Arjun Yadav's Webpage

Why use a note taking app?


Sell me Obsidian. Or any other note taking app for that matter. I want to buy it, sell me. I was influenced so much by youtube's productivity gurus that I wanted have all my knowledge base on these apps. I tried things like Obsidian, Joplin and so on. I don't even remember their names now, they were so NPC.

After trying all these, one after other, I found myself continuously pulling my hairs. Jumping from one app to another. There were few problems which I was encountering in every app. See for example Joplin, it takes 10 seconds for this program to start on my laptop. 10 seconds! even Firefox snap is snappier than this. Now there is one better side of the Joplin when compared to other apps: It offers free synchronization to one drive as a basic feature without requiring any additional plugin. It offers markdown support and live preview of the document. It is the best option for my needs which I have found. That's what I thought, until I made a todo list in it and tried to notify myself for it: On my PC I received a minor notification of the task (which I ignored) and on phone I did not even receive any notification, because on phone I forgot to open the app and sync the todo data. For Joplin devs, according to their FAQ's background sync is not a read thing. But I didn't lose my hope, I opened the app, did the sync, and finally got the notification. But with only caveat i.e the notification was mild that it did not get my attention and I just swiped it. Ah! Joplin was all good but for to-do the notification is not its strength.

I just wanted an app where I can make notes and get some to-do notifications which can induce me to complete the tasks. I have found notifications to be quite important. Generally I can make a list of items to be done in some app or text file, but after sometime I will end up forgetting that I have even made such a list and notifications exactly eliminates that.

I was losing all my hopes but then I realized that I am using Linux. "Diya tale andhera" (Darkness under the lamp). Why go for big apps when I can simply use markdown, vim and git combo. There are some benefits too:

But one thing is missing: To-do

I finally sold my soul and tried Google Keep and I was actually surprised by its capabilities as not only a note taking thing but also a to-do list reminder. I set a sample task for test and I must say it kept reminding me to work. I tried getting rid of that notification but I couldn't. Either I had to mark it complete or click on 'later' which was forcing me to select time and date for that 'later'. Of all the things I tried this was the only one option which made me really accomplish something.

I don't want to use Google keep as a note taking app for the books I read. I prefer offline markdown and vim more than that. Don't want to be in a situation where I am not able to access my notes just because I don't have internet access at that moment.

To conclude this is what I am using: For study notes: Vim, markdown and git For to-do and other reminders: Google Keep

If you have better solution, please do recommend me.