26 votes

What is your note taking workflow?

Hi,

I'm wondering how and if you're taking notes and how you manage them. I feel like I can't get to the right solution. I want something open and own my data, so I tend to prefer plain text / markdown files and I want to manage them on my own for privacy reasons but still be able to sync and edit them on my mobile device (iOS), desktop (macOS) and ideally online and also have full text search.

I know about Microsoft OneNote, Google Docs/Keep, Evernote - but I just can't overcome myself to use them since it's hard to impossible to get data out of there.

Right now I'm hosting my own git repository with gitea.io and I'm able to edit my notes on the web, on my desktop (using git clone/pull/commit/push) and with a git client (working copy) on my phone. The downside: I need to manually commit and push my changes and also pull them, it's not really in sync.

49 comments

  1. [9]
    mftrhu
    (edited )
    Link
    Well. I went through a few iterations before settling on what I am currently using. I started out using TiddlyWiki, back in 2009-2010, if not earlier. I was using TiddlyWiki Classic with quite a...

    What is your note taking workflow

    Well.

    I went through a few iterations before settling on what I am currently using.

    I started out using TiddlyWiki, back in 2009-2010, if not earlier. I was using TiddlyWiki Classic with quite a few plugins, and used two - maybe three? - such wikis, to keep notes on tabletop RPGs, on my courses, and as personal journal. I like TiddlyWiki quite a bit, but the safety measures built in modern browsers have more-or-less crippled it (save functionality used to work out of the box, then required a .jar, then a browser extension, then Quantum came out...), and browsers are in any case pretty bad editors.

    I tried a few different conventional wikis after that: DokuWiki, the ridiculously lightweight AwkiAwki and CiWiki, and probably a few others. I never liked them that much: I need to run a server for them, which means that, even if they store their data on the filesystem, I'm forced to stare at the raw markup when on my phone away from home. And wiki markup looks ugly to me.

    I was just keeping my notes in random markdown files by then. I wanted a simple solution, something that could compile a pile'o'files into HTML that I could browse on my phone, and I ended up rolling my own: I started out with a simple markdown to HTML script written in Awk and a Makefile, which slowly evolved into a shell-and-awk pipeline which supported backlinks, tags, mathematical equations (thanks to the Groff eqn being able of spitting out MathML), and references (I was actually using the refer format, but it was parsed by my own Awk script).

    It worked well enough, but I wasn't really satisfied with it.

    I tried out org-mode with org-wiki briefly, but I was still new to Emacs, and I went back to my own awiki for... maybe a year. By then, I felt comfortable enough with elisp to hack something up, and I started transitioning to org-mode fully (I was already using it, but mostly for the agenda and for quick notes on the go with Orgzly).

    Even if I'm eyeing a few other solutions, I'm using org-mode right now, and I have been using it for the last year.

    My wiki contains 170 pages, 117k words, and thousands of links. It doesn't have search - I use grep for it - but it's still small enough that I can usually find what I'm looking for in instants. It's organized pretty roughly - the top pages are Computers, Culture (which should probably be called Arts), Science, Society, World. There are a lot of uncategorized pages, as I mostly access them through org-wiki-helm.

    If I'm on my laptop, I add to it immediately, commit the changes to git with magit, and then run make to compile it to static HTML, which Syncthing syncs over to my phone.

    If I'm on my phone, I capture the link or snippet to org-mode with orgzly. Everything gets dumped into a @Capture.org file, which I then sort through when on my laptop, organizing the entries into a date tree, and copying the links/snippets over their appropriate wiki page.

    I also keep an A5 notebook by my desk, but I mostly use it for quick sketches, and anything really important gets moved to my wiki as soon as possible.

    But, again, I'm eyeing a few other solutions. I like org-mode, I like it very much, but a lot of information doesn't neatly fits into my hierarchy of pages - probably any hierarchy at all - so I'm looking for something more granular, where the basic unit of information is much smaller than a file, which can live under, above, or at the side of any other snippet.

    TiddlyWiki would mostly fit the bill, but - going from editing inside Emacs to the browser, and from org markup to wiki markup? It's not really something I could do anymore.

