Plain Text Formats & Note Taking


published 2023-06-15 23:22

updated 2023-06-16 00:25

I've been thinking about because I keep running into trouble with my current format. I'll just start using conventions and then stop using them. And my notes add up, but don't stay consistent. Part of me wants to give in and just use MarkDown like everyone else. When it comes to using ReST on my personal projects, sure, maybe I enjoy being a hipster. But I'm not convinced markdown is conducive to good note taking. Asides from the whole multiple standards, no metadata, etc, is that markdown can't handle changes over time to a note.

Lately I've noticed I tend to keep my entries more append only. It's why I'm hesitant to remove or change some of my original indexes even though I'm now generating these sorts of files. They're undated, but their structure reminds me of what I was going through a couple years ago. It shows my history. Before nix obviated the need for notes about where config files live, and the state of my various learning endeavours.

I do feel like something is lost in keeping a perfectly up-to-date reference. The learning happens in the changes. I've seen a few /Now pages that are just changelogs (I think they were called Human-Log? I can't find them right now). Zettelkasten's seem sort of built around this idea of incremental notes, and I'm convinced of their value.

I think I'm convincing myself to write my own format and tooling around this format so everything works for me. I still want it to be interoperable with the rest of ecosystem and Pandoc certainly helps with that.