topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • Sunday October 2, 2022, 7:30 am
  • Proudly celebrating 15+ years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 249048 times)

urlwolf

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,836
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1050 on: February 13, 2022, 05:42 PM »
Amplenote can fold bullet lists and you can go wild with those. So if 3 heading levels are not enough, using bullets would get you a bit of the outliner 'features.'

It only exports as markdown. But I just copy-pasted a note into an empty libreoffice doc and it keeps all formatting beautifully.

This thing is a work of art.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1051 on: February 13, 2022, 08:02 PM »
Amplenote can fold bullet lists and you can go wild with those. So if 3 heading levels are not enough, using bullets would get you a bit of the outliner 'features.'
Problem is that the bullets don't have notes with them. My interest is in the text only not in the bullets - they're just anchors to move the text around. So Amplenote's bullets don't help at all.
What I get with Workflowy and Dynalist is import/export with OPML. Amplenote doesn't have that. And no colour, which I use a lot.

I don't think it works for me creatively at all. Better from a research/zettelkasten point of view. But limited view and organisation options. Only one tag per note afaics. It feels more like an Evernote or OneNote competitor than Logseq, Obsidian or Roam. Copy/paste from web worked well, but the time I used the web clipper the result was unusable.
Compare Amplenote and Evernote:
2022-02-14_01-43-16.pngI'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten2022-02-14_01-46-25.pngI'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten

The four categories in the left panel are Jots (ie Daily Notes), Notes, Tasks and Calendar. That looks like a business oriented productivity app. Only one of those is aimed at me. I'd expect that sort of program to be smooth and reliable and have a carefully curated set of features. It may be a very good program, but it couldn't replace Obsidian or Workflowy (or alternatives) in my workflows.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1052 on: February 14, 2022, 01:40 PM »
copy-pasting a bunch of text from a webpage makes a bit of a mess. That usecase is important for me. What do you do about it?
Maybe use something else.
Copy/paste from web worked well, but the time I used the web clipper the result was unusable.
This has made me think about my custom and practice. I don't need to do this very often, and it's not usually important when I do. I maintained an Evernote account for a long time, because it had a good reliable web clipper. But I have an imense number of options and no system. Programs have drifted in and drifted out again.

I need some clips to be permanently available. That means local. But this is very rare.
I need a scrapbook. But it's not very important by definition. Preferably easily available.
Some clips I need for a period, but their value is short-term only. If they relate to a project, then I'd ideally have them easily available to programs I use in that project.
I've had a few issues (with Evernote) where images in a clip are only links and change or disappear when the site changes.

I have a Pocket account. I prefer Instapaper, but Pocket saves the original images. That makes a good scrapbook - BUT it doesn't work well on sites that require a login.
In my early markdown phase, I tried a number of markdown clippers. They worked - but turned out to me more of an inconvenience than they were worth.
I have Snagit. It works, but is overkill for casual use. Heavy duty need only.

There's also files. An ideal system would cope with those too.
Obsidian works well as a reception area for copy/paste and for files. So that's fine for desktop. And confidential.
I'll stick to Pocket for Scrapbook.
For the rest, and mobile, I think I'll revert to trying OneNote again. Systemically this time. I doubt I will ever not have a 365 account. Clipper seems okay. Linking works well. So clips should be available in an app that can access it.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1053 on: February 15, 2022, 06:50 PM »
Recently my productivity slumped. I became preoccupied with my systems again. It's not an unexpected stage in an evolving workflow. Two steps forward and one step back is better than one step forward and two steps back, and both are better than three steps forward which inevitably emerges as a delusion.

Where was I? Why did it happen?
I had reached the point of using simple plaintext files, often in markdown. I had programs that, for all their deficiencies, could be made to work. I always understood that markdown itself was a pernicious collection of time-bound prejudices but it was ubiquitous and there seemed no avoiding it.

