Zettelkasten Forum


beginner workflow / keyboard shortcuts

Hi, I've purchased The Archive last week and admire your work about everything Zettelkasten.

I am now posting on the forum as I have spent hours / days looking through forum posts and watching all videos posted on the zettelkasten.de YouTube channel.

What I am missing is a beginner-friendly introduction on how to actually USE your software.
A simple and hands-on explanation for a beginner workflow.

  • how do I toggle between Editor, Omnibar and The List? what keyboard shortcuts do I need to use?
  • or are there no such keyboard shortcuts to toggle between edit / search / note fields and do I need to use the mouse/trackpad instead?
  • Is there no Preview for markdown available in the Editor (e.g. like in iA Writer)? (I saw a video about marked 2 but have no interest in more external software).

The "Welcome to the Archive" intro is not really helpful in that regard.
Searching the forum for keyboard functionality ends up 99% on KeyboardMaestro tricks and other wizardry.
Your videos would have a better teaching effect if one could see the actual keys pressed when performing certain actions.

I'm still in the dark about how to navigate The Archive software. Not everyone here is coming from emacs org mode and it really takes up a lot of time to sift through forum posts to puzzle a beginner tutorial together.

The forum is great though and the community super friendly!

So in short what I figured:

  • I can't toggle edit fields with the TAB key
  • Ctrl-L brings me to Omnibar
  • which key-combo brings me back to the Editor?
  • after a search I press the ESC key to see all notes in the sidebar again
  • .....
  • .....

What else does a beginner of TheArchive need to know?
The knowledge how to smoothly navigate around to enter Zettels and search stuff is key. Zettelkasten theory is hard enough ... :wink:

Thanks in advance,
Sascha (a novice)

Comments

  • edited January 4

    @saschaz said:

    • how do I toggle between Editor, Omnibar and The List? what keyboard shortcuts do I need to use?
    • or are there no such keyboard shortcuts to toggle between edit / search / note fields and do I need to use the mouse/trackpad instead?
    • Is there no Preview for markdown available in the Editor (e.g. like in iA Writer)? (I saw a video about marked 2 but have no interest in more external software).

    Hi Sascha, first: welcome to the forum. You are right, there aren't too many shortcuts, though I find the available ones sufficient.

    • Search is done by CMD+L (activate omnibar)
    • The editor with the selected note is activated through TAB key from both omnibar and note list
    • Have you tried using the arrow up and down keys while the Omnibar is active?
    • You can find all other necessary shortcuts displayed in the menu
    • As TA is an editor and not a viewer, IMHO it is good that TA is not bloated with more functions than necessary. It provides speed through simplicity which is one of the key factors to knowledge work and one of the main reasons why I use it. Have you considered other apps like Obsidian?

    My suggestion: Play around a bit and if you are willing to invest in some automation, seriously consider Keyboard Maestro and try out the macros others have implemented. I know it involves another learning curve but I can tell you it's worth it!

  • Thanks a lot! I tried Obsidian and use(d) a whole bunch of other software, from Tinderbox to DEVONthink to other Markdown editors. But as you said: It gets bloated fast. very fast.
    Speed through simplicity or perhaps just simplicity is what brought me to TheArchive. I do use KeyboardMaestro already with other software on top of Typinator and Karabiner Elements....
    It all adds up. That's why I got a bit frustrated when I tried to puzzle together some beginner guide from inside the forum knowledge - just to find more KM macros ;-)

    My TheArchive workflow will get better over time, I'm sure.

    There should be ELI5 section: Explain me like I'm five years old ;-)

  • edited January 5

    Thank you for the feedback! The onboarding can be improved a lot, and this is valuable insight from someone with a "beginner's mind". I personally am too deeply entrenched to have that and can only guess :)

    Most interactions are """"designed"""" to be around the editor and the Omnibar. So you'll press Cmd+L a lot to navigate around, and while in the omnibar, arrow keys and Cmd+arrowkeys and Begin/End should work for navigating the search results without you having to click inside the search results list at all.

    Cmd+R renames the selected note from anywhere; that's handy.

    From the Omnibar and when changing a note's name after hitting Cmd+R, TAB takes you to the editor. Most of the time, TAB will get you straight to the editor. Cmd+L takes you back to start, the Omnibar.

    Most of my interactions are totally centered around Cmd+L, then search, up/down arrow to browse results, enter/tab to edit/read the note.

    To drive more with the keyboard:

    • Cmd+Ctrl+J to jump to the next link in the note, and then
    • Cmd+Ctrl+Enter to follow the link at the text cursor position without clicking would be the next step in

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • Hello Christian, thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for. The most essential keyboard shortcuts to get into a navigation 'flow' within TheArchive.
    Perhaps include your reply into the [# 201802121037 Welcome to The Archive] message for future shipped versions. :smile:
    Thanks again!

  • We'll whip up something for the next generation of note-takers! :)

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

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