    Edit: redundancy.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      pew
      Link Parent
      Wow, you've been through a lot of things there! org-mode comes always up, I should really give it a shot, especially since there's an iOS version available now with a sync backend. I guess it'll...

      Wow, you've been through a lot of things there! org-mode comes always up, I should really give it a shot, especially since there's an iOS version available now with a sync backend. I guess it'll just take a lot of time to learn it since I'm also new to emacs.

      3 votes
      1. Ephemere
        Link Parent
        I suppose I should add to this thread, as I too use org-mode, albeit in a much less sophisticated manner. I have a document in which I just create a new section for each day, and I use a...

        I suppose I should add to this thread, as I too use org-mode, albeit in a much less sophisticated manner. I have a document in which I just create a new section for each day, and I use a combination of TODO subsections and just plain blocks of text to annotate the things I learned that day. When I want to remember how I did something, I just search backwards to find it, which has been pretty quick even as the file grows to several megabytes. I've tried to be extremely organized with subsections by topic in the past, but really just dumping it chronologically seems to work best for me.

        I do track long term todo items in a related file via beorg, which is a very handy mobile interface.

        2 votes
      2. mftrhu
        Link Parent
        Yeah, org-mode is very flexible, and a pretty big ecosystem has been built around it and Emacs, so it's bound to come up when note taking and knowledge organization are being discussed. It depends...

        Yeah, org-mode is very flexible, and a pretty big ecosystem has been built around it and Emacs, so it's bound to come up when note taking and knowledge organization are being discussed.

        I guess it'll just take a lot of time to learn it since I'm also new to emacs.

        It depends on what you want it to do. It won't take much to simply use it as an outliner, or as Yet Another Lightweight Markup Language with good hyperlinking support, and the vim/Sublime plugins should be good enough for that.

        1 vote
    2. [5]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      Take a look at Deft for Emacs

      Take a look at Deft for Emacs

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        mftrhu
        Link Parent
        I already know Deft, and I even used - am still using - that, but it's not quite what I have in mind. Not just text, but more loosely structured data - which would also include quite a bit of text...

        I already know Deft, and I even used - am still using - that, but it's not quite what I have in mind. Not just text, but more loosely structured data - which would also include quite a bit of text - and not just a way to edit it, but also to publish it in a way that would be easy to consult from different devices.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          This looks like what Org wants to be. I never used it, but are you familiar The Brain?

          This looks like what Org wants to be. I never used it, but are you familiar The Brain?

          1. [2]
            mftrhu
            Link Parent
            I know of it, but I have never actually used it, and I am a bit leery of using proprietary software in any case.

            I know of it, but I have never actually used it, and I am a bit leery of using proprietary software in any case.

            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              Understandable.

              I am a bit leery of using proprietary software in any case.

              Understandable.

  2. [9]
    ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Most of my notes – work, project, personal – are in Indigrid. I categorize them hierarchically, into subsections by which kind of a project or a thing it is, and then what part of the thing it is,...

    Most of my notes – work, project, personal – are in Indigrid. I categorize them hierarchically, into subsections by which kind of a project or a thing it is, and then what part of the thing it is, and then what question it answers etc.. It's an outliner, so it probably won't do you good to store long-form thoughts there.

    Ideally, I'd want to have something like Trillium for what I consider my mythos – that is, the span of all the ideas, traits, and experiences my life contains. Haven't tried it yet.

    If I need a quick note jotted down, I have a stack of wide yellow stickies and a pen on my desk, so I could write them down. (I wish I had something digital that's just as efficient and easy to edit.) If I need a quick note jotted down and I'm AFK, I have a notes app called Better on my iPhone. (I'd link you to it, but I can't seem to find it on App Store outside of the iPhone now. It has an icon of a white sticky, with yellow background.)

    5 votes
    1. hereticalgorithm
      Link Parent
      Wow, thanks for showing me Indigrid, I've been trying out tons of different notetaking apps and this one feels perfect! (org mode and notion are the only ones that got close - the former had too...

      Wow, thanks for showing me Indigrid, I've been trying out tons of different notetaking apps and this one feels perfect!