I stumbled with creative workflows (usual), realised the utility, and availability, of mindmaps and then kanban. Plaintext filing preserved through Markdown-OPML identity. Which led me to longer markdown files (many advantages and closer to Luhmann's actual system than many small ones since each atomic note is embedded in a structure as well as having links), but also to outlines and outliners which I had never found especially useful before.

The value of outliners not being intrinsic to outliners alone, but being a disregarded and poorly implemented feature in markdown editors; viz. the visualisation and speed when moving sections. Plaintext editors ought to be better at this but they aren't.

But this made me more sensitive to conversion glitches. And raised again the issue of whether the md or opml file should take precedence. And raised the question again of databases, since outliners are databases and the opml merely a particularly valuable export format. Which in turn raised again the question of rich text and word processors; outliner > word processor > md/opml being more efficient than editor >< md/opml >< outliner > word processor > md/opml.

The Rock in the Road

And then the big stumble. I had always been unconcerned about whether I was typing in lines or paragraphs. Conversion at the next stage, should it be needed, was a minor issue since the next stage required deliberate thought anyway. But this is when most of the writing would be done in a single program (with occasional paste into it, when I'd done a little writing elsewhere). But back and forth needed more consistency. Cut and paste was not entirely reliable, and Workflowy - which I needed for the kanban - had a problem retaining the integrity of lines. Which meant standardisation on paragraphs. Which shouldn't have been an issue. Word processors have paragraphs; markdown has paragraphs. And many of the programs I use have configurable shortcuts.

But Obsidian was an obdurate unyielding obstacle. Many users appeared to have the belief that Enter=New Line (and New Paragraph was therefore Enter Enter) was part of the markdown specification, instead of it simply being an old code/line/text editor convention. Only a minor irritation in practical terms since I'd already stopped writing in most of the time. WriteMonkey was a bigger loss. But Typora and MarkText were fine (so long as I wrote in WYSIWYG mode). So was Logseq (though I had to edit a config file to achieve the same behaviour in bullet and document mode which is hardly the most user-friendly design). And naturally all word processors. FocusWriter is a funny one, according to my initial testing: its behaviour is fine in docx files, but txt/md files have only lines. I quite like FocusWriter, so that's a small pressure to use docx rather than plaintext.

While I'm on Enter Enter, what is it about the plaintext markup languages that so many instructions involve flapping at the same key and counting? I could only imagine they were invented by two finger typists who had never been taught, or accustomed to, touch typing. One key is a simpler target, but multiple keypresses takes longer and counting is always an additional cognitive load even if it becomes a habit or automatism.

Habit, automatism and muscle memory

The keypress issue might seem minor. I know what lines and paragraphs are, and how each program works. I can convert easily between the two. I can even do Enter Enter in one press (using the thumb and little finger of right hand) and Shift-Enter with one finger. And for most people that is probably true. But I'm a touch typing writer. My keyboard use goes beyond habit, and is at least an automatism and largely muscle memory. When I'm writing, my mind already has threads for content, words, grammar and punctuation; adding another thread for the Enter or Enter Enter question pulls in my conscious mind and disrupts the flow of the writing. It's actually a process disrupt.

So Markdown? Really??

I fully appreciate and agree with the arguments against word processor formats and in favour of plaintext. But also aware that my writing usually has to be converted to .docx or equivalent at some stage. That's writing not note-taking. And I have become increasingly aware that markdown isn't as virtuous as usually painted.

To come close to duplicating what a word processor file can do, it involves detailed understanding of markdown specifications, and also those for CSS, not forgetting HTML. That's time consuming. And though doc/docx has been criticised for having a number of versions, there are even more versions of markdown, CSS and HTML. Plus all the program configurations - the typical markdown editor is not designed to be friendly or accessible to the non-technical user. I've sometimes thought that Obsidian was designed as an equivalent to the Marine training obstacle course for aspiring programmers. As a structure it feels rickety with multiple points of failure. I know what such a construction looks like; I've watched Wallace and Gromit.

