Networked note-taking

Digital tools conditioned us to perceive a folder-based top-down hierarchical model as the only way to organize information in our virtual workspaces. This arbitrarily structured approach to knowledge management breaks our flow and creates unnecessary friction in our thinking.

Networked note-taking is a more organic approach to capture and manage your endless stream of ideas and is more aligned with how our minds work. A method that allows structure and connections to surface themselves from the bottom up.

People in the space

Tools

Loosely sorted from most popular/prominent to less known or new. I’ve quoted landing page pithces and included personal comments for a few of the ones I’ve tried.

Roam Research

A note-taking tool for networked thought As easy to use as a document. As powerful as a graph database. Roam helps you organize your research for the long haul.

If you do end up trying Roam, I recommend doing the Effortless Output in Roam course by Nat Eliasson. It helps to make the core concepts click and start using Roam on daily basis. Even thought there are probably many good free resources since the course was launched.

What’s so great about Roam Research?

A good primer into underlaying concepts of Roam and what makes it different.

Obsidian

A second brain, for you, forever. Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

Wonderful native experience. Privacy-oriented and is closer to a traditional markdown style. Extensible with a very active comunity and a healthy plugin/DIY ecosystem.

LogSeq

Closest open-source clone of Roam Research. Uses markdown as a backend. It plays nicely with Obsidian and the developers seem eger and active.

A privacy-first, open-source knowledge base. Logseq is a joyful, open-source outliner that works on top of local plain-text Markdown and Org-mode files. Use it to write, organize and share your thoughts, keep your to-do list, and build your own digital garden.

Athens

An open-source self-hosted Roam clone, recently pivoted to focus on collaborative knowledge curation for researchers.

Notebag

Organize your notes without getting distracted. Notebag is a fully keyboard-compatible note taking app that links all your knowledge and gets out of your way

Lightweight and easy-to-use. A solo indie developer project.

Hypernote

Hypernote is a text-first, always-ready, two-way-linked online notebook.We believe that Hypernote’s unique mechanic makes it the second best tool, after your own brain, to collect and connect any kind of information.

Used to be free access. Now it seems to be in private beta.

Innos Note

We believe there should be an alternative to traditional knowledge management and content sharing, so we created Innos. Innos is designed to foster a culture of innovation, creativity, and connections. It equips curious minds with the right content creation tools to inspire and connect ideas.

Thunk

Thunk helps creators publish more. We created Thunk to make it easier for you to see patterns in your thinking, which means you’ll never run out of ideas. One-click publishing makes it easier than ever to share your content with the world (or whoever you want to see it).

References

Start with the book How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens. The first few chapters give you enough material to completely change how you approach note-taking.

Written, designed and developed by Ilja Panić