Zettelkasten Forum

[REQUEST] button to select a random note

edited January 2021 in The Archive

This may well be getting into the realms of making the archive more complex, and defeating the purpose of trying to keep it as simple as possible. It’s also perfectly possible to do via other means, but I’d love to have the ability to randomly select a note, to help remind me of things I’ve written in the past.

I like the idea of being shoved head first into my ZK and reminding myself of a note I’d written previously, as there may be ideas generated on the spur of the moment that could lead to something great.

I could build a macro to do this in KM by just pulling up a random note from the storage location on my Mac, but if this is something other people want the ability to do, might be worth building in the functionality. I don’t see any downsides to this - even if the note shown is no longer useful, it might be a good house keeping tool.

If I was building this myself in KM, I’d be trying to find a way of only choosing notes that haven’t been opened for more than a week/month, as the recency effect will probably mean you can still recall the newer notes fairly easily.

Post edited by ctietze on


  • Baking features in is always a surprisingly costly thing, and this idea so far didn't cut the threshold -- but it's one of the suggestions for a user script that can be bound to a keyboard shortcut within the app. For you, that means you get the functionality, while for the app, this means no bloat in the menus :)

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

  • @sepuku, I posted my Random Link Keyboard Maestro macro a while ago. Some functionality is best left for outside scripting rather than bulking up the app. That way those users who don't want a function won't be bothered and development won't be slowed.

    Will Simpson
    My zettelkasten is for my ideas, not the ideas of others. I will try to remember this. I must keep doing my best even though I'm a failure. My peak cognition is behind me. One day soon, I will read my last book, write my last note, eat my last meal, and kiss my sweetie for the last time.

  • I would prefer to see scriptability implemented instead of a lot of bells and whistles. I like the simplicity and snappy performance of The Archive.

  • @sepuku If you use Alfred, you can also do this with my Alfred workflow https://github.com/pryley/alfred-the-archive.

  • patpat
    edited January 2021

    open "thearchive://match/$(ls notes/ | sort -R | head -c 12)"

  • Thanks for all the responses... I essentially used a combination of what @pat posted, along with @Will keyboard maestro macro as a template, and configured with a hot key.
    Thanks again all!

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