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Private note – Key to protecting your ideas

Entrepreneur with the next big business concept, artists developing your creative vision or simply someone trying to organize your thoughts – your ideas have value. Data breaches, hacking incidents, and privacy violations are all too common these days. Your smartphone, laptop, or cloud storage accounts could be compromised, exposing your confidential plans and musings to prying eyes. That’s why having a safe and secure place to jot down your private thoughts, brainstorms, and flashes of inspiration is so crucial. The old-fashioned solution is to use a physical notebook or journal locked away somewhere only you access. While certainly safer than digital notes, this has limitations in our modern world where we need our notes to be portable, searchable, and seamlessly integrated across devices.

What to look for

When choosing software to keep your private notes secure, there are several key factors to prioritize:

  1. End-to-end encryption – Data encrypted before it leaves your device and decrypted only after it reaches its destination ensures no one intercepts and reads your notes in transit or at rest on the cloud. It prevents potential breaches or surveillance.
  2. Local storage – A choose-your-own-storage approach where notes are kept locally on your device, rather than in the cloud by default, eliminates certain attack vectors. Cloud backups still be utilized but with hosting and encryption keys under your control.
  3. Open source – Open source code that is audited helps verify no back doors or vulnerabilities are being snuck in. It creates transparency and allows the security community to scrutinize the application.

Standard notes

Standard Notes is an elite private notebook application designed from the ground up with a focus on encryption, privacy, and open-source transparency. It ticks all the boxes – end-to-end encryption, client-side encryption keys, optional cloud or self-hosted storage, multi-device sync, extensions for added functionality, and more. All of your notes, whether they sync via Standard Notes’ hosted service or your self-hosted storage option, are encrypted before they leave your device so not even Standard Notes reads them. Examples of a safenote? The encryption keys are generated and stored locally, with optional cloud backups encrypted by keys you control.

The core application is open source, with a plain-text Markdown mode that eliminates the risk of document formatting exploits. Particularly attractive for teams, groups, and businesses, you optionally self-host on your infrastructure while still syncing. Secure sharing is also available for controlled collaboration. Standard Notes offers apps for all major desktop and mobile platforms. Extra functionality comes via a rich extension ecosystem with add-ons like code editors, kanban boards, spread sheets, and more. It truly checks all the boxes for serious private note-taking.


Tusk is another full privacy-focused private notebook with a thoughtful design centered around protecting your sensitive data. Like Standard Notes, it utilizes end-to-end encryption with encryption keys never leaving your device.

What sets Tusk apart is its emphasis on local-first data storage with easy automated backups stored only on your local network. Your notes live on your device’s local storage first and foremost, only synced peer-to-peer if you want to use Tusk across multiple machines. It eliminates most paths for data exposure or attack.

Tusk is minimalist and lightweight while still providing cross-platform support, offline access, secure password storage, and even self-destructing notes that automatically delete themselves after a set period. Its focus is squarely on being the simplest yet most secure private notebook solution possible.

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