Henrique Dias 20 Jul 2020 09:25

Taking notes is a process… that’s true. Yesterday I found a post on HackerNews talking about how tired people are of new notes apps. I agree: there’s so many different note-taking apps that it becomes unbearable to find whatever fits you. I have a giang repository of markdown files with images and a …

So… replying to myself. Probably what I’m going to do is quite similar to what I had before: statically generate the notes from source markdown (or something else). I first need to decide the best language. Markdown is simples, yes, but sometimes I feel I need to add HTML to make it look exactly how I want it to. For example, I can’t just do this in markdown without using HTML. Some other markup languages allow for much more customization, such as Asciidoc.

Let me review the features I wrote yesterday to know if I can accomplish what I want this way. First, the must-haves:

Self hosted and open source Notes stored in plain text files Backlinking feature Supports LaTeX math Supports Mermaid diagrams

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes even if I have to create some script to adapt it to whatever static website generator I’m using. Unfortunately Hugo does not easily allow me to process backlinks on its own. I may try a different, more flexible, static generator for this. It’s an experiment and that way I’ll learn more. Maybe Gatsby or even Eleventy.

Clean layout and possible to easily edit on mobile

Yes and kinda. Need to find a good app. There’s some such as iA Writer that I know work very well. But I need to find a way to make it easily work with a Git repository.

Web editor (maybe WYSIWYG)

GitHub editor works. Not WYSIWYG though.

Simple and humanly readable markup language (markdown or other)



Can be implemented, although a bit harder.

Now let’s finally review the good to have features.

Full-text search

Can be implemented too.

Mind map visualization


Public/private stuff

Possible, harder, but possible.

Or if you don't know what a response is, you can always write a webmention comment (you don't need to know what that is).