26-Jun-22: Logseq 0.7.5, Logseq vs other apps, Work and Study notes, Logseq usage, Plugins

This week it was time to swelter in the UAE heat. Temperatures got to about 42C Degrees but with a feeling of 51C degrees. Nothing like being able to feel your insides burning up. The good thing about the UAE, and most Gulf countries, is that there is good infrastructure to deal with these kind of temperatures. You get air conditioned buildings, air conditioned bus-stops, air conditioned bus and metro, basically, think of any word and add air conditioned before it and I am sure Dubai has it.

With that coolness out of the way, why don’t we look at what Logseq had in store for us in the past week.

Releases

The devs released 0.7.4, over the past week or so and also 0.75. Below are the main takeaways from the releases:

0.7.4

  • Enhancement
    • Force inline layout of block ref elements
    • Remove extra white space of code block from top
    • Marketplace metadata requests now use node fetch client
    • Making excalidraw follow the theme of Logseq
    • Icon alignment + various little UI changes
    • Hold Shift to select without entering editor mode
    • New options to disable Flashcards(under Advanced setting tab)
  • Fixed issues
    • Typo in Korean Translation
    • Missing mod+n shortcut under macOS
    • Add missing config item to config template
    • Notify graph dir when it is gone
    • Wrong file name of journal files under certain conditions
    • Slow re-index for large graphs
  • User Contributions
    • Fix typo in Korean Translation – Sunghyun Cho
    • Add missing config item to config template – Hounsou Dansou
    • Making excalidraw follow the theme of Logseq – Andrew Zhurov
    • Icon alignment + various little UI changes – ranfdev

0.7.5

  • Features
    • Add quick capture support to Logseq Protocol
  • Enhancement
    • Add request support, toolbar button pin/unpin to plugin API
  • Fixed issues
    • Update Turkish translation
    • Trim spaces when sanitizing page name
    • Fix header icons display when :custom-default-page is non-nil
    • Handle CRLF for Windows clipboard
    • Repeated registration key to plugin UI items
    • Fetch marketplace plugins list via system proxy if no proxy is configured
    • Home button when journal disabled
    • Fix for paste state
  • User Contributions
    • Update Turkish translation – queeup
    • Trim spaces when sanitizing page name – Allan Chain

Remember you can download the latest version of Logseq from here.

Whilst I am a sucker for New Release Day, over the past few releases I have seen and read several comments finding critical issues in the new releases which should not have been there. I appreciate Logseq is in Beta and there will be some issues, but from what I saw, the bugs could have been pointed out and removed before the release was made public had proper checks been put in place. The devs have talked for a while about more automated checks, but personally, I feel like they are missing out on not having an intimate group (or wider group) of “release testers” who report back any issues.

Yes, you can download the nightly release, but who wants to do that when there are so many potential changes from one to the next? Give the proposed release to a handful of active users and allow them to break test it so that you know what you will release is of a high standard. With the abundance of note taking tools out there, it does not take much time for someone to jump ship on the slightest issue. Just think, you are on the internet, you click a link, it takes more than a few seconds to load – do you wait? No, you most likely move to the next one.

As I have said in previous posts, I am a huge fan of Logseq and with the small team of devs and current focus being on Sync and Real Time Collaboration I realise things are stretched, but I think these issues could be nipped in the bud to get more and more people interested (and staying) in Logseq.

Logseq News / Events

  • If you missed the town hall meeting, you can find a recording with timestamps here.

Logseq Mobile

To access the mobile apps, please use the respective link for your OS below.

Logseq iOS app 0.7.4 is out. You can download or update it on App Store.

  • Fixed app not working on iOS 13
  • Fixed write failure when graph is stored in local storage
  • Fixed issue that left swipe can’t be reversed
  • Indent/outdent icons are back
  • Support json/edn graph export

Logseq Workflows

With a bit more time on my hands, I decided to restart my YouTube career. I took a bit of a hiatus with quite a few things going on. I posted a video on how to create a reading / book list using Templates, Properties and Queries. By creating this book list, you can easily take the foundations and create a project list, a CRM, an enemy list, you choose.

Any views, likes, comments (positive and negative) will be great appreciated.


Not quite related to Logseq, but quite important for workflows. In case you missed it: “Apple offers sneak peek at Freeform collaboration tool for iPhone, iPad, Mac”

Looks like apple is trying to compete with the likes of Miro. What do you think, are we on the route for more freeform tools like the above? Glad to see that Logseq is also developing whiteboards (link)


Work and university notes? For work I mostly keep notes of what I did and did not manage to finish in a day so I can keep track of everything. I’ve been using TODO a lot lately for work and it’s much better than something for reminders only (Todoist, apple reminders, etc). For university it’s also great, I don’t really take notes during classes but I use it to take notes while I read and study.