      (org mode and notion are the only ones that got close - the former had too much of a learning curve for now, the latter has some performance issues on mobile)

      1 vote
    2. [7]
      pew
      Link Parent
      Indigrid looks promising, Windows only for now, unfortunately :( Trillium checks most boxes, they don't have an app but apparently a mobile friendly theme. They also provide a docker image so the...

      Indigrid looks promising, Windows only for now, unfortunately :( Trillium checks most boxes, they don't have an app but apparently a mobile friendly theme. They also provide a docker image so the installation shouldn't be that hard, thank you so much!

      1. [5]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        What do you mean they don't have an app?

        they don't have an app

        What do you mean they don't have an app?

        1 vote
        1. [4]
          pew
          Link Parent
          for iOS :)

          for iOS :)

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            ThatFanficGuy
            Link Parent
            Oh I see. For the record: you can subscribe to the Indigrid mailing list to receive a notification when the macOS version becomes available.

            Oh I see.

            For the record: you can subscribe to the Indigrid mailing list to receive a notification when the macOS version becomes available.

            3 votes
            1. pew
              Link Parent
              Just signed up, thanks!

              Just signed up, thanks!

              1 vote
          2. unknown user
            Link Parent
            Hey, just wanted to chime in to this thread and say: this looks quite similar to (some of) what Org mode can do for you, so if you don't want to use Emacs, this seems to be a nice way to get...

            Hey, just wanted to chime in to this thread and say: this looks quite similar to (some of) what Org mode can do for you, so if you don't want to use Emacs, this seems to be a nice way to get something similar to Org's functionality. But take that with a pinch of salt: I've just looked at it now.

            2 votes
      2. lamelos
        Link Parent
        Indigrid looks similar to Workflowy, which has an Android app.

        Indigrid looks similar to Workflowy, which has an Android app.

  3. [9]
    yumiris
    (edited )
    Link
    Before the method I'll outline below, OneNote was my main driver. Its flexibility over organising notes, combined with the infinite page size, was absolutely superb. I found that the version...

    Before the method I'll outline below, OneNote was my main driver. Its flexibility over organising notes, combined with the infinite page size, was absolutely superb. I found that the version distributed with Office is superior to the web and Windows 10 one; however, Office isn't free nor cross-platform compatible, so I eventually had to give up on using OneNote, unfortunately. I have thought of returning to it, but I'm too deep into the system I'm using now.


    After going through countless methods of note-taking, I've finally settled on simple plaintext files (with Markdown syntax for consistency & rendering support), in a Git repository. The notes are categorised by directory trees. There is a top-level readme file that summarises all of the notes and links to them.

    notes
    |
    | -- readme.md
    + -- administration
         |
         + -- vmware-shared.txt
    + -- programming
         |
         + -- csharp
              |
              + -- compression.txt
    

    This offered the most flexibility, simplicity, and compatibility. I use Visual Studio Code for the convenience and Markdown-related features it provides; however, on iOS I use iA Writer. For the Git software on iOS, Working Copy works wonders for me.

    The entire repository also serves as a diary. The years and months are sectioned into directories, and each day has a text file dedicated to it:

    diary
    |
    + -- 2018
    |    + -- 12
    |         |
    |         + -- 2018-12-30.txt
    |         + -- 2018-12-31.txt
    + -- 2019
         + -- 01
              |
              + -- 2019-01-01.txt
              + -- 2019-01-02.txt
    

    Initially, the diary folder had its own readme summarising what I've written each day, but that quickly became a nightmare to maintain.


    A convenient alternative to using Git is having the text files in a syncing software. Syncthing does the job for me when I use it to sync my KeePass databases. The reason I chose Git for the notes is for the sake of revisioning. It's nice going back in time to see how your notes have evolved over time!

    5 votes
    1. [8]
      pew
      Link Parent
      That's basically my workflow right now! I assume you're using the Working Copy syncing feature with iA Writer together? Do you have some sort of automation for pulling data and doing commits?...

      That's basically my workflow right now! I assume you're using the Working Copy syncing feature with iA Writer together? Do you have some sort of automation for pulling data and doing commits? That's the one task I don't want to do manually all the time on my mobile.

