Joplin is the brainchild of a solo developer named Laurent Cozic, who released the first version of the app in 2017. He made it open-source, so that other developers could contribute their expertise to add more features to the note-taking app.
Cozic released a mobile (Android) version of Joplin in July 2017 and a desktop version a few months after. In 2021, he launched Joplin Cloud, a paid service that allows users of the note-taking app to sync or share notes with each other.
Many people consider Joplin an excellent note-taking app, so we decided to see for ourselves if the app merits the compliments it gets.
Joplin: Plans and pricing
As we’ve mentioned, the main Joplin app is free to use. But, you’ll have to pay for the Joplin Cloud service to enable note syncing and sharing, customer support, and to access the app through a web-based interface. You can choose one out of three plans; Basic, Pro, and Teams.
The Basic plan costs €1.99 per month, Pro costs €5.99 per month, and Teams costs €7.99 per user per month (for a minimum of 2 users), or in your local currency equivalent. You’ll get a significant discount if you pay for 12 months in one stretch.
You can take advantage of the 14-day free trial period to test the Joplin Cloud service before making your final decision. We advise every user to do this because the platform doesn’t offer refunds to customers.
To use Joplin for free, you must download the app on your desktop or mobile phone. You can download the desktop app package for the Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems directly from the official website. Likewise, you can download the mobile apps from the Google Play Store (Android) or Apple App Store (iOS).
Otherwise, you can access Joplin through a web-based interface if you use Joplin Cloud. The web-based version has a similar interface to the desktop or mobile app.
The core feature of Joplin is the digital notebook, which is akin to a hard copy notebook, but with virtual unlimited features. You can create a new notebook at any time and type content into it. To do this, check the top left corner of the dashboard for the “+” button and click on it.
Clicking that button will take you to the Note Editor where you can write your notes. This editor allows you to format text in various ways. For example, you can bold or italicize text. You can also create hyperlinks to link text to web addresses. Likewise, you can create bullet or numbered lists.
A good thing about Joplin’s note editor is that you can attach multimedia (images and videos), which can convey a lot of information.
Once you’re done typing in the note editor, you can save your notebook on the Joplin app using your device storage. If you’re using Joplin Cloud, you can share your notebooks with other Joplin users to view or edit them.
Likewise, Joplin Cloud users can sync their notes to their account and access them on any device using their login details. There’s no limit on the number of devices you can sync, but the storage space is capped at 10GB on the highest plan.
Joplin: Interface and use
We didn’t encounter any significant challenges when using Joplin. The app has a pretty neat interface that makes it simple to navigate. Its compatibility is top-notch, as you can access Joplin through a web-based interface or native apps on the most popular desktop and mobile operating systems.
One of the major drawbacks of the Joplin app is that you can’t contact any direct support representatives for solutions to problems that you encounter with the app. But, in place of this, there’s an official support forum where users often exchange answers to each other’s inquiries. Likewise, you can use the Discord chat server or unofficial Subreddit to seek help or provide it where you can.
Joplin: The competition
Popular alternatives to Joplin include Evernote, Quip, and Obsidian. Evernote is the primary competitor, such that Joplin provides a tool to let you import your notes from it.
Evernote has more features than Joplin, but is considerably expensive. On the other hand, Joplin provides a lot of useful features for free, so we think it’s the better choice.
Joplin: Final verdict
If you want a free, user-friendly app to help you keep notes effectively, then go for Joplin. The comprehensive feature set it offers for free is valuable, and the additional paid features make it more worthwhile.
The main drawback we observed with the app is its limited customer support.