Note-taking software #

I have tried many different ways to take notes over the years. These days I use emacs for pretty much everything.

List of programs #

This is a list of things I have tried or have intrigued me.

  • Bear, which is also great and has a great iOS app, but there was something about the way tags are handled, and the way it formatted Markdown for you, that felt ugly and limiting to me.
  • emacs, obviously.
  • Evernote, which today is just awful and bloated, was a decent option for a while.
  • iAWriter, the most beautiful Markdown editor, that I often use when I want to write something in a non-emacs UI.
  • Kinopio, a pretty interesting and unique tool, but I just can’t handle the aesthetic personally.
  • logseq, an Obsidian/Roam style hackable cross-platform thing. Useful as a mobile “interface” to a plaintext Zettelkasten (org roam etc).
  •, the simple Notes app installed on any Apple device, is fast and attractive and always good to just quickly write something. iCloud syncing is a very nice experience as well.
  • Nota, seems like a nicely made Markdown app with basic backlink support.
  • Notion, which I was pretty deeply invested in for a while but ultimately quit due to the unsettling feeling of having my notes sitting on some unknown server (and no local option).
  • Obsidian, which is the closest you can get to a hosted, polished version of org-roam with a nice UI. Sometimes I am tempted.
  • Trilium, which is great if hierarchies are your thing.
  • Ulysses, which I used more for trying to piece together a novel than writing notes, is also a very nice Markdown editor with some premium features.
  • Vulpea, an interesting layer on top of org-mode and org-roam.
  • Zim, which looks like a pretty ugly but highly customisable personal wiki with a custom plaintext format.
  • David Mytton on his favourite text editors for macOS; he’s tried them all.