Category: Journaling

WordPress desktop app desktop app is available now. And I am using it.

What is the difference between desktop app and web app? desktop app requires Internet connection as the web app, and it also renders the HTML5 and JavaScript. But there is one crucial difference. A web app, whenever we visit the page with the URL, our web browser will need to download the HTML and JavaScript, then runs the app.

On the other hand, desktop app, though it also requires Internet connection, the HTML and the JavaScript can be pre-installed in the app. The desktop app will focus on the REST API (or Web API focusing on JSON). As a result, whenever we run the desktop app, it will load the page and script without downloading, so that it is theoretically run faster than web app. The concept is similar to the mobile apps.

However, desktop app does not allow to save the draft locally like mobile app.

Interesting tech note: desktop app is built on top of Electron framework.

Notetaking (again). WordPress!

I love to write something, using computer or mobile. Then I found the Google Keep, which is wonderful because it is a web app, works on Linux and Android. Storing my notes in the cloud so that I need not to worry about synchronization problem.

I am not fan of Evernote, but Evernote is a very popular notetaking application. I doesn’t like it because (i) it does not have Linux native support, (ii) and the free plan has quite a lot of limitations. However, I am using it. I was using Zotero. Zotero is nice in terms of the service, but it does not have nice user interface, such as note editing, which affects the user experience. In terms of reference management, Mendeley works far more better than Zotero. As a result, I choose Mendeley for reference management, and choose Evernote for the sake of Evernote Web Clipper extension. The nice feature of Evernote that attracts me is the web clipper. I can highlight the text I want, and save to Evernote. Evernote will store the date, time, and URL. I can also screenshot the web page too. This is what I like most. (May be I should try OneNote as well. I also just found that there is Save to Google Drive extension.)

Now, I have Google Keep and Evernote. But I still feels lack of something. The problem is like this, Evernote is nice, but with the limitations that I mentioned above. As a result, I don’t put all my notes in Evernote, but only favourite quotes from Internet. Then, I use Google Keep to store my general notes. Google Keep is nice in terms of (i) lightweight, (ii) search feature, and (iii) cross-platform because it is a web app. However, recently I found that, browsing notes in Google Keep is not nice. Though you can use the tags feature, but what will happen if you have hundreds of tags? And, if you have thousands of notes, and you want to browse through the notes instead of search the notes, you needs to keep scrolling down. This is some how inefficient. Another problem I faced in Google Keep is the date, it shows only the date of editing, but not the date of creating. That means, I cannot keep track when I create the note, unless I wrote the date explicitly in the note. As a result, I decided not to put all my notes in Google Keep as well. Then, what service should I use?

As a conclusion, I want something

  1. can store the general notes
  2. cross-platform or web app that can works on mobile and desktop (or laptop)
  3. can browse the notes freely
  4. stores the note privately

Finally, I decided to use WordPress. Yes! WordPress. Use it as a private journal. Disable all the publishing and SEO configurations. It is web-based, works on any computer as long as you have web browser. It provides mobile app, you can save draft locally on your mobile. It keeps track date and time. You can search the posts by keywords that you remember. You can categorise the posts or adding the tags. One and the only thing that it lacks of is the web clipper. But, it comes with other great features. provides free plan, which is good enough for general purpose. You can pay for better service with paid plans. And, If you don’t like, you can subscribe a PHP web hosting service, then host your own WordPress app. You can export and import the WordPress articles easily. That means, you are not restricted to a paid service that you cannot work on your notes freely and do whatever you like.

Notetaking applications on Linux

Previously I mentioned about Evernote on WINE in Linux. It works fine. Some minor problems I faced are upgrading Evernote requires re-install, because of the WINE compatibility with the installer, and Chinese characters are not viewable at the note list, and restricted monthly upload limit. That is why, I am looking for alternative solutions.

