Software comparison

Below is a handy chart comparing the different software out there that can be used to implement the ZK method. For a handy list, see Software list.

Look here for another list and here for a Mac-specific list.


Editing the table

Please add data to help community members choose their ideal ZK software!

  • Here is the link to the Google Sheets version of the table that can be edited:
  • There is a second table that can be edited if you cannot access Google.
    • EtherCalc
    • Please send a modmail or Contact us after making any additions or changes to the second table so that it can be synced to the Google Sheets version (displayed above). You may also contact us if you would like to view the most updated version of the table.

Thank you in advance for your contributions!


(please add options as needed)

  • Platforms - what operating systems does this software run on?
    • Options: OS X, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS, Web
  • Cost - how much does it cost to use this software?
    • Options: free, freemium (\(price), commercial (\)price)
  • License - what is the software license type?
    • Options: open source (version), closed source
  • File storage location - where can the user store the files?
    • Options: local, online, both
  • File format - what is the local file format for notes?
    • Options: plain text (includes Markdown and all variants), SQlite database, none (only online access)
  • Visualization of note structures - does the software provide any visual representation of the links between notes?
    • Options: network graph/map (describe functionality if any), hierarchical index/outline, none
  • Automatic backlinks - is the software able to automatically show all other notes that link to the current note?
    • Options: yes, no
  • Reference manager integration - does the software integrate with a reference manager to allow easy inserting of citation keys or other reference information?
    • Options: Zotero, BibTex, JabRef, none
  • Plain text styles - Does the software allow styling of text, such as underlines or italics, using a plain-text syntax such as Markdown? Or does it style text with nonvisible codes, like a word processor?
    • Options: yes, no
  • Automatic note ID (or file naming) generation - does the software provide an automated way (including command or keyboard shortcut) to generate a unique note ID?
    • Options: date/time, other customizable (describe), other non-customizable
  • Note link autocomplete - can the user create a link to another note by beginning to type link syntax and a note title and then choosing from a list of matching notes shown by the software? Or do note links require the user to find the link target in a fully manual search process and then copy/paste the target ID into the current note?
    • Options: yes, no
  • Tag autocomplete - can the user enter a note tag by beginning to type tag syntax and then choosing from a list of matching tags shown by the software? Or must all tags be entered fully manually?
    • Options: yes, no
  • Custom note templates - can the user create custom templates that are used to create all new notes?
    • Options: yes, no
  • Metadata in front matter - does the software parse content at the beginning of a note for metadata such as note title or tags?
    • Options: YAML, TOML, JSON, other (explain), none
  • Markdown text styling - is the Markdown text styled or formatted in the note editor?
    • Options:
      • styled, visible syntax - (words surrounded by * are put in italics but the * is always visible)
      • styled, unfolding - (words surrounded by * are put in italics and you don’t see the * unless you are editing that exact line of text)
      • no - (editor is all unstyled text, user must preview the note as HTML to see formatting)
  • Links function in editor - user can interact with links (through mouse click or keystroke) to open the link target in the editor
    • Options: yes (opens linked note in same window), yes (opens linked note in new tab/window), no (links only clickable in preview/viewer)
  • Search:
    • Options: simple text, simple boolean, complex boolean, fuzzy search
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