About Notabase

Notabase (pronounced noh-tuh-base) is a personal knowledge base for networked thinking.

I started Notabase because I couldn't find a note-taking app that meshed with the way I think. The existing options were too complicated and hard to use, or didn't have the capabilities I needed.

The ideal note-taking app doesn't just let you take notes; it helps you write and think better. With that fundamental guiding star, I eventually settled on three core principles:

  1. Easy to use; it just works.

  2. Links are first-class citizens.

  3. Open, transparent, and privacy-friendly.

1. Easy to use; it just works

Some note-taking apps have such a big learning curve that they feel more like coding than writing. In contrast, Notabase is honed to be as easy-to-use as possible, but without sacrificing power.

Notabase has a WYSIWYG editor that gives you a rich-text experience, regardless of whether you're reading or editing a note. You can format text using keyboard shortcuts, a formatting toolbar, or Markdown.

It's built for the universal platform: the web. Your notes are automatically accessible across all of your devices—no additional setup needed.

Nothing exists in a vacuum, so your notes shouldn't either. With Notabase, your notes form bidirectional links to each other, allowing you to organize knowledge associatively, not just hierarchically.

The real power comes from backlinks, which let you see which notes link to a specific note. This allows relevant notes and pieces of knowledge to naturally bubble up to the surface, empowering your writing, research, and ideas.

With these links, your notes form a network—your own, personal knowledge graph—so every note, idea, and piece of knowledge you have is mise en place.

3. Open, transparent, and privacy-friendly

Notabase is open source with a public changelog and roadmap, which means that development happens transparently and the entire community is involved.

Notabase will never sell your data or advertise to you. The only way Notabase makes money is from users paying for the product, which aligns incentives.

There's also no lock-in; your notes are fully owned by you. You can export your notes at any time to Markdown. And since Notabase is open source, you can even self-host it.

How does Notabase compare to other networked thinking apps (e.g. Roam Research, Obsidian, etc.)?

Notabase is designed to be easy to use and accessible to anyone. Roam is targeted more towards technical people: those who know Markdown or are willing to invest a significant amount of time learning Roam. And Obsidian requires a lot of manual configuration, such as setting up your own syncing and backup service. In comparison, Notabase is super easy and simple to get started with, but also very powerful once you get deeper into it.

And unlike many other networked thinking apps, Notabase is fundamentally open. The entire code is open source, so anyone can inspect it. We also have a community where anyone can voice their thoughts and contribute to the development of the app. And it's privacy-friendly: you have full ownership over your notes, we don't sell your data or advertise to you, and we don't read your private notes.

Plus, Notabase has some unique features as well, like page stacking, which makes it so you can seamlessly work between multiple notes at once. It also has a robust force-directed graph view, making it easy to look at the relationships between your notes, and powerful full-text search.

The best way to know how Notabase compares is to try it out for yourself. You can get started with Notabase for free with no time limit.

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