Encrypt Your Thoughts with Standard Notes

Standard Notes Logo

I am and always have been fan of note-taking applications. I am a prolific note-taker, and while I like taking notes on paper, I don’t always have my favorite notebook on hand. So, I resort to taking notes on my phone. For a while I used Codebook Secure Notebook despite it’s $3.99 cost. The ability to encrypt my notes made the cost worth it, but they lost me when a password manager was rolled into it. When iOS rolled out its encrypted version of Notes, I migrated to this. iOS’ Notes have become overly complicated, so I’m been looking for a replacement. Recently several podcast listeners wrote in about Standard Notes, so I gave it a try.

Standard Notes

Standard Notes is a lot like iOS Notes used to be: simple, no-frills, and basic. I really like this simplicity. I also really like that this app checks all the boxes for privacy and security. Your notes are encrypted with AES-256. Not only are they encrypted, the encryption has also been independently audited. Standard Notes’ privacy policy is clear-cut and easily understood – there is no ambiguity about what they do or don’t do. You actually have a choice of keeping your notes locally, or syncing them with your other devices.

If you sync them you can access and edit your notes from multiple devices. When you sync notes they are fully encrypted during transit, and transmitted over a HTTPS connection. No one at Standard Notes has access to your notes – they are truly zero-knowledge. One of my favorite features of Standard Notes is that it is fully cross-platform. It is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and as a web login.

Standard Notes

Standard Notes Updates

One item of note if you are a MacOS user: you will receive somewhat alarming update pop-ups. I received several of these in one day. After ignoring the first one and attempting to research it online, I finally contact Standard Notes support to ask what was going on.

Standard Notes

I received an immediate response informing me that this was standard for Electron-based apps, and that it was an update to the application.

My Assessment

The new iOS Notes seems like a nearly-full-fledged word processor with text formatting, attachments, and more. Standard Notes is, as I mentioned, dead simple and much more secure and private. If you want the larger feature set you can purchase an Extended plan. If you’re worried about migrating to Standard Notes because it might not be around too long, check out their Longevity Statement. After interviewing Mo on the Complete Privacy & Security Podcast I have a lot of faith in Standard Notes.

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