Next steps

  • Notes will stay as markdown/OPML. Large files rather than tiny ones.
  • Writing is best as OPML/docx. OPML is a plaintext format, so plaintext is always available and the final copy can always be converted and kept as markdown. Or it can be done at any point when Obsidian linking is wanted.
  • All files will be kept in Obsidian vaults.
  • All plaintext files will use Obsidian syntax ([[]], ![[]], #tags, (@tags added since they are used in a number of programs including Workflowy), **bold**, *italic*, <u>underline</u>, ~~strikethrough~~, ==highlight==)
  • Programs to type in to include FocusWriter, Typora, MarkText, Logseq, Atlantis, Word and Workflowy; maybe Dynalist.

In the end, it's only a mild system tweak. Files remain central, with databases used for WIP only. WriteMonkey is a major loss, though I could still use it for long files, where the folding is especially useful. Obsidian becomes more marginal in terms of regular use. Logseq enters; I'm not fond of it as an Obsidian competitor but it's fine to write in.

It's ironic that Word has entered. It's a very long time since I chose to use word processors for writing; when I wrote in rich text it was always in other programs; in practice, I don't expect to write in it now either. But giving up databases for long-term storage remains a very good idea.


« Last Edit: February 15, 2022, 07:07 PM by Dormouse »

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 11,138
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1054 on: February 16, 2022, 11:59 AM »
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but if you're using Word and Markdown, you might want to also look at writage (https://www.writage.com/)

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1055 on: February 16, 2022, 02:21 PM »
you might want to also look at writage
Thanks. Yes. Want would be putting it too strongly.
I don't like markdown, but it seems hard to avoid it in plaintext, and I have never liked Word - but docx is even more ubiquitous and seems pretty robust across programs too. So do I want a bridge?

I did think of it, and installed a trial to look at it. Then disconnected it from Word, so I could be sure I was seeing Word rather than Writage.
I'm genuinely conflicted about it.
I even looked at the outliner app (DocxManager) to see if that would bring anything extra  But that seemed expensive without offering anything obviously useful to me.

One attraction was FocusWriter - which has a very limited set of formatting option, but quite sufficient for me in writing mode.
And always preferred Atlantis over Word in general use. I don't really like the way it manages Headings, but it's no wore than Obsidian. Word itself seems better.
Typora imports and exports docx quite happily.
It feels as if that will cover what Writage does. But I'm not sure.

The bit where Word stands out is the Review stage, but I don't know Writage adds anything to that.
Happy to hear any views if you have experience of it. Else I think I'll wait and see how it goes.

I'm not entirely reconciled to the prospect of using Word more, even though it appears to make sense.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1056 on: February 16, 2022, 05:51 PM »
To give an idea of how I've set Workflowy up, I'm attaching images of a mockup in kanban and in bullet modes.
The text bullets are mirrored to a text list with the same structure; this is the one that can be exported to end up as a markdown or docx document containing only the text. Writing or editing can be done anywhere and will be mirrored to the other.
I use emojis and colour text to give me a very quick overview of what is going on where.
WF kanban test kanban.pngI'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 11,138
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1057 on: February 16, 2022, 09:31 PM »
you might want to also look at writage
Thanks. Yes. Want would be putting it too strongly.
I don't like markdown, but it seems hard to avoid it in plaintext, and I have never liked Word - but docx is even more ubiquitous and seems pretty robust across programs too. So do I want a bridge?

I did think of it, and installed a trial to look at it. Then disconnected it from Word, so I could be sure I was seeing Word rather than Writage.
I'm genuinely conflicted about it.
I even looked at the outliner app (DocxManager) to see if that would bring anything extra  But that seemed expensive without offering anything obviously useful to me.

One attraction was FocusWriter - which has a very limited set of formatting option, but quite sufficient for me in writing mode.
And always preferred Atlantis over Word in general use. I don't really like the way it manages Headings, but it's no wore than Obsidian. Word itself seems better.
Typora imports and exports docx quite happily.
It feels as if that will cover what Writage does. But I'm not sure.