      1. [7]
        yumiris
        Link Parent
        When writing, I share the file from Working Copy into iA Writer. I usually do this when writing for extensive amounts of time, as the experience in iA Writer is much more joyful. For very brief...

        When writing, I share the file from Working Copy into iA Writer. I usually do this when writing for extensive amounts of time, as the experience in iA Writer is much more joyful. For very brief writing, I do it directly in Working Copy.

        It's not automated; however, Working Copy does have a "Synchronise" button that pulls and pushes the revisions for you. If you want to only pull commits, swiping down (think refreshing on Instagram or Twitter) fetches the latest revisions from the Git remote for you to merge them in one tap.

        For committing, my commit messages are usually along the lines of Append 2019-05-07 diary entry. That ended up making the iOS keyboard offer predictions, so that speeds things up a little!

        I personally do prefer to manually commit and synchronise, as it gives me control over the contents of each revision, and also prevents merging conflicts. Working Copy does make it pretty straightforward on mobile, so the manual work isn't particularly tedious as it would be - for example - when using a terminal on mobile.

        If you want automation, using Dropbox instead of Working Copy/Git would drastically speed things up. Dropbox also keeps revisions of your files. The same applies for OneDrive and Google Drive, so using Dropbox isn't a requirement. If you care about privacy/self-hosting, Nextcloud would do the job.

        1. [6]
          pew
          Link Parent
          There's just no app with an integration into OneDrive/Google Drive nor nextcloud. If they support sync it's either iCloud or Dropbox :( I think for now I'll use the build-in editor in Working...

          There's just no app with an integration into OneDrive/Google Drive nor nextcloud. If they support sync it's either iCloud or Dropbox :( I think for now I'll use the build-in editor in Working Copy, not the best but it works, even with preview and full text search through the repo.

          1. [5]
            yumiris
            Link Parent
            Hmm, what if you install Nextcloud, and in it, you open up a file, then share it to iA Writer? That's what I do when browsing files with Working Copy and editing them with iA Writer.

            Hmm, what if you install Nextcloud, and in it, you open up a file, then share it to iA Writer? That's what I do when browsing files with Working Copy and editing them with iA Writer.

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              pew
              Link Parent
              I need to share them back to nextcloud manually then, right? Or can nextcloud be integrated as an external library?

              I need to share them back to nextcloud manually then, right? Or can nextcloud be integrated as an external library?

              1. yumiris
                Link Parent
                In the case of Working Copy, I didn't need to share the files from iA Writer back to it, so the same should work with Nextcloud. You've actually gotten me curious about this - will get back to you...

                In the case of Working Copy, I didn't need to share the files from iA Writer back to it, so the same should work with Nextcloud. You've actually gotten me curious about this - will get back to you on how it goes.

              2. [2]
                yumiris
                Link Parent
                Had a bit of a play with iA & NextCloud. I created the file in NextCloud and edited it from iA Writer. A pretty straightforward approach -- here's a video.

                Had a bit of a play with iA & NextCloud. I created the file in NextCloud and edited it from iA Writer. A pretty straightforward approach -- here's a video.

                1. pew
                  Link Parent
                  cool, thank you. This might work, it's not what I hoped it would be (the synced folder thing is super integrated like a local folder to iA Writer). I'll check this

                  cool, thank you. This might work, it's not what I hoped it would be (the synced folder thing is super integrated like a local folder to iA Writer). I'll check this

  4. [3]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Whenever I see a discussion about note taking, I'm always reminded of this excellent comment on Hacker News: Now, zachlatta has some interesting opinions that I don't necessarily agree with, such...

    Whenever I see a discussion about note taking, I'm always reminded of this excellent comment on Hacker News:

    I've given up on using any sort of branded app for notetaking. At best it's open source and the maintainers will lose interest in a few years. When you write things down, you're investing in your future. It's silly to use software that isn't making that same investment.

    After trying Evernote, Workflowy, Notion, wikis, org-mode, and essentially everything else I could find, I gave up and tried building my own system for notes. Plain timestamped markdown files linked together. Edited with vim and a few bash scripts, rendered with a custom deployment of Gollum. All in a git repo.

    It's... wonderful. Surprisingly easy. Fast. If there's a feature I wish it had, I can write a quick bash script to implement it. If Gollum stops being maintained, I can use whatever the next best markdown renderer is. Markdown isn't going away anytime soon.

