Taking notes on a computer used to mean opening a text editor. Now people are more likely to use Evernote, Google Keep, or Microsoft OneNote. But these are closed-source, proprietary services that store your data on remote servers. Do you really want to deal with potential privacy risks just to jot down a few notes?

Below are five of the best note-taking apps I’ve found in F-Droid. They don’t sync files across devices, but personally speaking, that’s a plus. Each one looks just fine on a modern device with material design.

1. Swiftnotes

If you relied heavily on Keep before deciding to ditch Google, then Swiftnotes is your closest open source alternative. You can create notes, type up short blurbs, and give each entry its own color.

In Swiftnotes, colors serve as tags. You can’t filter information, but you can quickly identify notes of the same color. Coordinate colors to separate shopping lists from doctor’s appointments and quotes for your history paper.

OpenSourceNoteAndroid-Swiftnotes

A search function loads up notes that match keywords in the title or the body. Since Swiftnotes is running locally on your device, results pop up instantly.

When the time comes to switch phones, you can backup all your notes and restore them later. This is not the same as syncing data across devices, but it doesn’t come with concerns over privacy or control either.

Download: Swiftnotes for Android (F-Droid | Google Play)

2. Notepad

Notepad doesn’t feel as polished as Swiftnotes, but it adds extra features for users who find the latter too basic.

Related:  How to Make Everything Appear Bigger in Android Nougat

For starters, there’s basic formatting. You can make text bold, underline key words, or italicize distinctive phrases. This helps to differentiate words that would otherwise blend together.

When that’s not enough, you can change text color. Your options are black, red, blue, green, or yellow.

OpenSourceNoteAndroid-Notepad

This app doesn’t stop with notes you type up. Sometimes a doodle gets the job done better. Here you can sketch a note or write with your fingertip. You won’t create works of art, but you can change the color and brush size.

Download: Notepad for Android (F-Droid)

3. Floating Stickies

Would you ever consider placing a sticky note on your monitor to help you remember? That could make you the kind of person who would love Floating Stickies. The app keeps a transparent sticky note on your screen at all times, so you don’t forget.

I’ll admit, the idea of this app would have driven me up the wall before. How can I use an app when a sticky note is taking up part of the screen? And this is a mobile app — it’s not like there’s much room to work with!

OpenSourceNoteAndroid-Floating-Stickies

But now I find this app to be a great way to remember important things. I’m going to check my phone at several points throughout the day, and a floating sticky note will make sure I don’t forget what we need from the store.

Sticky notes aren’t only good for to-do lists. I use one as a reminder to stay positive or to carry around a phrase I read in a book that I want to commit to memory.

Related:  Google Launches a New YouTube Go App for India

Notes turn transparent when not in use, so you can always see what’s underneath. Stickies cycle between one of three colors. As for options, there are none. Like real-life sticky notes, the beauty is in the simplicity. There’s a reason people keep making apps like this.

That aside, I wouldn’t use Floating Stickies for jotting down anything long. You’ll want a different app for that.

Download: Floating Stickies for Android (F-Droid | Google Play)

4. uNote

uNote isn’t the prettiest app. The interface does the bare minimal to feel modern, but not everyone needs their notes to look like Post-Its.

uNote’s notes each have a title and a body. There’s no formatting, doodling, or any other way to spice things up. Each entry appears in a straightforward list.

OpenSourceNoteAndroid-uNote

As boring as that sounds, there are reasons to check this app out. One is the option to search notes by title and content. Another is the inclusion of both creation date and modification date, so you know when you made each entry.

Then there’s the ability to password protect each note. Not only that, you can set individual passwords. If you want an extra layer of privacy, this may be the way to go.

Download: uNote for Android (F-Droid | Google Play)

5. Writeily Pro

Maybe you take serious notes. Some of these apps will work, but they’re less than ideal. When you’re poking out lengthy, heavily-formatted documents from your phone, you need something with a bit more umph.

Writeily Pro lets you write in plain text and markdown. The latter gives you much of the capability you would expect from a word processor. We’re not talking only bolding, underlining, and italicizing. You can create both bulleted and numbered lists. Then add hyperlinks to websites you want to remember.

Related:  LeEco outs Cool 1 Dual phablet with a 13MP dual camera setup

Markdown is a great way to write for the web. When you’re done with a note, you can export to plain text, HTML, or an image. Then you can upload it to a blog.

