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Last post Author Topic: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten  (Read 402571 times)

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1175 on: October 19, 2022, 04:24 PM »
That sounds very similar to what Taylor uses it for himself. I assume he said he'd address the image thing; sounds like the sort of thing that can be added straightforwardly.

I just like how it looks better, and the cards and some of the navigation options I like better.
All these matter to me too. Makes for a smoother workflow.
I'll admit that there are a few other things too ..

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1176 on: November 05, 2022, 07:47 AM »
Walling.app

I've been using Walling for about a week and I think I'm sold!
...
The Walling community can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook...om/groups/wallingapp
Also has a Slack channel now.

I should have paid more attention at the time, but came across it more recently as I was looking to compare other visual programs, having started trialing Heptabase and Scrintal. And I have since incorporated it into my workflow.

Looks a lot like Notion.  Have you used that?  If so, can you say how it's different?

I never got on with Notion, so I'm not in a good position to answer this, but the key to its value for me is that everything is done in cards (calls them bricks) as on a corkboard (calls them walls - but no stacking), but you can switch that visual card view to kanban, table, list, calendar. Very good for quick entry, but notes editor isn't great. Was apparently originally designed to be a notes app and then evolved into a collaborative project program.

The key feature for me is that each 'wall' can be exported as a markdown file, and that file will have a number of heading layers. So my workflow is to use sections on a wall rather than separate walls where it makes any sort of sense and then export each wall daily.

There are many, many, many things I believe could be better, but updates are frequent and it's simple and practical and available on all OSs. The biggest weakness compared to other current notes programs is that it doesn't have wikilinks or any equivalent system.

I use it in two main ways.
  • For very small notes of any type.
  • I also use it in creative development; I like the ability to switch views and and it's design is entirely agnostic about purpose, which seems never to be true of programs designed for writers.
Since I'm using it anyway, I also use it for task management.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1177 on: November 05, 2022, 08:33 AM »
I write all notes/research in simple markdown using Obsidian syntax. I do that whatever program I write the notes in. And whether the file is a .md or .txt. I might write those notes as a a docx, but will also save them as .txt
...
 the interoperability of markdown programs is limited unless they restrict themselves to very basic functions. And adding the extra functionality required for many purposes today, creates the same conversion lock-in as databases

As I used more markdown programs, and accessed the same files with a number of them, my issues with markdown as a system gradually increased.

I am unwilling to incur an extra cognitive load simply to reduce computing complexity or longevity. If I could do all writing effectively in docx or other form of rich text, then I would. The programs tend to be more robust and reliable than the markdown equivalent. But much of my writing involves complex notes, which tips me to using programs that can easily access my notes for the first draft. So these workflows are unsettled (as yet) and very depending on what I am writing

But I still felt stuck.

I finally migrated my OneNote notes (not really more than project ideas and blog drafts, but they can be quite long these days) to plain text; Markdown, not org-mode, because Markdown just has better support, despite the inferior syntax.
...
QOwnNotes seems to be able to do much more than I need, but it plays well with Nextcloud and it won't clash with other tools, which is nice.
It'll take weeks before I finally am happy with my configuration. Ah, so many new knobs...

And apparently waving to Tuxman as I change direction.

This actually feels quite stable (famous last words, I know). Tangent & markdown notes on one hand; Word and docx on the other. Whiteboards still being explored, but they (in form of mindmaps/OneNote) have always been peripheral though very useful for rejigging.

And here I am.

All my notes are written using Tangent. Easy, productive environment, wikilinks and I can use other programs like Obsidian, Typora etc if I need to. I'm adding comments & etc using NoteZilla.

I'm using Word for longform writing - everything in one file. Supplemented by OneNote (I put longer comments in OneNote and put a link into a Word comment). It works. There will be no friction when it's time to send off because it is already in the right format; collaborative review is possible; I have colours; nothing to stop me writing first drafts in a program that feels nicer like Inspire Writer. And Microsoft are supporting OneNote again and so Onetastic lives on; and jotting a few quick points into OneNote is genuinely quick and low friction.

And I'm tidying smaller notes into Walling, which from my pov is giving me a range of good visual views into single long markdown files (it won't import them yet, but that's apparently on the roadmap).

It feels as if I've marched up and down the hill several times. Discovered good places to camp and then discovered drawbacks, and had to pack my tent and march on. But this feels stable. Not perfect but workable. Whiteboards will come some time, but I don't see them changing the structure - I'm still as all in on files as I can manage.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1178 on: November 14, 2023, 05:43 AM »
Over a year since I posted, so I thought I ought to update.

I continue to write in Word. It's okay. No aggravations. All the features I need. No extra time-consuming steps required. Stable.

