We are still actively working on the spam issue.
- 1 Background
- 2 What
- 3 Examples
- 3.1 CherryTree
- 3.2 Foam
- 3.3 Joplin
- 3.4 Logseq
- 3.5 Markdown Memo
- 3.6 Memex Garden
- 3.7 Notion
- 3.8 ObsidianMD
- 3.9 Org Mode
- 3.10 Org Roam
- 3.11 Orgzly
- 3.12 Paper (Gnome)
- 3.13 TiddlyWiki
- 3.14 Tomboy (Gnome)
- 3.15 TreeSheets
- 3.16 Typora
- 3.17 Roam
- 3.18 VimWiki
- 3.19 Zettelkasten
- 3.20 Zettlr
- 3.21 ZimWiki
- 4 Reference Management Systems
- 5 Specialised Systems
- 6 Graphics
- 7 Synchronisation
- 8 Colophon
Every now and then there is a discussion on /g/ or /sci/ about note taking, second brain or knowledge management systems (KMS). Latest thread is the start of this page. This page is meant to collect useful information and make sure future discussion keep progressing rather than noodling around in small circles. People talk a lot about KMS but usually it is too abstract stuff and colourful presentations with fashionable drop shadows, and when everything has been said and done, too much has been said and nothing has been done. That is why we are here.
KMS is simply about collecting information so that you can easily retrieve it and also share it with other people. This sounds simple, and yellow post-its abound. The problem comes when you want to retrieve information and yellow notes do not scale. Instead you end up with the "sunflower syndrome" - yellow paper bits surround your monitor until it looks like a deranged sunflower. To retrieve information you need keywords, title, abstract, categories, and complexities quickly increases.
Most offer one or more features along
- Simple markup such as Wiki or Markdown, typically bold, italics, strike through, underlining
- Meta data such as title, keywords, abstract, name and date of creation, name and date of editing etc.
- Searching based on contents, metadata and folder
- Linking to other pages
For now just a list of various KMS that were brought up in these discussions.
Foam describes itself as a personal knowledge management and sharing system inspired by Roam Research, built on Visual Studio Code and GitHub.
Joplin is an open source note-taking app. Web pages can be saved as notes and notes can be shared via the cloud. It is crossplatform, with clients for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. Its internal database can be synced without external botnets using tools of your choosing.
Logseq describes itself as a privacy-first, open-source knowledge base, a joyful, open-source outliner that works on top of local plain-text Markdown and Org-mode files
Markdown Memo describes itself as a knowledge base with bidirectional links built on top of VSCode. Is is inspired by Obsidian.md and RoamResearch.
Memex Garden (formerly Worldbrain.io) is in beta but offers presently "Collaboratively Curating, Annotating and discussing websites & PDFs" and interfaces with other systems such as YouTube and Roam/Notion/Evernote via Readwise.
Notion is a collaborative document/note taking system with a workflow. Data is in the cloud and people complain about reliability. When the cloud is gone the sun shines over your empty workspace.
Obsidian is a KMS based on local files written in Markdown. There is also graphics to show how things are interrelated. Export is not completed yet.
Org mode for Emacs is a plain text major mode for keeping notes, to-do lists, and more. It provides for metadata such as title, author and date.
Org Roam UI describes itself as a graphical frontend for your org-roam Zettelkasten. Note that Org-roam-ui tries to keep up with the latest features of org-roam, which conflicts with Doom Emacs's desire for stability.
Orgzly is a free outliner for taking notes and managing to-do lists with specialised search functionality, where notebooks are written as plain text files in Org mode file format. This can be synched with many existing systems.
TiddlyWiki is a single page application (SPA) that implements a wiki on a file.
Tomboy describes itself as "Tomboy is a desktop note-taking application for Linux, Unix, Windows, and Mac OS X. Simple and easy to use, but with potential to help you organize the ideas and information you deal with every day." It has Wiki style linking and add-ins. Note Tomboy is well know even though it is no longer maintained and replaced by Tomboy-ng.
Typora is a minimal markdown editor. Files can be saved to Git.
VimWiki is a simple local wiki with a search engine.
Zettlr is another open source notebook with markdown
ZimWiki states: "Zim is a graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages."
Reference Management Systems
These are systems with a focus on handling references to and between document. Note that the Wikipedia article on comparison of these is having trouble with Wikipedia gatekeepers, and is also out of date.
From the home page: "The hydrus network client is a desktop application written for Anonymous and other internet enthusiasts with large media collections. It organises your files into an internal database and browses them with tags instead of folders, a little like a booru on your desktop. Tags and files can be anonymously shared through custom servers that any user may run."
Shaarli is a personal bookmark manager written in PHP. It integrates into any modern browser using a JS bookmarklet and allows the user to apply thumbnails, tags and Markdown descriptions to bookmarks. It can also store tagged notes in Markdown, which are just bookmarks without a URL. It's private by default, but you can expose part of your bookmarks as public. Your friends can follow your public bookmark feed over the built-in RSS feed.
Knowledge can be illustrated by various tools such as Freeplane, Graphviz and more, but will quickly run into the problem of connecting lines piling up like mats.
Often it is useful to sync data between devices. This is often a paid for feature in freemium products. Free alternatives exist, such as Synchting.
This is a start. We need a lot more.