatting.
The forthcoming Alternote 2 and Alternote for iOS will expand the app’s capabilities. Although it’s nice-looking, it doesn’t meet much of a need other than for a cleaner app environment. If you’re a fan of minimalist apps, Alternote will probably appeal to you.
When you need a pure Evernote experience on Linux — or you’re using someone else’s Mac — you can always use the Evernote web client. It won’t let you access your notes offline, but how often are you really offline?
The web client is just as powerful as the desktop client, and lets you access all of your notes, notebooks, and tags jut as easily. It even has Evernote’s great interface styling. Offline access is really the only thing that you miss out on.
More Clients On The Way
Third-party clients for Evernote are gaining some momentum. Evernote has been around for a long time, and it’s only gotten more popular. Developers are realizing that creating new ways to interact with the indispensable app are in demand and could be very valuable.
NixNote 2, which has been in beta for over a year, adds a lot of functionality to NixNote; support for reminders, editing notes in new windows, pinning notes, note history, importing and exporting files, spell check, and a number of other features have been added in the newest version. It could be a while before the full release, but you can download the beta to check it out.
Alternote 2.0 will also add a number of features, including support for Markdown code snippets and tables, shortcuts, shared notes, and business notebooks. They’ll also be releasing an iOS version so you can take advantage of their distraction-free interface on your iPhone or iPad.
Which Evernote Client Do You Use?
Evernote is an indispensable app for many people, regardless of which platform they’re working from. Just because you use Linux doesn’t mean you should miss out!
GeekNote, NixNote, and Everpad give you the power to use Evernote on Linux, and Alternote gives you a clean, distraction-free environment on Mac. When all else fails, the web client works everywhere.
What do you use to access Evernote?