Stores attachments internally - a benefit because links always break eventually requiring images etc to be relocated. Don't really understand why markdown doesn't have a zip file format that includes attachments like docx.

I'm tidying smaller notes into Walling, which from my pov is giving me a range of good visual views into single long markdown files

I stopped doing this quite quickly. Walling exports aren't really usable. Program's aims and functions have evolved away from me. Many newer programs seem to change rapidly as they chase markets (eg Nimbus Notes now becoming FuseBase).

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1179 on: November 14, 2023, 06:48 AM »
Whiteboards will come some time, but I don't see them changing the structure - I'm still as all in on files as I can manage.

I have spent a lot of time trialling Heptabase, Scrintal and Obsidian's Canvas. I've learned that whiteboards suit me very well (though I actually knew that already), but I haven't renewed a subscription to any. They lack essential features, with no clear idea of when they'll come, and they're evolving like Walling in directions that may not suit my usage. Heptabase has reconceptualised its market as being about learning rather than research; that removes urgency from producing usable exports. I also found the need to import notes into the database structure in Heptabase and Scrintal highly frictional. It's a bit of a pity that they aren't ready because I can see that nothing else conceptually suits me so well for working with sources.

Also learned how useful mindmaps can be sometimes. Which switched me back to Mindomo, which produces a brilliant export into docx (hadn't noticed it before since I wasn't then writing in Word) which even includes comments and notes. Mindmaps/Concept Maps; playing around with ideas and structures; it's just one stage but I automatically do that in Mindomo now. It's also functional for tasks, which I'll add in if they are related and breakdown into a sequence.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1180 on: November 14, 2023, 07:04 AM »
I still use Tangent for writing substantive notes. (Though notes with images or other attachments are more likely to be done directly in Word.)

But my use of OneNote for bits of notes and ephemera and mini-ideas is increasing. I was interested to read this interview with the original developer of OneNote

“I wish I had a place that I could just throw things that I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them.” They aren’t necessarily in service of writing a document, or really anything. I just might think they’re interesting. Like a scrap book, or a notepad or who knows what?"
..
"I called it “Scribbler” because I thought ‘that’s cute’, and I wanted it to be not intimidating like some of our professional document tools are. And I wanted it to be, sort of ink sounding. And the idea of scribbles meant it didn’t have to be important stuff. It could just be things I wasn’t sure I’d need for later."
..
"We had some principles: It has to boot really quickly; it has to never lose your notes; and it has to let you capture whatever you need immediately without hunting around for the right place… Capture first, file later."

That sums up my own experience with OneNote. Wish I'd seen it before. Very good for this type of use (and working with Word) - although never without major irritations. But a PITA for substantive notes.

And also this : "they announced that they would converge on the Win 32 version. But of course, the Win 32 version was showing its age because no one had been showing it any love for the past 6-8 years."
I suspect that the Win 32 codebase is now tangled and hard to reform - one reason why developers tried to go down a simpler route. I imagine it will be some years before all the irritations are smoothed - if indeed that is possible and Microsoft has the drive to do it.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1181 on: November 16, 2023, 07:01 PM »
I'll just add that I'm also looking at Lattics.
Writer/student oriented. Mindmap view; Card Library; &etc. Local but not file based. Windows/Mac but not mobile or Linux.
I've seen it described as a PKM app, competitor to Obsidian etc. Not sure I see it like that atm. #tags, @links but no wikilinks. Based on projects rather than storing everything you've ever thought. Looks like it might be a good academic & non-fiction writing app; has most of the features that I tend to look for. Quite flexible. And easy to drag .md files into projects as part of the text. Good export options.

It's a fun type of looking at it rather than a serious look - I have no need to change what I'm using, so I may not have a developed opinion anytime soon, or even ever.

The developers have a number of other products. auramarker.com was registered in 2012 in China. As good a chance of longevity as anything else, and data isn't locked in.

There's also the new Literature & Latte writing app (to run concurrently with Scrivener). I know nothing more than it should be in public beta next year having been in private development for three years. I was too late to sign up for the private beta - and couldn't justify taking a place anyway since I was unlikely to give it enough use.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1182 on: November 25, 2023, 05:30 PM »
I continue to write in Word.
my use of OneNote for bits of notes and ephemera and mini-ideas is increasing.
Today I was fuzzing around the net and updated myself on the blog of David Hewson (English crime/travel writer and erstwhile user & reviewer of Scrivener, Ulysses & Ulysses book and DabbleWriter).
He's now writing in Word and doing his development work in OneNote!