I also use my iPad to annotate pdfs in my “assets” folder so I can have handwriting notes and highlights mixed with links within logseq – I mostly use the logseq highlights to bookmark what chapters I need to read and get screenshots of the pdfs within my notes. I’ve got a windows and a linux computer and keep it all in sync with iCloud.

Just started migrating from Dropbox and everything is working brilliantly. While there’s no support for syncing outside of iCloud I use the “one markdown” app to get access to my notes in my iOS devices.


Question: does anyone have any suggestions for how best to organize hierarchical pages? I can think of several, but not sure what the knock-on effects would be if I chose to simply use backlinks or tags vs hierarchical structure e.g. [[People/Family/…]], [[People/Friends/…]]. Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated

Response (Thanks Snapdragon): I think namespaces are good when you want to store information in a way that has a structure and allow you to use it as a reference. Like for example, namespace could be used to organize your subjects that you’re studying at school and put any related material (your essays, e-books etc.) inside those pages in hierarchy.

With tags, I normally use them for single pages that doesn’t need any hierarchy system. Like for example with #[[Literature Notes]], I normally use this tag in my daily notes whenever I learn something new. And I can go to the page [[Literature Notes]] to review all the things I’ve learned in the past. If this knowledge that I’ve learned is also related to other topics I’m working on that has its own page, like [[How to become healthier]], then I also link that tag to that topic as well so that it’ll show up on the page [[How to become healthier]] as linked references.

So tags in my opinion are useful for connecting the pages together so that they’ll show up in linked references. Namespaces are better for organizing information so that you can reference them late


Where to put this? I agree 100% with the problem of “where do I put this?” I already spent years of learning where I put things – in top level root categories that I’ve separated life into in all other apps and platforms, and even the physical world. Every category has a color that is unified across my system. I want the same in Logseq. Still haven’t quite figured that out. I want a few folders. I want namespaces to solve this for me. Everything is either: Personal (blue) or Clients (orange) (simple example, there are actually closer to 7 categories).

This is why I like Workflowy’s infinite outline so much. I can have a root “folder” aka Node aka Block called Journal with every day of the year “inside” it. And I can have 7 other Blocks that solve the question of where to put something. Still trying to figure out the best way to do that with Logseq.


Help / guide on Queries anyone? Definitely hit that like button on Alex’s post as I think the guide could be useful to anyone using Logseq.


@Ready with an interesting comment: To me, Logseq is totally overwhelming and nearly unusable as an outliner / note taking app “out of the box” – I tried to leave Workflowy for it 6 months ago and was totally turned off by the feature noise, instabilities, general inconsistent aesthetic, button placement, etc.

But I came back because ultimately local-first, encryption, owning my data… those things were important to me. And it’s taken like two solid weeks and hours of tinkering and watching videos and lurking here to finally feel comfortable in it. And now, only after that, am I enjoying it and seeing its power. I retooled one of the themes and make it much closer to a clone of my WF tweaks in aesthetics. I’m starting to figure out how best to think about pages and structure. I love the journal. I love how I don’t have to create every day. I hate that it doesn’t do days in the future. I love how I can easily filter linked references. I love the aliases. I love the side bar. I love that I am using it to build something that is “mine” and can fit like a glove. I hate how hard it will be to import WF. It’s work, using Logseq. But I also think the light is bright at the end of the tunnel.

And I love the community. This community is thriving. It’s active. It’s loud. It’s helpful. It’s here. It’s wild. There’s plug-ins. Like this is the place to be if you’re into weird note outliners and breaking and building things.

But it’s nothing like Workflowy which is literally “Open > Use”. Done. Ready. Literally couldn’t be easier. Ha. Or Notes. Or Things. Etc. It’s a Tinkerer’s Tool, lest anyone be fool


Pernil posts: Hi all. I have used Logseq for a while and love it. Now I want to use it further for team knowledge management, or act as an internal WiKi for team. I guess I should use Git for collaboration. It also means I will maintain two graphs, one for personal and one for team. I plan to write down everything in the personal graph and then periodically copy and paste anything worth sharing with the team into the team graph. Not sure whether it’s a good practice. Anyone with any experience or advice about this workflow would be greatly appreciated.

If you are like Pernil, you might be better off waiting some more, the devs are internally testing sync (and collaboration?) os hopefully we will have more news soon.

However, you can also do what Bluckholl suggests. That’s what I’m doing in the last months

  • I have logseq for team knowledge base (R&D , SQL server mainly), it sync via OneDrive (businesses)
    Works mostly fine.
  • I export it as a site, so its data can be accessed and referenced easily, without need to install logseq.
    And personal graph that I sync with syncthing.
  • My challenge is with Knowledge base structure, how to maintain it and add new info so it won’t be spaghettis e.g queries I want to share in kb –
  • Put in journal or on dedicated Queries page? How to tag it properly ([[Query]] + some description that will indicate what this query about? Including page links to the tables involved [[dbo. Customers]] or not?
  • How to document tables and columns (dedicate page for each table, each column on a separate block).

