Using Zim Wiki in my Workflow

07 Nov

As I said in this post, I ditched Evernote as my note-taking program because I don’t like the UX on the Andriod. A few days ago, I thought about my workflow again, mainly how to deal with the various text-based notes and how organize them. For some reason, I don’t like or just don’t do well with just having a folder full of text files (either in .txt or .odt). I would rather have a hierarchical system. I once used KeepNote, which had awesome freatures but it isn’t developed, as it was some student at MIT’s pet project. Then I moved to CherryTree and I don’t remember why I stopped using it, maybe because of the UX. When I started to use Ubuntu back in 2009, I took note of the defult note-taking program, Tomboy Notes. I think I only used it for maybe a month and I don’t remember why I ditched it. For two (2) years, I never looked into a new note-taking program until I started to think about going close to 100% being digital for taking notes. Within the last two (2) years, I skipped between many programs and still really haven’t settled on anything. Perhaps, I should write a “lessons learned” blog post about creating the workflow that I use now.

Since I’m not using Tomboy for my note-taking then what I’m using? Once again, I looked back at my one of Linux using friends, AJ Linux, and his HubPage where he talks about three note-taking programs. This time Zim Wiki caught my eye:

Zim is a graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages. Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page. All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, like a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control. (Zim Homepage)

Zim wiki is basically your desktop wiki without a wiki server that you set up.  So far, I played around with it for an hour last night.  I like but I still have things to learn to increase my usage and a few more settings to tweak.

My plan on how to use Zim is as followed:

  • I will use notebooks to keep related stuff together.  Example: All of my Ubuntu stuff in a nokebook called, “Ubuntu”.
  • Within notebooks, minus the “Pickle Jar”, I will use pages as major categories.  Example: I have a “Ubuntu Sense” page within my “Ubuntu” notebook.
  • Within major categories (as pages), I will use sub-pages as the “pages”. Example: I have a “Things to Blog On” sub-page in my “Ubuntu Sense” page.
  • I will use Dropbox to sync.
  • If I have projects to work on, most likely the task lists will stay with the projects and not be transferred on to my list on Lighting on Thuderbird.
  • I will use a “Pickle Jar” notebook for random thoughts just has David Seah does.

The first four are things that seem to stay with me no matter what program I use, so I know those things are set in stone but the program that I use isn’t.  And watch this change in a month or so.  But hopefully, I can finally settle onto one note-taking program and improve my workflow.


Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Ubuntu, Workflow


Tags: , , , ,

8 responses to “Using Zim Wiki in my Workflow

  1. Lee

    November 7, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I’m tested ZimWiki a while ago and Im not happy with . Mz favotite notetaker is Cherrytree. Its helps me out in many ways and I can set a password. For me it works perfect.

  2. Raniere

    November 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Did you consider/test Org Mode ( It is Emacs based (but so far is the best tool that I find and I’m a Vim user) and the great points are (1) flat file based and all its advantages (easy to migrate to another computer and easy to sync using Git/Mercurial/Dropbox/Google Driver/…), (2) nice shortcuts, (3) many native extras and (4) can be exported to many formats using pandoc (YES, you can use LaTeX).

    • Svetlana Belkin

      November 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      I never heard of it until you suggested it. Is it command line based? I don’t do well with command line stuff, I’m more of a GUI based person.

      • Raniere

        November 7, 2014 at 2:03 pm

        Orgmode isn’t command line based. It is a mode for Emacs so you have the Emacs GUI with a few more options at the menu bar. You can find some tutorials at

      • Svetlana Belkin

        November 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm

        Alright, I will look into it.

  3. Glen Ditchfield

    November 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    tiddlywiki ( stores a wiki in an ordinary local file, but you view and edit it with a web browser (preferably Firefox). No server, no special client.


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