    It's liberating to be in control. I find myself more eager to write things down. I'm surprised more people don't do the same.

    Edit: here's what my system looks like https://imgur.com/a/nGplj

    X-post from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15057002 10 months ago. Still using & loving it.

    Now, zachlatta has some interesting opinions that I don't necessarily agree with, such as:

    org-mode's format sucks, is only partially supported outside of Emacs, and is on its way out. org-mode is only any good if you're using the full power of it (tasks, agenda, etc), which is buying into a system that's soon going away.

    But they're totally correct about not using branded note-taking apps. They are, at best, a temporary solution, unless you know how to maintain them yourself.

    The good news is though, you don't need to write your own software to keep track of your notes and you don't need to use any branded apps either. In fact, you're already on track for the best solution.

    First of all, you're using Git, which is great, because I couldn't imagine storing years worth of notes without tracking them in version control, and you should keep doing that. You mentioned feeling hassled by having to commit and push changes each time you edit your notes, and the solution to this is (probably) entr.

    Using entr, each time you save or otherwise change a tracked file, you can execute a command, such as automatically pushing your changes.

    You should also be made aware of rclone, a utility for syncing files to cloud storage solutions.

    Using rclone you can, in addition to pushing to a Git repository, also sync any changes to your files with a cloud storage solution, such as Google Drive. From there, you should easily be able to access those files from your phone if you have the corresponding app for your cloud storage solution.

    Also, there's probably a way using iCloud to sync your notes between your iPhone and Macbook automatically. I would look into that more.

    My point is, you already have all the software you need to accomplish what you want. You don't need to run to some weird app or use some service if you don't want to.

    Beyond that, the solution you're currently using and the minor additions I've suggested will work fine with any kind of text file, so if you want to use Emacs and Org-mode, Vim and VimWiki, or any other text-based solution, it should work just fine as long as you can find an app on your phone to open, read, and edit the used file format as well.

    Happy noting.

    4 votes
    1. pew
      Link Parent
      Awesome!! This would require little change on my current setup, I'll definitively look into entr and similar tools. Haven't thought about rclone as well, not sure if I need this since I'm already...

      Awesome!! This would require little change on my current setup, I'll definitively look into entr and similar tools. Haven't thought about rclone as well, not sure if I need this since I'm already running a remote server with a git frontend. The gollum wiki mention sounds very promising, however. But maybe I can build something with rclone on the remote server or a webhook to get a better iOS experience. I think this is the biggest part. Not sure if I want to use vim on my iPhone like the hacker news guy.

      1 vote
    2. user2
      Link Parent
      I absolutely agree with everything you said. I, too, just use whatever text-editor to edit plain markdown files and keep them on a git repo. It is a third party git repo though, I need to see if I...

      I absolutely agree with everything you said. I, too, just use whatever text-editor to edit plain markdown files and keep them on a git repo. It is a third party git repo though, I need to see if I can find some sort of E2EE git option. I don't like having my notes on a third party server.

      1 vote
  5. Octofox
    Link
    I use zim wiki. Its a nice and simple notes desktop app which you can sync using any cloud storage service. No mobile app but really I have never actually needed to edit notes on my phone that I...

    I use zim wiki. Its a nice and simple notes desktop app which you can sync using any cloud storage service. No mobile app but really I have never actually needed to edit notes on my phone that I started on my desktop. I have a separate notes app on my phone which is just for tiny things I need in the near future.

    3 votes
  6. [4]
    unknown user
    Link
    I use a mix of paper and digital: I have a bullet journal that I use for managing tasks and agenda, which is also a receptacle for random notes at times. I also use an A5 sized clipboard as my...

    I use a mix of paper and digital: I have a bullet journal that I use for managing tasks and agenda, which is also a receptacle for random notes at times. I also use an A5 sized clipboard as my notebook. Most stuff ends up being scanned and entered to the computer (I will talk about software in a bit). If they are not needed immediately, they generally sit in my scans folder, and I (hypothetically) transcribe stuff when I have time. Pen and paper are way more flexible for me, especially when I need drawings and/or I am not taking notes from something that is already digital (like PDFs, webpages, &c). All my lecture notes are written on my clipboard, for example. I used to use a fountain pen, but nowadays I use a BIC ballpoint with 4 colours, which is quite handy.

