When it comes to organising myself, I've long been anachronistic. I've relied upon paper notebooks for most of my life. In the last 15 years I've stuck to a particular type of diary/notebook hybrid, with a week-to-view on the left-hand side of pages and lined notebook pages on the right.

This worked well for me for my own personal stuff but obviously didn't work well for family things that need to be shared. Trying to find systems that work for both my wife and I has proven really challenging. The best we've come up with so far is a shared (IMAP) account and Apple's notes apps.

On iOS, Apple's low-frills note-taking app lets you synchronise your notes with a mail account (over IMAP). It stores them individually in HTML format, one email per note page, in a mailbox called "Notes". You can set up note syncing to the same account from multiple devices, and so we have a "family" mailbox set up on both my phone and my wife's. I can also get at the notes using any other mail client if I need to.

This works surprisingly well, but not perfectly. In particular synchronising changes to notes can go wrong if we both have the same note page open at the same time. The failure mode is not the worst: it duplicates the note into two; but it's still a problem.

Can anyone recommend a simple, more robust system for sharing notes — and task lists — between people? For task lists, it would be lovely (but not essential) if we could tick things off. At the moment we manage that just as free-form text.


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I don't know about iOS, but I assume it's supported in some way because I actually run Apple's calendarserver underneath - I've been using (non-shared) OpenTasks on Android, connected to the DAV server with DAVx5. I suppose you could run nextcloud instead of calendarserver.

Calendarserver does support account groups and shared folders, but I haven't tried - you could probably just add another account that you share instead though, like you did with the IMAP.

Comment by Johannes,
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Todoist works well for me; it's one of many todo apps, but the one that has "clicked" for me and replaced my former paper lists (after years of try and error).

The free version has shared projects where you can add, change, delete, assign and tick off tasks; (only) in shared projects you can also add comments ("notes") to tasks without buying the premium version. We share tasks, shopping lists and notes this way.

It has a web app and apps for Android and iPhone - but of course it's a closed-source cloud based solution you can't host yourself.

Comment by -thh,
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I recommend you to go through lists of applications such as you can find on Nextcloud or Yunohst. It can give you ideas and suggestions on what could you test, being sure it's free software
Comment by Anonymous,
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Have you tried nextcloud notes & tasks? Havent tried notes sharing so far (i think you might experience duplicates as well when opening same shared note), but tasks works just fine, havent experienced any issues so far.. and there's lots of other useful things in it if you like.. file sharing, calendars, contacts, etc..
Comment by dimitrist,
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Hello, you can set up a secured Taskwarrior server and sync it with client available for Android, IOS, desktop linux (gui and cli) and so on. Didn't test the IOS app, but on Android the app is quite user friendly (no cli at all :)) There are also some nice gnome shell plugin to add count of TODOs in your status bar. NB: Taskwarrior is an advanced TODO list, primarily aimed to be used by cli but a lot of additionnal client exists in many language. ++

Comment by TmC,
comment 5

I just started using a combination of Syncthing & Markor. It works reasonably well.

I even use a vim plugin on my PC which is nice. Markor uses todo.txt which is well supported and the app allows priorities and checking off items.

A bit more of a learning curve than I would like but being a standard file format allows lots of options going forward.

Comment by J,