Synchronise Your Offline Notes Across All Devices Without the Cloud

TagSpaces with Syncthing is the combination you have been looking for

Syncthing to the rescue

I have been using Syncthing, for a good while now to access my TagSpaces notes on all my devices, and I have recently written about this (again). When a commenter (the commenter at the time of writing for that is the sole comment right now) asked about the viability of Syncthing to be used to sync TagSpaces notes, I had the bright idea to write about it.

Installing the thing of sync

There are many ways you can install the application, and it will mostly depend on your platform. Syncthing’s community contributions page details all the ways you can get the thing, depending on your OS. On Android, you can get official and unofficial clients from the Play Store, on iOS, you can check out the unofficial Möbius Sync client or you can try the official beta via TestFlight (see their forum post for details). On Desk/Lap based devices, you get good video instructions for installing the official package for Debian based Linux distros and for Windows as well. It might be a bit of work (nothing excessive), but it’s well worth the effort.

Syncing with the thing

So, navigating to the Web GUI address will present you with a default folder and no connections.

Syncing connected locations from TagSpaces

With Syncthing installed, stuff you access in TagSpaces no longer needs to be device-specific. I primarily use TagSpaces for note taking, so syncing notes is the main concern for me but, of course, all your files, bookmarks, tagged photos and meta-data from all of your connected locations can be synchronised similarly between all your devices. The thing needs a one-time setup (for each new device), and is automatic afterwards, making it quite painless.

Adding Folders

While you can do this in any way you like, my approach is to add a main device, that being my desktop PC that’s usually on, which serves as the “central storage” for everything (taking the place of th cloud server), from which I sync to other devices (a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet) selectively. E.g. the phone only gets the notes, but not the drawings from the tablet, while the laptop also receives files I only use on the computers.

Adding devices

Of course, you need to add your devices as well. For mobile apps, this can be as simple as scanning the QR code of the main device (Actions > Show ID), and configuring the local folder.

Sit back and relax

So that’s mostly it, syncronisation would soon start, and while it might take a few minutes for very large folders, it is usually quite fast, especially for text based notes and smaller files.

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