Software list

There are numerous digital Zettelkasten programs available. This note collects links and pointers for choosing the right one. For comparison, see Software comparison.

Note that it is likely that the tool you use doesn’t really matter all that much. The original Zettelkasten was a huge stack of paper slips and even that worked great. There is one case where the choice of the tool has a huge impact, namely the case where the tool you use is discontinued. To avoid being left with a stack of 5000 notes that you can no longer access, prefer tools that export/save to common formats, like txt files.

Source: This is collected from this discussion thread. The discussion also lists lot of other tools by name.

Software (ordered alphabetically)

DEVONthink

Emacs

Neuron – Zettelkasten - plain-text and editor-independent

  • Platform: Linux, OS X and Windows (Windows support requires WSL)
  • Note storage: Markdown
  • Why would you choose Neuron:
    • Open source
    • Statically generated web interface
    • Graph view of Zettels
    • Built on Pandoc, with note-linking support
    • Use from command line with any editor

Notion

nvALT

Passfindr – Security and Productivity

  • Platform: Android, Web
  • Note storage: Plain Text/Rich text
  • Why would you choose Passfindr:
    • Can encrypt notes
      • Plain text notes without templates. You can design each note however you wish.

      • Fast

      • Can publish notes on web

Roam Research – A Note taking tool for networked thought

TiddlyWiki – A Non-linear personal web notebook

  • Platform: Web browser (self-hosted)
  • Note storage: Single HTML file
  • Why would you choose TiddlyWiki
    • Self-hosted
      • Browser based
      • Numerous plugins
      • Can typeset math
      • Network graph for exploring notes

The Archive

Trilium Notes

  • Platform: Linux, Windows, OS X
  • Note storage: SQLite + HTML
  • Why would you use Trilium Notes?
    • Fully offline, but sync server (which is also full web app) can be setup to synchronize multiple clients
      • Strong encryption of “protected notes”

      • Auto back linking and visualization of relationships between notes

      • It’s relatively easy to script the app with custom behavior

      • Automatic versioning of the notes

      • Exports to a nice directory hierarchy with MD/HTML file per note

Vim-Zettel – Zettelkasten in VIM

  • Platform: Linux, Windows, OS X, maybe others
  • Note storage: plain text/markdown/wikiformat
  • Why would you use Vim-Zettel?
    • If you already use Vim, this is natural option
      • Backlink generation

      • Fuzzy searching

      • Custom note templates and custom file naming

      • External links

      • Link verification

Zettlr – A Markdown Editor for 21st Century

  • Platform: Linux, Windows, OS X
  • Note storage: plain text/markdown
  • Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vStbtF4_grE
  • Why would you choose Zettlr?
    • Integrates with literature managers like Zotero and JabRef. Easy citations
      • Heatmap search
      • Good language support