Joplin is a free, open source note taking and to-do application, which can handle a large number of notes organised into notebooks. The notes are searchable, can be copied, tagged and modified with your own text editor.

Notes exported from Evernote via .enex files can be imported into Joplin, including the formatted content (which is converted to Markdown), resources (images, attachments, etc.) and complete metadata (geolocation, updated time, created time, etc.). Plain Markdown files can also be imported.

The notes can be synchronised with various targets including the file system (for example with a network directory), Nextcloud, Dropbox, OneDrive or WebDAV. When synchronising the notes, notebooks, tags and other metadata are saved to plain text files which can be easily inspected, backed up and moved around.


Operating system Method
macOS, Linux, or Windows (via WSL) Important: First, install Node 12+.

NPM_CONFIG_PREFIX=~/.joplin-bin npm install -g joplin
sudo ln -s ~/.joplin-bin/bin/joplin /usr/bin/joplin

By default, the application binary will be installed under ~/.joplin-bin. You may change this directory if needed. Alternatively, if your npm permissions are setup as described here (Option 2) then simply running npm -g install joplin would work.

To start it, type joplin.

Unsupported methods🔗

There are other ways to install the terminal application. However, they are not supported and problems must be reported to the upstream projects.

Operating system Method
Arch Linux An Arch Linux package is available here. To install it, use an AUR wrapper such as yay: yay -S joplin. Both the CLI tool (type joplin) and desktop app (type joplin-desktop) are packaged. You can also install a compiled version with the chaotic-aur repository. For support, please go to the GitHub repo.


To start the application type joplin. This will open the user interface, which has three main panes: Notebooks, Notes and the text of the current note. There are also additional panels that can be toggled on and off via shortcuts.

Input modes🔗

Joplin user interface is partly based on the text editor Vim and offers two different modes to interact with the notes and notebooks:

Normal mode🔗

Allows moving from one pane to another using the Tab and Shift-Tab keys, and to select/view notes using the arrow keys. Text area can be scrolled using the arrow keys too. Press Enter to edit a note. Various other shortcuts are available.

Command-line mode🔗

Press : to enter command line mode. From there, the Joplin commands such as mknote or search are available. See the full list of commands.

It is possible to refer to a note or notebook by title or ID. However the simplest way is to refer to the currently selected item using one of these shortcuts:

Shortcut Description
$n Refers to the currently selected note
$b Refers to the currently selected notebook
$c Refers to the currently selected item. For example, if the note list is current active, $c will refer to the currently selected note.


Create a new note with title "Wednesday's meeting":

mknote "Wednesday's meeting"

Create a new to-do:

mktodo "Buy bread"

Move the currently selected note ($n) to the notebook with title "Personal"

mv $n "Personal"

Rename the currently selected notebook ($b) to "Something":

ren $b "Something"

Attach a local file to the currently selected note ($n):

attach $n /home/laurent/pictures/Vacation12.jpg

The configuration can also be changed from command-line mode. For example, to change the current editor to Sublime Text:

config editor "subl -w"

Editing a note🔗

To edit a note, select it and press ENTER. Or, in command-line mode, type edit $n to edit the currently selected note, or edit "Note title" to edit a particular note.

Getting help🔗

The complete usage information is available from command-line mode, by typing one of these commands:

Command Description
help General help information
help keymap Lists the available shortcuts
help [command] Displays information about a particular command

If the help is not fully visible, press Tab multiple times till the console is in focus and use the arrow keys or page up/down to scroll the text.

For general information relevant to all the applications, see also Joplin home page.

Importing notes from Evernote🔗

To import Evernote data, follow these steps:

  • First, export your Evernote notebooks to ENEX files as described here.
  • In Joplin, in command-line mode, type import /path/to/file.enex. This will import the notes into a new notebook named after the filename.
  • Then repeat the process for each notebook that needs to be imported.