    On the computer, I use Org mode, a major mode for Emacs. It is a very flexible outliner that can do anything from managing your tasks and agendas very effectively to typesetting novels, whitepapers and scientific books, and also be your blogware. It is extensible with Elisp and integrates very well with everything Emacs has, and then some more. I mainly use it for notes and word processing (I don't want to be tied to my computer for my tasks and agenda b/c I have procrastination issues & I find a BJ works better for me; but I may change my mind if I can get an ultralight computer). For scanning, I use Gnome's Simple Scan.

    There are various org files that notes can go:

    • not/org/notes.org: general notes
    • not/org/hack.org: interesting shell commands or howto notes for Unix maintenance
    • not/org/zibaldone.org: random stuff like quotes, ideas, poems, wiki article excerpts, &c
    • not/prog/*.org: notes on programming, one org file per topic
    • not/rsc/*/Readme.org: folders for various research topic, each folder has its own Readme.org into which all the relevant notes and todos go.

    I use Orgzly on mobile that syncs via Syncthing to a temporary file, which I use as an intermediary for getting stuff from mobile to desktop. I hate typing on mobile with ferocious destructive passion (is it ironic that I am typing these on a mobile keyboard? soo fucking slow...) and never really take notes there, but just in case.

    Syncthing is a host-your-own file sync daemon, it is FOSS and it has a FOSS Android app. It is lightweight, but I'd not put files I care on it and don't trust its read-only folder settings. I am in the market for an alternative myself, but can't find something that is not written in PHP. But I will probably end up slapping a Nextcloud on my Raspberry Pi...

    Most if not all my org files are version controlled, either with git or with RCS, but I don't push them anywhere. TBH I don't like the idea of having multiple devices I use to edit the same stuff regularly. Ideally I'd only have a 13" laptop and a big screen phone (not there yet, but will be, my current laptop is 15.6" which is too big and heavy for my use cases), and maaaybe a desktop if I end up wanting/having to do mobile apps or other professional development.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      pew
      Link Parent
      I've used syncthing in the past, good point! Second time now that emacs/org-mode is coming up in this conversation. Do you have recommendations how to get started? It seems emacs knowledge would...

      I've used syncthing in the past, good point! Second time now that emacs/org-mode is coming up in this conversation. Do you have recommendations how to get started? It seems emacs knowledge would come in handy before one goes with org-mode.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        unknown user
        Link Parent
        Well, yes and no. There are implementations of Org for other systems like Vim or Sublime Text, but its home is definitely Emacs, where all the features arrive, and are available and complete. It...

        It seems emacs knowledge would come in handy before one goes with org-mode.

        Well, yes and no. There are implementations of Org for other systems like Vim or Sublime Text, but its home is definitely Emacs, where all the features arrive, and are available and complete.

        It is hard to gain knowledge about Emacs w/o using it. I'd suggest you start with a blank slate, plain Emacs, check out better defaults. If you want to see a complex config, here is my init.el, there are some interesting configs in there, but bulk of that is just adding bits of functionality here and there, and not necessarily needed. Just to give ideas. Steve Purcell's emacs.d is a very popular personal config for Emacs.d (it has 5k stars on Github, crazy!) I used to just look at people's configs and pick and choose interesting settings. As I go along I learned Elisp, and now it has settled. I think that's the best way to go.

        Also, Emacs comes with great documentation: Ctrl+h and f/v/k shows documentation for functions, varibles and keys respectively; Ctrl+h and i takes you to the manual, which is incredibly useful. But the best thing to do, as a newbie is to hit Ctrl+h and t and do the tutorial. It is like vimtutor, but for Emacs. Will help with many frustrations down the road.

        To come back to Org mode, well, it is a very versatile and extensible tool, so where to start depends on what you want to do. Agendas? Task management? Project management? Notes only? I think you'd want to start with notes first, and maybe slowly add tasks here and there. That is easy: just open a file with the .org extension in Emacs. Notes are organised into entries that start with headlines. Below is an example file in Org syntax:

        * A headline
        
        This is its content.  It can be anything.  Inline images,
        tables with formulas, code blocks that can be executed
        are supported.
        
