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Ask HN: How do you organise/integrate all the information in your life?
323 points by tonteldoos on Oct 26, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 261 comments
Hello fellow HNers,

How do you organise your life/work/side projects/todo lists/etc in an integrated way?

We have:

  * To do lists/Reminders
  * Bookmark lists
  * Kanban boards
  * Wikis
  * Financial tools
  * Calenders/Reminders
  * Files on disk
  * General notes
  * ...
However, there must be a better way to get an 'integrated' view on your life? ToDo list managers suck at attaching relevant information; wikis can't do reminders; bookmarks can't keep track of notes and thoughts; etc, and all the above are typically not crosslinked easily, and exporting data for backup/later consumption is hit and miss from various services.

So far, I've found a wiki to be almost the most flexible in keeping all manner of raw information kind of organised, but lacks useful features like reminders, and minimal tagging support, no easy way to keep track of finances, etc.

I understand 'best tool for the job', but there's just so...many...

Honestly, I just keep everything in a journal.

I have a folder called "daypages" in my dropbox. Each day in my life becomes a file in this folder. Today's is "daypages/2016-10-26.org" That's about it. I don't really organize by project much.

Each day typically covers the tasks that I intend to get done that day, along with places I've been / friends I've met. The occasional tearful journal entry punctuates the otherwise mundane. Every morning, I spend a few minutes arranging today's daypage and rescuing forgotten tasks from yesterday.

No matter where I am or what I'm doing, a keybinding quickly flips to today's daypage. From there, keybindings can go back or forward by day or by week. I just jot everything down as I think of it or experience it. (I implement this with emacs/org-mode, but i'm sure you could extend this idea to any configurable text editor)

When I need to find something (whether "united frequent flier number" to "cool restaurant in SOHO" to a link that i captured six months ago), it's only a `git grep` away. Emacs has incremental search for this. If I need to schedule something, it goes in my calendar or in that day's daypage.

When I'm in the mood to reminisce, I just flip back to last year's daypage and spend the afternoon drinking tea and reading about the lovely things that happened last year.

It's like Google for the last three years of my life. Maybe this wouldn't work for you, but my small but growing collection of daypages is now one of my most prized digital possessions.

I do something similar but I gave up using org-mode (mostly because that was all I was using emacs for and I spent more time configuring the thing 'just so' than I did actually using it.

Now I just keep everything in plain text and aliased it to 'tj' (todays journal).

alias tj="touch ~/Dropbox/journal/$(date +%d-%m-%Y).org && code ~/Dropbox/journal/$(date +%d-%m-%Y).org"

Effortless backups as well (and as a side benefit the NSA now knows I need to look at better ways of handling css in packages pulled in from npm etc).

Perhaps old fashioned, but I fill up a page of TWSBI [1] every evening, using a Sheaffer Prelude [2].

[1] http://www.twsbi.com/collections/notebooks/products/twsbi-no...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Sheaffer-Prelude-Black-Featuring-Foun...

I've never head of TWSBI, although I do enjoy Moleskine. Would you be able to give a comparison between them?

Cannot comment on Moleskine as I've never used one. I am loving TWSBI notebooks [1]: the paper is thick, and does not feather or bleed with fountain pen ink. There is very little ghosting which makes it possible to use both sides of paper. Here [2] is a review I found helpful.

[1] http://www.twsbi.com/collections/notebooks

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RJkNfiP_ys

The NSA are making backups of your backup. Double win.

I've been using jrnl (https://github.com/maebert/jrnl) for this. Pretty similar idea - still plain text, but adds a CLI wrapper with a few more features.

I am curious, what does the "code" alias link to? and why is it that you need to touch it before you edit it? wouldn't an editor do that for you?

It's the name of the binary for Visual Studio Code.


No matter where I am or what I'm doing, a keybinding quickly flips to today's daypage. From there, keybindings can go back or forward by day or by week. I just jot everything down as I think of it or experience it. (I implement this with emacs/org-mode, but i'm sure you could extend this idea to any configurable text editor)

vimwiki's diary [0] functionality offers exactly the same.

opens a new file under

with the current date as a filename.


jump to the previous/next day.

[0] https://github.com/vimwiki/vimwiki/blob/master/doc/vimwiki.t...

I'm doing something similar but use the mac/iphone app "Day One" version 1 for it (Not version 2 that requires you to sync with their proprietary cloud).

During the day I write down bullet points and roughly outline what happened. Then on the next day noon, or same day evening if I feel like it, I fill out the points and write a full page.

For tasks I am using GTD (OmniFocus and lately Things). Every thought I have of something I should do, I quickly capture through Siri in OmniFocus/Things or use the global system shortcuts. All few hours I go through my GTD inbox, schedule tasks, create events, delegate if necessary and get to "Inbox Zero".

> "it's only a `git grep` away"

Off topic, but how did I not know this was thing? You never know what you're gonna learn reading hn comments.

You forgot to RTFM.

Have you tried zimwiki? http://zim-wiki.org/

* It's basically a collection of text files

* Uses a markdown like syntax

* Has built in git support, so you can use git for versioning and looking at edit history.

* There is a gui that let's you edit in wysiwyg style * Can link between pages

* Written in python, so pretty much runs anywhere (no proper android/ios app still though)

* Todo item support

* most importantly, it's open source

* plugin system so you can add functionality easily

I pretty much use this as a knowledge management, daily task tracking system. It has a journal plugin that essentially creates a files for each day, similar to what you are doing.

I have it for both work and personal stuff.

I do something very similar, and have also been doing it for the past 3 years. I started out somewhat structured, not with org-mode but something similar, but I fairly quickly switched to just using plain text.

A few days after I started, I noticed that the vast majority of the things I was writing down were not actually important to be reminded of. I just needed to get them out of my head, and an unstructured plain text file made that somehow easier.

That said, as the number of tasks and appointments I need to keep track of has increased, I might give switching new files to org-mode a try. Integrating agenda items and such might just work for me.

PSA: if you like a thrill, don't do backups of your journal.

You monster. :-)

Backing up a folder of daypages is easy though. Backing up a cloud service like Evernote or Trello sounds more difficult...

Evernote supports XML and HTML export. I have mine on external drive and in Dropbox. Migrating to a new platform would be horrible, but at least the data's there.

Mind sharing how you do this on emacs? (Forwarding to the next day)?

I'm using a tweaked version of this package: https://github.com/almost/org-daypage/blob/master/org-daypag...

The important keybindings to set are for `todays-daypage`, `daypage-next`, and `daypage-prev`.

On top of this, I use `helm-git-grep` for incremental searching.

i had no idea that emacs had so many features (from this and other comments).

This system doesn't really require emacs. The general idea is to assign keybindings to jump to today's daypage, the previous file, and the next file. Being able to create a daypage that doesn't exist is helpful (but not necessary -- you could create 300 of them with a shell script once a year), and being able to search for things in a folder is also helpful.

You can implement that with your favorite text editor. You could do it with Notepad and AutoHotkey if you were persistent.

Org-mode adds organization, but honestly I benefit from its syntax highlighting and the bragging rights more than anything else. :-)

* Pencil (usually a small, well-used stub that fits in a shirt pocket) and paper (various notebooks, from Target pocket-size spiral-bounds to Moleskin to whatever is at hand)

* Camera - https://www.simongriffee.com/photography/

* Simplenote - https://simplenote.com/ and Notational Velocity - http://brettterpstra.com/projects/nvalt/

* Website with tags powered by Hugo static generator - https://gohugo.io/

Someone please make a browser-based wiki that works offline (HTML5 local storage) and can be used on any computer, including pocket ones like iPhones, and keeps your information synchronized between them.

I use tiddlywiki and I am very happy with it. Too bad dev has been discontinued though,

Discontinued? It has over 100 contributors, and the last stable release was two months ago ... I think it is very much alive: https://github.com/Jermolene/TiddlyWiki5

That's great news! I didn't know it was still actively developed. I played with it... criminy how many years ago did it first start? I liked it then but it was brittle and slow.

It looks great now, functionally and speed-wise. Obviously computers themselves changed a lot in that time to give the speed improvement.

Looking forward to playing with it again now.

This might be close to what you're looking for: http://www.trunknotes.com

It's a wiki that runs off your iPhone. You can use it on your desktop or other computers via a built-in server. You can script it and create macros via Lua.

For your notebook, make a pen/pencil holder out of electrical tape or duct tape. Or buy one if you can't be bothered:


> and keeps your information synchronized between them.

Is the implication that the browser-based wiki is not storing your data on a central server (e.g. always synced) but should provide some other way to sync? (I'm working on something in this ballpark, genuine curiosity).

I'm a proponent of "offline first". So my recommendation for any apps - like a wiki - should save to localStorage first, then behind-the-scenes sync up to one's own personal server (alternatively a host provider that a customer can pay to manage on behalf of them). Then if one should ever install a new/another instance of the wiki on another device, the app should download all the latest from the personal server. Anyone who builds such a thing would instantly become a hero! ;-)

Yes. Something like:

1. Download and install a wiki application to each computer we use, including pocket ones.

2. Editing the wiki on each computer saves to offline local storage.

3. An option to define a personal central server is available in settings. If this is activated and our login credentials are set each app auto-syncs with server automatically whenever wifi is available or a 'sync' button on the top-right of the viewport is activated. Furthermore, an open source example implementation of this server, perhaps powered by sandstorm.io and Google App Engine, is made available.

In other words, an open source app on each owned computing device editable using WikiWords that automatically create /w/WikiWords pages, synchronized across devices. Bonus points for eventual options to publish a version of the wiki and make it editable by anyone, perhaps using [Git](https://github.com/gollum/gollum/).

I got this idea from the Manage Your Knowledge section of Andy Hunt's [Pragmatic Thinking and Learning](https://pragprog.com/book/ahptl/pragmatic-thinking-and-learn...), that I warmly recommend to anyone interested in learning.

I created EncryptedGist [1][2] to cover part of this use case. It gets me Vim backed by GitHub Gists on any machine I happen to be working on. Adding localStorage would be easy [3], but undesirable for my main purpose - I do not want any of my personal information remaining on the machine.

