Zettelkasten Forum

New App: Notenik

Notenik is something I just came across that seems pretty relevant to this community. It stores notes in .md, and has a bunch of opinionated methods that seem in line with Zettelkasten techniques. Disadvantages: each note gets a UID time stamp, but linking between the notes does not use that by default. Also USE CAUTION if applying this to existing notes, because it imposes its opinionated methods and adds metadata to the beginning of files the moment you view them. So, my file that started

tags: #clocks 
# 201906132307 CLOCKS NOTES Paragraph Summary

Now looks like

Title:  201906132307 CLOCKS NOTES Paragraph Summary

status: 0 - Idea


---tags: #clocks 
# 201906132307 CLOCKS NOTES Paragraph Summary

Because I viewed it in Notenik.

But, if you are starting from zero, or making some sort of dedicated set of files outside your normal ZK, it may be worth looking into.


  • Quick addendum: in further reading the docs, the developer links back to this site when mentioning Zettelkasten, so they may be reading. If so, hi!

  • I wish it didn't do that pre-pending business. Glad to see other developments in the PKM space though

  • Hi, this is the developer for Notenik. Thanks for your interest in my app. Be sure and check out latest release notes at Notenik.net and latest version in the Mac App Store. The app is evolving pretty rapidly. Others have commented on the way that Notenik handles existing collections of Notes in legacy formats, and the latest versions do a much better job in that regards. Cheers!

  • edited December 2020

    Notenik has evolved a lot within the last 12 months. As of right now it as at version 5.

    It's a lot more welcoming to MultiMarkdown syntax, specifically citations and footnote rendering (which, next to Pandoc, is the best markdown syntax IMO for note taking).

    According to the Issue Log, the @hbowie is in the process of improving interactions between links to local URLs in the Mac file system as well as links to other Mac applications, which is a must these days when a person is working with notes on their primary (ie. non-mobile) device.

    How does it fare as a Zettelkasten? Good enough, I imagine.
    I haven't entirely attempted to use it as such, but for one, the ability to set metadata that sequences each note is perfect for "Folgezettel" practitioners.

    One caveat is that while it's search feature does appear to be "Full-text" by definition, it doesn't highlight matched terms nor does it allow you to cycle through the matches like most search features.

    I think where Notenik sets itself a part from the other note taking applications are its "Web Generation" capabilities. I don't think there are any other applications right now aside from Tinderbox, Emacs and to a much smaller extent, Obsidian, that allow users to up and generate static Web content from inside the application in a sophisticated, organized manner. The Notenik blog has a lot of material that outlines these features.

    If Notenik is of interest to anyone, my advice would be to first decide what type of notetaker/"knowledge worker" you are and what type of text files you plan on accessing with it and especially what you plan to do with them as far as document output is concerned.
    If a person is comfortable in an environment like Tinderbox, where it's less about what you write than it is why you're writing it, then they should feel confident in getting a hold of Notenik even as certain features are continuously being refined and added.

    This is not to say that Notenik is a complex app, I mean look at it, the UI is straight forward and by no means is the experience intimidating. But if the user themselves does not have an objective, be it professional, recreational or anything in between the two, Notenik may feel underwhelming.
    Don't get me wrong though, if a person simply wants to place plain text files, no local images, basic search features (meaning you search, and simply browse between the notes that contain a match), and link between notes with Wiki Links, then this app is perfect. It can even sort and archive Bookmarks and generate them into nice clean .html pages.

    In reality, Notenik is actually perfect for "atomic" note taking; collections of short-form thoughts, data and information. It surely can be and quite possibly will continue to develop into a formidable Zettelkasten environment. But if a person is also interested in processing and manipulating sets of data that are an accessory to their slip box or any other collection of information that they work with, then it's definitely something to check out.


    @mediapathic said:
    Disadvantages: each note gets a UID time stamp, but linking between the notes does not use that by default.

    This script should find UID timestamps in Notenik metadata format and allow you to paste them into other notes. There's a set up for searching one directory or multiple. If your files are not in Markdown, then you may want to change the part of the script that lists the files to your used extension(s).

  • Hey, this is the Notenik developer, Herb Bowie, chiming in again with a few updates. First, Notenik has gotten a LOT friendlier when opening an existing folder full of text files. Whether you're using MultiMarkdown metadata, or YAML front matter, Notenik does its best to recognize and respect whatever choices you've already made about how to store such data. You might check this blog post from Evan Travers for additional info.

    Second, links to local files and use of custom URL schemes (including one for Notenik) are now supported.

    Support for local images has been recently added.

    Notenik does now highlight matching search terms.

    After showing the initial Note found by a search, the user need only press CMD-G to go to the next matching note. (This is an old, well-established convention on the Mac.)

    Support for backlinks is also available, if you're into that.

    I should probably write a whole post at some point explaining my thinking concerning linking using UID timestamps, but I won't try to do that here.

    Anyway, you can find out more at Notenik.app. And I'm always open to suggestions for further improvements!


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