Self-Hosted Applications

These alternatives require setting up on a web host or Docker, ideal for users who prefer to manage their own data and hosting.


Hierarchical Knowledge Base

Installation & Cost: Trillium is designed for personal knowledge management and note-taking. It’s free and open-source, available on GitHub. The installation process involves setting it up on a server or local machine, with options for Docker deployment.

Security & Privacy: Trillium allows users to maintain control over their data, with the application running on their own server or computer. It doesn’t inherently include end-to-end encryption, but being self-hosted adds a layer of privacy.

Cost Implications: The application itself is free, but hosting it on a server or cloud service may incur costs. Additionally, the technical setup might require some expertise or resources.

Technologies Used: Trillium is built using Node.js for the server-side and a SQL database for data storage, supporting a variety of formats for note-taking including text, Markdown, and code. Its hierarchical structure is designed for organizing complex sets of notes efficiently.

Video by DB Tech


Collaborative Markdown and Note-Taking

Installation & Cost: Installing HedgeDoc requires technical knowledge for server setup. It’s free and open-source with detailed guides available.

Security & Privacy: Full control over data with configurable encryption and privacy features.
Cost Implications: Hosting costs depend on the service used; maintenance and upgrades may incur additional expenses.

Technologies Used: HedgeDoc is built primarily using Node.js and Express for the backend, with a database support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. It utilizes Markdown for document formatting and supports real-time collaboration through Etherpad technology.

Video by Vashinator


A Twitter-Like Notes App for Self-Hosting

Installation & Cost: Designed for tech-savvy users for server setup. Free and open-source, with instructions on GitHub.

Security & Privacy: Complete control over data and privacy due to its self-hosted nature.

Cost Implications: No direct software cost, but hosting and maintenance on a server can lead to variable expenses.

Technologies Used: Memos is built using modern web technologies, including React for the frontend and Node.js for the backend. It employs a MongoDB database for data storage and can be deployed using Docker for ease of installation and scalability.

Video by TechHut


Self-Hosted Bookmarks and Note Taking

Installation & Cost: Requires self-hosting on a server. Free and open-source, with installation guides on GitHub.

Security & Privacy: Maximizes data privacy and security on your own server.

Cost Implications: No licensing cost, but expenses for server hosting and maintenance apply.

Technologies Used: Benotes utilizes a combination of PHP for server-side processing and MySQL for database management. It’s designed for easy deployment on a standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack, making it accessible for those familiar with these technologies.

Desktop Powered Applications

These are installable on various desktop and mobile platforms, offering ease of access and use.


The Open-Source Evernote Alternative

Installation & Cost: Installable on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS. Free to use, donations welcomed.

Security & Privacy: Prioritizes privacy with end-to-end encryption for synchronization.

Cost Implications: Joplin is completely free, but optional donations support its development. There may be data synchronization costs depending on the chosen cloud service for backups.

Technologies Used: Joplin is built using Electron for desktop applications, allowing cross-platform compatibility. It uses React Native for mobile apps, and the data is stored in a SQLite database, ensuring portability and ease of backup.

Video by DB Tech


Secure, Self-Hosted Note-Taking

Installation & Cost: Available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. Free, with a paid plan for more features.

Security & Privacy: High-level encryption to protect your notes.

Cost Implications: The basic version of Turtl is free, but there are costs associated with the premium version, which offers additional features and storage capacities.

Technologies Used: Turtl uses the Lisp programming language for its server-side operations, providing robust data processing capabilities. The client application is built with Common Lisp and some parts in JavaScript, ensuring strong data security and encryption.

Video by Klepto’s Stash

Microsoft OneNote

Comprehensive Note-Taking Tool

Installation & Cost: Available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android. Free with a Microsoft account, advanced features with Microsoft 365 subscription.

Security & Privacy: Password protection available, dependent on overall Microsoft account security.

Cost Implications: Free for personal use, but a Microsoft 365 subscription is required for advanced features and larger storage, which involves recurring costs.

Technologies Used: OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office Suite and is built on Microsoft technologies, integrating seamlessly with other Microsoft Office applications and services. It uses cloud synchronization through OneDrive for data storage and accessibility across devices.


Versatile Cloud-Based Workspace

Installation & Cost: Web-based and app versions available. Free basic version, paid plans for additional features.

Security & Privacy: SSL encryption for data in transit.

Cost Implications: Notion offers a free tier, but businesses and users needing advanced features will incur monthly or yearly subscription fees based on their plan.

Technologies Used: Notion is built primarily using React and Redux for its web and desktop applications, offering a responsive and dynamic user interface. For data storage and synchronization, it relies on a cloud-based infrastructure, providing flexibility and collaboration capabilities.

Video by Notion

Google Keep

Simple and Efficient Cloud Note-Taking

Installation & Cost: Accessible via web and mobile apps. Completely free.

Security & Privacy: Protected by Google’s security protocols.

Cost Implications: Google Keep is free, but users should be aware of potential data costs associated with syncing notes across multiple devices, especially on mobile data plans.

Technologies Used: Google Keep is integrated into the Google ecosystem, built using Google’s web technologies. It leverages Google’s cloud infrastructure for synchronization and storage, providing reliability and accessibility across devices.

Video by Dototech

Standard Notes

Privacy-Focused Note-Taking

Installation & Cost: Available on multiple platforms. Free basic version, paid plans for extended features.

Security & Privacy: End-to-end encryption, designed for maximum security and privacy.

Cost Implications: While the basic version is free, advanced features require a subscription to their paid plans. These costs are for additional security features and extended functionality.

Technologies Used: Standard Notes emphasizes security and simplicity, built using a combination of web technologies for cross-platform compatibility. It uses end-to-end encryption for data security, ensuring that notes remain private and secure.

Video by More Productive

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