One of the goals of Joplin was to avoid being tied to any particular company or service, whether it is Evernote, Google or Microsoft. As such the synchronisation is designed without any hard dependency to any particular service. Most of the synchronisation process is done at an abstract level and access to external services, such as Nextcloud or Dropbox, is done via lightweight drivers. It is easy to support new services by creating simple drivers that provide a filesystem-like interface, i.e. the ability to read, write, delete and list items. It is also simple to switch from one service to another or to even sync to multiple services at once. Each note, notebook, tags, as well as the relation between items is transmitted as plain text files during synchronisation, which means the data can also be moved to a different application, can be easily backed up, inspected, etc.

Currently, synchronisation is possible with Nextcloud, WebDAV, Dropbox, OneDrive or the local filesystem. To enable synchronisation please follow the instructions below. After that, the application will synchronise in the background whenever it is running, or you can click on "Synchronise" to start a synchronisation manually. Joplin will background sync automatically after any content change is made on the local application.
If the terminal client has been installed, it is possible to also synchronise outside of the user interface by typing joplin sync from the terminal. This can be used to setup a cron script to synchronise at a regular interval. For example, this would do it every 30 minutes:

*/30 * * * * /path/to/joplin sync

Nextcloud synchronisation🔗

You will need to set the config variable and all the sync.5.path, sync.5.username and sync.5.password config variables to, respectively the Nextcloud WebDAV URL, your username and your password. This can be done from the command line mode using:

:config 5
:config sync.5.path
:config sync.5.username YOUR_USERNAME
:config sync.5.password YOUR_PASSWORD

If synchronisation does not work, please consult the logs in the app profile directory (~/.config/joplin)- it is often due to a misconfigured URL or password. The log should indicate what the exact issue is.

WebDAV synchronisation🔗

Select the "WebDAV" synchronisation target and follow the same instructions as for Nextcloud above (for the terminal application you will need to select sync target 6 rather than 5).

For WebDAV-compatible services that are known to work with Joplin see WebDAV synchronisation.

Dropbox synchronisation🔗

You will need to set the config variable from the command line mode using:

:config 7

When syncing with Dropbox, Joplin creates a sub-directory in Dropbox, in /Apps/Joplin and read/write the notes and notebooks from it. The application does not have access to anything outside this directory.

To initiate the synchronisation process, type :sync. You will be asked to follow a link to authorise the application.

Local filesystem synchronisation🔗

Local filesystem sync can be initiated after starting the joplin terminal app by using the command-line mode

:config 2
:config sync.2.path <path to local sync dir>

OneDrive synchronisation🔗

When syncing with OneDrive, Joplin creates a sub-directory in OneDrive, in /Apps/Joplin and read/write the notes and notebooks from it. The application does not have access to anything outside this directory.

To initiate the synchronisation process, type :sync. You will be asked to follow a link to authorise the application (simply input your Microsoft credentials - you do not need to register with OneDrive).


When Ctrl+Clicking a URL (or opening with the shortcut 'o' while it is highlighted), most terminals will open that URL in the default browser. However, one issue, especially with long URLs, is that they can end up like this:

Not only it makes the text hard to read, but the link, being cut in two, will also not be clickable.

As a solution Joplin tries to start a mini-server in the background and, if successful, all the links will be converted to a much shorter URL:

Since this is still an actual URL, the terminal will still make it clickable. And with shorter URLs, the text is more readable and the links unlikely to be cut. Both resources (files that are attached to notes) and external links are handled in this way.

Attachments / Resources🔗

In Markdown, links to resources are represented as a simple ID to the resource. In order to give access to these resources, they will be, like links, converted to local URLs. Clicking this link will then open a browser, which will handle the file - i.e. display the image, open the PDF file, etc.

Shell mode🔗

Commands can also be used directly from a shell. To view the list of available commands, type joplin help all. To reference a note, notebook or tag you can either use the ID (type joplin ls -l to view the ID) or by title.

