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iA Writer as a Zettelkasten Note Archive

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  • Cool! Has anyone put together a quick comparison of iA Writer and The Archive?

  • edited January 17

    @Eurobubba said:
    Cool! Has anyone put together a quick comparison of iA Writer and The Archive?

    Glad you enjoyed the article! :smile:
    I'd say these can be considered to be the biggest differences, among others:

    A couple of things iA does not have which the Archive does:
    - Custom theming (other than light and dark mode)
    - Quick shortcut to create files when the app is not open
    - [[this]] style of linking

    And things iA has:
    - Multiple working folders simultaneously, indexed
    - iOS, Android, Windows apps
    - Customizable templates for exporting .md files to pdf, .docx and other formats

    But yeah, the really main difference is that Writer is not a Zettelkasten-focused app, it's just a writing app which happens to work well with the method. The Archive, on the other hand... it's super Zettelkasten-y. I use Writer for mine mainly because I was already using it before for school assignments, lecture notes, and I already made the monetary commitment, but I reckon if I had to pick one solely for the Zettelkasten, I might have picked the Archive.

  • Since reading this, I've been playing around with using both The Archive and IA Writer. IA can sync to the same folder (Slip Box, in my case) as The Archive, but you can add additional folders for writing or class lesson plans or scratch notes or whatever else you'd like to have alongside of it.

    Though I still haven't been able to shake myself of Ulysses. So all of this is a moot point.

  • @kevin Ulysses is a well-crafted app, so what's your pain with it that makes you consider switching to anything else?

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

  • @ctietze I've been trying to go all-in on Ulysses for all of my text. I really like it. But then some kinds of text don't feel like they should be there.

    In a perfect world, I think I would have folder of text files synced across MacOS and iOS between Ulysses, iA Writer, The Archive, etc...

    BUT!

    iA Writer only syncs with iCloud, and Ulysses on iOS can only bring in external folders from Dropbox.

    So I've started to think that Ulysses, while I love it, is the problem with my overall system.

  • @kevin shouldn't recent updates to iA Writer have added proper Dropbox sync, e.g. through the Files app on iOS 11? https://ia.net/writer/support/general/dropbox

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

  • @ctietze said:
    @kevin shouldn't recent updates to iA Writer have added proper Dropbox sync, e.g. through the Files app on iOS 11? https://ia.net/writer/support/general/dropbox

    You can get to the files, but I think you have to use the file picker with any new file you want indexed or a part of search. Unless I’m doing it wrong, you can’t just mount a folder that’ll sync automatically.

  • @kevin said:
    In a perfect world, I think I would have folder of text files synced across MacOS and iOS between Ulysses, iA Writer, The Archive, etc...

    BUT!

    iA Writer only syncs with iCloud, and Ulysses on iOS can only bring in external folders from Dropbox.

    Well, you could use Hazel or some other folder sync utility on your Mac to keep your iCloud documents and Dropbox folders in sync — of course then you'd be using twice the space and inviting sync errors. (Part of me wants to say use Unix hard links, but I don't think those play very nicely with sync services either.)

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