        Entries can be tagged, searched, refiled and archived
        rather easily.
        
        ** Nested entries are supported
        
        The amount of the =*= characters before a headline
        determine the depth of the entry.
        
        - List items are supported
        - [[A headline][Links]] to almost anything are supported, and new link types
          can easily be added if need be.
        - Nice markup for *bolds*, /italics/, etc are available
        - There are a slew of backeds to export with, you can
          generate PDFs via LaTeX or Groff, or HTML documents,
          or ODT documents, or plain text w/ ASCII or UTF8 encoding,
          and many others.
        
        * Back to toplevel
        
        Org has APIs, keybindings, and display settings to make all this
        extensible and easy(ish) to use.
        
        * TODO Explain more
        
        If you tell me more about what exactly you want to do with
        it, I can come back at you with some more suggestions.
        
        2 votes
        1. pew
          Link Parent
          Thank you! This will help getting started

          Thank you! This will help getting started

          2 votes
  7. ruspaceni
    Link
    I found this neato program called "CherryTree", it's a hierarchical text editor. You can set up parent/child nodes as much as you like, so i've been using it on/off for basically everything....

    I found this neato program called "CherryTree", it's a hierarchical text editor. You can set up parent/child nodes as much as you like, so i've been using it on/off for basically everything.

    Whenever I wanna fool around with a new writing prompt I start a new file and just create nodes as fast as i can think of chapter-y things. Then as inspiration takes me, i just descend into one note until it's fleshed out enough or until i hit a deadend. After that I'll usually start a node for characters, and another one for those ideas that you feel could work with a little bit of shoehorning.

    After i've expended all my inspiration, i'm usually left with something much more satisfying than if I had just tried to dive right into writing the thing. Sometimes I dont even write the story, I just worldbuild it because that's the more fun part to me. Literally the opposite to how I used to be; Writing the story and doing the world building in my head.

    Here's a (blurred bc story bad) pic of my current thing https://i.imgur.com/WBVWtt1.png Each of those nodes on the side is just a flood of specifics about each thing and how they work/are perceived in the world, and where I wanna go with them. I've also used it to plan some programming projects, but i seem to have lost that file when moving laptops

    Not sure if it'll be worth more than a play around, since you wanna do stuff online, but for me it's been an essential tool in managing a trove of local notes

    3 votes
  8. gpl
    Link
    I guess I’m a bit old fashioned, as most of my notes are pen-on-paper using cheapish notebooks. Anything import I’ll TeX up as this gives me another opportunity to look things over and rewrite it...

    I guess I’m a bit old fashioned, as most of my notes are pen-on-paper using cheapish notebooks. Anything import I’ll TeX up as this gives me another opportunity to look things over and rewrite it in the clearest way. I briefly installed vim-wiki a while ago and got it set up, but I never really ended up using it too much. Perhaps I should take that up again, or follow one of the suggestions here. I really like the idea of a personal wiki.

    2 votes
  9. asoftbird
    Link
    I used to use Apple Notes on iPad because it's easy and l cam draw in it, until l had to export the files to a PC which was hell since there's no good batch export option. Right now l'm working on...

    I used to use Apple Notes on iPad because it's easy and l cam draw in it, until l
    had to export the files to a PC which was hell since there's no good batch export option.

    Right now l'm working on figuring how to set up a server and run a website with a private password protected wiki to categorize notes and cross-refer for easy info storage.

    I'm a total noob to linux, php and hosting things so that's been pretty fun so far. Any Nginx wizards out there that can tell me how to easily add subpages? (like http://example.com/subpage1, http://example.com/wiki, etc)

    1 vote
  10. lionirdeadman
    (edited )
    Link
    I personally have not taken notes in quite a while but when I did, I used "Standard Notes" (It's a bad name if I'm being honest) The free service only has plain text and tagging with search but...

