Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance

๐Ÿ“ Organizing Notes

Describes how I take, store, and edit various notes.
https://unsplash.com/photos/5bYxXawHOQg

Requirements

Data should be easily updatable (this is the input) & easily accessible (this is the output). Currently, my notes are stored on a GitHub repo. That means:

Easily Accessible

This can be broken into 2 scenarios, depending on sensitivity of data.

Insensible notes should be searchable online

To have them easily accessible, I want them to be full-text-indexed and searchable.

  • I want the insensitive data to be searchable online, so that I can have access to my notes without access to my computers.

    • Existing solutions: Are there any? What are they? How good are they?

      • GitBook (Figure 1)

        • pros:

        • cons:

          • Search is dynamically loaded -- slow to render.

          • An online service -- does not work offline.

      • GitHub (Figure 2)

Figure 1: Search UI on GitBook
Figure 2: Search UI on GitHub

โ€‹

Sensitive data to be kept offline and still searchable

  • Existing solutions: Are there any? What are they? How good are they?

    • OneNote / EverNote / Notability

      • pros

        • robust functionalities

      • cons

        • walled gardens

    • macOS Spotlight

      • pros

        • really easy access -- integrated with the OS

      • cons

        • does not support notes in walled gardens (not even Zotero references)

        • not portable -- different OSes offer incoherent experiences. This actually resembles the "walled garden" critique from the previous option.

    • command-line tools

      • resources

        • features comparison of several CLI regexp search tools: hereโ€‹

        • speed comparison of ~~~~: hereโ€‹

      • Looks like the best choice is ripgrep .

        • Need to do:

          • auto-exporting data from all sources to plain text and save locally.

        • pros

        • cons

Easily Updatable

The best option for now I've found is GitBook. It's got a decent webUI editor (although it has a list of quirks -- see below -- and is slow on an old computer), syncs to your GitHub, and its syntax is interoperable with Markdown.

List of quirks of GitBook:

  • aggressive undoing

  • when you copy something from a list and paste it somewhere else, the whole list indention builds up again. e.g., if you copied some text from a 3rd-level nested list and past it on a 2nd, you will get a 5th-level result.

TODO: This section needs expansion.

Solutions

Stick with GitBook for adding & updating public notes. TODO:

  • Find a way to auto-update local copy of GitBook notes.

  • Validate that I can conveniently search locally all my notes (that means private notes as local md files + public notes from GitBook) with ripgrep.

  • Add a custom search engine to my Chrome that searches the GitHub repo directly.

(Deprecated) How Notes & Writings Can Be Categorized

Classifications of my writings & notes, and where to put them.

Type

Updatable?

How Refined?

Can Made Public?

How valuable to others?

Diary

Never

-2

N

0

Personal Journal

Daily

-3

N

0

Credentials / Passwords

At times

N/A

N

3

Academic papers

Never

3

Y

3

Various Essays

Never

2

Y

2

Quick Notes

Seldom

-1

N

1

Reviews / Summaries

Maybe

1

Y

2

Web Clippings

Never

N/A

N/A

1

Translations / Transcripts

Never

3

Y

2

  • N/A means "not my own work, thus does not apply."

  • Numbers are on a 7-point scale.

How I Allocate Apps to Different Note-taking Purposes

Crossed-outs are what I used to use but moved away from (due to death of product, etc.).

Note-taking and Storage

  • Course notes / meeting notes that better be hand-drawn: Notability (iPad)

  • Diary, personal journal: Day One OneNote

  • Course reviews and summaries: Evernote Notability, course-specific folders, and -- in cases that the notes may be shared -- my academic website.

  • Scribbles, jots, etc.: A folder full of plain text/markdown files.

    • Synced with Simplenote Dropbox.

    • Read with Notational Velocity, nvALT fsNotes.

Editors and Word Processors

  • Coding/writing temporarily - Sublime Text

  • Quickly generating PDFs from Markdown - Mou Typora

  • Academic writing (essay, things with a formula/equation, etc.) - LyX

  • For language-checking - Hemingway Editor + SlickWrite

  • Mind-mapping - MindNode

  • (Math stuff excluded)

  • (Office suites excluded)

  • (Reminder and Calendar excluded)

  • (Rare-format editors excluded)

Cloud Storages

  • Mobile Syncing - Dropbox

  • Google Office - Google Drive

  • Microsoft Office - OneDrive

  • Backup - Box