Tried various note-taking and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) tools for the last 1 month and settled on Logseq after using Craft, Bear, Capacities, Reflect, Mem, Obsidian, Tana and UpNote. More than ever, we are now spoilt for choice. Most of these are well-designed with amazing functionalities. The more I use Logseq though the more I am falling in love with its principle of the “daily journal first” and “everything is a block” approach.
- Outliner – the smallest unit is called a block which is basically every bullet or node. pages are made up of blocks.
- Blocks can be zoomed in to focus and remove all the distractions and zoomed out to look at the bigger picture.
- All the child blocks can be easily collapsed and expanded.
- Free and open source.
- Available on all the standard OSs.
- Files are saved to disk in markdown format.
- Sync can be set up with either your favorite cloud app (I use iCloud Drive) or the official solution (starts at $5 a month).
- A decent number of 3rd party themes and plugins in the marketplace (not as high as Obsidian though).
- A journal or daily note gets automatically created at midnight every day. These journals can be scrolled continuously one below the other with the latest at the top.
- The concept is that you add notes in the daily journal rather than manually creating pages (which you can still do for evergreen topics) and add
#tag. These links or tags will automatically create the corresponding page with a backlink. This way you can easily track any activity over a period of time.
- Blocks and pages can be referenced (read-only) or embedded (editable) in other places.
- An excellent search via
Command/Control-K. Searching for a non-existent page provides the option to create one.
- Task management with time tracking.
- PDF annotations.
- YouTube video timestamp notes.
- YouTube, Twitter and iframe embeds.
- Keyboard shortcuts galore.
- Pages can be added to Favorites in the left sidebar.
- Any block or page can be opened in the right sidebar by shift-clicking on it. This way, we can open multiple references while working on a central piece in the middle.
- There’s a graph view that shows how all the pages are connected to each other.
- Properties can be set for blocks and pages.
- pages can have aliases. So you don’t need to type or auto-complete
[[Personal Knowledge Management]]all the time and instead simply do
[[PKM]]with both pointing to the same page.
- Simple or advanced queries can be written to pull and show blocks based on various criteria. I take notes of code snippets as and when I come across them in the daily note. Then specify the properties like
sub-type. The code snippets will automatically appear in a tabular format on
Code/WPfor example since I have queries on these pages.
- Has support for namespaces – if you create a page titled
Projectspage will be automatically created and have a link to
- Readwise to Logseq export integration.
- Friendly community on the forum and Discord.
I have probably only covered two-thirds of what is possible with Logseq. As I recently wrote on Twitter, I can’t believe it is free. Software this good should not be. I highly recommend you give it a try. There are a number of videos on YouTube if you want to dig into the details. If you are someone that feels overwhelmed with personal life/work and wants to consolidate all the meetings, things to do/remember, and notes on just about anything that goes on with your life – this is the place to do all your brain dump. Easy to put stuff in, and even easier to retrieve when needed.
In subsequent posts I’ll share some of my custom shortcuts and Alfred workflows for quickly logging to Logseq.