Acacius asks some brilliant fundamental questions on Logseq:

  1. Do you type everything in the Journal Page?
  2. Do you actually “retrieve” information regularly, or do you write down tons of blocks with tags at the end and then never retrieve them? If you do indeed retrieve them, what’s your main method?
  3. If you retrieve information, how do you ‘Chunk’ it? Typing /query [[topic]] and seeing 158 notes is not a good way of retrieving information. How do you deal with this?
  4. If you do type everything in the Journal Page, how do you retrieve what you want to retrieve? When I type in /query [[logseq]] – I don’t want to see 106 notes of thoughts/some useful stuff about Logseq. I want to have everything condensed in just a few chunks that “combine” all those thoughts into something usable. Have you managed to find a solution to this problem?
  5. Block References – how do you include them? Let’s say you notice that your current topic reminds you of ((block reference)) – how do you add it easily? Do you you “Okay, now I need to find the block I’m thinking off, know how to properly retrieve it with queries, and then when I find it, I copy the block reference, and then go back to my previous block and paste it in” – is that how it looks?
  6. If you’re adding 3-4-5 tag combinations at the end of a block – how do you remember all the tag combinations that you have for the queries themselves? Do you have like an ‘explainer’ tag/page that explains when to use which query to find the things you want?
  7. Do you spend time any time daily/weekly/monthly simplifying (deleting/joining etc) your ‘Chunks’ of Information?
  8. Do you delete ‘useless’ blocks that serve no purpose other than if you’d go down the “memory lane”?
  9. Do you ever use Pages or Pages/Hierarchies? Why/Why Not?

Be sure to check out the questions and the responses.


Dangerman also provides us with some food for thought:

Hi, I have some feedback on Logseq’s #1 feature request: The lacking ability to make raw, freeform markdown documents, for writing articles, tutorials, large notes, etc. Sure, outlining is absolutely insanely good in Logseq, but the lack of freeform editing is literally enough to put me and tons of people (from what I read) off from using Logseq at all. It is totally incompatible with the workflow of, for example, making a bunch of articles and linking them to each other, and then easily re-using the exact same .md files on the web to publish the articles. Logseq boxes people into the “everything is a bullet point” hell. It’s awesome for todo lists and succinct notetaking, but awful for everything else.

Furthermore, I have seen that people are hacking Logseq with plugins and CSS to hide the top-level bulletpoints, etc, but they still exist in the original .md file and during exports, which yet again means Logseq is not suitable as a markdown editor/document database.

There would literally only have to be 1 feature to make Logseq perfect: A document metadata flag which sets it into “freeform document mode”, without any forced bullet points at all. Like a normal markdown editor. Hierarchy/folding is then simply determined by the ### header depths.

The forums are being flooded with this request, but I wasn’t able to find any official answers about any plans to extend Logseq to general-purpose markdown editing. Is it feasible within your current engine? Are there any future plans for that? I realize that small teams have to prioritize, but this one is such a huge downside of the application.

I am using Obsidian, but I’ll switch in a heartbeat if Logseq supported freeform. Also, considering that you’re selling a subscription, there’s a big market of customers that are being turned off by Logseq right now since it forces the outline style. Sounds like it would be worth every penny of time invested into implementing a per-.md “freeform mode” toggle.


Jonathan shows us how he keep track of 56 different student projects simultaneously using Logseq.


PARA (Projects — Areas — Resources — Archives) in Logseq. Check out this brilliant post on reddit.


Logseq vs Obsidian – Hi. I am an obsidian user who wishes to migrate over to Logseq, because the latter happens to be open source (it’s really a bummer for me that obsidian isn’t). I’m a huge supporter of FOSS so I’d like to know what are the significant differences between Logseq and Obsidian. For reference, I use the following plugins in obsidian:

  • Dataview
  • Advanced Tables
  • Banners
  • Better PDF Plugin
  • Editor Syntax Highlight
  • Emoji shortcode
  • Homepage
  • Daily Notes
  • Simple Embeds

These are the ones I care about the most. So are there alternatives to these plugins in logseq? I think logseq already supports wiki style links, but does it support linking to text blocks and the pipe notation in obsidian?

Also check out this post if you are unsure which tool to use.


As I am on a bit of a roll, I also created a quick video on the PDF annotation aspect of Logseq. I think this is a killer feature and wanted to showcase it a little more.