For example, this will create a new note "My note" in the notebook "My notebook":

$ joplin mkbook "My notebook"
$ joplin use "My notebook"
$ joplin mknote "My note"

To view the newly created note:

$ joplin ls -l
fe889 07/12/2017 17:57 My note

Give a new title to the note:

$ joplin set fe889 title "New title"


There are two types of shortcuts: those that manipulate the user interface directly, such as TAB to move from one pane to another, and those that are simply shortcuts to actual commands. In a way similar to Vim, these shortcuts are generally a verb followed by an object. For example, typing mn ([m]ake [n]ote), is used to create a new note: it will switch the interface to command line mode and pre-fill it with mknote "" from where the title of the note can be entered. See below for the full list of default shortcuts:

:                 enter_command_line_mode
TAB               focus_next
SHIFT_TAB         focus_previous
UP                move_up
DOWN              move_down
PAGE_UP           page_up
PAGE_DOWN         page_down
ENTER             activate
(SPACE)           todo toggle $n
n                 next_link
b                 previous_link
o                 open_link
tc                toggle_console
tm                toggle_metadata
/                 search ""
mn                mknote ""
mt                mktodo ""
mb                mkbook ""
yn                cp $n ""
dn                mv $n ""

Shortcut can be configured by adding a keymap file to the profile directory in ~/.config/joplin/keymap.json. The content of this file is a JSON array with each entry defining a command and the keys associated with it.

As an example, this is the default keymap, but read below for a detailed explanation of each property.

	{ "keys": [":"], "type": "function", "command": "enter_command_line_mode" },
	{ "keys": ["TAB"], "type": "function", "command": "focus_next" },
	{ "keys": ["SHIFT_TAB"], "type": "function", "command": "focus_previous" },
	{ "keys": ["UP"], "type": "function", "command": "move_up" },
	{ "keys": ["DOWN"], "type": "function", "command": "move_down" },
	{ "keys": ["PAGE_UP"], "type": "function", "command": "page_up" },
	{ "keys": ["PAGE_DOWN"], "type": "function", "command": "page_down" },
	{ "keys": ["ENTER"], "type": "function", "command": "activate" },
	{ "keys": ["DELETE", "BACKSPACE"], "type": "function", "command": "delete" },
	{ "keys": [" "], "command": "todo toggle $n" },
	{ "keys": ["n"], "type": "function", "command": "next_link" },
	{ "keys": ["b"], "type": "function", "command": "previous_link" },
	{ "keys": ["o"], "type": "function", "command": "open_link" },
	{ "keys": ["tc"], "type": "function", "command": "toggle_console" },
	{ "keys": ["tm"], "type": "function", "command": "toggle_metadata" },
	{ "keys": ["/"], "type": "prompt", "command": "search \"\"", "cursorPosition": -2 },
	{ "keys": ["mn"], "type": "prompt", "command": "mknote \"\"", "cursorPosition": -2 },
	{ "keys": ["mt"], "type": "prompt", "command": "mktodo \"\"", "cursorPosition": -2 },
	{ "keys": ["mb"], "type": "prompt", "command": "mkbook \"\"", "cursorPosition": -2 },
	{ "keys": ["yn"], "type": "prompt", "command": "cp $n \"\"", "cursorPosition": -2 },
	{ "keys": ["dn"], "type": "prompt", "command": "mv $n \"\"", "cursorPosition": -2 }

Each entry can have the following properties:

