Weekly Journal 137 - Logseq, Neorg, Foam, Zola


A few weeks ago (see Weekly Journal 134), I previously discussed my concerns around Logseq and their contributor license agreement. The more I think about it, the more I dislike the idea of keeping my data in this application. I haven’t found an alternative yet, but I am currently looking at the Neorg plugin for Neovim and the Foam extension for VS Code. The two big threats I see is a relicensing event similar to what Hashicorp has done recently and/or a shift to an open core mode where certain new features are deemed to be “premium” and will only be available in a non-free version of the tool.

Neorg and Foam

Neorg is a note taking plugin for Neovim. It features a new plaintext markup format that is very similar to Marakdown, but is supposed to be much easier to parse. I really like Neorg so far. It has a really neat system for metadata and document linking and I find it easy to work with. My biggest concerns at the moment are the custom markup format and the inability to embed images and other media inside of notes. The latter seems to be a limitation of Neovim. I think I can come up with a workaround for managing my embedded media, but I’d really like to keep it with my notes.

Foam is an extension for VS Code. It’s similar to tools like Roam Research and Obsidian, minus some of the more advanced features. Notes in Foam are Markdown files, and it adds some extra features like wiki-style links and a visualization of the notes graph. My only concern with Foam is the dependency on VS Code.

Hexo and Zola

I have also been looking at a new static site generator for this blog. My goal is to find something that can preserve my existing URL structure for my journal entries and allow me to create standalone pages as part of a digital garden.

I currently use Hexo. I was hoping I could continue to use it, but it lacks a few key features. Namely, it doesn’t have a way to create internal links to other documents within my site. This is needed for the digital garden in particular to prevent links from breaking. Unfortunately that is a deal breaker, and it bums me out since it can do everything else I need.

The other tool I’ve been playing with is Zola. There is a lot that I like about Zola, including its speed and simplicity, but unfortunately I don’t think I can easily preserve my existing URL structure with it.

These are the tools I’ve been playing with this week. Both note taking tools look promising, but I need to keep looking for a new static site generator.