29-Jan-22: Logseq Templates, Multiple Windows, Todo Views, Plugins, edn Config

I thought I would open this week with what I think is a fantastic analogy of swapping note taking apps:

Remember, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

Releases

Unfortunately this week we did not have any new releases from the Devs. It is Chinese New Year so I am sure they are all taking a very well deserved break. Will be interesting to see what they have in store for us in the next release.

As always, you can download the latest version from here.

Logseq News / Events

  • Logseq has recently hired a product designer. Hopefully this will mean we will soon have some neat design updates to Logseq. A number of users have mentioned they are not big fans of the logo and the UI could be improved – interested to see what we will be presented with.

Logseq Mobile

Just as a reminder, to access the mobile apps, please the the respective link for your OS below. Also, please keep in mind that the mobile apps are relatively new releases so may have some performance issues. The devs are working hard to sort this out and squash as many bugs as possible.

  • Android (Download the latest .apk)
  • iOS – Fill in this from to get access to TestFlight. There has been a recent iCloud update so hopefully this will resolve a number of sync issues users were facing.

Logseq Workflows

  • A question which has come up a few times in the past week is Dynamic Variables. @Shark_ean put the question perfectly. “Logseq newbie here… Dynamic template insertions: I mean something like templater in Obsidian, put something like {{date}} and during the template apply it retrieves the current date, or for example the file title which is very useful.” Dynamic Variables in template are possible in Logseq and info can be found here https://logseq.github.io/#/page/Dynamic%20Variables.
  • @Prashant provides us with a great video on how to publish Logseq notes for free using Replit or Vercel

  • @Cara shares her research workflow in @logseq! The full thread is here which looks at 1) Using own words to capture notes on chapters and articles, 2) evaluation of the article, 3) define key criteria of the article / chapter about its contents.
  • @hkgnp was able to submit social work accreditation application with the use of Logseq which made his life easier. He was able to track all the journal articles I read, trainings & supervision conducted, etc. all in 1 place and completed the application in record time as a result! Logseq is a great place to store all reference material for easy retrieval later on.
  • @Paul provides up with some great feedback on the pain points they encountered. I love this list as not only is it valuable in terms of areas that potentially need to be looked at, it also allows us to see the capabilities of Logseq Publish.
  • @Red_castle asks “if there a way to open multiple graphs at once?” To do this, open 1 graph and then do ctrl+n or go to the graph name and last option is New Window – you should then see a new window and can choose a graph.
  • Wanting to see all of your todo’s like @Slaedr “Hi everyone, new to LogSeq here. Is there a way to list in one view all my outstanding todos?” Just do either 1) type {{query [[TODO}} or 2) open the TODO special page.
  • On the issues of iCloud Sync and the comparisons to Obsidian, @Gestaltist asks “Why do I never have problems with iCloud sync when using Obsidian, then?” @Luhmann provides an exquisite answer “Obsidian itself is simply much faster – particularly because of technical limitations in how an outliner like Roam or Logseq works. Some history: the developers of Obsidian made Dynalist, which is an outliner as well, and a big influence on roam. They decided not to go that way with Obsidian precisely because of performance issues. There was recently a very good Twitter discussion about how much faster Obsidian is than the competition and why that is. Having said that, the logseq team is working hard to improve performance and have supposedly already made great progress. Once Logseq performance is faster, some of the iCloud issues will go away or at least get more like what you have with Obsidian. But … they won’t all go away. As others have said, iCloud is just not built for sync. Apple also makes a database tool for developers called CloudKit which is excellent – that’s what Bear uses. But it is Apple only and not good for cross-platform apps. This is why the Logseq team are building their own database solution which will be offered as a pay service for those who need it. At the same time, I think they are committed to making the experience with iCloud as good as possible and I’m sure that eventually it will be a reasonable option for those who can’t afford or don’t want to pay for the pro sync. Finally, a plea for patience. The Logseq developers have always been incredibly open, letting everyone in on early development versions of apps that most other developers would keep restricted to a small closed community until much later in the process. They also work very fast. If you aren’t happy with the current state of iCloud and just want to use it for work (rather than helping make the app better by testing and reporting issues), then I suggest waiting six months and trying again.
  • Wanting to use the RoamJS Serendipity Extension in Logseq? Serendipity is extremely useful to resurface random blocks written from notes/journal entries in the past. @Sawhney gives us a great idea – At the moment you can use the random block in logseq smartblocks. Create a logseq template in the form -template - <%random otherPage%> - <%random pageName%> - <%random anotherPage%> When called using {{renderer :smartblock, templateName, Serendipity, false}} it should render a button which on click returns block references to random blocks. https://github.com/sawhney17/logseq-smartblocks
  • For all the Linux fans out there. Logseq is available on Flathub (based on flatpak) allows easy install & updates to apps on any Linux distribution along with integrating them well with the desktop. App can be found here.
  • I want to use Logseq both for work stuff and personal knowledge management. Anybody here with a similar situation? Do you use multiple graphs or just one? @ingepettersen responds with “Just one. The two are often more difficult to keep separate than you might think. I “box” all my work stuff with proper tagging. Everything work related in my journal goes in a separate section titled [[Work]]. Every work related page gets the page tag with the same. Namespaces for work related pages could also help. I haven’t gone down that road, as namespace weren’t around when I started. But it would work as well.”
  • @Paribanu gives us some notes on the Zotero and Logseq integration with the upcoming Zotero 6 release: “Hi all. I tell you that I have been looking at the integration of Logseq with Zotero and I found something new. Zotero already has a beta version of Zotero 6.0, soon to be released. In it they change the paradigm of the relationship with PDFs and move on to a paradigm like Mendeley’s with the document reader within the software; thereby allowing the text to be underlined and the underlined to be extracted as a note. That will completely change the zotero / logseq relationship, since as I see it from my workflow, the logical thing would be to work with zotero, underline, make notes and then import the source to logseq to label and feed the insights capacity by label relationships.” Will be interesting to see what happens once the release takes place.
  • @hkgnp asks “Not sure if this is helpful to anyone, but I found it useful for my ADHD brain, where I can think of task items for other projects when I am working on one. This plugin allows you to add a TODO item to your today’s journal page when you are on another page so as not to interrupt your work on that said page.” I think this is a great plugin for easy task capture.