OpenSourceNoteAndroid-Writeily-Pro

The app intends for you to create a bunch of notes, so you have the option to make folders. And like with uNote, you can shield your notes from nosy individuals. This time you use a PIN instead of a traditional password.

Download: Writeily Pro for Android (F-Droid | Google Play)

Which Is Write for You?

Pardon the absolutely terrible pun. I tried. Maybe you can write down a few suggestions using any of the apps above and get back to me with your best ones.

While you’re at it, which app do you like best? Is there another open source option that I’ve missed? Let me know! And if you’re contemplating replacing all your Android apps with open source alternatives,

59 comments

  • Good website! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I'm wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I've subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!
  • I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!
  • Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?
  • Hey there, You've done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.
  • whoah this weblog is fantastic i like reading your articles. Stay up the good work! You know, a lot of people are looking round for this info, you can aid them greatly.
  • Great tremendous things here. I am very satisfied to see your article. Thanks so much and i am having a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?
  • Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.
  • I truly wanted to jot down a small word to express gratitude to you for these splendid tactics you are showing at this website. My time consuming internet look up has now been honored with reasonable know-how to go over with my great friends. I would state that that most of us visitors actually are really blessed to dwell in a notable community with very many lovely professionals with insightful tricks. I feel truly happy to have come across the website and look forward to many more brilliant moments reading here. Thank you once more for everything.
  • fantastic post, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don't understand this. You should continue your writing. I am sure, you've a great readers' base already!
  • I think other site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and excellent user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!
  • This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!
  • I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it'll improve the value of my site :)
  • Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came to “return the favor”.I'm trying to find things to improve my site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!
  • I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it'll improve the value of my site :)
  • I have been surfing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It¡¦s beautiful worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.
  • Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?
  • Wonderful paintings! This is the type of info that are supposed to be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this post upper! Come on over and discuss with my site . Thanks =)
  • Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!
  • Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol
  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.
  • I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you're going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!
  • Hello there, You've done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm sure they will be benefited from this site.
  • I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I'm hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.
  • I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again
  • Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.
  • I haven¡¦t checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)
  • It¡¦s really a nice and useful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.
  • hi!,I like your writing so much! proportion we communicate extra about your article on AOL? I require an expert on this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look ahead to see you.
  • Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I've really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
  • I was just looking for this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what's the lack of Google strategy that don't rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.
  • I was just searching for this info for a while. After six hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your website. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.
  • Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!
  • I must show some appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular circumstance. Right after surfing around throughout the online world and seeing strategies that were not helpful, I believed my entire life was over. Existing without the presence of answers to the issues you've solved by means of your entire write-up is a serious case, and ones that could have badly affected my entire career if I had not encountered your website. Your own talents and kindness in touching everything was priceless. I am not sure what I would've done if I hadn't come across such a solution like this. I am able to at this point relish my future. Thank you so much for your expert and amazing help. I won't think twice to propose your site to any individual who would need support on this issue.
  • Hiya, I am really glad I've found this information. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is really annoying. A good website with exciting content, that's what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can't find it.
  • I think this is one of the most important information for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The website style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers
  • I was recommended this website by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You are amazing! Thanks!
  • Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol
  • What i do not realize is actually how you are no longer actually a lot more well-appreciated than you may be now. You are very intelligent. You know therefore significantly in terms of this topic, made me personally imagine it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren't interested unless it¡¦s something to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs excellent. Always handle it up!
  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.
  • I was suggested this website by my cousin. I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!
  • Somebody essentially assist to make significantly posts I might state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this particular publish amazing. Fantastic process!
  • Wow, marvelous blog format! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for? you make blogging glance easy. The total look of your site is wonderful, as well as the content!
  • We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You've done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.
  • whoah this weblog is wonderful i really like studying your articles. Stay up the good work! You already know, lots of people are searching around for this info, you can aid them greatly.
  • Wow, incredible blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is great, as well as the content!
  • I was just looking for this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don't rank this kind of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top websites are full of garbage.
  • I am not certain the place you're getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic information I was in search of this information for my mission.
  • Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
  • I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this site. I'm hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming as well. Actually your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.
  • Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.
  • Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is actually frustrating. A good web site with interesting content, that's what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.