An Insight a Day

Why I Use Signal as a Note Capturing App

Ever since WhatsApp updated its privacy policy, lots of people have now migrated to alternative apps like Signal, which is great because I vastly prefer Signal over WhatsApp.

Unfortunately, most people I know are still on WhatsApp so it’ll probably take a while before the network effect kicks in. And more importantly, smartphone makers need to whitelist Signal (like they currently do for WhatsApp) and prevent battery optimization from killing it to allow Signal to function properly, but that’s a topic for another time.

So the funny thing is, I started using Signal as my note capturing app of choice. Let me explain, there are three criteria I look for when looking for a note capturing app.

  1. The app has to be fast.
  2. It has to be able to work offline.
  3. It has to be secure/encrypted and be able to sync between multiple devices or platforms without sync issues or conflicts.

While I’ve tried several note-taking apps in the past, most of them simply don’t work well for quickly capturing notes on the go. Some are slow to open while others have syncing issues when working offline.

Interestingly, Signal satisfies all the criteria I’m looking for. It’s a fast messaging app with a Note to Self feature that lets me send notes to myself. I can send a note from my phone while offline and it will sync to my laptop/tablet later when I’m online. It’s secure/encrypted, and unlike other note-taking apps, you can’t edit your notes after sending, which eliminates sync issues or conflicts.

It’s not perfect since I can’t edit my notes unless I copy and resend them as new notes, and I also can’t sort or organize or edit my notes without first transferring them to a proper note-taking app. But in exchange, I can see the exact time and date for when I took each note, and I can mark each note with an emoji for my own reference.

It’s unexpected but so far, I’ve found signal to be a pretty good note capturing app for my specific use cases. Give it a try!

How do you capture your notes on the go? Do you have any specific workflow or apps you use?