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Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 179026 times)

superboyac

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Just an update to the programs I'm using.

Files remain central, but I now do no format conversion without explicit reason. This means that if a file starts as an .rtf or .docx it may stay like that and I will work with a program that can use that format. My own writing is usually in .txt.

Most of my files are in Obsidian vaults, with heavy nesting (especially for projects) even when Obsidian cannot read those files. I use wikilinks extensively even when the program I am using cannot interpret them - they are nearly always written with a mind on future use anyway. I use #tags, preferably written in the file but otherwise done using the file explorer; these systems aren't consistent some use metadata, some a database in the folder, but the tags are; not ideal, but I decided in the end that tagspaces was too slow for me. I use search programs, and imagine that I might end up learning regex, but I'll go no further in that direction than I have to.

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Hey!  What did you use to make that diagram?

Dormouse

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What did you use to make that diagram?

Mindomo

wraith808

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Just seen Speare mentioned on the Obsidian discord. For writing in snippets and organising them into larger documents.
Pretty, but no idea how it would stand up to real use. Web app + iOS and Android. Expensive ($60 a year or $15 monthly).
Some aspects remind me of Gingko but prettier and less useful.
Wouldn't suit me at all, but might interest some.

It's quite a bit different from my first impressions, but is something I'm definitely happy you mentioned. I really like it so far.

Dormouse

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I really like it so far.

I'm glad you like it. Seemed worth mentioning.
I'm afraid that I only looked at their webpage and the videos. Once I could see it wouldn't work for me, I looked no further

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #929 on: June 04, 2021, 06:12 PM »
I've decided to experiment by trying to write a complete book in only one file.
I wouldn't try it with anything except plaintext.
And maybe I wouldn't try it without WM3, which makes restructuring easy.

Previously I have done shorter stuff - up to maybe 10k words - in one file, with longer done in sections.
That's quite easy when everything is straightforward, and it is obvious where all sections and sub-sections fit. But not otherwise.
WM3 offers two options to deal with this:
  • standard markdown file using different heading levels for organisation;
  • organisation through projects and sub-projects etc, which is effectively very similar to the Scrivener et al system.
The downside of the second is that it can be more complicated to with using other editors (it requires also setting up a folder system to make all files easy to find); the downside of the first is simply that of navigating a very long document.
The advantages of a long document include easy file maintenance and management; ease of reading and reviewing any part in context; easy access with any editor; find and replace all simply using any editor.

We'll see. There will be an ideal size for each file. It is bigger than I have been doing so far, but may well be smaller than a whole book. If sections were clearly discrete, I'd do those - but that's not the case here.



wraith808

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #930 on: June 16, 2021, 05:05 PM »
I haven't tried this, but it seems interesting

How to make a Python script for your notes
 - https://www.jhonatan...published/1623367665

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #931 on: July 25, 2021, 02:44 PM »
It's been interesting to observe what feels like a flood away from Roam-Research. Roam's first engineer has moved to Athens as second engineer. RoamHacker and other plugin developers have also moved. As well as users, including some erstwhile believers. To Athens, Logseq and Obsidian.

Maybe the numbers aren't significant in the overall context, but they include some of the big names in the Roam ecosystem. And maybe they are substantial; I don't follow Roam at all, so I wouldn't know. But I have noticed their arrival elsewhere, especially Obsidian. And a fair chunk aren't concerned about Roam's cost.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #932 on: August 20, 2021, 11:35 AM »
And the number of subscribers to the Obsidian subreddit now exceed Roam's for the first time. With more than twice the number online usually. Notion vastly bigger of course.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #933 on: September 24, 2021, 06:43 AM »
I use a minimum number of Obsidian plugins (reducing security and stability risks). But I'm just starting to experiment with those that might be helpful with writing.

Longform allows sequencing of 'scene' files in a project. Thus enabling a feature common to most outliner design apps such as Scrivener, Scribbler etc. Allows a final compile into a single .md file.

Kanban allows notes to be put together in a kanban design.
Looks quite nifty because the cards can be used to outline and sketch scenes etc, each having links to the text of the scene and any associated research.

I'm still examining multicolour highlighting options.

The overall number of plugins is escalating rapidly. Most people seem to be having difficulty in keeping up or finding ones they want.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #934 on: September 24, 2021, 06:52 AM »
I've decided to experiment by trying to write a complete book in only one file.
I wouldn't try it with anything except plaintext.
And maybe I wouldn't try it without WM3, which makes restructuring easy.
It's actually gone very well, which is interesting.
So perfectly practical. Making a lot of use of WM3's awesome folding capability.

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.
The motivation is being able to work more closely with Obsidian and some of its newer plugins, kanban in particular. Also ProWritingAid is much faster working on smaller files.
In practice, I will 'compile' to a single file weekly to save as a backup. Belt, braces and buttons.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #935 on: October 14, 2021, 05:20 PM »
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.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #936 on: October 15, 2021, 02:46 PM »
I'm sure there's a lot that can go wrong
Update 1 - Snag for some

It doesn't affect me, but formatted export from both Dynalist and Workflowy is a bit of a mess. I'm unaffected because I don't use formatting; I'm only interested in the colour export from Workflowy and I know how to fix that. And the bullet hierarchy translates perfectly to a header hierarchy through OPML.

But Workflowy formatted exports in notes don't maintain paragraphs (I've reported) even in Word.
Dynalist is supposed to be markdown based, but it seems to use a double underline for italic!?!

I've not tested systematically, since formatting is not something I expect to use. But anyone considering using exports from either should test their own use case before committing.

Small test
Exporting my full text Formatted Text via copy/paste from both Dynalist and Workflowy shows bullets and not headers. But does maintain italic and bold formatting in Typora.

Via OPML, the formatting doesn't work properly but the headers are there.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #937 on: October 15, 2021, 03:26 PM »
Via OPML, the formatting doesn't work properly but the headers are there
And using manual markdown when writing maintains all the formatting when the OPML is exported  ;D Not interpreted correctly in Workflowy, everything but italic recognised in Dynalist.
It's what I should have expected really.
So that's the answer for me, for formatting anything I might want to export via OPML.

And, I suspect, that anything originally written in a markdown program will already have it.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 03:33 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

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Notezilla 9
« Reply #938 on: October 22, 2021, 06:15 AM »
I've noticed that Notezilla 9 has introduced a couple of very useful features:

1. Option to use markdown editor rather than rtf. Has typical edit and preview modes.
2. Option to create note by importing the clipboard.

Plus
Dark mode
A range of grouping options
etc