The followings are the notetaking applications I tried briefly,

  • Basket Note Pad – Very fancy. Uses XML and text files.
  • Tomboy Note, Gnote – Android version, Tomdroid notes. Cannot insert picture.
  • Xournal – Doesn’t look like notetaking application I am looking for.
  • Zim – Wiki format. Still active.
  • NixNote – Using Evernote server.
  • KJots – Does not run properly in my computer.
  • WizNote – Requires sign up. It has web clipper and Android port.
  • KeepNote – Uses XML.

Among these notetaking applications, most interesting one is Zim. It can insert a lot of things including picture, screenshot, equation, code, etc. It also allows using tagging. The wiki format is better than XML, since it is just a very plain text file. This mean, I can synchronise my notes over my other devices using the service such as Dropbox, and open the file as long as I have text editor. Editing XML with text editor is not a good idea. The only thing Zim is lacking of is the web clipper and a full port to Android. But this is really a powerful tool, more than notetaking.

In the end… it’s still… #google, ^_^

just a small notes to share… well, not everybody will agree with me, or everybody will have the same taste…
see, I do write my journal, or whatever you call it… now, I’ve revereted back to write my own real “private” journal… ie. Less things to be shared in the public, but purely, just for my own consumption… ^_^, with the thought of… one day, when I’m not in this real world anymore, my family, my children, will read it… if they will like to know more about me, about my life… ya, for me, and for my family…
so, I’ve used quite a couple of tools available, (mainly free)
I used outlook’s journal before,
then, I changed to #Microsoft #OneNotes,
I love this tools, however, it’s licensed, ie. Not free, and it’s only for windows PC, but I’ve some mobile devices, and I’m using a linux machine mainly,
so, I was looking up and down, trying to find the best tools to use… for my journaling…
I tried some tools on linux too, but then, I don’t like the feature, or simply, the look of it…
I used #evernote, I love that, next to Microsoft OneNotes, honestly, and I started to put in a lot a lot of notes, regardless it’s my own writing, or notes from the web, or parenting notes, or whatsoever… but then, being a non-paying user, I face another challenge, ie. The data capacity allowance every month, and I don’t like it… ah haha… mainly to be blamed, me, myself… cos, I was dumping so much so much data, and so many so many graphic stuff in there… and it ran out of disk space very fast… so, I was thinking, “hm… this is not a long term solution…”,
then, I started to look around on my idevice, after trying a few of them, I used #Journalized for a while, whatever I’m writing, it’ll be sync’ed to the evernote, again, I like it… but then again, in the end, I’m a PC person, I’m a keyboard person… and I’m a multi-windows person… and I’m a big-screen person… whatever…
so, I didn’t quite used Journalized…
then, I started to put my notes/journal/diary, into words, ya, the very conventional words, but opensourced.. ie. At the moment, #libreoffice,
it’s portable, though.. not syncable, but then again, I’m not looking for something syncable anyway, sometimes… it just get out of control, haha…
and when I travel? Or when my PC (be it windows, or linux) is not with me,
again, come another problem,
I’ve tried using dropbox to carry my “file” around, however, I don’t quite like it…
then, I used evernote to temporarily to write something…
again, I don’t quite like it, though it’s convenient, it’s just that… em… to my taste, it’s slightly “bloated”, I mean using evernote…
well, I’m still using it, on and off, for other purpose, not really for writing my diary… and I still love it as it is, ie. Useful… very useful…
and I ditched the idea of using dropbox to carry the file around…
then… lately, I found a new thing, which, I think is the ultimate solution to my needs…
ie. #google sheets, and #google docs,
well, I’ve been using all cloud storage all these while, it’s good for sharing docs, and photos, especially after a trip, with friends, with family and so on…
and just lately, google has put up these docs/sheets apps on idevice, yeh!!! it’s just so “my choice”… and my ultimate choice..
so, now, whenever I’m on the move,
if I need to write or jot down anything, I use these 2… ^_^