In an upcoming post, I’ll describe in detail what I’ve called David’s IRE, also known as a Poor Man’s Zettelkasten of the Future. Here are a few snapshots of my gorgeous Vim-based research, note-taking and academic writing environment. Think of a Zettelkasten à la Luhmann meets a Wiki meets Devonthink’s fuzzy finding meets a Scrivener-like writing environment. But 10 times better. And all in free, sustainable plain text, granular version control, and running blazing fast in a 2011 laptop. And never mind bloated Emac’s org-mode: all in (almost) plain-vanilla Vim.
David’s IRE - A Showcase
Here’s the start screen, with recent edited files and some Cow Says wisdom, via Vim-Startify:
Here’s how the environment actually looks like. Notice the gorgeous syntax highlighting, structure folding and, on the left, Vim’s spell checker:
Bibkey auto-completion from my Zotero bibliography via Vim-Pandoc:
Finally, this is how a PDF looks like:
Or, as a webpage using my note-taking color code:
Or, for more portability, as an Epub file that I can read in my Kindle:
Beautiful LaTeX typography, automatic cross references, TOCs, and figure numeration; and dynamic bibliographies and lists of figures, are all nice and incredibly convenient.
But this is nothing compared to the IRE’s wiki/Zettelkasten functionality, to be shown in a upcoming post. Forget about Evernote or Devonthink: this is like growing a second brain.