Just to point out that erikts has reported that the last link is now only found on Way back Machine - https://www.donation....msg453339#msg453339
« Last Edit: February 18, 2024, 05:39 PM by Dormouse »

sphere

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1183 on: January 03, 2024, 02:40 PM »
Also learned how useful mindmaps can be sometimes. Which switched me back to Mindomo, which produces a brilliant export into docx (hadn't noticed it before since I wasn't then writing in Word) which even includes comments and notes. Mindmaps/Concept Maps; playing around with ideas and structures; it's just one stage but I automatically do that in Mindomo now. It's also functional for tasks, which I'll add in if they are related and breakdown into a sequence.

I am curious about mindomo.  It looks like the desktop app is free, and only limits the number of "topics" to 40.  But then they charge for their cloud services.  Is that correct?  https://www.mindomo..../desktop/pricing.htm

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1184 on: January 06, 2024, 03:31 PM »
I am curious about mindomo.  It looks like the desktop app is free, and only limits the number of "topics" to 40.  But then they charge for their cloud services.  Is that correct?  https://www.mindomo..../desktop/pricing.htm

https://www.mindomo....ersonal-business.htm
The free plan is useful to get some idea about the features and how it works. The comparison table above shows that it includes the Android & iOS versions.
But the limitations are significant, the minute you begin to use it - number of diagrams 3, topics 40, export formats 3.

The desktop version can be local only. Or it can sync with the cloud version. Both can be accessed free. I find it easier to think of them as two distinct apps - and they probably are since they're not feature identical.

30 day money-back guarantee iirc. And doesn't auto-renew subscriptions - renewals have to be done manually by customer.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 04:08 PM by Dormouse »

sphere

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1185 on: January 08, 2024, 10:12 PM »
thanks.

rjbull

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1186 on: February 09, 2024, 04:55 PM »
Whilst rootling around for better web clipping, I came across Upnote.

The thread has moved on, with no further comment on Upnote?

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1187 on: February 14, 2024, 04:08 PM »
The thread has moved on, with no further comment on Upnote?

I still have it installed. I still use it. Occasionally.

In my mind I classify programs:-
  • Look
  • Play
  • Occasional use
  • Test
  • Trial
  • Use
Few programs make it to use most days.

Upnote sits in the 'occasional use' category. Not for any particular deficiency but because of how it fits into my preferred workflow.
Word used to be 'use when I have to'. OneNote has oscillated between play and trial and all points in between (not forgetting "I'm never going to use that program ever again"). Mindomo has usually been occasional (because of the needs of my workflow); maybe 'semi-regular but default' would be a better categorisation for it (like EditPad Pro) but it probably deserves more use, especially now that its notes have a good dark mode.

I tend to use Upnote for sharing; sometimes for clipping and sometimes/rarely for writing notes.
I don't use it more for clipping because my workflow has moved in a different direction. My main workflow is based on Readwise and Readwise Reader (with Pocket subscription when I want to be sure I have photos preserved). That's because it automates highlight sharing between programs. And then, now that I seem to be actually using OneNote, I already have a decent web clipper. If I weren't using Word and weren't paying for Readwise, I might well be using Upnote.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1188 on: February 17, 2024, 05:43 PM »
The thread has moved on, with no further comment on Upnote?

I still have it installed. I still use it. Occasionally.

I decided to move it into test mode.
The issue with database PKM apps is that, in the absence of clear boundaries, they need to be all or nothing. The few file based apps (Obsidian, Tangent, Logseq to an extent) can all work on the same data and have full access to all the installed file utilities, but the database apps have to live entirely on their own features - possibly helped by any integrations they have with other programs - but they need all the notes or else the tags and links are degraded in value. Switching in or out of them can be easy or hard (Upnote seems easy for both), but there's a high cost to using more than one at a time. The links, backlinks and tags exist only within the database until they are exported. My small attempt to mitigate this is using only wikilinks and #tags, which means that I only have to move the texts around and don't need to rely on import/export algorithms, but it's still high cost to try to work with the same note collections in more than one program.

Which means it is a significant commitment to trial them seriously. Good import and export helps.
There's always the image problem in going from markdown - because it relies on links, you have to ensure all links are working. I've not tested this in any depth; I don't like using images in markdown notes because it's my experience that links will always break in the end. Would be better if the textbundle format were more widely used. But I don't think images export well to markdown. And imports probably work better if the images are in an external image library.
Tags import and export perfectly.
As does the text in the notes. Links work when imported, but can break on export because of syntax issues etc.
But mostly manageable. It's not as all in as with many.