The bit where Word stands out is the Review stage, but I don't know Writage adds anything to that.
Happy to hear any views if you have experience of it. Else I think I'll wait and see how it goes.

I'm not entirely reconciled to the prospect of using Word more, even though it appears to make sense.

So I use writing outliner (the precursor to DocxManager) and Writage. Writing Outliner helps me keep projects straight and has the corkboard from Scriviner, but in Word where I have to do my freelance work. Writage lets me work in md when I want to, copy the formatted text to a Word document, and copy and paste Word formatted text into my markdown document. It's pretty seamless going from plain text to word which is cool as I don't like doing long form writing/editing in Word unless I have to.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1058 on: February 17, 2022, 09:10 AM »
I don't like doing long form writing/editing in Word unless I have to
Me too

Writing Outliner helps me keep projects straight and has the corkboard from Scriviner,
I think my Workflowy kanban should do this. Much prefer kanban to corkboard.

Writage lets me work in md when I want to, copy the formatted text to a Word document, and copy and paste Word formatted text into my markdown document. It's pretty seamless going from plain text to word
-wraith808
link=topic=48938.msg448203#msg448203 date=1645068678
I see how that's useful.

afaics, my central useful file format is opml; and I'll move between that and md and docx. I'm not sure I will ever need to do much  directly between md and docx  Will I want to type markdown into Word? I don't know. Still, I'll know to install Writage if I do.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1059 on: February 17, 2022, 09:23 AM »
My central system for everything writing related will be Workflowy.
The key features I'll use will be kanban, mirrors, colour, wikilinks

Any piece of work needs to be in three sections
- Text
- Planning and development including text
- Content
The text sections will mirror each other.
Bullets, if they exist, will be put as sub-bullets of an empty sub-bullet at the bottom of Planning and Development or, if necessary, below Text. (To try to stop them distracting me if I'm working on anything else.)

Content depend on what the piece is.
It could, for instance, be a few big research files from Obsidian exported through OPML. Should give me wikilinking with the Text and Planning.

Long-term storage, research etc in long markdown files, accessed from Obsidian and/or Logseq
Text file review and editing in Word.
Writing in a number of programs including FocusWriter, Typora, Logseq
And all the planning and development in Workflowy.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 11,138
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1060 on: February 17, 2022, 07:38 PM »
I think my Workflowy kanban should do this. Much prefer kanban to corkboard.

I'm using Scrum, so it works for me. I just need my backlog there, and a section for the current iteration.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1061 on: February 18, 2022, 05:14 AM »
I'm using Scrum
I don't know it, but it seems very different to me. And complex.

I'm always fascinated by individual differences, and how something that works for one person, simply doesn't fit another.

I recognise that purely within myself. I've tried many kanbans, including those in Obsidian and Logseq, but found none of them helpful in practice until WF. Some of that is the virtually instantaneous switching between board and outline views. I also love the way I can zoom in or out by changing which bullet is the starting point. And, while I always loved Scrivener's corkboard, it never made me more productive, though I thought it should. The more sophisticated sticky note imitation glitched too.

But the kanban/WF bit is really only the middle stage. Shouldn't say stage - the parts are interacting all the time.
The 'starting' one is Content. That's where Mindomo and Obsidian live.
With Text being the last. That has to be linear. I'll try to forget the probability that Word will be there having to be used in everything I write instead of the titbits it has been receiving.

I also love that OPML works in all stages. Though the OPML file used in the content stage isn't useful in the kanban stage and vice versa. Editors needed in all stages too.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1062 on: February 18, 2022, 06:33 AM »
I've tried many kanbans, including those in Obsidian and Logseq, but found none of them helpful in practice
Actually, I think Plottr is best viewed as a kanban. But rigid and inflexible compared to WF.

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 11,138
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1063 on: February 18, 2022, 08:54 AM »
I don't know it, but it seems very different to me. And complex.

