Bring Evernote to Your Linux Desktop with Nevernote

Nevernote When it comes to certain desktop applications, Linux is often the poor cousin of operating systems. Take, for example, Evernote. Evernote is an application that lets you take detailed notes, and more. It’s designed to help you, as its tagline says, remember everything.

There are versions of the software for Windows and Mac OS but, as usual, Linux is out in the cold.

Sure, you can use Evernote’s Web interface but sometimes you may not want to. Or you might have to work without a connection to the Internet. So what’s a neglected Linux user to do? Give Nevernote a shot, that’s what.

Getting started

Obviously, you’ll need an Evernote account. You can get a free one, or pay $5 a month for an account with a few more features. Then, download and install Nevernote.

From there, launch the application. If, like me, you’re using Ubuntu then you’ll find the shortcut by selecting Applications > Internet > Nevernote.

Nevernote main window

Using Nevernote

Let’s assume that this is the first time you’ve run Nevernote, but that you have some notes in the Web-based version of Evernote. You’ll probably want to synchronize your notes. To do that, click the Synchronize button on the toolbar. You’ll be asked for your Evernote user name and password. Once you enter them, Nevernote pulls down your notes. Depending on how many notes you have, that could take a few seconds or longer.

From there, using Nevernote is just like using Evernote on the Web. Click the New icon on toolbar to create a new note. You can give it a title, add the note to an existing notebook, and tag it. You can even add formatting and change the font.

Editing a note

Nevernote also supports stacks. In Evernote, stacks are like folders and subfolders. Or, in this case, categories and subcategories for notes. You can, for example, have a stack called Personal. Underneath it, you can have stacks called Receipts and Home Inventory. Doing that can help you better organize your information. It can be more efficient than using tags.

Stacks in Nevernote

On the Downside

Nevernote is a solid application. But it does have its flaws. It’s written in Java, so it might run slowly on some computers. You can’t add attachments to notes, like you can with the Windows and Mac OS Evernote clients or on the Web. You can, however, view certain attachments that have been synchronized from Evernote. The problem is that the quality isn’t all that great.

Attachments aren't pretty

If you use both Linux and Evernote, though, Nevernote is a must-have piece of software. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than just not bad. It offers you most of the power of Evernote, and it lets you take Evernote offline. That in itself is worth the download.



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5 responses to “Bring Evernote to Your Linux Desktop with Nevernote”

  1. Sophronis Avatar

    All this so you can take notes and have them available everywhere? What ever happened to a good old notebook??

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      Notebooks are so A.D. 105! 😉

    2. Scott Nesbitt Avatar
      Scott Nesbitt

      Nothing wrong with a paper notebook. I carry one with me all the time. But it’s easy to lose one, and hard to link ideas and to link to other sources of information.

      But, in the end, it’s what works for you. No one is saying you must use Evernote or a Moleskine on pain of death …

  2. Randy Avatar

    Thanks for the review. Just a few minor corrections.

    NeverNote has a few things it doesn’t support or does very poorly.

    – There is no screen clipper. I recommend setting up an import folder and using Snagit on Windows or Shutter on Linux, then having them automatically write the clip to the import folder.
    – NeverNote doesn’t support editing or creating ink notes since there is no public API (although you can view them).
    – It doesn’t support the new single-note sharing feature.
    – Emailing a note only emails plain text. Blame Java’s limitations.

    Other than these, I think it can do all the major things the Windows client can do.

    You can add attachments, but either Qt, Jambi or Java seem to be very picky about how you do it and what needs to have had focus last in order for it to work properly. The most fool proof way is to cut & paste the attachment.

    PDFs may appear worse than Evernote’s clients since it is really taking a picture of the PDF and displaying it rather than displaying the PDF itself. If you click on the PDF it will launch to your native PDF viewer. Normal images should appear at about the same quality (or at least they do for me).

    You can improve performance a little by closing some notebooks when you don’t need to reduce overhead. Turning off PDF previews in Edit/Preferences will also speed it up since it doesn’t need to open the PDF & create a picture of it before displaying the note.

    Finally, you don’t need an Evernote account unless you want to synchronize. I know of a few people who don’t want to synchronize their content and just use it locally. I highly recommend getting at least a free account so your content is backed up, but it isn’t technically necessary.

    Thanks again!

  3. Byzantine Philology Avatar

    nevernote is good but hopefully there will be an evernote desktop app soon

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