Posts from 2020

Don't Dehorsify the Horse

The Zettelkasten Method seems to get more and more popular. With popularity of methods there always comes a problem: Overzealous Orthodoxy. Some people, for various reasons, try to state what a Zettelkasten is and what not. A good example is the use of categories: Do you have a Zettelkasten if you use a Zettelkasten? Some people argue that you wouldn’t have a Zettelkasten if you use a Zettelkasten and the very point of a Zettelkasten is to ditch the categories.

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Video Demo: TextMate as a Zettelkasten App

TextMate is a free, open-source macOS text editor that we mention on this site since forever. It is also damn good at navigating files in a big folder. So it’s a good alternative to dedicated Zettelkasten software. In this video, I demonstrate the basic interaction patterns for TextMate to get a plain text Zettelkasten working: how to navigate around, make use of the folder-relative “Open Quickly” command, and create new notes. You know, everything you really need to be productive.

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The Archive Turns 2 Years Old

The dominating topic of this month is COVID-19. Nevertheless, The Archive is celebrating. We don’t let pessimism grip us and carry on. Last week, on March 15th, was The Archive‘s 2nd anniversary. Just like we’re all supposed to not celebrate big birthday parties or gather for festivities in general, this year’s app anniversary is toned way down as well. Here’s to what has happened in the past year.

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Make [[WikiLinks]] Clickable in Marked 2

In the forums, @mjknight shared a Marked 2 preprocessor script that you can use to transform non-standard [[wiki link]] to become regular Markdown links that you can click on. Marked will expand the path, so in my case ~/scripts/marked_wikilink_preprocessor.rb becomes /Users/ctm/scripts/marked_wikilink_preprocessor.rb and it shows a faint "OK” next to the path text field.

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Emulate Automatic Link Suggestions in Your Note-Taking App and The Archive

If your note-taking app of choice doesn’t support auto-completion to suggest links while you type, what can you do? Not all software can implement the exact same feature that I’d like it to have. Then I try to figure out ways to use a tool to do what I want, breaking down the feature into more basic steps, each of which I could do manually, if needed. This works surprisingly well most of the time.

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Insert a List of Backlinks Into All Your Notes

Andy Matuschak shared a script called note-link-janitor with us the other day that maintains a list of backlinks in all of your Markdown notes. And yes, by “maintains” I really mean “maintains”: if it doesn’t exist, it adds a ## Backlinks section at the end of each Zettel with a list of incoming links, and it updates the section on subsequent runs. This means you can run the script as often as you’d like, and it always produces an up-to-date result – as opposed to, say, naively adding a new ## Backlink section time and time again. When you run the script regularly, you’ll always have an up-to-date backlink list in your notes. Neat.

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