Edit: And just in case it wasn't obvious, I prefer to maintain my todo list/logs/notes/projects/bookmarks in a single plaintext file. Grows about 30k lines/year. Vim search/grep and some basic structuring/naming conventions go a long way.

Top of the file is my todo list with priority order of top 3 tasks. Next is a 'Waiting For' list. Last is a 'Projects' list for longer term, high-level categories. This fits on a single screen. Completed tasks, meeting notes, logs, bookmarks, etc., go below in chronological order and are all associated with a date. This system has worked well for the last decade or so with minor changes.

[1] https://github.com/srpeck/encryptedgist

[2] HN submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12475070

[3] https://github.com/srpeck/encrypted

Just having offline mode would be quite often enough.

Simplenote is great. Instead of Notational Velocity I use something called Just Notes, but is discontinued. I've been meaning to make my own using Electron and Draft.js with a few things that annoy me with it / would like to be improved.

After years of failed attempts I gave up trying to organize everything and started to brutally eliminate most of it. It has been pretty liberating.

I used to hate getting rid of anything. Then I realized that for most of this stuff, odds were I was never going to look at it again between now and when I die. It's kind of morbid, but makes it easier to get rid of that folder of things I meant to read from 3 years ago, or that box of artifacts from my past that has remained unopened through 3 apartment moves.

I've found that moving is a great way to face the reality that a lot my stuff isn't needed. Especially, as you mentioned, the stuff that's remained in boxes from previous moves.

I found that my bookmark lists, to do's, notes, personal project plans, everything went stale after a time anyway, if not acted upon. It something wasn't important enough to read, study, or develop, then it really wasn't that important. Thus letting it all go was much more palatable.

This was on HN just a few days ago - http://timharford.com/2016/10/theres-magic-in-mess-why-you-s...

The short version is use piles to sort and purge the piles regularly. The "good stuff" will rise to the top and you discard the junk.

Bookmarks are just another pile...

Exactly. I see bookmarks as a kind of todo now, which completely changed the way I organize them. (I do have a single folder called "reference" but I almost never go in there).

It's funny - I had the same insight and decided on the opposite solution. Many of bookmarks are an 'aging' zone, where content sits around until I'm bored and interested in reading it, or decide it no longer looks appealing and delete it. Things like speculative HN articles go there, and 90% of them become irrelevant while the other 10% become more appealing.

I also have a reference folder for bookmarks, which I treat a bit like old tax returns - things that are rarely useful, but vital if I need them.

Yes, interesting how the same insight can lead to different approaches.

I used to work with a guy whose desktop was a complete mess and he would never try to organize the chaos. He had high screen res and it would take him a minute or two to find something on his desktop but he could do it. Then when it got full he would take the entire thing and paste it into a new top-level folder, called "old desktops". Of course this included his old old desktops folders, recursively. So the old desktops hierarchy became like archeological strata for everything he had ever done.

That sounds like hell to me. But on consideration, I can't judge; with good search features I lose all drive to organize my files cleanly, and only bother locating things I won't remember the name of.

I'm going through the phase now of simplifying my life and getting rid of stuff.

Very difficult. I'm by nature a very nostalgic person. Hard to part with items that brought me so much joy.

However, I came to the realization: Those items, while they gave me joy in the past, are literally preventing new experiences, and new sources of joy.

Need to make room for the future, and the only way is to throw stuff away.

> However, I came to the realization: Those items, while they gave me joy in the past, are literally preventing new experiences, and new sources of joy.

Oh wow, thank you! I've had the same problem you mentioned, extremely nostalgic, with a side of "emotionally connected/attached to object", and this mindset and perspective is, I believe, exactly where I need to be, and remember, when weighing the keep/let go decisions.

This is literally what I'm doing today with the guidance of Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying."

I like the book. However, I wonder how effective it is in the long run. Is it legitimate or is it just selling a dream?

A while ago I posted a question on all the top reviews of the book on Amazon: After 6 months/1 year, is their house still tidy, or was it not really sustainable? Very few responses, but I think one person said it was sustainable, and no one said it wasn't.

Read it a year ago, my sock drawer is still tidy...

OK, how about the rest of your house?

My mess is usually not with clothes, but with tables full of stuff, cabinets full of stuff, garage full of stuff, etc.

Did you go through a phase of getting rid of stuff, and then in the subsequent year, managed not to add more stuff to fill in the space you through away?

(And how bad was your house/apartment before KonMari?)

Honest question.

TBH the sock drawer is the most successful outcome :) The rest of the house - I threw out a lot of stuff, but didn't bottom it. It was definitely worthwhile and I need to resume. The problem is, you're not allowed to throw out other people's stuff; 2 kids and a husband quickly fill spaces and what the book says about them learning by your example doesn't seem to have worked...

I've taken to using bookmarks as an 'aging' chamber. I used to plan on "going through" my bookmarks, which was an imposition. A this point, I bookmark interesting-looking things I don't want to read presently.

If they're still interesting later, they get read. If not - and this is maybe 80% - they get deleted. Storage is easy, so it's pretty satisfying to keep things and just not worry about deleting them later instead of organizing.

That is hopefully a few steps further down the line :)


   - Todo lists and reminders. org-agenda.
   - Bookmark lists. org-capture and org-protocol.
   - Kanban boards. I don't use this, but kanban.el.
   - Wiki. Org-mode files and grep/ag with helm.
   - Financial tools. ledger.
   - Calendar/reminders. Org-agenda.
   - Files on disk. dired, org-mode.
   - General notes. Org-mode.
   - Literate programming. org-babel.
   - Mail. mu4e.
   - rss. elfeed, gnus, or rss2email.
   - git. magit.
   - irc. erc.
   - ...

Org-Mode is the one thing that makes me want to move from vim to emacs.. but I just don't feel like investing the time in getting proficient with emacs at this stage.

The transition couldn't be easier with Spacemacs:

http://spacemacs.org/ https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs

evil (extensible Vi layer for Emacs) made it (switch vim -> emacs) possible for me

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Org-mode#Integration lists a number of Vim extensions with OrgMode support.

... "What is the best way to avoid getting "Emacs Pinky"?" http://stackoverflow.com/questions/52492/what-is-the-best-wa...

They are all pale imitations of what org-mode offers.

It's not as difficult as it seems. Actually I'd say that if you already know GNU Readline shortcuts (which are very helpful on e.g. Bash), it's an afternoon of work to learn the basics.

The problem is that most tutorials depict emacs as a bag of keyboard shortcuts. But in reality, there are some simple principles that are quite understandable.

And org-mode is so underappreciated. You can turn it into anything. I use it as a wiki and a kanban board. And it's amazing.

Do you mind telling me how you use kanban? I tried kanban.el but couldnt get it to update and populate the table, is there any way that emacs can auto-update live the kanban board based on todo states of items?? (e.g. if you hit shift + right for todo it is automatically seen in the todo column, without having to revert the file?)

Sure. I don't like kanban.el much.

After a lot of though, I had a little epiphany. Vanilla org-mode is great as a kanban as long as you don't try to visualize it as a table. One should use an outline instead. org-mode is an extension of outline-mode, so this should not be surprising.

Then everything is simple. Create custom states (I have TODO, PROG, WAIT & DONE). Agenda commands show you summarized views of the kanban. You can customize stuff with a bit of elisp, but org-mode as it is works great.

Note the outline version of a kanban is still 2D, as a table, but strictly more powerful (as you can nest tasks, add text) which would be next to impossible in a table.

>The problem is that most tutorials depict emacs as a bag of keyboard shortcuts. But in reality, there are some simple principles that are quite understandable.

Do you know one that doesn't ?

Unfortunately, I don't. But I plan to write one soon.

Please do write it! What I love about vim is that it is (to me anyway) a DSL for editing a document. The language has verbs "delete, copy, change" and nouns (paragraph, document, line) etc. that you can learn and combine. So once you understand how the language works, you can do a huge amount with it.

I'd love to see a similar thing for emacs, outlining how it is supposed to be used and explored and fits together.

You don't have to switch editors. For the past few years I've moved between rubymine, pycharm, and atom for coding while still having emacs open for my org-mode notes.

OOC, why not also code in Emacs?

You can try Emacs with evil (extensible vi layer). It's still a major time investment though.

Only because it's hard to learn to configure emacs. With spacemacs, it's less of a problem, since things work sanely out of the box.

With spacemacs, …, things work _insanely_ out of the box

Honestly, you don't need any extra stuff, other than `evil' if you want vim bindings. (`Viper' works fine if you grok vi.)

Can you set up phone alarms/reminders with org-agenda or something similar?

I can think of two easy solutions. One would be to synchronize Google Calendar and org-agenda and let Google Calendar manage the alarms/reminders in the phone. This already exists.

The other solution would be to develop an app which polls emacs/org-mode for alarms/reminders. AFAIK this doesn't exist but it would be pretty easy to make.

Can org-mode sync to CalDAV servers? Then you could use eg. Sandstorm.io's hosted Radicale app.

There are a few packages that do that, here's one that does two-way syncing: https://github.com/dengste/org-caldav

I use it to sync with a Radicale server.

I really mostly use the agenda view, but if I really want reminders on the go (like I'm taking a trip) I use MobileOrg and the android client with dropbox.


Great solution!

This should be the best approach. I thumb up.

I now use Notion (https://notion.so/, I'm not affiliated) to replace all of the below tools that I have used in the past.

- To do lists (prev. Org mode, OmniFocus, Things, many others)

- Bookmark lists (prev. raindrop.io, Pinboard, others)

- Kanban boards (prev. GitLab, Trello, others)

- Wikis (prev. MediaWiki, Confluence, TiddlyWiki, etc.)

- General notes (prev. my own tool, OneNote, Evernote, Simplenote, many others)

- Photos (I share using Notion and use Google Photos)

- Files (I share using Notion, but still use many services for this, including S3, Dropbox, GDrive, ...)