It's not. It's just another variation on Kanban. The difference is Kanban is continuous where Scrum is iterative. There are complications you can add to it (same with Kanban), but at its root it is simple.

When I first started on my project for my world, I decided on an iteration length (2 weeks). I found high level things I wanted to get accomplished. I prioritized them, then broke them down into stories and pointed them by seeming effort required. Then I looked at what I could get accomplished in two weeks, going in priority order.

At the end of two weeks, I looked at what I'd done and delivered, and how many points it was. That helped me to see what I could get done in an iteration. Rinse and repeat, loading the backlog with things that I come up against as I went along. It helps me to plan and reach deadlines, but be agile in how I do it.

Given, I do it at work, so it's not a stretch. But I also have done Kanban at work, and it's not a lot different other than instead of iterations, you have WIP limits based on the size of the stories rather than a bucket to fill every iteration.

Kanban is generally used for support work, where Scrum is used for Greenfield development, but either can be used for either.

A good video on using it to develop worlds:


Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1064 on: February 18, 2022, 03:15 PM »
I had
Scrum is iterative.
I had a quick look at the video; it seemed quite long, so I only looked at a bit. But it looked as if Scrum is about getting things done?

I know that's how kanban is usually used, but what interests me is purely the picture. The types of graph that Vonnegut used to draw. He applied his, mostly, to fiction, but I believe the approach should be applied to any form of writing - the presentation of the results of experiments, legal reports, academic papers, pre-publication reviews of said papers, magazine articles. Everything has expectations in terms of length and structure - and sometimes they are demands more than expectations. Before I start a project, I expect to have a clear idea about form and shape. What I like about kanban is that I can use it to give me the views I want to track how it's developing (it will diverge more often than not, sometimes that's better but sometimes I can see that it will fail before the end). I can use it to plan, and I can use it to track.

And I need to be able to pick it up again after a long gap. So a very visible format will help with that. Nothing helps with research gaps because the situation has often changed when it's picked up again.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1065 on: February 18, 2022, 03:17 PM »
I noticed updates today from Logseq and Obsidian (insider). But I've no particular interest in looking at either.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1066 on: February 19, 2022, 07:08 AM »
Also notice Tangent Notes. Very early stages. Looks okay. Local files, will work seamlessly on Obsidian files. No idea what advantages it intends to have. I think I saw another one around too. Still looks as if there will be more and more of them.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
I will actually try to do a zettelkasten
« Reply #1067 on: February 19, 2022, 07:14 AM »
Am thinking I will actually give zettelkasten a go.
I researched it thoroughly previously, but didn't try to follow all the rules.
  • Was unsure about best software to use
  • Was unsure about its range of utility. How to set limits. Use it for everything? But Luhmann's note-keeping was very focused. I think I have clarified my ideas on that, particularly helped by reading many of his notes (available online; most still only digitised rather than OCRd.) They're very academic shorthand. Not like Ahrens' account at all. And that makes sense to me. Not masses of work, except in thinking about the links.
  • And never completely decided about the folgezettel. Seemed to make sense despite the arguments of the original software brigade. As my mind pondered though, I came to see it as essential. Not just in linking but in sketching out future publications.

So how to do it?
afaics, folgezettel are just pointers in an outline. So lots of programs can do that. The key is the very manual requirement to decide exactly where to place each note.
Which programs?
I don't know wikis, but assume they can.
Otherwise, I see no reason why they can't be done in an outliner - Dynalist or Workflowy say. Put bullets in the right sequence, wikilinks available, notes as bullet notes. Also tagging. Should work.
Obsidian? Single file ordered list with notes below. Using wikilinks for the note view without actually embedding them. I think I'll try that. Most users would just use a MOC list with atomic notes in the vault; that would work easily too, but won't be so quickly convertible to OPML.
One folgezettel advantage of an ordered list is that each note has a unique number, even if it has to be derived by following the hierarchy back instead of having it in the note.

