Atom: You have to build it bit by bit.
February 28, 2019

Atom: You have to build it bit by bit.

Matthew Deakyne | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Atom

Atom is being used by select individuals at the University of Kansas, and not by the organization as a whole. Its used primarily as a simple text editor, but can be configured to be used as a full IDE. It is highly configurable to domain-specific problems, but its core competency is text editing.
  • Highly configurable. Atom has packages that can be managed through the application or via command line. This gives it incredible power for advanced users.
  • Blank Start. Atom opens up by default to a blank note page which can be saved anywhere. It can also be used to open projects, but sometimes notes aren't attached to specific projects. This is useful for quick notes.
  • Run anywhere. Due to it being an electron application, Atom can run on Windows/Mac and Linux. This is incredibly powerful, and a surprising differentiator for a desktop application.
  • Lack of sync. Atom doesn't have sync built in. I know this can be configured to work with Dropbox or Git, but web applications that sync have a clear advantage.
  • Lack of mobile. Not all notes are taken on a computer, and several other note taking apps have an option to take and review notes on a phone.
  • Lack of built-in IDE features. Atom can be configured to be an IDE, but other applications are IDEs by default. It takes a good amount of configuration to bring atom up to that level.
  • Atom hasn't really affected the business objectives at our institution. It's an option, but one of many to edit text.
  • The real ROI comes from staff being comfortable working in the way they see fit. The standardization happens outside of the choice of text editor (IDE/Version Control/DevOps).
  • I could easily not use Atom and have no difficulty completing my work.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Code
  • Notepad++
  • TextEdit
Atom is better than Notepad++ in that it can be used on a Mac. I much prefer Notepad++'s integration of macros for text manipulation, though. It also handily defeats TextEdit.

MS Visual Studio Code is better for developers, and may just require rethinking where notes go by default. Atom makes it easier to just take a note - but VS Code is better at everything else.
Atom is great for people that need a desktop text editor, and who like to customize their experience. It's incredibly powerful and serves as a good backup to a full-fledged IDE. It probably won't appeal to those that have to do complex development work, or to those that prefer a web-experience due to the automated syncing.