I got excited for a moment, but then I saw Notion is only for Mac and also not self hosted. :(

It's a web app - the Mac app is only an Electron wrapper.

It works well on Windows/Mac/Linux/iOS/Android in the browser (I would know, I use it on all of those personally).

Self hosted would certainly be nice - I use their 'Export All' feature to keep a copy of my spaces for myself.

Incidentally I got lazy a while back and my very basic homepage (https://tekacs.com/) on the web is actually a redirect to a page on Notion (yes it requires JavaScript and doesn't SEO well, but amusingly I can update it in realtime whilst you're looking at it ;P)

Oh, I see. I couldn't tell from their homepage that it was actually a web app, with the Mac download link and all screenshots looking like a Mac application.

Will give it a go, then.

I got the same feeling.

Does it have exports and backups? And do you know how long they've been around?

It looks very tempting, but I want to know whether they'll be around a while. I know I can rely on trello and onenote.

Andrea from Notion here. We do have one-click export to markdown, but not an automatic backup function. We get requests for that sometimes though, so we'd consider it. :)

We've been building Notion for 2 years and have a great backing team who truly believe in our vision:



I want to like Notion. It's great in theory but it's not ready yet, at least for me. It does a lot which is awesome but doesn't seem to do any of those things great. I love all the different formats of things it supports / handles though.

I need something that is easy to use on mobile.

If it's supposed to replace my bookmark tool I need to be able to add a bookmark with one click and categorize it etc. Same with my todo list and general notes.

Will follow the project though.

Andrea from Notion here. The web browser works pretty well and we're building an iOS app right now also. No web clipper yet but we'd consider it. :)

Wow, this looks really good, thank you for sharing! Can the files feature be integrated with Dropbox/GDrive (I can't find this on their page)?

I'm not sure whether you mean importing files from Dropbox/GDrive to Notion or vice versa! Neither is possible, as far as I'm aware.

You /can/ have it grab a file from a link - if you can get the raw file link from Dropbox (maybe the share link?), you can import files that way.

They seem to be adding features at a very high clip, so it's also possible to just ask them and it wouldn't surprise me if they added it within a few weeks.

Thanks for the answer. I meant export in the sense that I could have a backup of all files stored on the separate cloud hosting.

This looks great! I've been trying out Airtable recently (also great...very similar homepage too) but this might fill in a few gaps for me. Thanks!

It looks very similar to Dropbox Paper.

Dropbox Paper was a flop for me - this is /several orders of magnitude/ more flexible.

Note how many products I mentioned it replacing - I maintained a MediaWiki instance of my own for /years/ and dropped it alongside half a dozen other tools because I didn't need them when using Notion.

I hope to release TableTops next year.

It's a non-linear graphical (in two senses of the word) knowledge management software that stores universal links to all of your stuff, local and in the cloud. It also does notes, tags, and script nodes (which can for example be used as alarms / reminders) and represents EVERYTHING as a great big graph.

The main UI element is a TableTop, which is also just a node in the graph that acts as a visual slice through it. Nodes (normal and other TableTops) can live on any number of TableTops.

Non-nerd users can see the TableTops as an infinite number of large work tables with your de-duplicated documents on them.

I have to work on the TL;DR. I also have to work on not rewriting the prototype every few months. :)

This sounds kind of similar to something I started working on years ago, but never really shipped in any meaningful way: <a href="http://dentedreality.com.au/projects/htfs/">HTFS</a>.

I suffered from the same issue of rewriting the prototype a few different times, in a few different languages/approaches, and never really seeing any of them through far enough to know if it'd be truly useful.

Hope you get yours shipped, for purely selfish reasons!

Wow, so many shared ideas!

I know that so many people have worked on stuff like this before. I will be the 203409283th to try and get it out there. :D

I'm fascinated by this idea. I hope it comes to fruition.

Well, this sounds like what I keep wishing existed. I want it!

Aside for scheduled items (they go in a calendar) and program-specific things (bookmarks go in Firefox), everything's a file.

Unscheduled todo goes into ~/todo.

Documents are in ~/d/org where org is the organization (school/company name). There are often subfolders, like subject name for school. Archive in ~/d/org/_archive/year. If a project is still running, it is still in the ~/d/org root, not in the archive, regardless of how many years it spans. I might sort by year inside that project folder if there are files ready for archiving.

Personal projects I generally sort by language (~/p/py; ~/p/php; ~/p/txt; etc.), for some reason that works well. Projects that I don't touch anymore (use nor expand) go into the archive folder (~/p/_archive). Maybe I should start sorting the archive by year as well, but it's not big enough to warrant that yet.

Collections like downloads, disk images, temporarily cloned git repositories, etc. go into separate folders, which makes them easy to manage and clean up. Unless they really belong with a project (code dependency) or cannot easily be re-downloaded, then they go in the project's folder.

How do you handle backups? I have a similar structure but on Google Drive (minus TODOs, for which I use Google Keep)

Yeah that has been an issue for years now.

I want encrypted, incremental, off-site backups with an open source client. That's basically it. Duplicity and a few other tools fit the bill, but contrary to what Duplicity seems to think, my SSD does not have >10 GB of spare storage that can be occupied permanently. Oh and prices of S3 or higher are ridiculous (even AWS Glacier is expensive compared to just hosting a hard drive at a friend's place), in that case I'd rather self-host it, so Tarsnap is out. And I'm not sure how much faith I have in backup projects that don't even claim to be stable like bup.

The requirements sound basic to me, but I've not found anything yet. I've started designing my own solution a while ago but ran into an issue with garbage collection on the server side (the old files kind of GC, like git has; not RAM). Perhaps I'll find some time to solve it, perhaps it'll remain an unsolved mystery for longer.

I've heard good stories about Tarsnap. If you have money to spend or if you can be very selective in what you backup (e.g. backup only documents/spreadsheets and not your whole SSD/hard drive), that might be a good option.

Duplicity is also great except it uses a lot of local state to determine which files it has already uploaded (at least, I'm guessing that's what it's for). Go for it if you can spare 1% of the backup size per incremental backup (yes, it accumulates).

My temporary solution is `sudo tar c / | gzip | openssl enc -aes-256-cbc | nc $server` or simply put: an encrypted zip file copied to my server. Not incremental so I don't do it regularly.

One of my "when I find the time" project ideas is a backup-for-friends service. A p2p network for finding and connecting between home servers, so you can setup a connection to your friends. Then you can give disk space to your (authenticated) friends and they give it to you. Use that remote disk space for encrypted backups with Dropbox-like user friendlyness.

I'm not a big fan of amazon, but you could try Cloud drive with acdcli. $60 a year for "unlimited" (but subject to whatever limitations they care to impose) storage.

I did find that doing several hundred GB of uploads with acdcli appeared to result in being throttled, but if you're doing daily diffs or the like you ought to be ok.

Thanks for the suggestion, I didn't know of ACD. Some issues on first glance though:

- The $60 is €70. I think someone got the conversion rate backwards;

- Acdcli does not seem to be able to actually write any files? The Github page mentions v0.1 is read-only and v0.2 should be able to write files. The current version is v0.1.

- Actually, acdcli does not seem to do anything like incremental backups or encryption, it's just a CLI to ACD.

I thought you had another solution handling the file creation and just needed a place to dump the files. I use acdcli to upload (acdcli ul) on a pretty regular basis, though.

I have a similar-ish setup and use rsync.net. Ask for the HN discount.

I was going to suggest rsync.net as well. That, and attic/borg for the actual backups.

See http://www.rsync.net/products/attic.html for the discount (3ct/GB/month).

I've recently begun migrating most everything to a self-hosted GitLab CE.

This gives me: - A Git interface. - Integrated Kanban board - Integrated Wiki - Integrated CI - Integrated Slack Clone (Mattermost)

I now use Mattermost channels to handle most notes, bookmarks, etc.

I use the kanban board for ToDo lists.

I use the Wiki to document damn near everything.

I've also recently started using Amazon Drive ($60/year for truly unlimited storage) to backup everything. I run it on my NAS which hosts all of my local media and daily backups of all household computers.

Amazon Drive also includes Amazon Photos. Both services have web and mobile apps.

I use combinations of Mattermost and AWS Lambda to schedule/trigger things. (Build and deploy the wife's weekly webcomic every Wednesday at 8am, for example)

I am developing a CLI-PIM suite (commandline personal information management suite) called imag[1].

The goal of the tool is to use known commandline tools (for example taskwarrior (todo), khal (icalendar), khard (vcard), beancount (financial data), mutt (Maildir actually) and so on) and give the user the possibility to (semantically) connect the data of these tools. Then, one can do data mining on PIM data.

imag[1] is in pre-alpha shape and only few things are there by now. 3 days ago I released version 0.2.0 with tools (we call them "modules") for the following "pim aspects": bookmark, counter (this was a first example module), diary, link (to semantically link data), notes, ref (to refer to files outside of the "imag store"), store (to do plumbing in the "imag store"), tag (to add tags to data), todo (basic integration for taskwarrior) and view (to view entries from the "imag store").

As said, we are in a really early stage of development and only few things are there yet. This is a hobby project I'm working on in my free time (also to learn Rust) and I only can make progress if I have enough time to do things.

I also write blog[2] articles about imag every two weeks about what's currently going on in the codebase. Read about a use-case I'm thinking about in one of my blog posts[3] - and yes, these are really ambitious goals!

Feel free to ask questions!

Edit: Fixed link markup. Sorry about that.

[1]: https://github.com/matthiasbeyer/imag [2]: http://beyermatthias.de/tags/imag.html [3]: http://beyermatthias.de/blog/2016/08/07/imag-usecases/

It's not a perfect system, but I find index cards to be superior to notebooks in almost every way. Notebooks are good for linear content, but for most of what you described index cards are better because they are modular, fileable, and sortable. Before the Internet, the world ran on index cards.

Cool quote in a book? Put it on a card and file it by theme. Reminder about feedback I want to write up for a colleague? Put it on a card. I did something really great at work and want to remember it at annual review time? Put it on a card and file it under Personal Achievement. Etc. Recipes, Writing ideas, presentation first drafts. Cards work well for all of that.