Name Description
keys The array of keys that will trigger the action. Special keys such as page up, down arrow, etc. needs to be specified UPPERCASE. See the list of available special keys. For example, ['DELETE', 'BACKSPACE'] means the command will run if the user pressed either the delete or backspace key. Key combinations can also be provided - in that case specify them lowercase. For example "tc" means that the command will be executed when the user pressed "t" then "c". Special keys can also be used in this fashion - simply write them one after the other. For instance, CTRL_WCTRL_W means the action would be executed if the user pressed "ctrl-w ctrl-w".
type The command type. It can have the value "exec", "function" or "prompt". exec: Simply execute the provided command. For example edit $n would edit the selected note. function: Run a special commands (see below for the list of functions). prompt: A bit similar to "exec", except that the command is not going to be executed immediately - this allows the user to provide additional data. For example mknote "" would fill the command line with this command and allow the user to set the title. A prompt command can also take a cursorPosition parameter (see below)
command The command that needs to be executed
cursorPosition An integer. For prompt commands, tells where the cursor (caret) should start at. This is convenient for example to position the cursor between quotes. Use a negative value to set a position starting from the end. A value of "0" means positioning the caret at the first character. A value of "-1" means positioning it at the end.

This is the list of special functions:

Name Description
enter_command_line_mode Enter command line mode
focus_next Focus next pane (or widget)
focus_previous Focus previous pane (or widget)
move_up Move up (in a list for example)
move_down Move down (in a list for example)
page_up Page up
page_down Page down
next_link Select the next link in the currently opened note (the first link will be selected if no link is currently selected)
previous_link Select the previous link in the currently opened note (the last link will be selected if no link is currently selected)
open_link Open the currently selected link externally
activate Activates the selected item. If the item is a note for example it will be open in the editor
delete Deletes the selected item
toggle_console Toggle the console
toggle_metadata Toggle note metadata


The following commands are available in command-line mode:

attach <note> <file>

    Attaches the given file to the note.

cat <note>

    Displays the given note.

    -v, --verbose  Displays the complete information about note.

config [name] [value]

    Gets or sets a config value. If [value] is not provided, it will show the
    value of [name]. If neither [name] nor [value] is provided, it will list
    the current configuration.

    -v, --verbose         Also displays unset and hidden config variables.
    --export              Writes all settings to STDOUT as JSON including
                          secure variables.
    --import              Reads in JSON formatted settings from STDIN.
    --import-file <file>  Reads in settings from <file>. <file> must contain
                          valid JSON.

Possible keys/values:                    Synchronisation target.
                                   The target to synchronise to. Each sync
                                   target may have additional parameters which
                                   are named as `sync.NUM.NAME` (all
                                   documented below).
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: 2 (File system), 3
                                   (OneDrive), 4 (OneDrive Dev (For testing
                                   only)), 5 (Nextcloud), 6 (WebDAV), 7
                                   Default: 7

    sync.2.path                    Directory to synchronise with (absolute
                                   Attention: If you change this location,
                                   make sure you copy all your content to it
                                   before syncing, otherwise all files will be
                                   removed! See the FAQ for more details:
                                   Type: string.

    sync.5.path                    Nextcloud WebDAV URL.
                                   Attention: If you change this location,
                                   make sure you copy all your content to it
                                   before syncing, otherwise all files will be
                                   removed! See the FAQ for more details:
                                   Type: string.

    sync.5.username                Nextcloud username.
                                   Type: string.

    sync.5.password                Nextcloud password.
                                   Type: string.

    sync.6.path                    WebDAV URL.
                                   Attention: If you change this location,
                                   make sure you copy all your content to it
                                   before syncing, otherwise all files will be
                                   removed! See the FAQ for more details:
                                   Type: string.

    sync.6.username                WebDAV username.
                                   Type: string.

    sync.6.password                WebDAV password.
                                   Type: string.

    sync.maxConcurrentConnections  Max concurrent connections.
                                   Type: int.
                                   Default: 5

