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TiddlyWiki resurgent

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Posted by MadaboutDana
Oct 13, 2017 at 08:17 AM


I’ve just installed TiddlyWiki 5 and I’m loving it! I was looking for something to take down lots of fragments of thoughts, ideas, drafts etc. for a book I’m thinking of writing, and had been experimenting with all kinds of relatively unsatisfactory things - Scrivener, Ulysses, Outlinely, Bear, Gingko, Workflowy, OmniOutliner etc. etc. What I wanted was something that would allow me to produce something along the lines of index cards (yes, I know there are loads of those around, too), but very flexible, so you can close cards, open new ones, fold them (yes, the new TiddlyWiki allows you to keep notes onscreen but fold them down to the title), link them, and manage them.

I had totally forgotten TiddlyWiki until I stumbled across it following an irritating session with Gingko (don’t get me wrong, I think Gingko is AMAZING! and will undoubtedly be investing in the desktop version once that appears - in its current beta form, however, it’s far from finished). The new version 5 (dating from June 2016, I believe) is astonishing. Within a couple of hours I had a structure I liked (full hierarchical, folding table of hierarchical based on tags, various shortcut cards to key sections in that table of contents etc. etc. Sad and obsessive? Guilty as charged!) I had forgotten just how immensely customisable TiddlyWiki is; the new version has many much-improved macros, plugins and system-level elements that work amazingly well.

As you probably all know, TiddlyWiki is effectively a single web page, with all the goodness built into it. While this makes it incredibly efficient and portable, it also makes it a bit of a pain to use, in the sense that saving directly to the file from a browser is a little complicated. Unless you use Firefox + TiddlyFox, that is: TiddlyFox is an extension that allows you to enable precisely that functionality, so that rather than downloading the file from the browser every time you change it (which is what happens in Safari, Chrome, etc. etc.), it actually saves the changed file directly to disk.

On iOS, things are much pleasanter. Here you will find the gorgeous Quine, a brand new app (but with a good pedigree) that acts as a container for TiddlyWiki and links you up to Dropbox or iCloud, as you prefer (note that the behaviour in each case is slightly different; iCloud syncs automatically, Dropbox has to be instructed). Once you’ve got these things set up, using TiddlyWiki becomes simplicity itself.

TiddlyWiki could/should be described as an outliner, really - it has all the necessary functionality, including folding, tags, search function and so on. I thoroughly recommend! The latest version can be found at http://www.tiddlywiki.com