I'm really using a combination of two systems. The first is Ryan Holiday's index card system for harvesting the wisdom and interesting bits from reading. The second is an index card version of the 43 folders tickler file. It's not a perfect system, but I love t and I like that it is something I can keep doing forever independent of any stupid decisions by Apple or app developers going under.

To get started you need:

- Some nice index cards. I like the Exacompta ones.

- Tabbed divider cards. Smead makes really nice ones.

- A way to carry some with you all the time. Right now I'm using the Nock Co Fodderstack for this.

- A way to file them. You can get some crappy boxes on Amazon, or something nice and vintage off eBay or elsewhere. Index cards used to be a lot more widely used than they are today, so the old selection of index card furniture is much better than what's available new.




Self-developed solution that gives a hierarchical structure to to-dos, reminders, and related information:


For anything which I can't figure out a way to tie to one of my current goals, a helpful general rule of thumb is that, it may not actually be that important to hold on to. There are of course exceptions, but they're few enough that a nice folder structure on my hard drive can catch the rest.

I've been using Pinboard for a while as a bookmark list, but find the lack of any structure beyond tags a bit limiting. Just feels like I'm dumping links for the sake of it and will never really end up referring to them again.

Very cool that you've shipped! Are you doing this fulltime?

(re pinboard: I'm using pocket as my over-powered bookmark list. It reformats all pages for easier reading, also on mobile, and you get to tag everything. With the pro version it also does full-text indexing)

Thanks! Not at the moment. It would be nice to one day, but given that I'm bootstrapping, the rate of growth is quite slow, and I don't think it's reached the scale yet where it would make sense to do full-time.

Nice idea. Is there a self-hosted option?

Nope, sorry, I'm fully focused on the SaaS model. If it helps at all, I've tried to remove as many concerns as I can associated with storing these kind of things in something cloud-based. See the list of pledges on the homepage, and the privacy policy.

I limit it to three organizational tools:

- Bullet Journal

Major tasks, journaling, and goal tracking in a Bullet Journal on a per-day basis. Monthly goal lists live in a separate entry, and daily scheduling happens via a month page. Most self-driven work comes in through here, and I'll usually keep this open nearby while I'm working. The physicality of the journal helps a ton.

- Gmail

Inbox-as-todolist. "Starred first" view allows top priority tasks to be visually distinct. Most work from other people comes in through here, however it's really convenient to schedule or bounce things to the near future. Lots of people use Boomerang for this but I prefer followupthen.com - I can send/fwd an email to "tuesday", "january" or "3weeks" @fut.io and it pops back into my inbox that exact morning.

- Google Keep

Random unassigned tasks live in Google Keep, the Android "OK Google - Note to self, get new shoes" voice command saves directly into Keep. This is extremely convenient as a place to store random nagging thoughts while walking down the street. Having a Keep widget on my homescreens ensures that I see the list often.

* Emacs org mode to prep for meetings, maintain TODO lists, and general notes

* Also keep Slack open when I am working. If someone needs something, they can ping me on Slack and I will be available within 5-30 minutes.

* Gmail stars for everything I can't address immediately. Everything else is dealt with immediately and inbox count is 0 for most of the day (both work and personal addresses).

* Iphone calendar (with alarms) for everything I am putting off for later or need to schedule/remember

* Iphone notes for everything I am putting off indefinitely (movies/books/games to consume, gifts to gift, songs to learn, general goals for the next few years, travel destinations, events)

* Occasionally I leave things out of place so that I remember what I'm doing next time I leave the house (tennis racket on the bike + tennis shoes and shorts/compression shorts in my bag)

That's pretty much it. I really don't like having to keep things in mind. And when I want to zone out on a run or a vacation, I can safely do so knowing whatever I need to accomplish is on one of those lists and will probably get an alarm from my calendar if its urgent. I used to love using Pocket for reading papers/articles when I don't have a reliable connection, but its completely broken now and doesn't save pages consistently or renders pages unreadable.

IMO maintaining a wiki is way too slow and (depending on your work place) only accessible across VPN, which is incredibly inconvenient. Paying someone to act as scrum master/maintain a kanban is generally a waste of money/time as well, unless you work at a huge company (10,000+ people across hundreds of teams). But I'm biased and have always had a strong preference for small teams.

> * Iphone calendar (with alarms) for everything I am putting off for later or need to schedule/remember

Any particular reason you mention "Iphone" calendar and notes, is there something special about them? Or will any old calendar (with alarms) and notepad app work and does the brand name not matter?

One text file and one trello board.

I just throw in all my personal notes and to-dos in the text file. And remove them when things are taken care of. If it gets too crazy, I either get stuff done, or purge projects. LArger, long-term projects and pipe dreams go in the trello board.

Financial stuff runs automatically between direct deposit and auto-pay on bills. So I just put all mail or paperwork that show up on the desk in front of me, and if there are papers there, I do something about it, then put them in a filing cabinet.

Everything work-related goes into tracking systems at work.

So... just one text file, constantly open and with frequent edits, and a trello board I check out when I am caught up on things.

I've given up on a whole unifying program or application. I've also been burned by either closed source apps or web apps. Very hard to get your data if support stops or you just don't have it. I try to stay as close to plain text as possible these days.

Bookmarks - Pinboard with weekly backup to json/text.

Notes - A bunch of markdown files in folders (diary,projects,etc). Every day is a new file. I have @tags littered all over my notes for searching. Beauty is that there are many apps that can write markdown and search plain text.

Finance - ledger-cli, well, actually my own version with better reporting abilities, in my opinion.

Task management - to-do.txt. Again, many apps to choose from to manage the file.

Syncthing - Sync all of the above everywhere, plus other stuff.

Backup - restic and rclone.

Also, everything I've mentioned is cross-platform. Maybe not the application, but the source data is, and has an application that can modify it on almost every platform.

http://freeplane.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page Freeplane - mind maps

I've used txt files/folders, then excell/word, then markdown (easy to write & read), and wiki. Then I found freeplane, started to play with it and never got out, its incredible: use plain text or html (to format your notes), insert images, links to external files/folders, the visual mind-map representation gives a great overview of your notes and lets you organize in a foldable tree (branches, parents, childs) your notes (like in deeper layers of detail).

After the initial text/html nodes, branches and folds, I started to use "styles" to add icons and automatically format certain nodes with a background color (ex: TODO=yellow backgrnd, DONE=green backgrnd, PROBLEM=red backgrnd, ...)

Never really got into other freeplane features such as "notes" view or node-attributes. But it all went up to another level when I discovered that its possible to create http://www.freeplane.org/wiki/index.php/Scripting:_Other_lan... freeplane-scripts (in groovy or java or javascript, or any other JSR 223 language like Ruby). And using freeplane-script I started to make my own scripts, to automate repetitive tasks and improve its behaviour for my needs.

Why is freeplane better than the others methods I tried before? It organizes knowledge in a foldable tree, that gets bigger and bigger over time, and after a few years, its just easy to "find" in the notes. It also performs quite well (my maps are huge, huge, years old huge)

Have a look and decide for yourself.


Org mode for Emacs does most of that.

Even finances and accounting: http://orgmode.org/worg/org-contrib/babel/languages/ob-doc-l...

I have a wiki currently, which is easily accessible and updateable from anywhere by web. Is that something that org-mode can provide, or do I need to ssh into a machine (ie, harder from a mobile device)?

There are some apps but I found that sshing to another machine was the best solution. An alternative is to run Emacs locally.

Absolutely agree - I've got most of my stuff hosted such that I just need SSH (or a VPN) to access it. However, usability on a mobile device in this case is limited (albeit not impossible).

Usability is not a great problem if the phone has a big display (5.5>) and you use evil(vim)/evil-leader for your keybindings. JuiceSSH and mosh also help with latency and disconnections.

The main problems for me are:

    1) Keeping everything synced. Especially Emacs's state. 
    2) I don't trust a VPS with all my personal information.  I have *everything* in org-mode files.
The first problem can easily be solved by using a tmux session that is shared between smartphone and laptop. The drawbacks would be that I can't access said session without Internet and also that I lose emacs's gui features like the pdf-reader. x2go is fast enough but they don't have an android client. I have yet to try nomachine.

Org mode can easily generate a static site from all your content. I've never tried remote updating, but Org mode data is all just simple text files, so you could just use Dropbox or whatever.

There are mobile frontends available:


I have found that using a Bullet Journal ( a nice pen and paper solution) I can cover my Calendar, Tasks, and even general notes rather well. You can find instruction here: http://bulletjournal.com/ , but the best part is that it will work with any notebook you have lying around!

For Kanban's, I have used Trello, but got a little annoyed. I recently found this personal Kanban project: https://github.com/greggigon/my-personal-kanban It's use is very simple, and I find that it works well for me. A little difficult to share among a group though.

Finally for All the rest of my documentation: Keepnote http://keepnote.org/ This glorious little tool handled nearly anything you can throw at it. It supports Windows and Linux ( I am not certain about Mac), and it is search-able. I have used it from all my work related notes, specifically for debugging solutions, like Binding Exceptions in Telerik.

With many ~/development folders on various containers organized by "tag" and a ~/projects folder, a top-level todo.txt, and a todo.txt in each ~/development/project_name, with vim and ssh. Just use ssh + vim + a "server" at home, basic files and directories and containers to organize work.

Documents, sheets and notes, are in nextcloud, as well as pictures and other things. Calendar is there as well. Its all in one server, with raid0 ssds, raid5 for massive storage, a few "service" VMs like for nextcloud, a few containers here and there, with easy access and overview of it all on the hypervisor. Android phone has notes which is nextcloud notes application for simpler reminders/buy-milk kind of things.

I've given up on task-specific tools -- because of both lack of structural flexibility and lack of data portability (several computers at home and work, mobile devices, family members you need to share a list with). Now it's all just text files in dropbox, with the occasional Excel spreadsheet for budget/money stuff.

Over time I've figured out a good organizational system (folder hierarchy) that makes sense to me so I know where to find things when I need them.

