Apple Notes for Zettelkasten?

I am not sure that Notes has all of the features of Obsidian or Tinderbox - but it’s quite useful and it’s free

This is an interesting article on Medium:

Even more interesting - its chief stated drawback to the system is that you cannot create a link from one Apple Note to another; but that has now been fixed in the Hook App.


Thanks for sharing the article; it is one of the clearer descriptions of the method I’ve read. I’m not sure I want to use Apple Notes for this, however.

The main issue is the extremely difficult process of exporting one’s notes from Apple Notes. It is a pain. One has to export in bulk through iCloud and then the notes all come as PDFs, which is fine for archiving but not for active use.

I think DEVONthink (DT) is a better solution. DT has most of the features of Apple Notes (not Pencil support or scanning directly-though I scan into DT from my ScanSnap scanner) but also adds a lot more features including native tagging, converting file formats, OCR, backlinking, URL’s for every note, superb search, the ability to export in bulk and in multiple formats, and much much more. I’m more comfortable using DT to capture, archive, index and to search notes than I am using a proprietary ecosystem like Apple Notes. I like Obsidian but the lack of a genuine native mobile app., while not a show stopper, is less than ideal given I do nearly all of my reading and research on the iPad Pro. I noted that the author wrote that one reason why he is not using 3rd party apps is because he has “never gotten the full benefit on a mobile platform.” This is admittedly a weakness of DT—the mobile app is awful but the good news is that a new mobile app is coming, which by most accounts, is excellent. The other concern I have about using Apple Notes is I do not find it to be an ideal application for storing/archiving thousands of attached articles and book notes. Apple Notes is not a database, it is for note taking. Once could of course store and link to documents in another app., like DT but why not do everything in one app., instead? For example, the author mentioned the ability to annotate in Apple Notes. DT also has good annotation tools and even has the ability to open a document in 3rd party apps and then save the changes, which remain in DT.

Again, this was an intriguing article and a creative use of Apple Notes but I believe in this case, there are better solutions.


Obsidian is free. For this kind of work, it is also purpose-built. IMO, Notes is nice but fiddly.

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Agreed - I don’t think I would use Apple Notes for a large or long-term project like this. But it’s interesting to see how it could be done in theory.

I think Apple Notes works great for something quick/easy/reliable when I need to access some information on multiple Macs - its sync among different Mac/iOs devices is rock solid and quick. And the recently fixed ability to use Hook to create a URL to a specific note is particularly nice.

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This, I’ve been using Apple Notes and it’s great :100:

@Kraftwerk I agree that Apple Notes is great but are you saying that you use AN for Zettelkasten?

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