I've seen many users put off by the low price. How can they keep that going? Only a small company (two developers in Vietnam). True; they do mitigate costs by limiting the size of notes and uploads, and say the database is optimised for 5,000 notes - which isn't that many really. But Evernote was big; Nimbus Note (which I mentioned originally in the same post as Upnote) has mutated to FuseBase and collaboration; Walling is now mostly about teams too; OneNote has been constantly threatened with being downgraded. I wouldn't be put off by that.
Others rattle on about the lack of E2EE. For me that's a manufactured issue. Few apps have that. There's encryption at rest and in transit. The old reset password trick will work if a hacker has access to your emails. I have no intention of storing my banking details in the app, but I'm not that worried about my notes.

And I have been concerned that I don't have a worked out Plan B for Tangent; I don't regard Obsidian as a viable alternative. And the concern has increased by its going open source. It may stay on the same path; but may also have alien bits injected which I might not find so comfortable.

And the Upnote design is nice and easy to work with. Like Heptabase it's essentially local with sync (Firebase in this case). #tags. [[wikilinks]], backlinks; no graph, although I doubt many actually use the graphs anyway. Easy, good looking info panel. Aimed at individuals not teams or collaboration; I assume that will come, though I'd rather the developers effort weren't spent on adding it. No AI as yet (I anticipate that it will come some time but at extra cost]]. I have it set for daily backups to markdown; and will do regular markdown exports into Tangent workspaces (the exports preserve file names (syntax allowing) - backups don't. No need to fuss over images. Good focus mode; ability to have notes in separate always-on-top windows. Good control of line length, line and paragraph spacing, although no first line indent; Enter=New Paragraph; typewriter mode. Custom option for the order in note lists which is something Obsidian and Tangent struggle with.  Search is quite simple, but it does have replace. Colour text and highlight; I can't tell whether the underlying design is rich text sticking to markdown limits except with colour (I've read a claim that it is) but it can paste markdown and rich text and accepts writing in markdown formatting syntax. And in my relatively limited use so far it has been reliable and quite fast. It's not block based, which some will see as a disadvantage, and sections can't be dragged around, but that's no different to Tangent or Obsidian.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2024, 05:41 PM by Dormouse »

erikts

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1189 on: February 18, 2024, 01:34 AM »
The URL to
... and doing his development work in OneNote!
is broken but I find it in Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive....do-you-start-a-book/

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1190 on: February 18, 2024, 05:17 PM »
The URL .. is broken but I find it in Wayback Machine:
Thanks. I'll update the original post so others don't have to chase it down.

Dormouse

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1191 on: February 18, 2024, 05:34 PM »
[[wikilinks]]
In practice, Upnote doesn't have wikilinks as I know them. The initial [[ offers to link to existing notes, or create new ones, but a completed [[is just text]]. Even if you add a note with that text, no link is created. This is pretty poor from a workflow pov.
OneNote is slightly better. It turns the text into a possible link when the final ]] is typed, but doesn't recognise [[text]] as a possible link.

There's workarounds oc, but irritating nonetheless.
I assume they're saving computing power by not parsing existing text. Or pasted text.

sphere

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Re: I'm thinking of going primitive, with discursion into zettelkasten
« Reply #1192 on: February 20, 2024, 04:34 PM »
I have enjoyed following your process of exploration.  I have not been able to explore tools in this way.  A couple questions struck me- if when you read them you feel you have already covered it in a previous post, let me know and I will go looking. 

All my notes are written using Tangent. Easy, productive environment, wikilinks and I can use other programs like Obsidian, Typora etc if I need to. I'm adding comments & etc using NoteZilla.

I'm using Word for longform writing - everything in one file. Supplemented by OneNo

I am really interested in how you achieve using Tangent, logseq and obsidian together and how notezilla is layered ontop of your system. If I remember correctly, Logseq has a nice way of way of taking notes while viewing a video or while working with a pdf. I really like the way tangent looks. I have not used it but I like the nesting panes.  I like card like systems and kanban boards etc.  I would think that tangent's formatting would confuse logseq and obsidian. I realize that these are all text files but I thought that the front matter/yaml  wasn't really compatible. 

Integrating with mobile is also important. I have liked Joplin  but I have read about some frontmatter/yaml issues in addition to the way it handles each note's unique id. I have heard good things about qownotes which can be synched via nextcloud.

The issue with database PKM apps is that, in the absence of clear boundaries, they need to be all or nothing. The few file based apps (Obsidian, Tangent, Logseq to an extent) can all work on the same data and have full access to all the installed file utilities, but the database apps have to live entirely on their own features - possibly helped by any integrations they have with other programs - but they need all the notes or else the tags and links are degraded in value.

I think some databases offer the ability to process alot of information more quickly.  For instance Zotero's ability to capture web pages and also metadata is a good example.