The "safety" of plain text files feels good to me for such personal / important data (after years of trying different apps/services, only to have them go out of business or cease development or not work on a different platform or have sketchy privacy policies).

GTF(Getting Things Done) method with OmniFocus

Boagworld has a great video on his setup and how it all works: https://boagworld.com/working-in-web/omnifocus-2/

Getting things done book: https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Produ...

OmniFocus: https://www.omnigroup.com/omnifocus

i really like the Omnifocus app, however i dislike that the only way to sync across devices is to use their private servers, which means sending/sharing all your private stuff with them.

Technically they could easily sync via iCloud and encrypt the stored data, but of course for financial reasons companies prefer to be able to access and sell all your data...

Omnifocus does [end-to-end encryption](https://www.omnigroup.com/blog/omnifocus-now-supports-end-to...) now. They have no reason to access and sell your data because they have a healthy business model built around premium priced apps.

I think the reason a lot of companies don't use iCloud is because some of the various ways in which iCloud worked have not always been reliable or suited to the task at hand.

I didn't know they added this feature, that's actually really cool. Especially since their code is also open source.

In addition to the comment about private WebDAV (which took me 10 minutes to setup and as a side effect made the synchronisation much faster by using geographically closer server), OmniFocus can encrypt the data synced.

FWIW, you can set up OmniFocus to sync using a WebDAV server you control.

This is deeply uncool, but I use Excel.

Very fast to make a quick list, but of course awesome filtering/calculation/lookups etc.

I have a to-do.xlsx for work, and one for home. Different sheets for to-read, to-call etc.

Excel? Uncool indeed, I use LibreOffice Calc.

Kidding aside, I don't think it's such a bad choice. I've looked for open source calendar/todo solutions and they either suck (can't be shared with someone) or can't be self-hosted. So I ended up using a file sync system with a spreadsheet. Worked well for me and my girlfriend to have a shared calendar/todo list.

Have you seen Treesheets, open-source fusion of spreadsheet, mind-mapping, outliner, http://strlen.com/treesheets/?

Try Dynalist also - https://dynalist.io

They took Workflowy and extended it (really started fresh, but that seems to be the idea)

That's actually something I'm actively looking at (along with the Bullet Journal methodology). There are gaps in the use cases...but very promising!

+1k. Don't need anything else. I think the simplicity's a mental hump for many, as I don't get why it's not more popular.

Was hoping I'd find someone recommending Workflowy.

It currently does everything except calendar dates/notifications, which I'm currently working on adding to my User Script. (Shameless plug: http://workflowier.com/)

Workflowy is incredible. It was the foundation for a system that saw me through a very productive time in my life.

I couldn't keep up with the complexity I layered in to it, so I'm building a webapp to do the mind mapping and translations to a to-do 'now' list. My biggest need was a dumping ground for all the things I knew I should be doing.

My brain is much quieter now.

Can anyone explain what exactly Workflowy is/does? I only see a login page.

Below the login button is a link, "Or try it out".

A lot of the changes I've made to my personal information architecture have to do with avoiding getting stuck on the things I don't need to worry about yet. I've tried to make personal wikis many times, for example, but the friction is too high. I do want more of a "searchable database" for my stuff, still.

* Calendar as overarching to-do, covering errands, appointments, blocks of "do this work". Sometimes I follow it closely, other days it is largely a suggestion.

* Mindmapping to collect notes, outlines, brainstorm. Lately I've used Coggle [0] for its easy sharing. When I need to add details, the nodes may grow into Gdocs links.

* "Scratch" text file when I just need to jot work things down and I really don't care about the organization yet. If it becomes more lasting I tend to move towards the other tools.

* Trello[1] when I want to cut out more discrete tasks over a longer period and log their status.

* Riot.im[2] to talk to myself. This is something new I'm trying, which is that I can start a conversation without having someone in the room yet, by thinking "out loud". Then I can subsequently invite people in to continue it. A tiny nudge in context that distinguishes it from dumping a text document on someone.

[0] https://coggle.it

[1] https://trello.com

[2] https://riot.im

Brilliant use of Riot.im!!!

Taskpaper[1]: a simple text file that has conventions for tagging, search, filtering, etc.

I'm building an enhanced text editor that makes viewing/editing taskpaper files more convenient:

  - Interactive programmatic access via an embedded scripting console
  - GUI for creating/editing tasks and tags (like calendar widget, autocomplete)
  - Enhanced views, for example:
    - Calendar view
    - Priority view (automatically sorted by @due(DATE) tags)
    - Bookmarks view
    - HTML "linkified" view
  - Recurring tasks
Some other influences besides Taskpaper:

  - Bkmks [2]
  - Drafts app [3]
  - Simplenote [4]
  - Notational Velocity [5] 
I originally tried to build an enhanced editor for Todo.txt files[6], but the format was too limiting.

[1]: http://www.taskpaper.com/

[2]: http://www.bkmks.com/

[3]: http://agiletortoise.com/drafts/

[4]: http://simplenote.com/

[5]: http://brettterpstra.com/projects/nvalt/

[6]: http://github.com/Leftium/todo.html

Here is a link to my project, Todo.taskpaper

Source code: https://github.com/Leftium/todo.taskpaper

Live Demo: https://leftium.github.io/Todo.taskpaper/

I've a Trello personal board with To-do, Doing, Done lists along with a 'To read/watch/listen'. I send everything interesting that I see to the To Read list and once I finish going through an item, if it's interesting enough to be saved for later, I send them to Pocket and tag it appropriately. I've a special tag called 'Toolkit' to save frameworks and other techniques that I cross-tag with other generic tags. I also add notes for videos, podcasts etc as comments.

Right now my Trello board is organised based on the work I need to do for a week. I haven't really experimented with changing this frequency though as it pretty much works for me now. And a lot of times, I need to sub divide my weekly tasks and for that I use checklists. When needed, I create separate reminders for these sub tasks using the Reminders app(primarily because it is super fast and syncs well across my devices).

When I need to look for something, I first use Spotlight to search for it as it can search across all of these apps. Works most of time, but I have to search individual apps for better results at times.

I Google Spreadsheet almost everything. All my files I keep in Dropbox. Code on Github and Bitbucket.

I can be up-and-running on a new system in under an hour. Just install my IDE's, get the Adobe CC from the cloud and get started.

How do you deal with calender and finance related issues? I wish I was just referring to code here, but...it's everything :-/

Automate everything. Pay all bills with autopay. Recurring transfers to your savings accounts. Auto invest in index funds.

Sure, but how do you keep track of what you're doing? Or some random invoice that came in? Or the reminder to pick up the drycleaning tomorrow?

https://www.google.com/keep/ is fantastic for reminders. It's integrated into Google Now (So "Ok Google, remind me to do x at y") and can do time or location based reminders. You can also share tasks.

Up until recently, I used a Mac for everything, so everything was on the native services:

  * To do lists/Reminders - macOS reminders
  * Bookmark lists - Safari bookmarks
  * Kanban boards - Trello
  * Wikis - http://taoofmac.com (https://github.com/rcarmo/sushy for the engine source)
  * Financial tools - Numbers or Excel
  * Calendars/Reminders - macOS Calendar
  * Files on disk - Dropbox + a NAS
  * General notes - Evernote (now OneNote)
  * Mindmaps - Mindnode (works great on iOS)
  * Photos - NAS
These days I have to use a PC at work (I'm at Microsoft), so a few things changed:

  * I left Evernote around 6 months prior to switching jobs because the app was becoming useless and migrated everything across to OneNote (which was free anyway). That gave me:
     * To-dos
     * Notes
     * Blog drafts (I wish it did Markdown, but...)
     * Occasional web clipping I want to keep beyond Pocket.
  * I started using Pocket more to bookmark stuff I'd want to follow up at home or on the move
  * I started using Chrome more (thought about Firefox, realized that Chrome also kept extensions synced the way I like it. Would switch if I could set up a private sync backend)
  * I started using OneDrive alongside Dropbox at home (I don't run Dropbox on my work laptop, but some files I might need at work like school schedules and stuff go on OneDrive)
  * Trello was replaced for work purposes by Office 365 Groups (works pretty well)
  * My NAS now backs up nightly to Azure
  * I use Outlook for work calendars, iOS to access everything (Outlook on iOS is pretty good and has its own isolated calendar, which suits me fine)
Mindmaps, reminders and to-dos are always with me on my iPhone (both work and leisure), so no need to sync them. My personal wiki only has public stuff and doubles as my blog, so the copious amount of public references I amass (see http://taoofmac.com/space/infoviz, http://taoofmac.com/space/dev/Python) is still useful regardless.

In general, I don't mix work and personal stuff (OneNote is an exception because it can _access_ different notebooks, but they're on two separate accounts. I generally access my "Shopping" notebook at work to check on to-dos and add stuff, then close it).

What we need is an org-mode for the web. Power of org-mode but designed for browsers and mobile first.

What all these apps and lists get wrong is the following: What you know and what you need to do are highly related.

I use emacs with org-mode.

I have a file where I keep project ideas organized by category(webdev, ML, writing, etc).

And I have a file where I keep my daily notes(I write down most of my thoughts, it helps me to focus).

In that file, I use tags like:

- #pst and #vid for blog posts and video ideas

- #prj and #sup for project and startup ideas

- #ftr (or #bug) for feature ideas for my projects

- #link for useful links

- #jok for great jokes I've encountered or came up with.

That way I can always search through this file and easily find information I wrote down years ago.

I also put symbols >> and >>>> at the beginning of the most important ideas, so that I can easily search and find the most important epiphanies I've had this month/year.

Also, I highly recommend an app called Editorial for iOS. I use it constantly, it's incredibly powerful, and has amazing automation features. I can create shortcuts to auto-insert current date, some tags, etc. I can search through all of the dropbox files, and I can write python scripts to automate any text manipulation. It's amazing.

