Why I Switched to Dendron

When Ian Jones tried to sell me on switching to Dendron my first response was “No, you can’t get me to switch to another tool, you’re the one who convinced me to use my current tool”.

Ultimately though these things convinced me to use dendron instead of tool.org-roam as the place I keep my public and private notes.

  1. A single source of truth

I had been using tool.org-roam for quite some time, accumulated 500+ notes and a colorful graph. But my website notes section still lived in markdown files. If I made an update to a note in org-roam I had to remember to update my “public brain” on my website. With Dendron my notes live in one repository, and any change I make on a published note will be on my website.

  1. Visual Studio Code is easier to work with day to day than Emacs

Nobody has been more vocal in my enjoyment of Emacs and my flavor of choice Doom but the fun of emacs is also its achilles heel. It doesn’t always just work, and while there is a package that will help it work the way you want to, troubleshooting that package now and in the future when something breaks is not what I want to do when I’m sitting down to take notes.

The straw that broke my back was switching to a job where I used Windows and wasn’t able to get Emacs working in a seamless way. Visual Studio Code on the other hand — usually just works.


As a brief conclusion, I stand by much of this today (1/9/2022) but eventually I stopped using Dendron in favor of Obsidian mainly because of Obsidian’s mobile app, although the general polish and presence of plugins also pulled me over.

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