But I'm thinking of switching to WM's project design. Will take me maybe five minutes to switch into that, and maybe half a minute to switch back again, so I'm hardly switching at all. Mostly a question of which view I use to write in.
It's not amazing that I have changed my mind again. When mind changing is so easy.
But the reason isn't so obvious - it's to make more use of web-based databased programs. And very surprisingly - since I have never used them previously, and never liked the way they worked - it's down to Dynalist and Workflowy. And Mindomo, which I was already using.
It starting when I delved into Aeon Timeline 3. Looked very good, but only synced with Ulysses (which I couldn't use) and Scrivener (which I could, but didn't want to) with import/export to CSV (workable, but much configuration required to use everything). It felt as if I was faced with trying to herd data scattered to the four winds of incompatibility. Matt (Timeline Dev) was open to the possibility of markdown import/export, and, in practice manual entry may be as efficient as anything else, but my mind was on the path to available options. Mindomo has many import/export options, so that wasn't a constraint, but I was looking for a common currency. Markdown is common (though most text apps are still into rich text), but lack of ideas on structure make it an unsuitable currency for databases; presumably why apps that use markdown internally still require arcane contortions for import/export. Plottr and Aeon Timeline both sync with Scrivener, but I can't like it as a permanent middle man/person/thing. Scrivener also does OPML; I haven't tested it, and some forum posts question how well it works, but it's an option nevertheless. Mindomo naturally does OPML, as do all(?) mindmappers; and outliners. Dynalist has the same developers as Obsidian and I know it uses markdown internally, so I thought I'd poke around.
I learned that either Workflowy has improved massively since I last looked, or I wasn't paying attention when I did. Or maybe my needs have simply changed, but Notes, hoisting, folding - and colour in Workflowy. Felt very easy and very nice. And remarkably similar to a markdown document. And Dynalist better in many ways. So OPML? Looks like a structured plaintext format; not obviously less human readable than markdown. So my million dollar question - how well can I get it into and out of markdown. How easily. And it turned out that it was both easy and well. Typora would do it. Logseq apparently does it. Even Dynalist. Not forgetting Mindomo. So I had to try the copy of my old whole MSS, prior to splitting - just an OPML export in Typora - and there it was in Dynalist and Workflowy. Complete in bullets and notes.
Going back the other way was straightforward from Dynalist, but not quite so from Workflowy - their colour syntax doesn't seem to work in markdown editors, so that would need a global search and replace. But doing that gives me all the colour in Obsidian. I am used to colour for editing, and this means I can stop most of my active use of word processors. So I can have my cake and eat it. D&W are very quick and easy on all devices. I have colour editing in W. I can use them for other things. They have none of the nice writer oriented features I like when writing, but I can
write on anything and they are anyway fine for ad-hoc bits and very accessible. And I can still do my writing bulk in WriteMonkey. I see WriteMonkey 3 as having a very similar underlying approach (.json + attached .md files) to the outliners (database with .opml import/export.; nothing locked in a database but plaintext files supported by some database functionality - Obsidian itself is rather like that too.
So I'm going back to my whole document approach. I still see myself as based on files rather than databases, but now the files include OPML as well as markdown, txt, pdf etc
Of course, I haven't properly worked with it yet, only tried it out, and I'm sure there's a lot that can go wrong. But on we go.