For a moment I was tempted to install NextCloud on my laptop today, on a whim to see if I could use a local instance for note taking. Both as a step away from Evernote, as well as to strengthen my digital garden. Then I checked myself, and realised I need to think about my process and needs first, not think in terms of tools. Over the past weeks exploring posts and discussions about note taking and digital gardening, I noticed how much of it is focused on tools, and how little on envisioned or existing workflow, process or intended effect.

So I should take my own advice in the first of three follow-ups in a recent conversation on wikis, and look at my information strategy first. Starting from this 2005 image and posting about filtering:

input filter

If after such an exercise I conclude that running a local (non-cloud) instance of NextCloud makes sense, it will be early enough to install it.

7 reactions on “

  1. As much as I’m a fanboy of Nextcloud, it wouldn’t be my notetaking tool of choice. Yes, it has a notes app, but that’s a thin veneer of bare-bones text editor over a loose collection of files. There’s no interlinking, no content besides text. I tried, and I couldn’t make it work. If you want to go this route, especially hosted on a non-public place, I’d stick with the loose text files, as it’s far less overhead.

    Since it’s Evernote you’re getting away from, and not necessarily a wiki you’re running *to*, how about something like Joplin? That’s far closer to Evernote, you can link to other notes.

    Of course, it all depends on the workflow, as you already mentioned, so maybe I shouldn’t wave $RANDOM_TOOL in your face to distract you from getting a clear view of that, first. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Yes, you’re probably right on all three points ๐Ÿ™‚
      I have Joplin installed since a while, but haven’t explored it much yet. Currently for ‘wiki’ style notes I use a local wordpress instance I already used for journaling. There I use pages for wiki (and webmention for two-way linking), and blogposts for journaling. I started keeping daily logs some weeks ago, and I noticed how it more easily spins off public blogposts and wikipages with info, snippets and pointers. Doing that made me realise that I need to look at my own motivations and needs more, before trying to tweak the toolset. It sort-of works as is, but what is it I am trying to accomplish in the first place?

      • The “motivations and needs” bit certainly is important.

        For me, that’d rule out anything I’d have to run, even if locally, before I can access the data. Running a full web stack for some personal / local storage would feel a bit “weird” to me – but then again, my needs are mine. For me, cross-device without needing to set up is a big need, so that means that whatever tool I use, needs to store its data in plain text somewhere.

        Funny thing how different people have such different wildly outlooks, when you think of it.

  2. For what it’s worth, I use the Notes app in Nextcloud, and I like it. It does have some limitations, as Max says, but it does support Markdown relatively well, and it does what I need to have it do.

    I’ve had considerable success otherwise in using the Reminders app on my Mac, synced to Nextcloud, for some of the things I formerly used Evernote for: when I have a new bill to pay, for example, I have an Applescript set up that creates a new Reminder, with a link to the PDF of the bill.

    • Oh, I certainly have a use for Notes, especially for the things that I absolutely need to be able to access, No Matter What. Since it’s simply a directory structure with some markdown files in them, which is synced across a couple of computers and a phone, by the time I lose access to all of them, my biggest problem won’t be the notes. ๐Ÿ™‚

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