I have a date/time shortcut available in any program I type in anyway so that will make any simple title unique.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1068 on: February 20, 2022, 07:07 AM »
Writage lets me work in md when I want to, copy the formatted text to a Word document, and copy and paste Word formatted text into my markdown document. It's pretty seamless going from plain text to word which is cool as I don't like doing long form writing/editing in Word unless I have to.
It makes sense. I tried it again. Testing Obsidian syntax.
Writage fails on highlight and strikethrough, but Typora gets it (MarkText doesn't).
So Writage and copy/paste with some syntax glitches, or Typora with import/export?
for pure text, whch is what I have most of the time, it makes no difference at all - and I have no need of either Typora or Writage.
Copy/paste is more convenient - but only if it works reliably. And if I do formatted text, highlight, strikethough and underline are needed as often as bold/italics. So probably Typora has the advantage for my use.

Markdown incompatibilities feel worse than the days when Word was very expensive and all the notWords had their own particular incompatibilities.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,337
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1069 on: February 20, 2022, 04:29 PM »
Dormouse, what are you trying to accomplish?  I can't tell.

Are you trying to figure out which software to use to write/edit your notes?  How do you read the end result of your notes?  For example, I don't really care much which program i use to write my files.  Zettlr, Obsidian, vs code....basically all the same to me.  What i care more deeply about is how i read them.  And I read them using the Emanote software i have mentioned, which converts my markdown files into a static website.  If not for that, I think I'd care more about the other tools, as I'd have to read them through those tools.  And if that is the case, the main thing would be the "preview" panes they all have.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1070 on: February 21, 2022, 03:09 PM »
what are you trying to accomplish?
Essentially I do two things, though many types of both: I write and I research.
I had quite a reasonable workflow using database style programs but was aware of increasing issues over long-term viability, which is where I started with this thread. Moved on to files (good), though without ever stopping using databases for short-term tasks, and plaintext (markdown is ubiquitous but not good).

Most of the thread has been about research. By definition that's long-term and so file solutions were always best. I keep two types of research - actual hard research or reflections, most of it in highly focused fields, and a scrapbook, which is anything I see I find interesting and might be able to use in future. I can be quite adventurous in looking for research techniques. Everyone has their own techniques, efficiency and effectiveness is hard to prove and most of what I need is in my head anyway. But files and links have big advantages. And similar techniques could work for fiction too.

But the writing is ultimately more important - I could live by writing without research, but not vice versa. Three essential elements in writing are content, structure and words. With the words, the ultimate is being in the flow and the wrong editor gets in the way of that. For me, the Workflowy kanban view is superb for structure; for anything long and multi-faceted in particular, it allows me to see and feel the shape of the whole document, while allowing my mind to stay in the flow on the tiny section I'm writing in. Splitting documents into tiny parts à la Scrivener has never worked for me.

Ideally, I'd have an editor that joined the research with the writing but I haven't found anything that works for that. Obsidian seems determined to stay a code editor. And it's hard for me to avoid the need for me to be in rich text/docx at some point. My markets are print not web.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1071 on: February 21, 2022, 03:38 PM »
Are you trying to figure out which software to use to write/edit your notes?  How do you read the end result of your notes?  For example, I don't really care much which program i use to write my files.
Within limits, I don't much care about the note editor. I regard wiki-links as essential. And the colours have to be right to suit my eyes. And decent linking though I use few bells and whistles. But I have been happy using a wide range of programs. At least until lines vs paragraphs became an issue because of the Workflowy bug.

What i care more deeply about

For me, that's everything to do with the writing. The planning, development, writing, editing, and ultimately publishing (which just means sending it off usually). And I need my writing editor to be very close to just right. Word has never worked for me. MarkText is often too slow and has syntax restrictions I find annoying. Obsidian is just a code editor. Typora works pretty well; I've become more impressed the more I've used it . FocusWriter is very good (but limited formatting and no colour). Atlantis mostly works. Logseq might turn out okay in the end, but there are irritations now and it takes so long to start up.

