At some point I figured I like taking notes and organize my stuff, at least that’s what I’m telling myself to like. There are so many tools out there, so many ways of doing this. Super simple from pen and paper, to e-ink devices and millions of applications for mobile and desktop environments. So let’s try and gather all the workflows, apps for different platforms to find the right solution for everyone.
apps & tools
This will start out as an unsorted list, I want to write about the individual apps and/or how I use them. But you got to start at some point, right?
- sync notes with git on mobile, desktop and the web
- obviously the best note taking setup
- git-backed hosting for your notes
- iA Writer
I’d say these tools don’t meet all my requirements since they’re mostly hosted SaaS solutions and store their data in some database. Usually they provide some export mechanism, but this needs to be triggered manually.
- Google Keep
- Microsoft OneNote
Since I’m on iOS I’m going to share a few iOS shortcuts here or how to create your own to make the note-taking workflow easier.
focus & requirements
It’s 2020 and I want to embrace all the cool apps out there but for my notes or text files I want to own them and don’t give them away in some database I don’t have access to if company X will be acquired in the future and shut down, or lose data for some other reason.
Owning your files doesn’t mean there’s no sync and/or external storage involved, it just means the files are stored so you can access and read them with computers from 1980 and hopefully from 2040, let’s see about that.
What I’m aiming for:
- a bunch of text files – this way I’ll always have access somehow to my files
- full text search – this is crucial, I’m not a zettelkasten guy, I write things down, usually with a meaningful title, but I just want to search for my stuff and get it
- markdown syntax – if at all possible, with wiki style links between files for easy navigation
- cross-platformish – yes, this means iOS, macOS and the web. If a web version is possible, this will probably cover Android as well 🙂
- sync between devices – no sync, no-go.
- offline mode – anytime I really need to get to something I’m offline or have a spotty connection, this happened way too often, this is just a hard requirement.