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I have a server. I'd really like to be able to log into a website that I host and do something like take notes for a class, record some thought, etc. Is there any software that would allow me to do this?

I'm thinking something sort of like google docs, but note-taking oriented. Also, I want to host the software myself.

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How is this cloud computing? – hyperslug Sep 11 '09 at 19:19
I'm with @hyperslug. This is more about "Any open source or platform that can be utilized for building a note-taking web application". If you deploy that application in multiple servers, then it will become the "cloud" in some sense. – codingbear Sep 16 '09 at 22:16
@bLee, for me, using multiple servers does not turn an application into cloud computing. I think is a fine example of cloud computing, even if it's only installed on my home computer and only used by myself from some location elsewhere on the internet. Of course, hosting a cloud is impossible altogether ;) – Arjan Sep 16 '09 at 22:39

10 Answers 10

You could set up your own personal wiki.

Some links with relevant info:

I'd suggest one of the online note-taking platforms listed here, but you wouldn't be able to host them yourself. Hence the wiki suggestion -- projects like Instiki are well-suited to this.

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Also, if you're running Apache, you could protect the wiki with some basic authorization:… – Nathaniel Sep 11 '09 at 17:49

For a dead simple, very portable (can host on a webserver, harddrive, usb drive or whatever), you should take a look at TiddlyWiki. It's a wiki created with javascript and html so it's all browser based and pretty easy to use.

From my experience, ease of use is king in note taking, the easier it is to access and create notes, the more you will use the application. If you have to spend all your time configuring and maintaining your note taking app, you'll lose any time you saved by using it in the first place.

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If are looking to take notes and getting organized, I would suggest Tracks GTD. This has the added benefit of being able to turn notes into actionable items. The interface is simple and has a mobile web based version as well.

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I realize you're looking for software such as programs and the like for hosting your own apps. But if I could stray from your post and bring up a minor side point:

If you're doing it (hosting your own server) from home, odds are.. you'll need some sort of dynamic DNS service.

Dynamic DNS is a method, protocol, or network service that provides the capability for a networked device, such as a router or computer system using the Internet Protocol Suite, to notify a domain name server to change, in real time (ad-hoc) the active DNS configuration of its configured hostnames, addresses or other information stored in DNS.

There are a few vendors out there that do Dynamic DNS and most . I've used DynDNS as they offer free Dynamic DNS but use their own array of domain names to choose from. I'm sure there are other providers who may offer better features and what not, but just keep Dynamic DNS in mind as it will make your cloud a little easier to access.

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don't worry about the dns stuff, I have that figure out. – devin Sep 11 '09 at 19:10
Ok, just thought I should bring it up. ;) – osij2is Sep 11 '09 at 20:44

simplest way to host your own personal Mediawiki installation:

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I was in the same process of finding a solution for a note-oriented web application and found

It's quick and easy to use, and is desktop installable. The best feature for me was that it can interlink notes for quick access. You can get a free account with 30 MB storage with export functions to e.g. Excel, and there's a desktop version too.

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I'm not sure what you're looking for (and the title of this very question recently changed, which I find makes the existing answers quite confusing). Just in case you don't really care about hosting it yourself, then you might want to take a look at as well -- if you didn't already. One nice feature: it even does text recognition (OCR) in images you upload. – Arjan Sep 22 '09 at 10:09
A check of returned this: has shut down. You can download your notebooks until March 14th, 2010. – GreenMatt Mar 9 '10 at 19:34

Depending on the nature of your notes and workflow... I'd go for BitNami Tracks if organizer/planner's features might become handy , or just Dokuwiki for a sort of wiki aproach... In both cases the Bitnami installers take care of the complex steps, and have it all integrated, it's easier to have it up and running (in just some mins, through an installer-wizzard). You can install it in your Mac, Windows, or Linux. (or even in a VM, in the cloud, etc)

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+1 to Millhouse's answer. I think TiddlyWiki is a great little app. To add simplicity, you can use TiddlyWiki with a WYSIWYG plugin.

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I'm not sure what your definition of "note-taking" is. Lots of people use a blog like Blogger or WordPress for this purpose, because the interface is simpler than Google docs or Google Sites. Blogger's "custom domain" option serves the blog pages from your own server.

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A bit outdated since the question was altered, and for me it's mostly fun and not really usable, but that is a matter of taste: eyeos. (Or see the demo.)

(I especially would like a way to keep the session running after closing the browser. It would also be good if browsing through eyeos is proxied over the server. The latter is possible, but more like a proof of concept. The new eyeos 2.0 was delayed a bit, but it's available since February 1st, 2010. My highlights: collaboration on documents, and (upcoming?) synchronisation of files, contacts and agendas with your home computer. The demo/public server at has not been updated yet.)

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I'm really looking for an application, not an full blown os. I also want to avoid virtualization. – devin Sep 11 '09 at 19:10

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