From iA Writer to Standard Notes

13 April 2021

I’m in the mood of embracing open-source tools. I got a bit tired of VC-backed products that mask VC interests in an appealing vision that makes you become a user of the tool. Sooner or later, those interests arise, and you are left with disappointment and sadness because the people behind the tool care about it is purely money. We’ve seen that when Medium moved everyone over to their platform, and now most of the content is behind a paywall. I foresee the same happening with Notion too. Many people are building even websites on top of it that they might need to migrate if the VCs decide to take a shift if they don’t make enough money.

Motivated by that, I recently embraced StandardNotes as my note-taking app. The differences with iA Writer, the app that I’ve been using, are encryption of notes and the project's open-source nature. Everything is open source. I quite liked their longevity manifesto because it aligns with my idea of how we should build on the internet:

We believe in building software that lasts. To us, it is sad to consider that in the Information Age, the chances are that all information will probably not be there tomorrow. The software that enables all of our thoughts and dreams is now built to such a low standard and at such breakneck speeds and aimed at such ludicrous commercial interests, that its very survivability is in question. Even the biggest software firms can no longer protect our information. The flashiest start-ups close. Formats and standards disintegrate in 5 years or less. Data is turned to dust every day.

Yes! That’s what I look for in the tools that I use day-to-day. I’m now moving all my notes from iA Writer over to Standard Notes. I’m also doing something similar by moving my accounts on services to my new email address. I switched from Gmail a few weeks ago because of similar reasons.

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