To Do lists: emacs org-mode and agenda. I have one 'todo.org' file with top-level headings for each project. I keep an org-agenda buffer open to display the todo's scheduled for the current day. I try to go through my todo file once a week and clean it up, archiving 'DONE' items and deleting items that are no longer relevant or haven't been touched in a while. All my emacs org files are synced via dropbox. BTW, org mode really is amazing. I keep finding little nuggets that delight when reading about others' org-mode setups.

Bookmarks: Pinboard, as well as pocket/instapaper for offline reading of bookmarks.

Financial tools: Mint by intuit to keep track of all my accounts, numbers/excel for budgeting.

Calendar/Reminders: Google calendar and macOS calendar. I use siri/google assistant to capture spur-of-the-moment things that I don't want to forget.

Files on Disk: Dropbox. Backblaze for backups. Google photos and icloud photos for extra photo backups.

Wikis/General Notes: Emacs org mode. I keep a journal.org file, that I sporadically update, as well as an ideas.org file for things I'd like to investigate/try build in the future. I use evernote for lists/notes from mobile devices as I haven't figured out a good way to use org files on iPhone/Android.

There isn't much overall integration, I just know that for important files I reference dropbox, Financials and Bookmarks have their own services, and then notes are going to be in emacs or evernote. Events/reminders handle themselves as I typically schedule them in the stock calendar/reminder apps and forget about them until I get a notification. I don't find the lack of integration to be a problem actually, as long as I know where to look for something based on what it is (e.g. notes -> orgmode/evernote, events -> calendar/reminders, files -> dropbox etc.)

I have a 16GB iPad, about 12GB available. I keep all I really need within 6GB and remove the dead wood weekly. It is still a few thousand documents but, alas, I am fully in control.

...alas, I am fully in control.

Great existential touch there with the "alas"! I'm now picturing you as the Hamlet of personal task management.

I created https://mypost.io/ for myself which is a web content creation tool and lets you put up a web page on the Internet in seconds. I find it handy when I'm with clients and I'm writing a list of things they want. I can use it as a checklist and later on, go back and delete it if I don't need it anymore. I have used it for demonstration webpages or just to keep track of projects I'm working on or to-do lists or for brainstorming. I even built in a feature that keeps a list of all your saved URLs so you can return back to them at any time. If I am working with a few people on a project, I just share the URL and give them the password and they can work on it as well. Definitely useful. And yeah, it's a free tool.

> * To do lists/Reminders

I use a file called ~/TODO for that in this format:

  |  % cat ~/TODO
  |  == EASY ==
  |    todo/no/progress
  |  . task/some/progress
  |  x task/done
  |  == MEDM ==
  |    todo/no/progress
  |  . task/some/progress
  |  x task/done
  |  == HARD ==
  |    todo/no/progress
  |  . task/some/progress
  |  x task/done
> * Bookmark lists

I use a file called ~/SITES for that in this format:

  |  % cat ~/SITES
  |  begin category
  |    http://link link name
  |    http://link <b>more interesting link</b>
  |    begin subcategory
  |      http://link link name
  |      http://link <b>more interesting link</b>
  |    end
  |  end
I then generate HTML file SITES.htm with 'clickable' links with a script from that file in cron(1) hourly.

> * Financial tools

Just a XLS file with GNUMERIC/LIBREOFFICE for editions.

> * Calenders/Reminders

I use a file called ~/CAL for that in this format:

  | % cat ~/CAL
  | 09/28  c  car/something
  | 10/04  B  birthday/someone
  | 10/08  x  some/event/other
  | 10/12  N  some/name/event
  | 11/10  B  birthday/someone/else
... and everytime I spawn a new xterm(1) terminal a script that parses ~/CAL starts with 21 days upfront to remind me what I have to remember, like that

  | ==
  |     TODAY IS 10/26  B  birthday/someone
  | 15 day(s) to 11/10  B  birthday/someone/else
  | 22:54|hostname|dir % _
  | ==
> * Files on disk

ZFS with LZ4 compression + GELI encryption on FreeBSD.



2Do (http://2doapp.com) on iOS/Mac/Android with devices synced to self-hosted CalDav server (http://sabre.io) on Linux. 2Do can deep link to other iOS apps/docs. It can auto-create tasks from email using regex filters. Multi-year track record of regular updates, privacy-oriented design, robust with large number of items.

Calibre (https://calibre-ebook.com) for docs/ebook management (metadata), with Recoll (https://www.lesbonscomptes.com/recoll/) for full-text and metadata search on Linux.

As simple as possible, no "dashboards" needed :)

-- Calendar for events e.g. Google Calendar

-- GoogleMail with its task function for emails

-- one file for yearly, quartely and weekly goals

-- a normal file structure, with a README in each respective project folder, all literature, documents contacts, work, etc

-- one hard copy lab book for conceptual work.

As a knowledge worker, I've found that there is no 'best' way of organising information. It depends on what it is that you're doing.

Having said that, the things I come back to are Trello (Kanban-style boards), Pinboard.in, a personal wiki, and Google calendar. I like everything web-based so that I can access things wherever I am and whatever device I choose to use.

Over and above that, I use a paper-based daily planner that I've iterated over time. I pull everything to do that day on to it, then bin it at the end of the day.

Version 3 is here: http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/dougs-daily-planner-v3 (CC licensed)

I keep a detailed daily journal and every project gets its own journal with three separate documents. One to log progress, one for general notes and one for a to-do list. On the journal I write pretty much everything that I think needs further action. Then at the end of the day I move things from journal to the specialized lists/logs. It’s a lot of documents, that’s for sure, but it’s the only way I’ve found to keep everything tidy, especially since I enjoy working on multiple projects.

The journal I keep is on paper. I find that writing down helps me clarify things in my head. It works better than writing on a computer, perhaps because hand writing is a slower process and you get time to think things better.

Out of curiosity, is anyone interested in some sort of app for this purpose? Like, organizing references to all your other data, thoughts, relationships. I'm not sure how it would work - just thinking about it right now.

I'm very much interested in an app that:

- I can use daily for all my personal notes (ie. a digital commonplace book)

- is designed with an awareness of what keeps me from using such systems or mechanisms for uncovering those reasons (if I thought I could trust an app's being designed with that in mind, I think it'd be easier for me to stick with one)

- An example would be providing views that help me focus on the task at hand because looking at a giant task list is overwhelming for me

- was capable of providing me insights into myself through my data (eg. topic analysis of pages I visit, chat texts, etc. so I can see over time what I'm learning and how well those things align with my goals)

I'm also totally interested in helping design something like this because I've been putting together a design system I call mindful design and want to practice it with others.

There are lots already, I think the problem most people have is that their data is spread out over several. Adding another is just like that XKCD about standards.

Yesterday I've discovered Airtable, you might wanna check that out if you need something like this.

I'm piggy backing on this.

I still have found my holy grail : a kind of knowledge management software where I could just stuff things probably with tags. Not only links (I have pinboard for that) but ideas, snippets of knowledge etc.

This would be online (not necessarily self-hosted) and I'm willing to pay for that.

Accessible via smartphones and potentially with an email gateway would be great.

I don't think mindmapping software fit the bill. I really would like tag and/or full-text search.

Wikis come close but it's quite cumbersome to add a piece of info.

My Gmail inbox basically works like that... I send mails to self if I want to store links.

Evernote seems to meet each of these requirements.

Yes, from what I heard, it could be a good fit, but I only see negative comments about evernote so ... :)

Office work:

I usually use a combination of OneNote & Outlook for office work organization.

- One note: For organizing web clippings, information, self help tutorials, information that I might need to reference back some day etc.

- Outlook: For my meeting requests, reminders, appointments, TODO tasks etc.


- Trello : For my goals and my self-learning stuff (which I rarely re-visit after creating it ;))

- Google Keep: For quick lists/reminders

- EverNote: For some important articles/algorithms/programs that I might need to refer time and again at an urgent notice over my smartphone.

- Google calendar: I failed at integrating this with Trello, but otherwise, this is an excellent tool for scheduling your day (exercise hours, recurring tasks etc).

Overall, I find OneNote to be an amazing tool at organizing information and I think this has the potential to be that solution for 'one size fits all' scenario. I'm really surprised MS just gives it away for free and doesn't market as much as its other Office tools. The only reason I don't use it for my personal tasks is due to the lack of a good android port. OneNote was(still is?) atrocious w.r.t memory and execution on android. The desktop/mobile app would hardly sync well most of the times and the layout design was messed up. Felt to me that someone just copy/pasted the desktop app on android with little modifications.

After trying many different options, I am sticking with org-mode (encrypted with ELPA) + dropbox or syncthing for now. I schedule weekly sessions (usually on Sundays) to sort out all information, check if my TODO items are done or blocked and make sure all my tagging is consistent.

Only exception is when I am on the go and I want to take quick notes on my phone. For this I use google keep, making the notes sticky until I am in front of any of my laptops and dump the note into org mode again.

I also use org-mode a lot and wkll use it more in the future once I have some time to sort some things out with it.

For thhe mobile part, I'd suggest you look into MobileOrg. However, it was not a good fit for me, so I am now running emacs in Termux (on Android and I like it very much.

I use vimwiki for most things (in Dropbox), you can keep todo lists etc. in there. I'm moving towards a per-project wiki as well. I built a horrible hacky android app which hooks into any of the "sharing" menus which just appends a link into my wiki, so that's quite handy.

For email, I've really been enjoying Google Inbox, the ability to sleep items is nice, and the reminder function is quite a handy TODO list of sorts.

But mainly it's the vimwiki for me.

I use Evernote als a log for all correspondence, notes, checklists, clippings, articles etc. all sorted by creation time and tagged with relevant concepts.

Then for every task I would ever like to do at some point in the future, from bucket lists type things to project tasks which aren't yet scheduled, I have a huge WorkFlowy list.

Then for ToDo that I'be actually committed myself to I actually use Google Sheets where each mini-project has its own row with the next action defined and a history of all activities in the context of that project (both previous next actions and other things I did for that project) on the rest of the column. That allows me to keep a 'narrative' of each projects and to group them by meaningful time horizons (i.e. on a specific day this week, next week, the week after, the month after etc.)

This sheet works really well for me together with some Keyboard Maestro macros and allowed me to grow my perfect system but it is definitely time for turning that into a proper app though.

Whenever I get around to making that app I'd also love to include daily, weekly and monthly checklist/self-questionnaires/journals for additional level of planning structure.

* white sheets of printer paper for drawings and sketching out ideas * evernote for storing everything long term. from photos of notes, typed notes, and drawing made with iPad. (i have about 3000 notes going back to 2008) * omnifocus for todos * google calendar for events/meetings * simplenote/notational velocity for anything which doesn't need to stick around but needs to be recorded quickly

If it is super important, I write it down in a hard bound journal. I find things get lost in digital note keeping apps. Yes you can search, but there is no structure to the data so you get back a whole bunch of unordered keyword matches.

I often thought that store some information as Prolog facts would make it more accessible while being somewhat structured. I have not had time to build a proof of concept on this.

Hmmm, Prolog to store facts about your projects. That's an interesting thought. Been awhile since I've messed about with Prolog (was in school). I liked it then, but couldn't come up with a good use case for it in my everyday programming.

professionally, I used it to automate filling out a very complex form.

I actually have the opposite fear: I'm afraid that my important notes would get burried in a notebook because it's linear and I keep adding thing. In a digital file I can rearrange items, permanently delete them etc.

I do a combo of a little notebook I always carry around and iPhone Notes. Simple!

I have a few principles:

- Spurn ~. It generally gets cluttered with machine specific stuff.

- The primary goal is to preserve knowledge.

- The data should be easily readable in 20 years time on hw/sw not yet invented.

My 'digital life' goes in its own folder (eg /foobar), which is Syncthing'ed around to various machines, and backed up periodically. It's very big, and contains a snapshot of 'everything' I want to preserve.

Cron run various scripts to pull data from multiple services (e.g. Pinboard, DayOne, etc) so if they ever go down, I have the data I created on them.

I segment documents and projects that I create / work on from those I've just downloaded to use. This results in a fairly simple top level folder structure:

- docs: Documents and textual data

- dev: Projects, design work, development etc

- external: External tools, software, etc

- media: mostly video/audio

Projects of course do live in their own git repos.


- Emacs org mode for notes, todos, etc (best in class)

- DayOne for journaling and notes while mobile (integrated with org notes)

- Pinboard bookmarks

I'm not a huge fan of using fancy project management software tools, because fashions change, tools go out of date, data gets lost etc. Straightforward text files for most things is the best combination of usability and persistence for me. Wikis are great, but suffer from this - they need maintaining, software needs updating, the database format could change, etc. A bit of work to get a text based system going is totally worth it ;).

Slightly unrelated, how has SyncThing worked? Any corruptions with large files? Especially video files?

I haven't used it with very large files (100mb pdf is the largest thus far), but I've had problems with making sure every client has the same version. SyncThing doesn't sync with those using a different major version, and some SyncThing wrappers aren't as good as others with keeping itself up-to-date.

This resulted in a merge conflict with a large KeePassX db file x_x

I haven't had any issues with SyncThing so far, other than the initial setup faff! I haven't had to deal with any horrible merges, and as long as you take frequent snapshots you should be able to recover if the worst happens.

I use a txt file edited in Lighttable

I don't find the lack of integration a problem. I use PushBullet as an inter-device-person tool to share stuff. Not perfect, but more than good enough.

  * To do lists/Reminders -> Google keep
  * Bookmark lists -> Chrome bookmarks (automatically synced, search works in content as well)
  * Kanban boards -> Trello
  * Wikis -> Nope
  * Financial tools -> Nothing
  * Calenders/Reminders -> Google calendar
  * Files on disk -> Total commander / Dropbox
  * General notes -> Asana
  * Music -> Google music
  * Videos -> YouTube
There's no real one platform beats all and in my opinion there won't be because there are so many things to get right that it takes a huge company and tons of resources to get it right.

Instead we have what we have today: lots of alternatives that act as replaceable parts of a bigger web. Luckily most of them have API-s and things like IFTTT and Zaiper exists.

Date events including timed reminders - Google Calendar

Goals - Streak (IOS app)

Tasks both timed & untimed - Any.do (IOS app)

Financial - Quicken (IOS + desktop app)

Long term notes - OneNote

Short term notes - Notes

Files - I have a disk structure that makes sense for me. Augments with OSX tagging to ensure documents that require timely deletion are dated & marked for deletion.

These all reside on my phone's first screen home.

There was a great thread some time ago on HN about PKB (personal knowledge base). You might find there a lot of info. It prompted me to look for new solutions, I made a good progress but I'm still not happy. The best thing I use and can recommend is TiddlyWiki. I keep it in Dropbox so I can access it on mobile.

I would agree with tiddlywiki, I find it incredibly useful for building a personal knowledgebase.

I use a combination of:

* Email

* Calendar

The tools currently are Gmail and Google Calendar.

I've tried many times to try new tools and processes, such as Trello, Evernote, Remember The Milk, Getting Things Done, Kanban, etc. Pieces of those processes have made it into my workflow, such as weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. But the tools still end up being email and calendar.

I've never found one place to keep everything, so it goes into many different places. The only thing I need to remember is where everything is, which is a significantly shorter list than what everything is. I mainly use Fastmail.com, Pinboard.in, MEGA.nz, Lastpass.com, and InoReader.com. At work we use Google Drive a lot to share/edit.

If there was a service that could do email, calendars, contacts, notes, passwords, bookmarks, rss/atom feeds, file storage/sync, and document editing well and in an integrated fashion (at least all within the same interface), that would be great, but I doubt it will ever exist. Google has made all those things, but they don't offer any sort of combined solution and have about 3 different versions of notes/to-do/bookmarks, none of which are integrated with anything else.

> If there was a service that could do email, calendars, contacts, notes, passwords, bookmarks, rss/atom feeds, file storage/sync, and document editing well and in an integrated fashion (at least all within the same interface), that would be great.

I have been using hive.com[0] with my team for this one week, it doesn't do all of the things you mentioned, but it does put a lot of work stuff closer.


I have been using Turtl (https://turtlapp.com/) for notes, bookmarks, sharing files and journaling. It runs on Windows/Mac/Linux/Android (iOS coming soon) and have both cloud-hosted and self-hosted options. It helped me drop OneNote and Google Keep. It supports tagging the notes, but reminders are still lacking, I use Tasks (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.tasks&hl=e...) on my Android phone to keep track of repeating tasks and reminders.

For side-projects kanban boards, I just use Gitlab issues' kanban view.

This might sound crass but... use a computer. There are millions of applications that run on computers to do those things. If you are growing tired of the lock in of an application and want something that will work on all devices and for the rest of time, try using a computer in a basic way by just storing text files in a folder. I have one folder of text files that follows me around on every device thanks to Dropbox. My `todo.txt` is there, my `shopping-list.txt` is there, my `calendar.txt` is there, my `travel +notes.txt` is there. If I want to find an item with a particular tag I use what ever OS to filter by the files by `+tag-name`. I use `+` instead of `#` that twitter uses for tags because sometimes `#` will mess with an OS searching for files.

For Bookmark lists I'm finishing to develop a tool that can allow you to create a learning unit (a folder) with a specific topic like, "Learning RxJs", that contains a resource (a link find in internet) related to the topic.

Sometimes the bookmark tool like Pocket allow you to create a tag (similar to a folder) but this tag a little later became a blob of informations. This makes it impossible to keep track of learning progress, and i try to fix this with my tool.

My tool is similar to knowledge base or rather a container of the things you want to learn! Infact if you save a link in your bookmark folder, like Develop, you try to understand and learn later the content of the link.

Bookmark folder on browser, Pocket or similar tool, don't work for me for the learning process.

1) A Google Doc that has different headings like Inbox, High/Medium/Low Priority, Scheduled and then Notes. I've been using this for 2 years and wanted to write an app that would extract the dates from the Scheduled category into a calendar, but found out a simple document such as it is is sufficient.

2) I don't. If it doesn't fit into the above-mentioned 2 page document it's not important enough to be categorized. Categorisation (control) used to be a major source of stress in my life.

3) For academic paper/thesis writing I am actually working on a software to organize all research/quotes and then keep references to them in a "main document". Contact me if you'd like to know more.

The purpose behind http://onemodel.org is just this. The problem we have stems from working on piles of words, which makes knowledge hard to compute. The idea of http://onemodel.org is to treat knowledge at an atomic level, but still very efficiently for a human, so we don't have the constraints of other systems. More info under the "About" and other links at the web site. It's visually ugly and no mobile support yet but I use it daily and I (the author) think the ideas are needed.

While I understand the desire for a single integrated tool, I think it's better to use the right tool for each job. Especially since people work/think differently, the best way to handle a ToDo list for you may not work for me. Similar to the UNIX tool philosophy I think each person needs their own collection of tools to solve that long list of problems.

For me:

OmniFocus for ToDos/Reminders and synced issues from JIRA (work) and GitHub (personal projects)

Evernote for taking notes, capturing webpages/blog posts I want to save/read later

DevonThink for going paperless at home. Scanning everything that comes into the house.

For the bulk of my personal organization (file organization, note taking and todo lists):


My stack is becoming simpler as I declutter my life. On last update, I quitted Evernote and my notes are now managed on a text editor. I still use other tools for:

- collaboration (Trello, Slack, Gmail)

- finances (Spreadsheet: informal balance sheet updated every quarter).

- RSS (Feedly)

- image references (Pinterest: images with searchable descriptions. Unfortunately their search engine is bad, worse than Evernote's)

- flat file markdown wiki, md files synced to my phone with managed owncloud. Has a few main categories just to avoid the need to tag. i use it for todo, long written texts (writing my thesis in there), song sheets, arty collections, recommendations, documentation etc.