Word has never worked for me
But sadly, I may be stuck with it, at least if I want to copy and paste into Workflowy notes. It's all I have found that reliably pastes paragraphs as paragraphs that Workflowy recognises including the formatting. Doesn't mean I have to write in Word - it seems to assume that lines from anything ought to be paragraphs - but I need it for formatted text. Atlantis doesn't always work, Atticus never, SmartEdit Writer as bad. Typora preserves paragraphs, but doesn't have formatting, if that's needed. I suppose it's okay. I'll get used to it. At least with that workflow, I could type in Obsidian or anything and the lines would be translated into paragraphs. And Writage then becomes worthwhile.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2022, 07:03 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1072 on: February 22, 2022, 06:02 AM »
I've devised a workflow for the copy/paste.

A single txt file. Can be opened, edited and written in by virtually any program. Ending in Word where final formatting etc can be done before pasting. And Word turns every line into a paragraph, even when loading a txt file (maybe not always desirable behaviour, I would have thought, but helpful here).

Seems to work very well apart from being extra work. I don't often use formatting anyway, but this preserves the formatting in those programs that have it before Word (primarily the markdown programs).

I used Writage to convert markdown markup into Word formatting (by copying all then pasting as markdown). Glitched once when the pasted text lost all its lines and paragraphs - so not purely a Workflowy issue - but a few undos sorted that.
Also noticed that Writage doesn't recognise markdown headers beyond h3. Hitting too many problems using Writage, so will lose that part. It's not as if I needed the formatting after all.

One slight compensating advantage. Is that this means that most writing can be done in one file rather than dotting about. And all the sorting out is done later when in a sorting things out mindframe.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2022, 05:07 PM by Dormouse »

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Inspire Writer
« Reply #1073 on: February 23, 2022, 08:50 PM »
I've done a Review on Inspire Writer.
I'd not come across it before, which strikes me as odd. Apparently similar to Ulysses. Markdown editor that can work on markdown files just like standard editors, but also has a database which adds extra functionality. Clearly designed specifically for writers. I've only been testing it out for a few hours, but I'm quite taken with it. $30 atm.

Dormouse

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,917
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1074 on: February 24, 2022, 01:24 PM »
Fellas, here's one called Effie, and it's giveaway, this Feb 10, 2022 (today):
https://www.giveawayoftheday.com/effie/

I'm going to give it a spin.
If you are that interested in testing new programs, then you might be interested in looking at Inspire Writer. I don't suggest that you switch from TreeDBnotes - while it works you have too much to lose - but in some ways it's a modern take on that type of design. Explicitly a program for writing rather than an information manager. Has a database. Uses markdown, but you don't have to be aware of it.

Now, on my desktop, I've mentioned before that I use TreeDBNotes - Using this program, I have notes for all of my program development, all my IT and network changes and logs, conversations with techs and agents over the phone, histories of various computers and devices and network management.  I've got an entire notebook dedicated to stories and poems, another notebook dedicated to notes on animals, artwork, etc.  They are my own personal encyclopedias.
Yes, you could do that.
I also love custom icons for note entries and folders in the tree.  With TreeDBNotes, I can also paste screenshots right into the editor with no further work (they become embedded as bmps).
Yes, you can paste images.
You'd use emojis instead of custom icons today. They will work here as well as anywhere else.
Getting data *out* of TreeDBNotes, yes, well, it has quite a few options, but they are kind of quirky, I think.  You can output to epub or html, really, that's sort of it.
I think that Inspire Writer's export options are pretty good (markdown, text, docx, PDF, HTML) and nicely manageable.

I have my own toolbar with all my own custom styles.  The tree gives you options to customize the style and icon AND flag of every entry in the tree.  Any entry in the tree can be a folder as well as a note.
No.
No customisation at all. WYS is all you can get.

  • Paste hyperlink
  • Recognize system url protocols
  • Multiple tabs, each with it's own tree
In a manner of speaking. No and No.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2022, 02:30 PM by Dormouse »