Why Notenik vs Logseq/Obsidian or DEVONthink?

Please let me know and thank you for all your valued responses.

Well, as the Notenik developer I’ll offer my thoughts, but hope others will chime in as well.

(BTW, the Notenik.app website now lists 41 reasons to use Notenik. )

But I think the major positive differentiators are:

  1. Native Mac User Interface.
  2. Free and open-source.
  3. Ability to leverage metadata, offering multiple fields per note, along with a long list of various field types.
  4. Ability to create multiple collections (aka folders), with each collection having different sets of field labels and types, different sort sequences, etc.
  5. High level of interoperability: many users report they can use Notenik and other apps on the same set of notes.

Notenik is very different to those tools.

At it’s simplest, it’s a text editor that supports markdown/html formatting. But it has a key difference: it encourages you to complement your notes with fields, and the interface generates input forms from whatever fields you’ve defined. This makes it a sort of cross over with a database. You can edit everything in a text editor, Notenik supports that, or you can take advantage of the UI which dynamically creates input forms (incl. pop-up menus, calendars, etc) based on your fields.

Every collection is different

When you start a new collection in Notenik ( essentially a folder of notes based on a template ) you can structure your data as much or as little as you like. Each collection can have a different set of fields, so I have some collections with only a few fields, and some with a lot of fields. So each notenik collection can behave very differently to others. Not just look and feel, but functionally different. In this sense, it’s a very malleable multi-tool.

Control the Display

Notenik allows you to control the display formatting (and in very complex ways) if you wish. It uses HTML/CSS templates and supports a number of commands and template variables. So its possible to control the display with basic logic ( IF / ELSE / THEN ).

Quasi-Relational Data

Notenik allows you to create quasi-relational collections. I have one set which is “People”, another which is “Jobs”, and a third which is “Work”. They are linked, so I can create a new Job record, and link it with a person in the People collection. Then, each time I create a work record I can link with a Job. These links are converted to hyperlinks in the display. In the “People” collection I get to see a list of all the jobs. I click directly into a job and I can see a list of the work sessions.

In display mode, and in reports I can access all of the fields from these linked collections, so I can generate a job report for a single job, or a job report for a client. I design databases for a living. I love the fact that Notenik gives me this level of productivity with minimal input on my part.

Query and Scripting Language

Notenik also has a query language and a scripting language. They are both simple (there are only a few words/commands) but flexible enough to meet common practical needs. The combination of query and scripted output controls allows you to create many different things, based on filtered subsets of your collection.

There is a query builder that provides all you need to perform ad-hoc searches and reports. These are saved to disk and can then be re-used whenever you need them, and edited further if you wish.

Notenik is a Publishing Tool

From one page summary reports, to web sites, to multi-chapter EPUB digital books. I’m using Notenik at work to generate instructions for our quality assurance team to undertake testing. The same data will be used to generate presentation slides for training purposes. And finally, it may be used to generate documentation for end-users in a web format.

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