Digital Zettelkasten Software and Tools

I recently quadrupled my creative output. Here are the tools I used »

Technology moves fast. I couldn’t get too specific about software in my book, Digital Zettelkasten, but here is a current overview of tools available for managing a digital Zettelkasten.

This is in no way an all-inclusive list. I have not spent a ton of time looking for the perfect notes app. I work with plain text and can change apps at any time – in fact I use a few different apps – so there’s little pressure for me to get it “right” from the start.

Plain text

I’m a big advocate of plain text – written in Markdown – because it’s lightweight and data-portable. Evan Travers has a wonderful introduction to Zettelkasten in Markdown, with a table breaking down the features of various apps. Here are some of the tools I like:

If you’d like to know a little more about how these apps apply to my workflow, read my blog post about my Zettelkasten.

Reading

Hosted

I generally don’t recommend hosted notes apps that store your data in a proprietary format, or even an open format that isn’t plain text. But, Roam Research is too powerful and popular to ignore. Currently it’s only available as a web app, but it has a “cult”-like following in part because it allows dynamic linking and inclusion of every “block” of your content. It’s very complex and so is either overkill, or exactly what you need.

If you’re wondering if I recommend [insert other popular hosted non-plain-text notes app here], the answer is probably not. You do not want to get locked into a notes app and several years down the road find it has gotten so boated and slow it’s unusable.

I recently quadrupled my creative output. Here are the tools I used »