New Shiny Note-Taking App Syndrome

Many times, the only reason we are trying out a new app is because of the Shiny New Object syndrome. There is a place for exploring, just don’t take it as an excuse for procrastinating.

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An important tool in my workflow is my note-taking app. I usually work in front of a laptop, so I keep it open all day. I take notes of ideas, of quotes I find interesting while reading. I keep notes from the books I’m currently reading. I write down the most important things I want to do each day. I outline the articles I write.

I’m currently using LogSeq for note-taking, but I’ve realized that I could use other apps if needed1. I use only a small subset of LogSec features. Definitely not the graph view, whiteboards or flashcards. I don’t need to have a server running with my notes.

My list of essential features for a note-taking app is short:

  • Text files, either in Markdown or org format. This is essential to avoid vendor lock-in.
  • Wiki-style inter-notes links so I can create connections between notes.
  • Automatic pasting and preview of images inside the editor.

Also, if possible, I like my note-taking app to have automatic journal notes—that is, the app automatically creates a text file for every day. If not a feature, no problem, I could probably automate this function somehow.

This short list of essential features keeps me focused on doing the work instead of trying shiny new note-taking apps. And believe me, there are lots of shiny new note-taking apps out there.

What’s your version of the shiny new object syndrome?

  1. Like I’ve mentioned before, prior to LogSeq I was using Emacs, which is definitely all-mighty but more complex. Also, Emacs is ugly, and I like apps with good-looking typography. ↩︎

note-taking productivity exploring procrastination LogSeq

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