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Posted by Simon
Oct 12, 2020 at 12:56 PM


I think there is also an element that people have always wanted to be able to see which notes they have made that relate to other notes they have made. The Zettelkasten idea is extremely powerful. What these new applications add is the behind the scenes connections. I keep making notes and the software connects the ideas. When I click on one note I can immediately see all other notes that link to this topic. Many used to do this with wikis but they became cumbersome to maintain. Even the venerable Tinderbox requires too much coding to make this happen for the average punter.

I do think there is a definite information overload. Do I really need to track every breakfast I’ve had? Or for that matter every thought I’ve had?

The big issue for me is that if you’re long enough in the tooth you may have amassed quite a mound of information and it’s having it all in one place in something that allows ease of creation plus ease of finding what you need when you need it. I CRIMP less these days as I’m tired of transferring information (it’s easy to lose creation dates, tags, labels and contexts) and worse I hate it if I have to look in 5 different apps for that note I made.

My best discovery this past year is Foxtrot Pro search. I moved all my data out of DEVONthink and it now sits in folders and Foxtrot serves up what I need in second. I’m slowly building my own repository in my own folders, which also means it’s easy to migrate should the need arise (and at Apple’s continuing extortionate prices, this may be a reality). I have way too many proprietary documents that need conversion to a more open format, but with a solid file naming convention and a good search, I’m fairly happy. Apps like Obsidian are more for shorter notes than meeting minutes, or perhaps apps for developing ideas and processing through data.