- managed owncloud for calendar

- managed, but small and lovely email provider with catch all on my own domain

- semi managed hosting (shared server with multiple non root users and ssh, unique thing) for website and quick online sharing of text or screenshots (upload via shareX+ftp)

My workflow:

Evernote (coupled with a ScanSnap document scanner) ->

  Financial Statements
  Code snippets
  Infrastructure notes
  Invoices / POs / other financial docs
Google Apps ->

  Bookmarks (Chrome)
Doit.im ->

  To do lists
  Project Management (lists of to-do lists)
Handwritten ->

  Notepad+ for iPad Pro (then shared to Evernote)

I have been using a service called Airtable.com (no affiliation) lately to organize tasks and projects.

It is like Google spreadsheet and Trello made babies in my book when you utilize it's ability to add filtered Views and connect and link data across tables.

Attachments from other services, calendar views and ability to do low level formulas are other standout features imho and it just seems to fit how I actually think better than any service out there.

+1 for Airtable. It's a great service to use.

> life/work (...) in an integrated way?

I like to keep them separate.

A Wiki (http://dynalon.github.io/mdwiki/#!index.md) works great for my work related stuff, while org-mode (http://orgmode.org/) works for everything else.

At work, I use what work uses -- currently Phabricator. So it goes.

For personal life, I have lots of old things in mails in Gmail (also notes in mails to self), scan paper administration type things and put them in a password protected ZIP in Dropbox, plan books to read on Goodreads, store contact info on my phone, chess games in Scid and other than that I rely on memory.

For to do lists/reminders: https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=com.icechen1.not... - it just puts them in my android drawer.

For pretty much everything else, I usually just keep text files in ~/Documents.

Scapple[0] for non-linear todo lists and overall thinking, MoinMoin[1] stored in Dropbox for keeping information on each topic.

[0]: https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scapple.php

[1]: https://moinmo.in/

OneNote + Outlook works okay for what you're asking, but I have a hard time sticking with it because the interface isn't well-refined.

I like OneNote a lot more than I like Outlook, but the integration is reasonably good. You can create tasks from OneNote that give you reminders in Outlook, which link back to the rich-text "source material."

They are good for a fair few things (I looked hard at things like OneNote and Evernote in the wiki role, but chose a wiki because of crosslinking), but the data is hard to extract from their formats.

You can cross-link in Evernote and OneNote. Also, Evernote has a great feature called Context which is activated if you pay for a subscription (worth it) that automatically shows you relevant notes based on your current note. Also, Evernote is a lot more portable than a Wiki so you can carry it around and search through all your notes (including inside PDFs and other documents, OCR and images).

I'm using mostly my e-mail (I was into "inbox zero" before it was a thing to be honest). I have couple dedicated folders for archiving tasks etc. If I have something in my main inbox - it means that it is related to some task that is not finished (and it motivates me to finish it). Normally I have 0-5 messages in my inbox.

I'm using dynalist.io - it's like workflowy, but with 1000 more features and they're working on it constantly, adding new features and improvements every week ( http://blog.dynalist.io/ )

notion.so looks also nice, but I can work more smoothly in dynalist

I have a box on my desk for Ideas, I use a calendar for appointments, since most of my work is just learning how to draw certain things that's something I just do without any system. I use anchors everywhere - eg. instead of to do listing them, I put items somewhere where I have to take them with me next time I leave the room

* Evernote for web articles I find interesting (I love the web clipper), and for random notes

* Sometimes Google Keep for other random notes.

* Wunderlist for long term todos

* Apple Reminders for "remember the milk" type reminders

* Trello for work & personal projects

* Mint for budgeting

* Google calendar for calendar things

* Dropbox for cloud photo storage from my phone (may switch to Google photos at some point)

* Backblaze for offsite backup

My brain.

Supplemented by

  * Dropbox, for text files and code. To be replaced.
  * recently, Google Docs, used as an ad-hoc wiki.
  * Google keep for random 'check this out later' notes
  * Pinboard, for web bookmarks.
I want to develop a better hypertext system for notes, drafts and essays.

I have nextCloud with Calendar, Contacts and Tasks plugins. I have my meetings, schedules, todo-lists. It contains a lot of different types of lists, like washing, shopping, todo, list of ideas, contact birthdays, I've go dozens of it. It really works, I have reminders, notes, scheduling, tasks, progress meters.

I sync most important files between 3-5 devices with Syncthing. Devices are small and portable, 2x laptop, raspberry pi, netbook, I'm going to replace it with external drive connected to my Omnia Turris soon.

I have a few external drives with photos, music, films I liked, everything is evaporating online, torrent trackers are disappearing, content on Netflix is expensive and getting worse and worse, so I 'data-hoard' everything and backup at least twice once per month.

Like a year ago I opened a spredhseet where I log all my bills and it works for me as financial database, ~20 categories of expenses, each has some subcategories.

  * Kanban boards
 Yellow sticky notes on a fridge.

Wunderlist was a gamechanger for me: https://www.wunderlist.com

Still looking for an optimal solution for calendar though, and other information I keep in Dropbox, iCloud notes and on paper lists.

Is it still pretty good for you? My wife and I have been having sync issues with shared lists. A few zombie items (we ended up both buying coffee for home, not the worst thing), and a few items not syncing for days. This started maybe around the iOS 10 upgrade?

You forgot:

  * Google
Basically I give everything over to them and rely on their suite of services. It has worked out really well actually. And in fact isn't it their mission to organize the world's information?

It's not their mission to organize the world's Information for you.

no, its selling ads. just that if you have all the information possible, on everybody, in organized manner, selling ads works a bit better

https://culturedcode.com/things/ is the best, or least-worst, that I've ever used in terms of simplicity + power.

I used clouds to store files and my own app to store notes and calendars. Im thinking of open sourcing my app for the benefit of others. http://lexiy.com

OneNote (both offline and synced) and https://github.com/greggigon/my-personal-kanban-server

  * Asciidoctor - for Notes, snippets, documents, Projects.
  * SublimeText + Material Theme + Plantasks for daily to do and journal. (synced through dropbox)
  * Wunderlist - For grocery shopping list

I use a personal mediawiki for large scale bodies of knowledge, like my academical studies, computing knowledge and such.

Other than that, Simplenote for notetaking on web, android.

Lastly Google Drive is heavily used for the rest.



Markdown text!

Unlimited hierarchy

Unlimited list items

Printable checklists

Due dates

Tags (colored, private, public)

Search and filtering

Focus (hoist)


Colors (priorities)


List style

Word count

I'm always trying things for this, first WorkFlowy, now:


I also tried Notion but it's very slow.

I have a recursive folder for everything that did catch my interest for every year. It could be a git repository, but its neat to be able to search the pile of a month.

Its nothing fency.

Dont try to answer this question when it comes up. I have spent a lot of time personally, developed software (prototypes) and figured out that this is a holy grail.

Different tools depending on the context

* Emacs Orgmode

* nvPy (https://github.com/cpbotha/nvpy)

* Asciidoctor files

* Gnumeric

I created an app for this: https://myplaceonline.com/

I've builded artsembler.com to organize information; Trello for job; Pocker for junk; oh, also, keepassx for sensitive data;

that's all

Camlistore anyone?

I have an A3 sheet of paper where I note my sheet. When it is full, I copy the parts that are still relevant on a new sheet.

apple's notes app - I just breakdown notes into 3 segments -> Learning, Task-List, and Finance.

My task-list is broken down into times and days like: Task List — AM - morning MD - midday PM - afternoon N - evening

Oct 25 • AM - send email for x

Evernote + Calendar + E-mail. Calendar and e-mail both provided by Fastmail.

How do you crosslink?

i throw it in a pile in my mind and usually forget entirely about it. probably not a helpful practice, and definitely has some influence on why my life is the way it is, but that's what I do

I think it's fair to say that there isn't a single tool that can satisfy all your needs. I'm meticulously organized but I doubt I can get anything done with just a Wiki or any other tool. You also have to remember that in many cases, staying organized also means collaborating with other people who may not share the same opinion as you about various tools.

It took me a long time to find the right mix of tools that are ideal for my specific workflow. These are the tools I mostly rely on now:

- Outlook.com (with custom domain) for my personal email. I find Outlook's 'Sweep' feature a lot more feature rich than Gmail's filters. I have rules that automatically move newsletters over 3 days old to archive and then delete unnecessary emails over 10 days old automatically.

- I've grown to like Wunderlist a lot for personal tasks. It has its limitations but it gets the job done well. I don't bother with many folders etc. I just throw everything in the inbox and add due dates to it. Inbox is sorted by due date. Works great for me. Also, it integrates well with Outlook.

- Evernote is where is store anything that's remotely relevant to me. Again, I don't bother with multiple notebooks. I have 2 main notebooks - Inbox and Cabinet. All notes start in Inbox. When they are no longer needed for my day to day work, they are moved to Cabinet. All notes are meticulously organized with tags. I am contemplating having a 3rd notebook called Library (offline notebook) with all my favorite online articles tagged by topic. This might work better than a Wiki to be honest. I also use their browser extensions a LOT.

- I use aText snippets inside Evernote to log call notes, meeting notes etc. using a standard format. I have quite a few other snippets that I use in other applications as well.

- All my favorite articles are in Pocket

- All my personal files are on OneDrive. Work files are on Google Drive (it's easier to collaborate on Google because everyone I know uses Gmail / Google Apps).

- Work tasks are on Trello

- Photos automatically organized on Google Photos

- My code editor (Visual Studio Code) settings are automatically backed up on GitHub Gist using https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=Shan.cod...

I also use a few other tools occasionally but mostly rely on these for everything. Like most people, I wanted one tool to fit all my needs but I came to accept that it's just not possible considering the complex needs of each function. You might not think about it but, task management in itself is more than just a simple list of to-dos that requires a lot of programming to be done right. Stop trying to find a one-size fits all tool. Leverage multiple tools and integrate them together. For instance, Evernote talks to Gmail through a browser extension so you can always save an important email easily. You can also create more complex workflows using IFTTT. That would be the best way to organize yourself.

I use Wunderlist for ToDos.

Rest of the info I store in .txt files in a folder.

I am not a busy man :)

I used to do the .txt thing, if you get chance, I think tiddlywiki is well worth looking into. It's basically just as simple but more effective because you can search for things more easily.

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