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I figure I should ask this before I start writing my own...

I'm looking for an app that I can use as a repository of information about a subject. Here's the sort of features I want:

  • Individual "articles" where I can write about the things I've learned/discovered/theorized
  • Be able to tag these articles with keywords (like tags on this question)
  • Be able to group these articles into folders of related stuff.
  • Smart folders would be especially nice.
  • Be able to write these articles in a simple format. Markdown would be wonderful.
  • Be able to search through the articles to find stuff/Spotlight integration.
  • Must be a native Mac app. Not a web app. Having a companion iOS app would be a major bonus.
  • Article versioning would be nice.
  • Automatically detecting related articles (even a simple algorithm) would be nice.

Basically, I think I want an off-line, personal Wikipedia that I can write in Markdown. Do any of you know of an app (or apps) that does what I'm looking for?

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5 Answers 5

You might try also DEVONthink which is a bit expensive but works for me.

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Voodoopad or yojimbo would be nice starts. Ask @ccgus fir the pitch

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Yojimbo looks promising! It looks, however, like there's only the single repository of info? –  Dave DeLong Jun 7 '11 at 5:33
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Trunk Notes might work, but it's coming at the problem from the other end as it's an iOS app instead of Mac OS. It uses dropbox for sync, though, so you could edit the files on any machine. A Mac translator/renderer to work with it would be cool.

Edit: Looks like someone is trying to make a desktop app to work with it: http://code.google.com/p/trunkdesk/. I have no idea how well it works as I haven't tried it yet.

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I understand, than one of your basic criteria was "desktop", so the following is only from my personal experience:

In the past (years ago) I'm faced this problem too. Tried VooDooPad (it is really nice personal wiki) and several other desktop apps. I was used VooDooPad long time and still a part of my "knowledge base" is still in it.

But, now I'm using a open source wiki http://www.foswiki.org . While don't want talking about its features, pros and cons - I must say: moved into foswiki because simply needed share my personal knowledge base with my wife and son and friends... (remote access). Email and syncing is not a solution it is a pain.

So now, you're sure will start with some desktop app, because now this is your best idea. Like me in the past.

But my prediction is: you're sooner or later will need share knowledge with others, with remote access, security and so on. And transforming things into something new is not always an easy task.

My best advice now:

  • wait a month - Lion arriving
  • upgrade to Lion (you get automatic version control).
  • buy for 50USD the Lion Server (new strategy from Apple - the server is really cheap)
  • start use the build-in Lion-Server-wiki, with fulltext, versioning, sharing.. etc.
  • don't make buying decision before you installed Lion (1 month) :)
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

After a bunch of research, I've decided to go with Evernote. Getting all of the features that I want will require the paid subscription, but I think it'll be worth it. It also has some nice features of text detection in images and integration with many different file formats.

It does not have Markdown integration (that I found), but I found it easy enough to change the default font to something monospace, and if I really need formatting, it supports rich text as well.

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