Skip to main content


Joplin implements the SQLite Full Text Search (FTS4) extension. It means the content of all the notes is indexed in real time and search queries return results very fast. Both Simple FTS Queries and Full-Text Index Queries are supported. See below for the list of supported queries:

One caveat of SQLite FTS is that it does not support languages which do not use Latin word boundaries (spaces, tabs, punctuation). To solve this issue, Joplin has a custom search mode, that does not use FTS, but still has all of its features (multi term search, filters, etc.). One of its drawbacks is that it can get slow on larger note collections. Also, the sorting of the results will be less accurate, as the ranking algorithm (BM25) is, for now, only implemented for FTS. Finally, in this mode there are no restrictions on using the * wildcard (swim*, *swim and ast*rix all work). This search mode is currently enabled if one of the following languages are detected:

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Thai

Supported queries

Search typeDescriptionExample
Single wordReturns all the notes that contain this term.For example, searching for cat will return all the notes that contain this exact word. Note: it will not return the notes that contain the substring - thus, for "cat", notes that contain "cataclysmic" or "prevaricate" will not be returned.
Multiple wordReturns all the notes that contain all these words, but not necessarily next to each cat - will return any notes that contain the words "dog" and "cat" anywhere in the note, no necessarily in that order nor next to each other. It will not return results that contain "dog" or "cat" only.
PhraseAdd double quotes to return the notes that contain exactly this phrase."shopping list" - will return the notes that contain these exact terms next to each other and in this order. It will not return for example a note that contains "going shopping with my list".
PrefixAdd a wildcard to return all the notes that contain a term with a specified prefix.swim* - will return all the notes that contain eg. "swim", but also "swimming", "swimsuit", etc. IMPORTANT: The wildcard can only be at the end - it will be ignored at the beginning of a word (eg. *swim) and will be treated as a literal asterisk in the middle of a word (eg. ast*rix)
Switch to basic searchOne drawback of Full Text Search is that it ignores most non-alphabetical characters. However in some cases you might want to search for this too. To do that, you can use basic search. You switch to this mode by prefixing your search with a slash /. This won't provide the benefits of FTS but it will allow searching exactly for what you need. Note that it can also be much slower, even extremely slow, depending on your query./"- [ ]" - will return all the notes that contain unchecked checkboxes.

Search filters

You can also use search filters to further restrict the search.

-If placed before a text term, it excludes the notes that contain that term. You can also place it before a filter to negate it.-spam searches for all notes without the word spam.
office -trash searches for all notes with the word office and without the word trash.
any:Return notes that satisfy any/all of the required conditions. any:0 is the default, which means all conditions must be satisfied.any:1 cat dog will return notes that have the word cat or dog.
any:0 cat dog will return notes with both the words cat and dog.
Restrict your search to just the title or the body field.title:"hello world" searches for notes whose title contains hello and world.
title:hello -body:world searches for notes whose title contains hello and body does not contain world.
tag:Restrict the search to the notes with the specified tags.tag:office searches for all notes having tag office.
tag:office tag:important searches for all notes having both office and important tags.
tag:office -tag:spam searches for notes having tag office which do not have tag spam.
any:1 tag:office tag:spam searches for notes having tag office or tag spam.
tag:be*ful does a search with wildcards.
tag:* returns all notes with tags.
-tag:* returns all notes without tags.
notebook:Restrict the search to the specified notebook(s).notebook:books limits the search scope within books and all its subnotebooks.
notebook:wheel*time does a wildcard search.
Searches for notes created/updated on dates specified using YYYYMMDD format. You can also search relative to the current day, week, month, or year.created:20201218 will return notes created on or after December 18, 2020.
-updated:20201218 will return notes updated before December 18, 2020.
created:20200118 -created:20201215 will return notes created between January 18, 2020, and before December 15, 2020.
created:202001 -created:202003 will return notes created on or after January and before March 2020.
updated:1997 -updated:2020 will return all notes updated between the years 1997 and 2019.
created:day-2 searches for all notes created in the past two days.
updated:year-0 searches all notes updated in the current year.
-due:day+7 will return all todos which are due or will be due in the next seven days.
-due:day-5 searches all todos that are overdue for more than 5 days.
type:Restrict the search to either notes or todos.type:note to return all notes
type:todo to return all todos
iscompleted:Restrict the search to either completed or uncompleted todos.iscompleted:1 to return all completed todos
iscompleted:0 to return all uncompleted todos
Filter by locationlatitude:40 -latitude:50 to return notes with latitude >= 40 and < 50
resource:Filter by attachment MIME typeresource:image/jpeg to return notes with a jpeg attachment.
-resource:application/pdf to return notes without a pdf attachment.
resource:image/* to return notes with any images.
sourceurl:Filter by source URLsourceurl:
sourceurl:* to perform a wildcard search.
id:Filter by note IDid:9cbc1b4f242043a9b8a50627508bccd5 return a note with the specified id

Note: In the CLI client you have to escape the query using -- when using negated filters.Eg. :search -- "-tag:tag1".

The filters are implicitly connected by and/or connectives depending on the following rules:

  • By default, all filters are connected by "AND".
  • To override this default behaviour, use the any filter, in which case the search terms will be connected by "OR" instead.
  • There's an exception for the notebook filters which are connected by "OR". The reason being that no note can be in multiple notebooks at once.

Incorrect search filters are interpreted as a phrase search, e.g. a misspelled filter or non-existing

Search order

Notes are sorted by "relevance". Currently it means the notes that contain the requested terms the most times are on top. For queries with multiple terms, it also matters how close to each other the terms are. This is a bit experimental so if you notice a search query that returns unexpected results, please report it in the forum, providing as many details as possible to replicate the issue.

Goto Anything

In the desktop application, press Ctrl+P or Cmd+P and type a note title or part of its content to jump to it. Or type # followed by a tag name, or @ followed by a notebook name.