I'm looking for easy wiki software
November 11, 2015 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for wiki software to help me organize information on a project I'm working on. Special snowflake details inside.

I'm doing research on a subject and the ability to quickly hyperlink and jump to and from people, dates, and locations via wiki software seems like the best way to start organizing the data to me. I've used MediaWiki in the past, and while it's powerful and generally awesome, I don't want to deal with the hassle of maintenance and I'm not ready to collaborate with anyone on this project (if ever).

Key attributes of what I'm looking for:
  • I would prefer desktop-based rather than web-based because I would really like full read/write access to the information when I am not online. (I'm running OS X El Capitan.)
  • If the solution is cloud-based, I need to be able to make it so it is only viewable by me.
  • I need it to be low maintenance if it is cloud-based. I don't want to worry about installing updates or any of that jibber jabber.

    Any ideas?
  • posted by entropicamericana to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
    TiddlyWiki? It's single HTML files that lives on your computer. You may need a special plugin for your browser to save changes properly, or you can use TiddlyDesktop for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.
    posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:00 AM on November 11, 2015

    for small projects i've had fun with tiddlywiki. it's a single file. sweet and simple.
    posted by andrewcooke at 8:00 AM on November 11, 2015

    TiddlyWiki might be the closest answer to your question as it is fully contained in one file that could just go on your desktop or on a cloud solution. I have used it before for similar applications and it's a breeze. Downsides might be collaboration and mobile access.

    One other thing to consider might be using OneNote. It works well with desktop and mobile and I have been using it more than wikis for the last several years because it is very convenient on the go.

    Others use Evernote for similar projects. If your end product is to be a book or long paper there are a completely separate set of tools that I am not really familiar with i.e. Scrivener.
    posted by metroidhunter at 8:04 AM on November 11, 2015

    Response by poster: TiddlyWiki seems to be less than optimal because, as its website notes:
    "TiddlyWiki on Safari can only save changes using the manual HTML5-compatible fallback saver module. This method of saving changes is clunky because it requires manual intervention for each save."
    OneNote and Evernote won't work... Scrivener, AFAIK, doesn't have the easy hyperlinking like a wiki.
    posted by entropicamericana at 8:12 AM on November 11, 2015

    I'm pretty darn happy with nvALT for personal note taking. It has extremely fast, interactive, full-text search of all of your notes, and can trivially be summoned by a system-wide hotkey. If you go this route, I'd recommend downloading build 111 directly, since the website still points to build 106, and there are reports of the auto-update not working.
    posted by SemiSophos at 8:37 AM on November 11, 2015

    Response by poster: Yeah, I use nvAlt for linear notetaking, but what I'm trying to do right now is sift out the data from my notes into piles. So if I come across an article about John Smith who is running Acme Business in 2015, I want to make a pile for John Smith, Acme Business, and 2015. Then, when I come across an article about Bob Jones running Acme Business in 2010, I want a new pile for Bob Jones, a new pile for for 2010, and to append the fact that Bob Jones was running it in 2010 to Acme Business.

    Does that make sense? Maybe I haven't been using Evernote or nvAlt right, but it seems like I'm really looking for the easy hyperlinking that you get in wiki software.
    posted by entropicamericana at 8:50 AM on November 11, 2015

    Best answer: I'm also a happy user of nvALT, but if you're really looking for that wiki experience, maybe give Instiki a shot. Open source

    There's also Voodoopad, which runs as a regular app on the Mac (rather than in-browser), but uses wiki-like internal linking. Costs money.
    posted by adamrice at 8:50 AM on November 11, 2015

    Response by poster: VoodooPad, bam. That's exactly what I've been looking for.
    posted by entropicamericana at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2015

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