Note Taking Applications

After going through Tiago Forte’s Building a Second Brain earlier this year, I have been on a quest to get my notes in order, and to start using them more. While Tiago uses Evernote in the course, I was already using Joplin to start taking some notes on SEO related topics (and I like my software free (as in freedom)).


I decided I did not like Joplin completely due to the way it names files, all the extra cruft it needs to append to the documents for organization, and the refusal of developers to allow the mobile application to ignore certificate warnings, while the desktop version could (yes, I know, I should have a valid cert for my internal servers anyway).


Right now I am using the default notes app from Nextcloud. It is certainly not great for progressive summarization or for refinding information. It is very basic, but is available cross platform and gets the job done.

Edit: I found that this Firefox plugin is a really good “web clipper”.


I am loving the way MindForger works, specifically the Associations box in the bottom left of the layout which constantly refreshes bringing you documents that are related to what you are currently writing about.

However, it is a bit buggy and as of right now I cannot view the entire document at once, only sections divided by headings. It only has one part time developer from what I can tell, so who knows how long it will be maintained. Probably not ideal in the long run.


I am looking toward Emacs as the “super haxor” solution. It has been around since 1985 and had releases this year, so I am confident it will stand the test of time. It is amazingly configurable, to a fault really. You can do so much with it that it can be hard to get started and find a solution to stick with. Something DIY guys like me can spend hours on.

In fact, I have already spent hours researching how to make it function just like MindForger. The DOOM flavor of Emacs seems like a great path forward for looks, ease of use, and a modern community of users. The only missing piece is the Associations box, which is very useful for writing as thinking.

Associates Box Example: Say for instance I start taking notes on a WordPress plugin, The Associations box might bring up my notes on core WordPress development, automatically. For me this is helpful because I don’t remember half the stuff I take notes on! This is also helpful for when you have a topic you didn’t know was relevant, say in the same instance it brings up my notes on SEO plugins for WordPress, which may be a direction I had not considered going in my notes.

The Rememberance Agent

So far my research has landed me with a plugin/addon/extension/module called: The Rememberance Agent. It was first written back in 1996 and last updated in 2004. It does compile with a few tweaks (see the 2 reddit links below).

I believe now that I have compiled it and have it working that I can tweak the styles and start using my new ultimate haxor note taking solution… with another large investment of time to learn to use Emacs.


Similar plugin: