SpringSeed: An Amazingly Light Linux Alternative to Evernote

Evernote is the most popular note taking application in the world, at the moment. Its popularity is helped by the fact that it’s free to download and use. It works with almost all the major platforms like Windows, Android, OS X, Blackberry and iOS. However, if you’ve noticed, there is one significant platform missing from the list – Linux! You’re not missing out on much if you’re a Linux user, however. There are alternatives to Evernote that are compatible with Linux and work as well as Evernote – like the SpringSeed application.

SpringSeed is a lightweight note taking app developed by Michael Harker and Jono Cooper. The app is written in JavaScript and is completely open script. SpringSeed has a clean, no-frills interface that is different from the usual cluttered interface you find in other applications. The application is also very small – it will hardly be a load for your processor or RAM.

Evernote can sometimes feel like a bloated application, even if you consider yourself a fan. You won’t face this problem with SpringSeed.

You can download the application installer from the official website for free. You will receive a .deb file, which you can double click and install. Alternatively, you can use this command on a debian (Mint, Ubuntu, Debian) system:

After you’re done installing SpringSeed, you’ll find it in the Accessories menu. You can also open it from the terminal with the following command:

The application menu will pop open.

SpringSeed-menu

The application user interface is pretty self-explanatory. It is intuitive and easy to navigate. You can put your notes inside different notebooks, which you can then sort by topic. Your notebooks will be displayed to the left of the app window (Take a look at the screenshot, and at the highlighted All Notes notebook). Whenever you want to create a new notebook, simply click on the “New Notebook” option at the bottom of the notebooks section. By default, there are four pre-created notebooks in the app: All notes, Scrap, Personal and Work.

Once you select a note, it will be displayed in the large window to the right of the application. We’ll select the default “Welcome to Springseed” note to show you:

SpringSeed-welcome

Creating a note is very easy. Just select a notebook (you can create a new notebook or choose a pre-existing one) and then click on the new sheet icon on the bar at the top. A blank note will open on the right. You can change the font of your text, as well as make it bold and italics. You can also create hyperlinks.

Any existing notes can be edited easily. Simply choose the notebook to the left, then select the note you want to edit. Once the note is highlighted, click on the edit button to the right of your screen. If you want to delete a note, click on the trash icon at the top.

Searching for a note is also easy with the global search feature. Just click on the magnifying glass on the top of the taskbar and type in the name of your note.

SpringSeed-edit

If you have a DropBox account, you can use it with SpringSeed. To configure SpringSeed to be used with DropBox, click on the Settings icon to the bottom left of your screen. Any notes that you have created in SpringSeed will then be synced automatically to the DropBox cloud storage. You can access these notes later from anywhere.

SpringSeed supports the Markdown language. What is the markdown language? The markdown language lets you format plain text so that it can be changed (beautified and formatted) and displayed in a browser. Markdown support greatly enhances the functionality of the SpringSeed app. For example, consider the following plain text in Markdown:

If you load this in a browser, it will show up as (in HTML)

If you’re looking for a simple, lightweight application that just lets you take notes, you don’t need to look further than SpringSeed. The application is likely to get several updates in the near future, so tune in for more goodness!

5 comments

  1. Seems that the option to sync the notes created with Springseed via Dropbox, is broken.. It does not sync , and keeps prompting for authentication on Dropbox’s webpage. I mean every few minutes it opens about 5 browser tabs with authentication requests.

  2. Another alternative to evernote is Zimilate – http://www.zimilate.com – I ended up switching after I tried it. It’s responsive and completely html5/browser based so it works perfectly on Linux. Evernote’s web client is pretty lacking. You can save almost anything, including web pages, images, files, notes, etc. I also like the fact that unlike Evernote, you can organize collections of content any way I want, both hierarchically and with tags.

    Zimilate saves the entire webpage to the cloud, including all the images and other assets, so you don’t have to worry about it disappearing. Plus instead of showing random images from the page, Zimilate creates a thumbnail of each saved webpage, which makes it fast and easy to locate content visually. You can also search the full text of anything you save.

    One of my big frustrations with Evenote is I end up reading almost everything on a mobile device and there was no easy way to curate it. With Zimilate, if you email a link to a webpage from your mobile or tablet, it saves the entire webpage for you, which makes curation simple and easy. You can also email images and files. If you email a link to evernote, all you get is the link, which means you can’t search for it and if the webpage vanishes into the ether you’re SOL.

    Lastly, Zimilate recommends other similar, relevant collections from other users. Instead of bookmarking or following other collections, you just drag and drop them to add them to your own, and then you can browse and search the combined contents. Worth checking out, I like it much better than evernote.

  3. I thought that I read that SpringSeed was “compatible” with Evernote. I don’t suppose this means that they can easily exchange notes, Notebooks, etc??

  4. I have heard that there is a team that is building something that has the right UI, features, and support that everyone has been looking for called NoteHash. Evernote seems to be holding off features and is always charging more (which really stinks).

    I really have high hopes for these guys…

    http://www.notehash.com/

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