    locale                         Language.
                                   Please see localisation section on
                                   for info on translation completion progress
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: ar (Arabic), eu (Basque),
                                   bs_BA (Bosnian), bg_BG (Bulgarian),
                                   ca (Catalan), hr_HR (Croatian),
                                   cs_CZ (Czech), da_DK (Dansk),
                                   de_DE (Deutsch), et_EE (Eesti Keel),
                                   en_GB (English (UK)), en_US (English (US)),
                                   es_ES (Español), eo (Esperanto),
                                   fi_FI (Finnish), fr_FR (Français),
                                   gl_ES (Galician), id_ID (Indonesian),
                                   it_IT (Italiano), nl_BE (Nederlands),
                                   nl_NL (Nederlands), nb_NO (Norwegian),
                                   fa (Persian), pl_PL (Polski),
                                   pt_PT (Português),
                                   pt_BR (Português (Brasil)), ro (Română),
                                   sl_SI (Slovenian), sv (Svenska),
                                   th_TH (Thai), vi (Tiếng Việt),
                                   tr_TR (Türkçe), el_GR (Ελληνικά),
                                   ru_RU (Русский), sr_RS (српски језик),
                                   zh_CN (中文 (简体)), zh_TW (中文 (繁體)),
                                   ja_JP (日本語), ko (한국말).
                                   Default: "en_GB"

    dateFormat                     Date format.
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: DD/MM/YYYY (30/01/2017),
                                   DD/MM/YY (30/01/17), MM/DD/YYYY
                                   (01/30/2017), MM/DD/YY (01/30/17),
                                   YYYY-MM-DD (2017-01-30), DD.MM.YYYY
                                   (30.01.2017), YYYY.MM.DD (2017.01.30),
                                   YYMMDD (170130).
                                   Default: "DD/MM/YYYY"

    timeFormat                     Time format.
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: HH:mm (20:30), h:mm A
                                   (8:30 PM).
                                   Default: "HH:mm"

    uncompletedTodosOnTop          Uncompleted to-dos on top.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: true

    showCompletedTodos             Show completed to-dos.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: true

    notes.sortOrder.field          Sort notes by.
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: user_updated_time (Updated
                                   date), user_created_time (Created date),
                                   title (Title).
                                   Default: "user_updated_time"

    notes.sortOrder.reverse        Reverse sort order.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: true

    folders.sortOrder.field        Sort notebooks by.
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: title (Title),
                                   last_note_user_updated_time (Updated date).
                                   Default: "title"

    folders.sortOrder.reverse      Reverse sort order.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: false

    trackLocation                  Save geo-location with notes.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: true

    sync.interval                  Synchronisation interval.
                                   Type: Enum.
                                   Possible values: 0 (Disabled), 300 (5
                                   minutes), 600 (10 minutes), 1800 (30
                                   minutes), 3600 (1 hour), 43200 (12 hours),
                                   86400 (24 hours).
                                   Default: 300

    editor                         Text editor command.
                                   The editor command (may include arguments)
                                   that will be used to open a note. If none
                                   is provided it will try to auto-detect the
                                   default editor.
                                   Type: string.

    net.customCertificates         Custom TLS certificates.
                                   Comma-separated list of paths to
                                   directories to load the certificates from,
                                   or path to individual cert files. For
                                   example: /my/cert_dir, /other/custom.pem.
                                   Note that if you make changes to the TLS
                                   settings, you must save your changes before
                                   clicking on "Check synchronisation
                                   Type: string.

    net.ignoreTlsErrors            Ignore TLS certificate errors.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: false

    sync.wipeOutFailSafe           Fail-safe: Do not wipe out local data when
                                   sync target is empty (often the result of a
                                   misconfiguration or bug).
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: true

    revisionService.enabled        Enable note history.
                                   Type: bool.
                                   Default: true

    revisionService.ttlDays        Keep note history for.
                                   Type: int.
                                   Default: 90

cp <note> [notebook]

    Duplicates the notes matching <note> to [notebook]. If no notebook is
    specified the note is duplicated in the current notebook.

done <note>

    Marks a to-do as done.

e2ee <command> [path]

    Manages E2EE configuration. Commands are `enable`, `disable`, `decrypt`,
    `status`, `decrypt-file` and `target-status`.

    -p, --password <password>  Use this password as master password (For
                               security reasons, it is not recommended to use
                               this option).
    -v, --verbose              More verbose output for the `target-status`
    -o, --output <directory>   Output directory

edit <note>

    Edit note.

export <path>

    Exports Joplin data to the given path. By default, it will export the
    complete database including notebooks, notes, tags and resources.