Logseq Feature Requests

You can check out the full list of Feature Requests here.

  • Please add a Tasks section in Left Sidebar – It could have sections with tasks divided by Status (Now, Later), Due Date, or by the name of the Page the task exists in. Obs: Please, PLEASE make it filter tasks in all notes, system wide, everywhere. Project pages have tasks in them, pages in general have tasks in them, meeting notes that live outside journal entries have tasks in them, there are plenty of other places Tasks can exist so please stop this Journals only approach to pending tasks. It can be done with queries yeah I know but, you see, not everyone (wants to) know how to use queries. 
  • Boards, brainstorming, storyboarding – have been playing around with some other note-taking app under development, such as Scrintal, Muse and Napkin, that use the ‘cards on a desk’ metaphor to encourage creative processes such as mind mapping, brainstorming and storyboarding. I like that approach but keep being underwhelmed with the power of their underlying engine, which is where Logseq shines for me. Logseq is the first of all the apps I’ve tried I am getting hooked on :-). I know some kind of whiteboard approach is on the development path, so I would really like to hear how far this project is in terms of getting ready to be tested. In addition, as a feature request, I would love to see some functionality for storyboarding so one can visually arrange blocks into sequences and sections, and then export the result to an editing app (in my case iAWriter or Ulysses and then Affinity Publisher) for further polishing and preparation for publishing.
  • Plugins for the browser webapp – I’m a big fan of using webapps. I spend most of my time at my computer inside a browser and so I’ve found using webapp versions of e.g. Roam, Slack super convenient. I love that Logseq has a webapp. The one thing that seems to be missing in the webapp is the ability to use the plugins that people have made. For example, the calendar plugin is amazing.
  • Creating A Multi-Graph Workflow – With the upcoming release of multiplayer it seems like a good time to really flesh out a multi-graph workflow. With all the developments in nbb, lq and the graph parser, it seems easier than ever to stitch multiple graphs together, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around a good way to do it and I’m curious what the community has to say about it!
  • Calendar Style Query Results – The idea is to have another option for query results other than lists and tables: a calendar view. For blocks or pages that have dates or date-metadata associated with them (either as block properties, page properties, or task deadlines, etc.) there would be an option to display the query results in a calendar view. This would allow updatable calendars to be embedded in pages.
  • New Marketplace Category: Queries – Add a new marketplace category queries, so that inexperienced users can still use queries without having to use discord or discuss. If there is a single place to share queries, you avoid duplicating efforts to help less experienced users with queries and it’s also more likely existing queries are improved by others.
  • Easier Template Use – I hate to say it but roam templates are easier to use. In Logseq I have to type /template then type and select templateName then click it. In roam I just have to type ;;template Name

Logseq Plugins

  • Batch Ops – New plugin. Batch Ops, your one stop solution for all your batch processing needs. When would you need it? 1. If you’re using queries to display a table and sometime later you want to rename a column (property). 2. You want to correct a typo throughout your entire graph but not sure if your replacement is accurate or not (Batch Ops has previews for the operations you’re about to perform so you’re less likely to make an error). 3. You want to quickly add new properties to existing blocks/pages. 4. You just want quicker queries and plain text results (Batch Ops does not parse nor render blocks/pages so they’re displayed faster?!).
  • Custom.css Does anyone feel Logseq’s custom.css is useful but not easy to use? I took weeks of spare time to build a new plugin to try to improve the themer’s workflow. Hope you like it. I post the initial announcement here because I think this plugin is more useful for this channel. Maybe it’s on the marketplace soon, you can taste it manually from Github.
  • Mia Theme – Major update to the Logseq miA theme! Two new theme variants are provided, miA Sans and miA Serif. Available on Logseq.
  • Major update to Logseq Smartblocks! You can now define options for the setInput command via <%setInput: variableName:comma,seperated,values%>. These will be rendered as a dropdown in the input modal. • Location field is now automatically autocompleted with the pages in the graph and it can semantically tell if you’re typing an NLP query, a block reference or a page name. Makes it easier to create smartblock buttons. Fixed a ton of bugs with the search bar, setInput commands and the smartblock creation window.
  • Phone To Note v0.3 of phonetonote’s logseq client released last week. it now syncs straight to your daily journal pages, and is much easier to configure. read and watch more here – for those who haven’t heard of phonetonote, it helps you get your thoughts out of your head, through your phone, and into logseq/similar. cheers!
  • updates for SolarizedExt theme v1.12.5 * Quote simplified, Breadcrumbs new icon, Block reference new icon, file:// and other non http:// links – no empty favicon, Bugfixing

Image

  • Update to Logseq Helium
  • Sneak peek of Logseq Banners. Coming soon (By Sawhney)

Many thanks as always for reading this latest edition of Logseq Weekly.