{ claus.conrad }

Dendron

https://dendron.so/

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Review

After having read Kevin’s reasoning behind the hierarchy-first philosophy, it actually makes a lot of sense for me. I have been pretty structured when it came to the sorting of my notes into OneNote folders and sections. The issue is the content of those notes themselves:

  • Some contain captured articles from websites where the JS has been removed and the CSS partially stripped, leading to oversized icons taking up the whole width of the page, making it hard to extract any information from the note.
  • Some contain source code snippets that are only made italic and don’t contain any metadata to enable syntax highlighting.
  • Some contain embedded PDFs or XLSX sheets that are not editable without using a proprietary application.
  • Some simply contain snippets from Word with enormous amounts of invalid HTML and formatting such as bolding applied using SPAN elements (non-extractable).
  • Broken links (internal and external)

Strengths

  • Selective publication - generate your public/intranet website from the same tool that all your private musings already are in
  • Lookup - using the same workflow for navigating to existing notes as for creating new ones does not interrupt the creative process
  • Built on a stable, open-source editor/platform - VS Code is a wise choice to provide users with the most advanced and customizable editor while avoiding trying to reinvent the wheel. This is similar to how Xmind initially built on the Eclipse platform, except VS Code looks so much more modern, architecture- and UX-wise.

Weaknesses

  • Increased learning curve and time spent on customization, due to VS Code primarily being an IDE - forking and preconfiguring VSCodium (on the roadmap) might solve this.

Review on Product Hunt

As a part-time/hobby developer, and person taking many notes for both my work and personal life, Dendron ticks all the right boxes for me:

  • It is based on Visual Studio Code, a powerful and extremely customizable platform for editing all kinds of text-based files, with a huge ecosystem of plugins that play nicely together with Dendron and enhance the workflow.
  • It uses Markdown, which has all the (for me) necessary formatting options, without forcing me to use a bloated, slow and proprietary WYSIWYG editor - and I can easily process the files with third-party tools or migrate my notes to another tool, if Dendron no longer meets my needs. Basically, I own my notes, not some company. This is also an incredible plus for privacy-minded people.
  • It uses git (or other source code management system) for version history, which is a really clever choice (why reinvent the wheel, if these tools do it so much better).
  • It has a friendly and professional community, including developers that listen to feedback and continously improve the product.
  • It allows me to build a “second brain” by linking back and forth between notes, while at the same time allowing me to use as little or as much structure in my hierarchy as I want.

Who wouldn’t I recommend Dendron to at this moment?

  • Non-techy people that want a one-click installer and a UI instead of keyboard shortcuts. (Learn to use keyboard shortcuts, seriously, you can thank me later.)
  • If you really don’t want to use git, or another type of source control, which provides the version history for your notes.
  • If you work mostly on mobile devices (iOS/Android). There are solutions/workaround, but to me they feel sub-par to alternative note-taking tools at the moment.

FAQ

Checkboxes not rendering (clickable) in preview

Install extension dendron.dendron-markdown-preview-enhanced

Is there a way to automatically insert a template when creating a (daily) journal note?

See Schema Templates

Release notes

2022-02-02 - v0.80

  • The Markdown import pod will now include existing frontmatter metadata
  • Introducing template variable replacement: This feature is available for Schema Templates and lets you inject custom variables into your templates prior to application.
  • New Discord role: A Farmer is a member who has contributed to Dendron-related tooling or Dendron-compatible projects.