Published on at techie , 3 mins.

It is been a year since I started using a new note taking application and it is due time I write a bit about the topic. Logseq is a desktop and mobile application with a wide plugin ecosystem for the desktop version and lots o features. Briefly, the main characteristics of this app would be:

  • Open Source and multi-platform (MacOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android releases)
  • Fully local by default, with a synchronization paid service, but totally open to do your own sync if you want
  • All the content is stored as markdown text files
  • Very easy to link pages and blocks to create an unbounded graph
  • Clear separation between pages and a daily journal
  • Ability to highlight PDF’s (I don’t use this)
  • Support for templates
  • Powerful (but difficult to use) query language to retrieve content from your graph in very sophisticated ways
  • Support for task workflows: todo/doing/done (including time tracking when a task is marked as doing)

I use it mostly to keep a journal of my daily activities, tracking notes of my meetings, and drafting content or ideas. I don’t use the pages a lot, but I have some summaries there for things I want to keep at hand.

The synchronization part is a bit tricky at this moment so it may change over time. What I’m doing is to have the “main” repository on my work laptop, synced with my NAS through the Synology file service. Then I also run syncthing on it to allow my phone and Chromebook to refresh their copies or push changes if I happen to write anything on those devices. I only synchronize the content, so each device keeps its own configuration.

I don’t write much on the Chromebook, but the phone is a different story. I basically open Logseq on my phone anytime I want to record anything on my journal for later review or action. While traveling last month it was my main way to keep notes on everything we were doing, visiting, etc. It is a bit of a “private microblogging” system in the sense of just adding notes sequentially through the day for myself.

As for plugins I won’t write now much about this. There’s a ton of useful plugins and they are easy to switch on and off. This includes themes and UI improvements to adapt the software to your requirements. I will only mention a relevant plugin for me: the Readwise connector. This plugin pulls all my highlights saved in Readwise, making them easier to consume and backup on my own terms (because we all now that nice cloud things eventually end). Through this plugin I keep a local storage of all the highlights and notes saved in my Kindle account, Reader, hypothes.is, Pocket, Instapaper, etc.

A screenshot of the Readwise log

Anyways, logseq has in my opinion this balance of features that makes it easy and a bit of fun to use. Being local and Open Source, I expect it to stick with me for a long time and if its development eventually stops, I will still have everything in a pretty simple Markdown format. You know, always thinking on the exit strategy.

Have you seen logseq before? Have you tried it? Want to share your experience?