Personal wiki/VoodooPad/Non-locally stored information

I’ve been looking for an application that can do linking between pages, include images, etc. etc. Not basically, but exactly, a personal wiki. I’d like something that I don’t have to install with MAMP or on a remote server. I was looking at VoodooPad but it hasn’t been updated in two years so no idea if it’s ever going to be. I remember using DTP years ago but seem to recall that it’s more of an information “container” than anything else. That might still be OK but I’m wondering about it’s usefulness with most stuff being stored in the cloud. I’m on a MB Air so I don’t store most of my stuff on the SSD, but rather in Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. How does DTP work with those sorts of storage locations?

Hi. DEVONthink works much like VoodooPad with its linking abilities (in the Preferences, check “automatic” wiki links for “names and aliases” to turn the feature on). I’ve found it to be a great alternative to VP, which has pretty much been abandoned (as far as I can tell), and is many months too late with necessary updates. The developers (Plausible Labs) have promised updates, but nothing has been delivered. Things happen, priorities change, and all of that, so this isn’t criticism of the developers. It is what it is, but I would avoid it, unless the developers suddenly decide to start doing something with it.

I use DT’s indexing and sync with SpiderOak (a secure cloud service similar to Dropbox). However, DT has support for Dropbox, and you can probably more easily sync with it.

It is much more than a “container,” in my opinion, but I guess that depends on how you use it :slight_smile:

mmmm … I don’t think I’d recommend DEVONthink as a wiki for the uses @ubrgeek listed. DEVONthink’s “wiki” features are very basic and limited, IMO. Unfortunatly, there is not much available on OS X in the wiki space, though there are simplistic alternatives like TiddlyWiki, or web-based wiki spaces one can subscribe to. (I"m not talking about installing MAMP, etc. – I agree that that is a huge pain.)

FWIW I use ConnectedText (Windows) on a VM, but only because I had to have the VM for other reasons. ConnectedText is superior.

OK, good to know. I appreciate the advice! I really wish the VooDoo developers were more communicative, if only as a sign of professionalism…

true. but, it’s better to know there is nothing happening than to wait around. as far as using dt as a wiki, it works great for the uses you listed. i’m not sure what is basic about it.

it is not, apparently, designed as a wiki, and the workflow is a little rough around the edges, so there is that, but it is far, far superior overall to something like tw or nvalt. i would very much like to have a something geared more towards being a personal wiki, but i don’t see dt headed in that direction, and it is true that we could use some more out there. evernote kind of flirted with it, and it can be used that way, but i’ve had mixed results with it as a personal wiki, especially when it comes to navigation.

Thanks Christopher. I’m curious if you’ve used/use Evernote as a wiki. If it’s too OT would you mind shooting me a PM?

hi. it seems on topic to me. comparing and contrasting highlights the strengths and weaknesses of dt, and it gives us ideas about how to accomplish our aims with the software that is available.

i did use evernote as a wiki for a while, but it required a lot of additional effort, which i wasn’t keen on providing. for example, a key feature of a wiki are internal links. evernote has these and it uses a udid that retains the link, even if the target note name or the link name changes. this is handy, but…

there is no automatic linking with file names, so you have to manually remake the link for every instance. devonthink automatically recognizes names of files and generates the links for you. this is hugely helpful when your wiki grows to thousands of items.

evernote only links to notes, which is fine if you use small, discreet ones, but a problem if you have several files within each note. you cannot link to those attachments directly. dt doesn’t use “notes” (containers for every file), so you can link to individual files. i’ve found this particularly helpful with links to images and pdfs.

evernote has no visual tree-like structure to give you a map of your wiki, so navigation quickly becomes a headache. this is also missing in dt, though, and here is where i’d agree with korm. there is a lot more to be done if the developers wanted to support a personal wiki use case. i think many folks would say that connected text is the gold standard for personal wikis right now.

finally, evernote has more or less abandoned its focus on being your external brain, and it is emphasizing business use cases and collaboration on projects instead. the two are not mutually exclusive, and you can still do a lot of personal stuff, but dt’s emphasis on security, privacy, scripting, customizability, etc. is unlikely to ever be seen in evernote.

finally, evernote has more or less abandoned its focus on being your external brain

Funny you mention that. Don’t know if anyone’s looked at it, but is an interesting take on knowledge management. Regardless, thanks all for the information and background. Very much appreciated :slight_smile:

I dallied about with it years ago, but I think korm has a more insightful perspective on it (from what I recall).

