Paprika: Bare-bones Note-taking


Like a lot of my WWD colleagues, I’ve been using Evernote to take notes and write drafts, Sometimes it feels like overkill, though, and while the desktop and iPhone (s aapl) apps work well, I’m not wild about its somewhat-cluttered web interface. I’ve also been experimenting with the Notational Velocity/Simplenote combo recommended by Simon, as well as Toodledo and its interface with Pocket Informant. But there is something appealing about a simple, no-frills, web-based system for creating notes and to-dos. That’s the niche that Paprika is trying to fill. As I worked with it, I came to the conclusion that Paprika is missing too many features for my needs, although some web workers may find its simplicity convenient.

When you log in, you are presented with a very simple, almost stark, interface. All of your content is displayed under “Projects.” Don’t let the “project” name fool you — Paprika is not a project management system in the way that Basecamp and its many competitors are. Each “project” is just a text document.

In fact, Paprika doesn’t have a WYSIWYG editor. You can do some formatting of documents using Textile. This markup language may be familiar, as some of its conventions, like underscores for italics and asterisks for bold, have made their way into general use.

Paprika doesn’t offer full-text searching. You can only search for certain elements, such as Twitter-style #hashtags, dates, and to-do items (which are created by entering a dash at the beginning of a line).

Projects can be shared with others; the app creates short links when requested. However, anyone who has the link can edit — there is no way to assign different permission levels.

Paprika is web-only. It doesn’t sync to other platforms, and it doesn’t have a desktop or smartphone app. It doesn’t even have an export function, although it does interact with Jumpchart and Staction, both of which are produced by the same company as Paprika.

The free version of Paprika allows creation of up to ten projects, and includes 5MB of storage. For $5 per month, upgraded accounts are available that allow 25 active projects and 250MB of storage. Some web workers may like Paprika’s simple text-based interface, but I find other, more robust, alternatives to be more useful.

How do you manage notes, dates, and to-dos?

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Enabling the Web Work Revolution


Charles Hamilton

Rob and Curt,
I agree that Evernote is a great option. As I said, I use it myself. But some people may not need all of its features. Or they may not want to look at Evernote’s ads, or pay for the ad-free version.

Curt Harpold

The more I use Evernote, the more I like it.

I have to agree about the web interface – I almost never use it. It’s great on my desktop, iPhone, and iPad, though!

Charlotte Plott

Using my PC, note taking is super easy with OneNote, Windows. It syncs with other PC’s in my office. Can be used off line to take notes at meetings. Format is setup like the spiral Notebooks we used for classes, a new notebook for each topic, with pages within the notebook.
It is my favorite tool now and I recommend it. OneNote – free.

Charlotte Plott

Hi KS – you are absolutely right, my mistake. I did have to purchase OneNote. I love using it so much – I just forgot. To me, it is worth every penny. Thank you for correcting me!

Rob Woodbridge

Why not just use Evernote? With web, desktop and mobile synching and the ability to search handwritten and text-based docs — all for free — it is hard to beat as a note-taking offering.

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