In a world where beautiful, hyper-connected, note-taking apps pollute the landscape, one app stands alone in its lightweight simplicity: Windows Notepad. This is why it is still an excellent choice for taking notes.
The Benefits of Notepad
The modest Windows Notepad has been with us for 35 years and has been in every version of Windows since Windows 1
Even today, Notepad is still a useful tool for taking quick notes. on your computer. Of course, there are specialized note-taking apps that support more advanced formatting, data structuring, or cloud-based synchronization across platforms. But for some people, the extra features just mean extra baggage that they'd rather not handle. This is why Notepad is still great.
It's fast and lightweight
If you want to write something down, you want to do it quickly while the idea is still fresh. That way, Notepad shines. Click the Notepad icon and the program will appear on the screen in an instant. You don't have to wait for libraries and fancy features to load into memory before you can start using the program. When inspiration strikes, every moment counts and Notepad is ready to capture your ideas.
Besides, if you want a quick way to time your notes with Notepad, just press F5, and the current date and time will be inserted directly into your file.
It uses a future-proof storage format
Text files are as old as PCs themselves (older actually), and as long as Windows are text files to an industry standard format as ASCII or Unicode writes, it is very likely that you can read your notes on any computer platform well into the future. Other programs write their specially formatted notes in proprietary file formats or even databases that may not be easy to read in the future.
RELATED: What Are Character Codes Like ANSI and Unicode, And How Do They Differ?
You're in control
Notepad allows you to save your notes (as text files) exactly where you want them, and you have no one but your operating system to answer how you organize, copy or back it up. You can migrate your notes to another app by opening them in any app that understands text files.
If you use a note-taking app, your notes may be locked behind a paid subscription account and stored in the cloud. The company that stores the data is the gatekeeper of your ideas.
If the app stores data locally in a non-obvious location on your hard drive in its own format and a future disaster recovery scenario pulls you through the axis of your data, it will be difficult to enter your own notes data Find and restore File Explorer.
Privacy and Security Are Yours
With cloud-synced note-taking apps, your notes are distributed over the Internet and are visible on any device with the app. That means there are more potential ways to access that data out of your sight, including accidentally from family or friends who may borrow your device from time to time.
Also, your cloud-synced notes are often stored on remote servers behind a publicly accessible login, which means your credentials can be stolen and your data accessible from anywhere on Earth. One vulnerability in your account and all of your potentially sensitive or private notes will be visible to them.
With a text file in Notepad, the data is completely in your hands, stored on your local device. As long as you follow safe computer habits and keep your computer safe, the text file won't go anywhere unless you copy it first.
Dealing With The Drawbacks Of Notepad
We love Notepad, but we can't say that this is always the best solution for everyone. For convenience, you can choose another app. But there are also ways to address Notepad's shortcomings.
No fancy text formatting
It's true: if you need text formatting features like bold, italics, or changing font sizes, Notepad isn't the solution. However, for easy formatting you can use symbols and punctuation marks. Asterisks are great bullets, tabs can form indented lists, ALL uppercase letters serve as good headers, and repeated dashes or equal signs make great line separators. And don't forget the classic _addition emphasis_ with the underscore.
If you really can't live without bold text, try WordPad. If you need chic pagination, try a word processing app like Microsoft Word.
RELATED: What's the Difference Between Notepad and WordPad in Windows?
No cloud Synchronization or backup
If you prefer to work in the medium with text format and also want cloud backup or synchronization options, save your Notepad text files in a cloud file service such as Dropbox or OneDrive. Every time you click save in Notepad, your changes will end up on any device using the cloud app.
No Encryption or Account-Based Security
Of course, text files aren't locked behind an encrypted account by default – unless you store them in an encrypted file partition managed by something like VeraCrypt or Microsoft & # 39; s Bitlocker. And if you'd rather restrict access to your notes with a password, there are other ways to keep the notes private, including not allowing people you don't trust to use your computer.
Lack of a search function
Of course, you can search a text file with Notepad by pressing Ctrl + F to open the Search dialog box. But what if you have 500 text files and you need to find information in one of them? In that case, Windows Search will come to your aid so you can search within as many text files as you want.
No organizational features
If you want to organize your notes by concept or date, create a logical folder structure in File Explorer and copy your text file to the correct location.
Using Notepad to Take Notes
Why Not Try Notepad Now? It's easy: just click the "Start" button, type "Notepad", hit Enter and you're good to go.
You may be surprised at the ease with which you can go directly to notes whenever you want.