How to set up and use Joplin as a Zettelkasten application

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When I made the decision quite a few years ago to switch from macOS to Linux as my main operating system for all my personal and productive activities, an important step in this choice was to look for great replacement applications for those applications that I no longer could use from my macOS environment. I needed a good replacement for my note-taking activities, among other things. After a lot of searching, I came across what I consider to be a fantastic free and open-source application, named Joplin. Joplin is basically a hierarchically oriented note-taking application, which fits in well with my way of capturing and organizing notes. But more and more I see people switching from a hierarchical system to a Zettelkasten Personal Knowledge Management system in which notes are interconnected. The question is to what extent Joplin can support the Zettelkasten method. In this article, I want to explain how to set up and use Joplin as a Zettelkasten application.

Content of the article

  1. What is Zettelkasten
  2. What is Joplin
  3. What are the basic properties of a Zettelkasten application
  4. How to set up Joplin as a Zettelkasten tool
  5. How to use Joplin as a Zettelkasten tool

What is Zettelkasten

Before we look at how to set up and use Joplin as a Zettelkasten application, it is wise to first briefly describe for anyone who does not know what Zettelkasten is, what it is, and why it can be important for your productive life. Even though the Zettelkasten method has a long history, probably originating somewhere around 1516 (Conrad Gessner, 1516-1565) from a commonplace book tradition, it seems that for our current generations, this method has been made popular by Niklas Luhmann. Luhmann (Germany, 1927 – 1998) was a renowned sociologist and considered one of the founders of social systems theory. Luhmann was enormously productive. In his career, he has published about…

Because this article has a further reach than only Linux, you can read the complete article “how to set up and use Joplin as a Zettelkasten application” on my website

About John Been

Hi there! My name is John Been. At the moment I work as a senior solution engineer for a large financial institution, but in my free time, I am the owner of,, and author of my first book "Linux for the rest of us". I have a broad insight and user experience in everything related to information technology and I believe I can communicate about it with some fun and knowledge and skills.

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