# ios apps that can be used for Zettelkasten

I am curious as to what ios apps and workflows that people are using that can be used with the ARCHIVE app to create zettelkastens . Drafts 5 just came out today and I am wondering if it would be a good fit for using and then transferred to the ARCHIVE app.

• I've tried a ton of different iOS text editors, and 1Writer is the one I like best by a significant margin.

It is overall a well designed app that comes with a lot of useful built-in features. You could already stop there and be very happy with the app. You can, however, also tremendously extend its functionality via JavaScript actions that you can either write yourself or download from an online action directory.

If you like The Archive's "PrettyFunctional (Basic)" theme, consider upgrading to the "PrettyFunctional (Regular)" theme.

• edited April 2018

I second Basil's recommendation: 1Writer is a good mobile archive browser and the actions make some workflows very pleasant.

I also use (the old) Drafts with an export that inserts the ID, heading, and ##inbox tag if I take a note on the go (or from bed when ill, since I don't own a MacBook). I use Drafts far more often than 1Writer.

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

• Any chance you could post that Drafts action?

I've bought/subscribed to Drafts 5, but from my starting point, there's a bit of a learning curve.

• @Teletype said:
Any chance you could post that Drafts action?

I've bought/subscribed to Drafts 5, but from my starting point, there's a bit of a learning curve.

I second this request too... thanks!

• IA Writer is a good choice, though some Markdown syntax is not so universal there.

Now I’m using Apple Notes, and happy with it.
I can export my notes as Markdown files from my Mac, so my exit plan is safe.

• I have tried iA Writer and 1Writer. I use both, but for different purposes.

I like iA Writer because it is available on the Mac and on iOS devices. But I don't use it for my ZK.

Why is that? Because 1Writer is much more suited to a ZK. It's workflow is integrated well with accessing ZK files in the cloud, say on Dropbox, and one can work both with the files and with the associated tags.

Both iA Writer and 1Writer allow you to easily view the "interpreted" version of your Markdown file.

I tried Drafts but stopped my subscription because I just wasn't using it. Sometimes, it pays to cut your losses and run, especially if you find an app that does exactly what you need it to do.

• @GeoEng51 said:
Because 1Writer is much more suited to a ZK. It's workflow is integrated well with accessing ZK files in the cloud, say on Dropbox, and one can work both with the files and with the associated tags.

I’ve heard a lot about 1Writer, but not tested yet since it’s a paid App, and I don’t want to pay to just test an App…

• @IvanFerrero

In some ways, iA Writer and 1Writer have similar capabilities. You can write markdown text, each entry is stored in a separate text file, and you can store information "in the cloud". Both apps let you view the actual text you are entering or preview the "interpreted" Markdown formatted text.

I started out using iA Writer and liked it quite a bit, because there were versions for both iOS and the MacOS. I still use it for a lot of my note-making. However, I found using iA Writer with a ZK folder in Dropbox to be clunky. I couldn't view all the ZK text files at once, but had to go through an overly complex process to load a particular file that wasn't in the iA Writer base (iCloud) directory.

Then I saw a lot of people on this forum favouring 1Writer, so decided to check it out. It quickly became apparent that 1Writer worked in a simpler and much smoother manner with a folder of ZK files located outside of iCloud, say on Dropbox.

I will attempt to show you how easy it is below. First, here is a screen shot of one of my recent zettels:

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If I touch the triple bar in the upper left, I get taken to a list of the zettels in my ZK folder:

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I can then touch on "< Folders" in the upper left of the screen and will be taken to a list of whatever folders I've set up in 1Writer. This includes of course the 1Writer iCloud folders, but it also includes other external folders, i.e., folders in other cloud services. In my case, the Dropbox Zettelkasten folder is shown first because I've set that up as the default folder in 1Writer's "Settings".

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I can also touch on the "Tags" tab at the top of that screen, from which I will see a list of all of my tags:

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Selecting one of them, I'll see all related zettels. For instance, touching on the "agency" tab shows the following:

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If I happen to be working in a non-ZK folder, it's a simple matter to navigate back to my ZK folder and then one of my zettels. Other navigation options:

• I can touch on any of the live links in one zettel and be taken directly to the referenced zettel.
• I can touch on any tag at the beginning of a zettel and be taken to the list of zettels with that tag (so I don't have to go back to the "tags" tab to access a specific tag).

Navigation around my ZK is thus quite easy, whether I'm using links or tags, or just selecting a zettel from my list of zettels.

Other useful features of 1Writer:

• If I'm in any text file and I swipe left, I'm taken to an in-app web browser, which allows me to quickly search for materials and then switch back and forth between a text file and a web source, without having to go outside the app.
• To switch back and forth between the "text" view and the "Markdown" view in 1Writer, you use the Edit/Preview option in the upper right of the screen.
• Finally, you can easily add another folder to 1Writer. These seem to be the options, although I see under 1Writer's "Settings" that you can also link to Evernote (I have not done that, which is I guess why Evernote doesn't show up in this screen shot):

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Hope this helps!

• @GeoEng51 wow thank you for your detailed explanation!
Just another question, if I may...
Does 1Writer use the usual Markdown syntax?

I ask because AI Writer is very good, but it has a syntax that is not the real Markdown, and I wasn't able to make links to other notes work yet.

• edited July 2021

@IvanFerrero

Not sure what you mean by "backlinks" - any explicit link works, as demonstrated in previous post.

All my image references are set up to display photos that are stored in the "media" sub-folder of the ZK folder. It uses the format suggested by @ctietze , that is:

This works fine for showing the images in-line in The Archive, but doesn't appear as or behave like a link in 1Writer.

Neither do references to files in the following format work in 1Writer:

file:///Users/johnsobkowicz/Dropbox/zettelkasten/extra%20files/2021.03.21%20Put%20on%20the%20Whole%20Armour%20of%20God.md

I'm not an expert in Markdown, but it seems to use the normal Markdown syntax with which I am familiar and regularly use.

• @GeoEng51 said:
All my image references are set up to display photos that are stored in the "media" sub-folder of the ZK folder. It uses the format suggested by @ctietze , that is:

This works fine for showing the images in-line in The Archive, but doesn't appear as or behave like a link in 1Writer.

Mmmhhh…same issue with some file on AI Writer.

Thank you for the details!

• @IvanFerrero

I'm not looking for a replicate of The Archive for iOS, so the viewing of images isn't a big deal. I mainly want to review and modify text, if I have a few spare moments somewhere, for which 1Writer is eminently suited. I like @Will 's macro for creating a new zettel, so I even do that on my laptop.