    --format <format>      Destination format: jex (Joplin Export File), raw
                           (Joplin Export Directory), json (Json Export
                           Directory), md (Markdown), html (HTML File), html
                           (HTML Directory)
    --note <note>          Exports only the given note.
    --notebook <notebook>  Exports only the given notebook.

geoloc <note>

    Displays a geolocation URL for the note.

help [command]

    Displays usage information.

import <path> [notebook]

    Imports data into Joplin.

    --format <format>  Source format: auto, jex, md, raw, enex, enex
    -f, --force        Do not ask for confirmation.

ls [note-pattern]

    Displays the notes in the current notebook. Use `ls /` to display the list
    of notebooks.

    -n, --limit <num>      Displays only the first top <num> notes.
    -s, --sort <field>     Sorts the item by <field> (eg. title, updated_time,
    -r, --reverse          Reverses the sorting order.
    -t, --type <type>      Displays only the items of the specific type(s).
                           Can be `n` for notes, `t` for to-dos, or `nt` for
                           notes and to-dos (eg. `-tt` would display only the
                           to-dos, while `-ttd` would display notes and
    -f, --format <format>  Either "text" or "json"
    -l, --long             Use long list format. Format is ID, NOTE_COUNT (for
                           notebook), DATE, TODO_CHECKED (for to-dos), TITLE

mkbook <new-notebook>

    Creates a new notebook.

mknote <new-note>

    Creates a new note.

mktodo <new-todo>

    Creates a new to-do.

mv <note> [notebook]

    Moves the notes matching <note> to [notebook].

ren <item> <name>

    Renames the given <item> (note or notebook) to <name>.

rmbook <notebook>

    Deletes the given notebook.

    -f, --force  Deletes the notebook without asking for confirmation.

rmnote <note-pattern>

    Deletes the notes matching <note-pattern>.

    -f, --force  Deletes the notes without asking for confirmation.

server <command>

    Start, stop or check the API server. To specify on which port it should
    run, set the api.port config variable. Commands are (start|stop|status).
    This is an experimental feature - use at your own risks! It is recommended
    that the server runs off its own separate profile so that no two CLI
    instances access that profile at the same time. Use --profile to specify
    the profile path.

set <note> <name> [value]

    Sets the property <name> of the given <note> to the given [value].
    Possible properties are:

    parent_id (text), title (text), body (text), created_time (int),
    updated_time (int), is_conflict (int), latitude (numeric), longitude
    (numeric), altitude (numeric), author (text), source_url (text), is_todo
    (int), todo_due (int), todo_completed (int), source (text),
    source_application (text), application_data (text), order (int),
    user_created_time (int), user_updated_time (int), encryption_cipher_text
    (text), encryption_applied (int), markup_language (int), is_shared (int)


    Displays summary about the notes and notebooks.


    Synchronises with remote storage.

    --target <target>  Sync to provided target (defaults to config

tag <tag-command> [tag] [note]

    <tag-command> can be "add", "remove", "list", or "notetags" to assign or
    remove [tag] from [note], to list notes associated with [tag], or to list
    tags associated with [note]. The command `tag list` can be used to list
    all the tags (use -l for long option).

    -l, --long  Use long list format. Format is ID, NOTE_COUNT (for notebook),
                DATE, TODO_CHECKED (for to-dos), TITLE

todo <todo-command> <note-pattern>

    <todo-command> can either be "toggle" or "clear". Use "toggle" to toggle
    the given to-do between completed and uncompleted state (If the target is
    a regular note it will be converted to a to-do). Use "clear" to convert
    the to-do back to a regular note.

undone <note>

    Marks a to-do as non-completed.

use <notebook>

    Switches to [notebook] - all further operations will happen within this


    Displays version information


Copyright (c) 2016-2021 Laurent Cozic

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.