One of the features that our users love the most is the way the notes sync between devices. If you open your Standard Notes app in multiple devices with a stable internet connection, then edits on one device will almost instantly show up on your other devices. Many note-taking apps can sync your notes between all your devices, but Standard Notes takes this a step further by always syncing with end-to-end encryption.

In this post, we'll explain how you can use these features to make Standard Notes a secure, private tool for collaborating on any type of written content.

If you're unsure about what you want to collaborate on, here are some ideas: class notes, books, journals, letters, articles, blog posts, valuable code, business plans, financial spreadsheets, to-do lists, song lyrics, plays, poems, Tweets, and Instagram captions.

Step 1: Create an account

The first thing you'll need to do is download the app or open the web app and create an account. Since you're sharing the account, you'll want to use an email address that you're willing to share with your collaborator. You won't need to share access to your email inbox, just the email address itself.

If you are already using your email for another Standard Notes account, such as your personal account, then you may want to consider using subaddressing to create your team account.

Then, make sure you use a very strong password (at least 20 random numbers, letters, and symbols) or passphrase (a combination of words, numbers and symbols).

Step 2: Share the account

After you've created the account, use an end-to-end encrypted communications platform such as Signal or ProtonMail to share your email address and password with your collaborators.

If your collaborators don't want to give you their email address or phone number, you can use an end-to-end encrypted file-sharing service such as Standard Notes FileSend or Firefox Send.

Once you and your collaborators have received the password and stored it in a safe place, such as a password manager like Bitwarden, delete the messages containing the password.

Step 3: Enjoy end-to-end encrypted collaboration

After you and your collaborators have received the password, then you're ready to work together in a new secure, private place. 😊

If you're serious about using Standard Notes for end-to-end encrypted collaboration, you may consider purchasing an Extended subscription to get full access to all our editors, cloud backup, and night mode.

With Extended, you can expand your collaboration efforts with support for markdown, rich text, to-do lists, spreadsheets, and two-factor codes. With our Bold Editor, you can embed images, videos, and audio recordings directly into your notes.

Then, if you want to share your content with the public, you can easily publish individual notes onto with a custom domain and a managed SSL certificate.

Your Extended account and notes accounts are separate, so if your collaboration ends, you can change the password and keep your Extended subscription for your next collaboration.

Account Management

The email address associated with your notes account cannot be changed, but since you and your collaborators are sharing it, each of you are able to change the password associated with it. Your Extended account is separate from your notes account and does not have a password.

If you're careful about how you share your password with your collaborators and trust that your collaborators won't share it, then you can be sure that they are the only ones that know it. However, we currently do not have a way to check how many devices are logged into your notes account or from where.

One positive side of this is that your metadata is limited. We don't know who's collaborating or even how many people are collaborating, which makes Standard Notes an even more private experience. We're working hard to improve session management while maintaining that level of confidentiality, and we hope to have more updates on this in the future.

We hope this tutorial can get you started on more private collaboration. 😄

Bonus Tips:

  • To keep track of many accounts with passwords, you can use a password manager such as Bitwarden. Like Standard Notes, Bitwarden is free, open-source and syncs your passwords between your devices with end-to-end encryption. You can also share your passwords using Bitwarden Organizations.
  • If you have a personal notes account and a shared account, you can work on both of them from one device by using the desktop app and the web app.

This post was originally published on the Standard Notes Blog. Standard Notes is a free, open-source, and completely encrypted notes app.

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