Using LogSeq to make notes and organize my thoughts
I've been trying LogSeq for organizing my notes and thoughts for a few months. I'm blown away and am now moving my previous notes into the system.
LogSeq is a knowledge base that works on top of local plain-text Markdown. It's an application where you can write and organize notes. In particular, it has extensive support to link notes together, as well as searching for (related) notes. This makes navigating the notes a very smooth experience. People sometimes call this "your second brain".
And it's open source!
LogSeq is part of a family of tools that try to help you organize your thoughts. The idea is that while you may know a great deal of facts and have a great deal of ideas, it's when you start to see the links between them, that you get new insights that are truly interesting. These are the insights that lead to new research areas, business ideas, points for self-improvements, etc.
Obsidian is another similar tool, and is also open source. I tried this before I got into Logseq, and it is what got me interested in tools like this. I liked Obsidian a lot, but eventually decided on LogSeq because it feels a bit more polished and plug-n-play.
Other similar tools include Joplin, Notion, and Roam. I don't have any experience in these, so I won't comment on them.
LogSeq vs Obsidian
In Obsidian, documents feel more like a regular document, whereas in LogSeq everything is a bullet point, which they call them blocks. This feels a bit odd at first (it did to me at least), but once you get used to it, you'll recognize its power. Blocks represent a unit text (that can have sub-blocks), that are easy to move around, can be referred to, and are listed as a unit in e.g. search results and back references.
LogSeq has a builtin journal, which looks like a single document with one section per day. This is where you can write daily notes, fleeting thoughts, quick todo list, meeting notes, etc. Together with how blocks work, this allows for a very intuitive journaling process. Similar things are possible in Obsidian, but you'd have to set it up yourself in some way.
Both LogSeq and Obsidian have a wide range of plugins. Obsidian has far more plugins and seems to have a more active community in this respect.
Both Obsidian and LogSeq have a graph view, though Obsidian's is the much-praised winner on this front.
Obsidian has a distinction between links and tags, allowing for flexible ways of organizing stuff ... that also confuses me at times. In LogSeq tags are simply links.
I think it'd be fair to say that Obsidian is more hackable and easier to tweak for specialized workflows, while LogSeq tries to provide a smooth yet generic workflow out of the box.
In an earlier post I talk about my journey through using different note taking apps. I've gone from a home-made app, to Trello, and back to the home made app. I've also spent months using paper and pen for most note taking and task management. Let's see how I now fit my different workflows into LogSeq ...
I make notes in the journal. For meeting notes this makes perfect sense. Smaller notes exist as separate blocks in the journal, marked with tags. Larger notes I sometimes put into their own page, and then link to them from the journal.
I write ideas simply as blocks in the journal, tagged with
#idea. When I
go to the page for "idea", the Linked References section shows all
ideas in chronological order; a spark file, just like that!
Previously, I sometimes wrote larger pieces of text on certain topics, either in Google docs or as markdown files stored on my computer. I now imported these into LogSeq and added some tags to them. Now they are fully part of my "digital garden" and I can link to them from other notes.
LogSeq has a simple system to create tasks and mark them as done. Tasks can also be scheduled for a certain date, and even support recurring tasks. There is also a plugin to make this system more powerful.
I tried this for a few months to do my task management, but stopped using it, because it feels a bit awkward/fragile to me. I came to the conclusion that LogSeq is primarily a tool to organise your knowledge and ideas. While this affects the tasks that you set for yourself, it is not the best tool to do the actual task management. Tools like e.g. TodoIst are much more streamlined for that.
I do still use LogSeq's
TODO mechanism, but only for lists in a specific block.