"Wiki" Like Mind Mapping Software for Interconnected Ideas?

Every year or two I spend a few hours researching, find nothing good, and give up. I’ve been working on a sci-fi novel for many years, planning out the entire universe. The problem I run into is that there’s so many characters and groups and events that link together, that I can’t reference the material in one spot.

For example, I have a list of characters and their attributes and historical backstory they were involved with. What teams / families / allegiances / enemies they have.

I have a list of events that goes into detail of which characters are in them, how the characters change, etc

I have a list of places and in each place, I need to know which events occured, which characters were in each one, etc. There’s also discrete “pages” for teams, families, and other groupings of characters and places and events.

All of these different things link together. I want something like wiki software where I can be on a “Character Page” and have it contain dozens of hyperlinks to other characters, events, and places. So I can click on one of those links and jump to that page.

I also occasionally go to a local writing group, get some feedback on ideas, and document them as notes. I would like to retain those notes as discrete pages, such as “Notes from March 17th 2019” but also hyperlink to each thing, in both directions. So if I am looking on Character X page, I can see links to all 14 notes documents where she’s referenced. As you can tell this will be much harder if whatever system I use doesn’t automatically generate links, although I am open to manually doing it.

I don’t want to put this freely on the internet, so an online wiki system that isn’t encrypted won’t work for me, and in the past when I looked, that’s all I found for wikis.

I do have scrivener and use it, but it doesn’t feel right for this world building purpose. Is there anything out there that may work for me? Thank you in advance, my friends.

I found this article which lists all kinds of wiki software, including some free ones. If I were doing this, I’d try one of those, hosted locally.

While not wiki software per se, Obsidian might also give you what you want.

Yeah, many writers have gotten excited about Obsidian for exactly this use case.

Eleanor Konik publishes her notes for this purpose. There are many other examples.


So yeah, Obsidian or even Logseq could be a good shout.

Seeing as you specifically referenced wiki software, I’d cast a vote for Tiddlywiki. There’s a lot you can do with it, right down to mind-mapping.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to focus on the “visual thinking” side of your note-making and mind-mapping while retaining some of the features offered by contemporary knowledge management tools, maybe take a look at Heptabase or Gems.

1 Like

Also, not wiki, but you might find Aeon Timeline useful? Haven’t had cause to use it myself, but beyond the (obvious) timeline functionality, the mind-mapping and ways of connecting events, people and places might be worth a look? Link goes to the App Store, but there’s a Mac version…


I would add Zengobi’s Curio to the other suggestions. It has idea spaces where you can put things, items you can place in the idea space, like files, links to files, index cards, photo albums, pin boards, tables, etc.
You can also draw connecting between items, use links, etc.
it’s very flexible and powerful, and I’ll bet there are people creating books with it.

Lionel Davoust, aka. KillerWhale (who used to hang out here), an author of fiction, uses Obsidian, and there is at least one video of him on YouTube talking about his workflow.

1 Like

A possible alternative to Aeon: Timeline from KnightLab. It’s meant for journalism, so I’m not sure how it’ll do with fictional time horizons, but might be worth exploring.

I really miss that guy.


+1 for Aeon Timeline. Invented for controlling timelines in novels, then added features for program management, no evolving into a database. Nothing else like it.

You might want to take a look at Tinderbox, it’s ability to add structured data to notes (MD or otherwise) and to link, group and sort based on that data puts it ahead — at least in my mind — of Obsidian.

1 Like

There’s still the old VoodooPad kicking about… it might possibly get a 6.0 release someday.You can get the latest beta download here. Though to be honest, Curio is probably the right choice.

1 Like

v6 is scheduled for release the day after the first Flying Pigs team competes in the summer Olympics.

1 Like

Ugg… I know. VoodooPad and Yojimbo, two peas in a pod. I used to be a huge fan of both of them, but they’ve just fallen by the wayside. Honestly I kind of feel like Craft is what VoodooPad should have evolved into.

Along with nvultra.


Excellent suggestions.
Obsidian for linking data - visalization with links, with the least amount of effort.
Curio - beautiful, graphical, static representation of data with links to relevant files.
Aeon Timeline - representation of timeline events with import into Scrivener
Don’t forget Hook for additional linking possibilities in all the above software.

Tinderbox – powerful way to examine notes and relationships between notes. Be cautious, this is a deep rabbit hole (I am still digging). Here is a list of Tinderbox videos. If you want a potentially more detailed way to analyze your data, TB is powerful. If you already know your data and want a better way to represent or retrieve the information, there are simpler solutions.

1 Like

What happened? Hope he is safe and doing good.

I think he decided he had better ways to spend his time.

How about using MediaWiki for a personal writing site?

There are some very inexpensive MediaWiki hosts out there

Your own personal Wikipedia - with tons of plugins to customize too if you wish

If you get really into it Semantic MediaWiki is extremely powerful