Toolkit on the latest Note-Taking Tool – LogSeq

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The last article was about beating stress and anxiety. This article focuses on one of my favorite topics again — a new note-taking tool called LogSeq.

a screenshot of logseq landing page

In this issue:

  • What is LogSeq
  • Why use tools for thought based on linking notes
  • How to start using LogSeq

There is a new wave of note-taking tools that started with Roam Research. Since then there have been a lot of new note-taking tools such as Obsidian, Athens Research, LogSeq. These tools let you form connections between different notes, thus creating links between thoughts and ideas. This can help you generate new insights due to the new connections. This is similar to how our brain works.

Features

Some features are common in all such linked note-taking tools. These include –

  • Bidirectional linking:
    Bidirectional linking means that when you create a link to note B from a note A, then you will obviously see a link in A. But above that, inside note B, you will see that it is linked to note A.

Here you can see that I created a new bullet point in Note A which links to Note B.

Inside Note B, you can see that there is 1 Linked Reference which shows that it is mentioned in Note A.

When you take a new note about India sometime and then mention Delhi there, you will find the mention of India inside Delhi as well.

  • Blocks and block linking: 
    The basic block of each note in LogSeq is a block which is a bullet point. You can add text, mathematical equations, embed videos, and do much more in each block. Each block can have infinite nested children.

    It even offers block referencing. This means that other than just linking to a page, you can link to a specific block as well.

    • Graphs:
      These tools also offer a visual graph of your notes. These again help you develop new insights by seeing which notes are linked together.
      A Graph in LogSeq

Then there are features that are more specific to LogSeq. Some other apps may also offer one or more of them but not all of them have these.

  • Built-in task management options:
    You can manage your tasks straight from LogSeq using the methods given.You can create a new block and mark it as TODO or DOING, and later mark it as DONE.


  • Queries:
    You can also list/filter some of your notes using basic queries.

    The above-mentioned query {{query (property type video)}} finds all the notes which have a property type marked as video.You can see two notes which have a type of video and links to them.
  • Templates:
    With templates, you can simplify your workflow by automatically including some blocks in your new note or inside a new block.Here is how to use a template directly from the docs.
    https://logseq.github.io/assets/template3_1621929392325_0.gif

  • Open Source and No data lock-inLogSeq is open source which means that anyone can see its code and contribute to it. This also means that it is never going to die since there will always be someone who should be able to build and run it.LogSeq uses no proprietary database and stores your data in simple text-based Markdown or Org-Roam format. Your notes are stored in the storage location of your choice which means that you always own your data. Even if you want to switch from LogSeq, it will be easy since all your notes are simple text-based files.


Benefits of using such tools for thought

Since everyone is using Roam Research or Obsidian nowadays, then it must mean that these apps serve some purpose, right?

The biggest benefit of using LogSeq or similar software is that they can be used to link your notes very easily. Just covering a phrase with [[ ]] is enough to create a link. This ease of linking is what makes them amazing to write down your thoughts. This way, you can write down your thoughts and then expand on them later.

The outlining feature of these tools lets you distill and improve on your thoughts with indented bullets.

You are also creating connections between different domains since there are unlinked references as well. Unlinked references are just like linked references shown at the bottom of a page. They are unlinked — meaning that they are not covered with [[ ]].


Alternatives

Roam Research is the most popular of all of these applications but all your data is stored on their cloud servers. It also has a steep pricing plan of US$ 15 per month.

Another alternative is Obsidian. It is not open source but saves all your notes in Markdown format locally. It is free for most of the use cases.

TiddlyWiki is the grandfather of all these note-taking tools. It is free as well as open-source. It keeps your notes in a single HTML file and thus can be edited using any browser. It also has a lot of different flavours available.

Athens Research is open-source, and freemium product. It is very similar to Roam Research but it stores all your data on your local machine.

There is also RemNote which also has built-in support for flashcards.

The reason why I am using LogSeq is because it supports markdown based notes, stores my notes locally, and that it is open source. Even though every note-taking tool does cause some data lock-in, but most of it being in markdown means that I will be able to run some scripts to convert all of my notes into my preferred format.

The development pace is also really fast. It is still in beta, the latest version being 0.2.3 but it can still be used for all your note-taking workflows. However, fast paced development and it not having a stable version also means that some things break occasionally. The team updated the Graph by the time I finished writing this article.

What next

After knowing all the features of the app, try out LogSeq and see if it is the right fit for you. Do not worry about note organization or try to beautify your graph in the beginning.

You can watch my video on YouTube where I explain the basic features of LogSeq.

Logseq for Beginners | Logseq Explained | #logseq #roamresearch

OneStutteringMind creates lovely videos explaining all the features of LogSeq along with other methods of note-taking.

OneStutteringMind

Closing Thoughts

If you like this issue, you can read the rest of them here on my website.

If you received this email from a friend, you can subscribe here. I write such an article every second week.

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