Logseq Feature Requests

You can check out the full list of FRs here.

  • Reduce Feature Noise – making some of this feature functionality into “core plugins” that can be turned off. While I like the full feature set of Logseq, I can see the value of being able to deactivate unused features. Less clutter + better performance.
  • Incremental search in page with F3/Ctrl-F – Today Ctrl-Shift-K is used to search within a page; it pops up a popup window showing all the blocks containing the given text (I think it’s missing some sometimes, but that’s a separate issue). You can click on those to pop down the search window and go to that location in the document. I would much prefer a standard search like in browsers or Emacs: hit Ctrl-F or F3, enter some text, and it finds and highlights the next location of that text in the document. Repeating Ctrl-F goes to the next location. No popup (just a small search box to enter the text).
  • Be able to adjust the width of content area – When content in code block is a little long, scroll to the right is needed. In a markdown table, if the content line is a little long, it will cause a forced line break.

Logseq Plugins

  • Calendars Plugin@Sawhney gives us a plugin that allows you to import calendar events from GCal, iCloud, Outlook and web based subscriptions in the iCal format. This appends all of the events scheduled for the current day to that days daily note page. This should be available on the Logseq MarketPlace very soon.
  • Inbox telegram@shady_2k provides us with a plugin that gets new messages from Telegram bot and paste its to daily journal.
  • Plugin Wrap@Seth Yuan allows us to create your own wrappings with optional key bindings for selected text, a set of useful defaults is also provided.
  • Anki Sync – has been updated to V1 which is a major release (around 30% of code was changed). Please make backup in anki before doing sync. This release introduces a new renderer built over mldoc. This means the behaviour of output anki html will be somewhat (not exactly) similar to logseq. Also, this means that org mode will be somewhat supported. I will be frank – the org mode support is bad right now as I am not very familiar with org mode. Please create issue if you encounter any problem, especially org mode or md rendering ones so I can add those to test cases.
  • VIM shortcuts by @vipzhicheng has been updated to v0.0.2 to include: 1) feat: add mod+j mod+j to exit editing mode. 2) feat: add ctrl+enter to jump into internal page, support [[]] and #tag style, sometimes better UX than DWIM. 3) feat: add ctrl+j to join next sibling conditionally. 4) fix: z o and z m shortcut not working on latest Logseq release.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s post and thank you for reading.