As tools like Notion have combined notes with every other app feature you could want, the iPad and Galaxy Notes have digitalized handwritten notes, and Roam Research has made backlinking and building a web of notes the new norm, how have your personal note taking habits changed?
Did you switch the way you take notes to fit new apps, or tweak the apps to fit your workflow? Do you write down more or less in notes apps today? Have you thrown all the apps out and gone back to paper and pen?
Most curious if the new software approaches to notes have actually changed how you think about text and writing ideas down.
Full disclosure, I am a "shiny object" person and always want to try the new thing. I have also had a lifelong addiction to Moleskines. Flirted with Evernote, the Apple Notes app, and then found Notion last year. I fell HARD, told everyone within reach that Notion was going to take over my life, went too far down the rabbit hole and created a Frankenstein Notion space that was so convoluted and tricked out that it wasn't useable. Then my husband showed me NotePlan 3. I've been using it very simply, to keep my calendar and to do items and notes in one place, for a couple of months now, and I think it's "the one." Not as nerdy as Roam, not as flexible as Notion, but just perfect for me. I'm using it on my iPad, so I can take notes in meetings with my Apple pencil (handwriting converts to text), and I have it on my desk in place of my Moleskine so I can keep my to do list in front of me without switching tabs on my desktop. Curious to hear from others on this subject too...
I have been a OneNote evangelist for almost 10 years now. I've been tempted by other great notes apps such as Notion, but OneNote has really stuck. The only thing that has changed is the use of an iPad and Apple Pencil with OneNote. Its support for the Pencil is outstanding and I've managed to convince others on my team to leverage whatever tablet and stylus they have to take hand written notes within OneNote.
I just switched to using Noteplan 3 with Obsidian as a complement, after having been a 12-year Evernote user and I have just this week escaped its walled garden.
I am enjoying having my notes be stored locally and in plain markdown so that I can take them and do what I want with them as opposed to them being stuck in an .enex database. I love the calendar and reminder integration along with the ability to backlink notes.
I use Noteplan for 90% of my notetaking and use Obsidian to view the developing knowledge graph, create powerful templates and take advantage of some of its powerful plugins.
I'm not sure if anyone else is this way, but with the influx of note-taking and productivity apps, I've found myself looking for more "hidden" note-taking spaces. I've personally found that note-taking in Notion or Roam Research is a great experience, but it falls too much in the "work" brain space, where many of my thoughts don't necessarily fall. I guess over time I've been finding myself looking for more demarcation btw work and personal writing/notetaking/brainstorming.
I searched for a while and have been using http://noto.ink/ (paid version) and loving it!
A weird change for me over the past year, that's worked but I'm not sure is the best solution to data overload: I take more ephemeral notes that I don't plan to keep around.
I started using Tot, a simple Mac and iOS notes app that only lets you save 7 notes in tabs, and keeps them synced between your computer and phone. It's almost a post-it note style app, where you write stuff down to remember it by virtue of it being right there in front of you.
And it's worked well for me. When I think of something I need to do, or am writing down ideas for blog posts and more, they'll go in a blank Tot note. When I'm done, I'll just erase the note and reuse that space for something else. It's kept me from saving notes forever that I'll never need in the future. The limited number of notes has also helped me remember stuff, as I'll flip through them and remember something I wrote down—which likely would have been entirely forgotten if I had put it in a more traditional notes app with unlimited pages.
I've always been an obsessive note taker. Back when Evernote was launched, I was hooked. I used Evernote for university, projects, movies I watched, etc. It was satisfying to know that I was building a second brain and could access notes and notions I've had in the past. ** But that's exactly where it failed me. ** I experienced diminishing returns as i could not keep tabs on what tags or notebooks I chose for a given note. It soon became an unorganized brain dump that was no longer a pleasure to use (nor effective).
Two key issues:
1. No system (my fault)
2. No bi-directional links (see where I'm going with this?)
As an Evernote user, I did not stick to any methods (such as Zettelkasten). Do you need one? I won't go down that rabbit hole but you should apply some general rules ("no copy pasting"), at the very least. Having a system within Evernote (or any alternative) will enhance your experience 100x.
Cue Roam Research. I have been using it everyday for the past 6 months or so. The game-changer? ** Bi-directional Links **
With bi-directional links, you can effortlessly link your new notes to past research. You don't need to think about what "tag" fits the topic or if you should create a new one. After some weeks of use, you a network of thoughts, ideas, notes, and research. Every node is a note. It's a lot more "natural" and smooth of a process, albeit a small learning curve.
Roam Research changed the way I look at note-taking.
I’m a serial early adopter and will try many types of software at least once. Roam has completely streamlined my notetaking overlaps. I modified the UI a tiny bit with my own fonts using roam/css, and now use it every day.
I spent years using Evernote and Omnifocus, but when I started using Roam, I thought that was it. But I didn't like that I wasn't able to control my files, so switched to Obsidian and love it, but it is missing the calendar integration that I really need. So I then switched to NotePlan3 (once version 3 was available as part of SetApp). I still use Obsidian although I haven't quite figured out where the line is as to what goes into NotePlan vs Obsidian...still working that one out.
I used to use only the Apple Notes since it was easy to access from my iphone/mac. But I found it hard to search across multiple notes. I still use it to save some personal info on a single note.
Since Spike launched integrated Notes (I do work there, but it's not the reason I have wholly adopted using the Notes) it has made jotting down ideas, sharing lists and editing documents with anyone extremely easy.
The best thing about it for me is that I can share the note with anyone (including anyone not using Spike) just by sharing a link.
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