Note Taking Apps I'd Consider (If I Didn't Use Emacs)

A Quick Intro to Other Open Source Note Taking Tools

Over the I’ve talked with a few folks looking at improving their note-taking game. As part of those conversations, I try to find out their use-case.

Do they want to get better at writing? Are they looking to synchronize notes across their machine? Are they looking at integration with their code and text editor?

For myself, I want my note taking functionality incorporated in my text editor. That way I can further strengthen existing muscle memory short-cuts and perhaps open pathways to consider more.

Were I not using Emacs 📖 and Org-Mode 📖 (with Denote 📖) I’d consider the following:

NB 📖
a command line and local web note‑taking, book-marking, archiving, and knowledge base application.
Logseq 📖
a privacy-first, open-source knowledge base that works on top of local plain-text Markdown and Org-mode files.
Dendron 📖
an open-source, local-first, markdown-based, note-taking tool.
VimWiki 📖
A personal wiki for Vim—interlinked, plain text files written in a markup language.

Were I using Visual Studio Code 📖, I’d go with Dendron. If I used Vim 📖, I’d consider VimWiki or NB. And if I didn’t write code? I’d consider Logseq.

All of the above options are open-source, something I consider critical to my note-taking. I do not want vendor lock-in for the information I’m gathering, organizing, and referencing.

Further, each of those applications write notes to your file system in a recoverable manner. If the application goes away, you still have the raw files written in a consistent and mostly portable format.