TheBrain has been around a long time. It is not a wiki in any sense. Though, linking notes (called “thoughts”) into relationships is the major structural feature of the software. I posted a script that creates an XML file for import into TheBrain that creates thoughts linked back to selected DEVONthink records. The team at TheBrain have prepared a number of very detailed tutorial videos explaining various use cases for their product. There are OSX, Windows, web-based, and iOS versions that synchronize well with one another.

Yup - I played around with it for work reasons years and years (and years) ago. Their licensing is silly and I still don’t really understand what happens the 30 days, in terms of what happens to the brain you’ve created.

Speaking of VoodooPad… I just got an email from the developer:

I apologize for our quietness in the world of VoodooPad, and I hope that with the release of VoodooPad for iOS 5.1.4 and the public beta of VoodooPad for Mac 5.1.4 we can break that start talking more frequently about what we’re up to.

5.1.4 was a tricky release for us. A while back, when we were doing some unrelated work on the code, we discovered some major flaws in VoodooPad’s original implementation of encrypted documents. While it was good enough to protect documents from casual snooping, a skilled and motivated person could read an encrypted document with relatively minimal time and effort. Fixing this became our top priority.

As often happens with software projects, it looked straightforward to begin with but took on more and more complications as we dug into it. The fix ended up taking several times longer than we originally thought it would. As recent high-profile vulnerabilities like Heartbleed and Logjam have shown, security and cryptography are Hard™. We wanted to make sure we got the fix right.

Security vulnerability fixes are tricky. Once you announce it, it’s effectively an invitation to the bad guys to try to break stuff. At the same time, you can’t just count on nobody ever discovering it on their own. The best you can do is generally to get it fixed and release the fix along with the announcement so that people can update as quickly as possible, but you typically don’t want to talk about it beforehand.

So that, in a nutshell, is what’s been going on with us lately. Trying to get this fixed properly and get it out to all of you, without really being able to tell people in advance what’s going on.

For those interested in the details of this particular problem and our fix, check out our post on the Plausible Blog. For the really quick summary of what you need to do:

  1. If you don’t use encrypted documents, you’re fine.
  2. If you do use encrypted documents, get the public beta of VoodooPad 5.1.4 and use it to upgrade your encrypted documents. It will automatically prompt you to do so upon opening them. You can download it here:

All previous releases of VoodooPad are affected by these issues, including VoodooPad 4 and earlier. We recommend that all customers upgrade to VoodooPad 5. Discounted upgrade pricing is available to direct-purchase customers via the Plausible Store.
For Mac App Store customers, Apple does not support discount upgrade pricing via the Mac App Store — If you previously purchased VoodooPad 4 through the Mac App Store, please contact us directly for an upgrade.
------------------ end email

Just the other day I decided to blow my VoodooPad apps from all iOS and mac machines. At this point, I’m not convinced to bring them back.

Saw that and it was sufficiently encouraging for me to drop the $25 on an upgrade from my version 3 license. We’ll see if it was worth it …

I see that VoodooPad is now in Version 5.1.6 and wondering whether or not the improvements have made the app a more realistic proposition for wiki notes than DTPO?

VoodooPad has had nothing but tweaky bug fixes and minor adaptive maintenance since August 2012:

indeed. a great app languishing out there without tlc. i think it is looking unlikely that it will ever reach its full potential, much less become a viable alternative to dt (for me, at least).

Not sure that it is what you are looking for, but I’m trying Curio and I think it is really great. I’m using it mostly for creating visual boards with images and videos, links and text but maybe you can give it a look because I think it has a lot of capabilities that i’m not using yet.

Curio is a wonderful app. Beautiful (IMO), solid, and thorough. The developer is responsive and adds features based on user input that make sense and somehow don’t add bloat.

It’s not a wiki, though.

I have tried making part of my process many times but, for me, it never seems to stick. Still, worth a look.

Have you got a link to the app? Would love to check it out.

Check out