    I personally have not taken notes in quite a while but when I did, I used "Standard Notes" (It's a bad name if I'm being honest)

    The free service only has plain text and tagging with search but the paid product can extend it quite far, adding folder system, markdown, latex and a lot of things really. It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android which work pretty well (and support some of the extensions but not all if I understand correctly). but the syncing is really good.

    If you were to wanna opt-out, you can too through their backup and import system.

    You might be scared because the desktop is Electron but through black magic, it only uses like 50MB somehow. (Without extensions and on a cold boot, I've not looked extensively)

    Edit : Oh yeah, might be worth mentioning the encryption and that the full stack is AGPL/GPL

    1 vote
  11. Apos
    (edited )
    Link
    I really like Joplin: https://github.com/laurent22/joplin It's free, open source, uses Markdown. It has sync features if you need them: and: Some nice features: Advanced search Alarms Dark mode...

    I really like Joplin: https://github.com/laurent22/joplin

    It's free, open source, uses Markdown.

    It has sync features if you need them:

    The notes can be synchronised with various cloud services including Nextcloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, WebDAV or the file system (for example with a network directory). When synchronising the notes, notebooks, tags and other metadata are saved to plain text files which can be easily inspected, backed up and moved around.

    and:

    The application is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS. A Web Clipper, to save web pages and screenshots from your browser, is also available for Firefox and Chrome.

    Some nice features:

    • Advanced search
    • Alarms
    • Dark mode

    Took me a while to find it, but now I stick to Joplin.

    1 vote
  12. [2]
    vord
    Link
    Since you're already using git, you could try this... I just tested it out for my own usage and works well enough on Linux: https://crates.io/crates/eureka Edit: More details: Eureka does a pull,...

    Since you're already using git, you could try this... I just tested it out for my own usage and works well enough on Linux:

    https://crates.io/crates/eureka

    Edit: More details:

    Eureka does a pull, then prompts you for your commit message, then opens the README.md file in your chosen editor. When you save and exit, it commits and pushes.

    1 vote
    1. pew
      Link Parent
      cool, looks promising for the desktop! Thank you

      cool, looks promising for the desktop! Thank you

  13. drannex
    Link
    Personally I use Dokuwiki on a $2/mo server, absolutely fantastic and by far the best way for myself personally after years of switching to other things. I highly suggest the monthcal plugin.

    Personally I use Dokuwiki on a $2/mo server, absolutely fantastic and by far the best way for myself personally after years of switching to other things.

    I highly suggest the monthcal plugin.

  14. mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    A few Org files and capture templates. I'm trying to use the Agenda more, but I keep forgetting. I don’t take too many notes but all my writing is done on Emacs.

    A few Org files and capture templates. I'm trying to use the Agenda more, but I keep forgetting. I don’t take too many notes but all my writing is done on Emacs.

  15. [4]
    Kenny
    Link
    I just migrated from Evernote Premium to Notion recently. I haven't been able to quite use all of Notion's features, but their features seem to be further along than Evernote's. I only miss being...

    I just migrated from Evernote Premium to Notion recently. I haven't been able to quite use all of Notion's features, but their features seem to be further along than Evernote's. I only miss being able to embed PDFs and annotate them. Unfortunately, Evernote worked only about 50% of the time with annotating PDFs.

    1. [3]
      pew
      Link Parent
      Yeah, I checked out Notion as well, but it's a super lock-in. They don't even provide a bulk-export or API.

      Yeah, I checked out Notion as well, but it's a super lock-in. They don't even provide a bulk-export or API.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Kenny
        Link Parent
        You can export entire workspaces with one button in settings.

        You can export entire workspaces with one button in settings.

        1. pew
          Link Parent
          Manual interaction only, no API or anything like that to automate it as far as I know, right?

          Manual interaction only, no API or anything like that to automate it as far as I know, right?

  16. admicos
    Link
    I don't usually take notes, but if there's a small thing or two I need to remember, I just say "Hey Google, take a note" to my phone. Which is a command i overwrote using their routines...

    I don't usually take notes, but if there's a small thing or two I need to remember, I just say "Hey Google, take a note" to my phone.

    Which is a command i overwrote using their routines functionality that calls Tasker through AutoVoice, and that will open up Google Keep and automatically tap its voice recorder.

    Then I just say what I want to say.