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Should you trust workplace or generic notes apps?

If you have a relatively new smartphone or use a computer for work, then you will almost certainly have access to some kind of generic note taking or HR monitoring software.

These generic platforms are great for simple notes or for reporting on day-to-day business activates… but be careful.

Using a generic notes app or workplace software reduces your ability to protect your notes or retain control over what action you want to take

Unfortunately, when it comes to sensitive, private and potentially legal situations there are a few limitations with using generic software. We asked an expert to explain some of the key areas to watch out for if using generic note apps or workplace software.

  1. Passwords: Many generic note apps rely on the smartphones general passcode. This means that often if the phone is unlocked, then so is all the content in a generic notes app. This is particularly concerning if a partner has access to your device password, or someone is spying on your device password. In a workplace scenario a boss or employer may have a legal right to access your work device or your workplace computer without your permission.
  2. Loss of control: If you use a work device or save information on work software, sometimes what you save becomes the property of the organisation or employer. If the organisation somehow becomes aware of harassment or bullying based on your notes, they may be legally compelled to act, even if you are not ready to make an official complaint or don’t want to get involved.
  3. Issues with editing: Generic notes apps allow users an almost endless amount of options when it comes to editing. This is bad news if you are keeping notes of something sensitive with potentially serious or legal consequences. You could accidentally delete important information, become confused and incorrectly edit a note, plus there is always going to be questions about timelines around when you actually observed or became aware of the content in your notes.
  4. Issues with memory: Research confirms that trauma impacts on a persons memory. As generic notes allow for users to change and edit content within notes, it opens the potential for timeline confusion which can lead to an overall decline in memory confidence.



If you want to use generic note apps, they are great for saving a favourite recipe, making a shopping list or jotting down ideas. However, when it comes to sensitive topics or keeping a record of something important, we recommend you give WordWitness a try.

WordWitness is available on Apple AppStore and Google Play.