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Ryan

Here's my perspective as a full-time college librarian who's also a humanities grad student & journal editor:

I was interested in Obsidian briefly before choosing Dendron. The biggest factors for choosing Dendron are the hierarchical structure, the multiple vaults, and the many existing VS Code extensions.

Hierarchies make a lot more sense to my brain. And some of the research I've glanced at suggests it is better for PKM than tags or other free-form structures.

Having multiple vaults made me comfortable jumping fully into Dendron. I currently have 3 separate vaults: one for my daily life & work as a librarian/journal editor, a second for my dissertation-related things, and a third that my wife & I will soon start syncing on our separate computers. I'll eventually make a fourth for notes I'll publish on my website—but this is the start of the semester, and I have to avoid that kind of exciting but time-intensive project at the moment! I appreciate that references will work between these vaults—but I don't need to worry about accidentally sharing a note with a link to "project.kitchen-plumbing-disaster" with my dissertation advisor, or flood my wife's computer with my reading notes and dissertation idea fragments. This fundamental separation lets me feel comfortable using one tool for all these disparate domains.

Having the full range of existing VS Code extensions for things like Pandoc, BibTeX, or Zotero, plus web development, means that I don't need to hope that someone else involved with Obsidian, Foam, etc will make a plug-in that does what I need for an edge case use. Dendron plugs into a much larger pool of people, many of whose are doing academic and web-related work. I don't do much with data analysis, but I imagine it would be nice to use VS Code tools for Python or R in the same program one uses for academic writing.

  • Ryan, Librarian