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What note-taking app has *actually* helped you grow your thinking in unexpected ways?

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Posted by digeratus
Oct 28, 2023 at 05:14 AM


So many systems promise this. Have you found it to be true? Which software, and can you give an example?


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Oct 28, 2023 at 11:02 AM


This is an excellent question. I am not a very disciplined note-builder, so I may not be the best example, but I can’t really think of any apps that have helped me develop my thinking or ideas in unexpected ways. I have found that they can help clarify my thinking, especially an app like Milanote. I’ll be interested to see what other responses you get.

digeratus wrote:
So many systems promise this. Have you found it to be true? Which
>software, and can you give an example?


Posted by Paul Korm
Oct 28, 2023 at 12:12 PM


I enjoy the spark of a new idea or insight.  It happens a lot.  But, not because of any computer or software.  It’s reading, talking to interesting people, day dreaming, and taking long walks that work, not machines.


Posted by Amontillado
Oct 29, 2023 at 01:12 AM


I think I need to CRIMP more seriously. Here’s where I’ve gotten actual good:

OneNote - that’s all I can use it work. It doesn’t have the feel of a worthy tool. I have to keep wet wipes at my workstation. Wet clay collects on the sharp stick. I have to clean up at intervals through the day.

Obsidian - On my Linux system and on a local Windows box which I use for logging into company training. Notes in Obsidian have been helpful. I have a bunch of Java notes in Obsidian on my Linux box.

Curio - Outlining, mind mapping, kanban, planning, and brainstorming. It’s fine for knowledge management and I’ve used it for that. Lots of flexibility in linking and replicating notes.

Devonthink - A monster of an app. Yesterday I got some automation via Keyboard Maestro. I plan to start using the Annotation feature like Scrivener’s synopsis.

Via KM, I can hit a hot key on a document of interest. switch back to where I’m building a transcluded list, and hit another hot key. It inserts an HTML comment identifying the parent of the annotation, a link to the annotation to edit it, and transcludes the annotation. Since annotation templates all start with a link to the parent document, you end up with links to open both the annotation and the parent.

Thanks to the magic of regular expressions, it’s smart enough to recognize the difference between a link to a document versus a link to an annotation. The same “insert transclusion” hotkey works for either style link, with some differences in what it pastes.

Happy with that.

It’s not an outliner, although you could use it for one, but I also really like the word processor Mellel. It’s said to have a steep learning curve. I think the curve gets a lot easier once you realize it’s not Word and doesn’t work that way. Styles are particularly cool in Mellel.

Mellel is in Israel. There’s a free trial. It’s not a bad thing to support at the moment.


Posted by Dominik Holenstein
Oct 30, 2023 at 03:37 PM


I am thinking of the good old ADM…

... and today I am using a mix of The Brain, Word and XMind.



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