For the last three weeks, I have been nerding over a new note-taking app called Logseq that has revolutionized how I take notes, document minutes, study new material, prepare drafts, and even research new topics.
Logseq is becoming super popular in the note-taking market, but because it is pretty new, it can take some time to understand where to start, use it, and find what to use as some primary learning material. However, I can accelerate your first steps with the app in just a few lines.
Those are the basics you need to make Logseq part of your daily workflow.
What is different in Logseq, and what do you need at the beginning
Logseq is Open Source, free to use, and highly inspired by Roam Research.
If you do not know much about Roam, no worries, all you need to know so far is it means a paradigm shift. It is based on bi-directional linking between ideas, pages, and blocks. On top of that, you will not be creating new notes or pages for everything, although you can. Instead, use your daily log (kind of journal) to dump your thoughts and then evolve from there.
The bare minimum you might need to enter the rabbit hole will be:
- Testing the app
- Installing it (if you want)
- Embracing the paradigm
- Setting some sync mechanism
- Exploring use cases and workflows
It sounds more complicated than it is, and also, the benefits can be spectacular. It can change how you manage your knowledge if it works for you.
Here's how to get started, step by step:
Testing the app
You can do this online.
Just going to https://logseq.com gives you full access to all the native functionality of Logseq through the web version. Just by clicking on Live Demo.
In the purest VIM tutor style, the page will give you a "learn by doing" experience on some basic features. Explore what Logseq is capable of and learn some concepts through the interactive demo. You can even start using a local folder for storing your local files and changes.
For this last one, you will need a Chromium 86+ based browser.
Download the app from the main page or use Github if you feel more comfortable.
Now they have the Desktop apps available, but the mobile versions for Android and iPhone are in beta by some users with great success as I write this post.
Embracing the paradigm
Here I will go pragmatic. Go for a smooth and casual introduction.
My recommendation is that you check this video from Marc Koenig, where he helps his wife go from zero to step y step getting the basics of how you can log, link, and structure your info and thoughts in Roam.
Yes, the video is about Roam, but there is nothing in it that you will be missing as you begin with Logseq.
Setting up a sync mechanism across your devices.
You can use iCloud, Google Drive, other cloud solutions, or you can go nerd with Git as I did.
Logseq has the option to create a commit every X minutes automatically. My current workflow combines this feature plus a git hook that pushes the changes to a Github private repository after each commit.
If you plan to use mobile apps, you will probably need to replace or combine this with a cloud sync provider like the one mentioned above.
Exploring use cases and workflows
Logging information and creating links are the basics; now, it is time to explore some use cases and specific workflows.
For that, get inspired by OneSuttering's YouTube channel, where he shows plenty of specific uses like annotating PDFs (which is spectacular in Logseq), How to Setup your Zettelkasten, export notes to Word, and some ideas around how to ensure that your notes will resurface in the proper context.
For me, Logseq has been an absolute game-changer. I hope you can explore it too.
If you come from other apps like Notion, Evernote, Obsidian, or nothing at all, I recommend that you give it a try for at least one week before deciding if it is for you.
Shout out to me on Twitter and let me know how it went, if you would like to learn more, the information you might be missing, or exchange some thoughts around Personal Knowledge Management.