Wikis as a Personal Notebook

Flexibility of Wikis

Wikis are useful as a personal notebook because of their simplicity and flexibility when it comes to editing and updating. Wikis that are designed for this purpose include the four highlighted on Make Use Of, which include TiddlyWiki, wikidPad, Tomboy Notes, and ZimWiki.

Make Use Of has deemed these Wikis as perfect solutions for keeping one's notes organized, to-do lists up to date, and keeping track of home improvement projects:

"Most people tackle this problem through gratuitous use of note-taking apps and to-do lists, but I submit to you a different solution: the personal wiki."

Life Hack also has a list of personal wikis, both free and paid, that are offered, as well as advantages that each option offers.

What set apart Life Hack's article was its list of diverse uses that one can get out of using a wiki. This list includes Empty your Head, Note-taking, Personal Knowledgebase, Writer's Desk, Client Manager, Joint Projects, and Project Management. Each advantage is explained in greater depth in the article.

Writing Stories

Wikis can also be created to serve as a web for a novel that is being written. A plot can be outlined on one page, while additional pages can be dedicated to characters, settings, and other important information. While there may be dozens of pages created for the book, they can all trace back to a single page. That single page, however, can also lead to something as big as the main character, or something as small as an object mentioned just once in the entire novel.

Kerry Given goes into further detail as to why so many authors are opting for personal wikis for this type of work.

"Writers, especially speculative fiction writers, historical fiction writers, and nonfiction writers, have a lot of things to keep track of. Traditionally, we keep track of them in notebooks or on index cards. However, an increasing number of writers are turning to personal wikis to keep track of details about characters, places, and events.

Wikis are great organizational tools. You can use their systems of categories, subcategories, and sometimes tags to make it easier to find related pages, as well as including hyperlinks to related information within the text of articles."

Types of Personal Wikis

Kerry Given shared different types of personal wikis broken up into four main categories: hosted wikis, desktop wikis, self-hosted wikis, and locally hosted wikis.

Hosted wikis are "the easiest, and probably the most popular, method of creating your own wiki," according to Given. They are easy to set up, offer solid privacy features, and can be accessed from any computer with Internet access.

Desktop wikis are wikis run on a single computer. The advantages to this include no dependency on the Internet in order to view or edit any pages and greater privacy and reliability.

Self-hosted wikis are private wikis set up with one's own web domain. Hosting a wiki on one's own website offers more flexibility and security, but can be more complicated and more expensive, as well, due to the cost of owning a web domain.

Creating a locally hosted wiki is the most complicated option of the four. Given provides links such as Set up your personal Wikipedia and Run your personal Wikipedia from a USB stick for tutorials on creating a locally hosted wiki.

These personal notebooks can be used for a group of people, as well. Common Craft shows how a group of people can come together to use a wiki as a notebook in order to complete a common goal, in this case determining who is bringing what on a camping trip the group is embarking on.

Wiki Lists

What can you do with Wikis?

Life Hack has some great articles that tell us a number of things we can do with Wikis. Wikify Your Life gives us an idea on how to organize everything. The Quick & Dirty Guide to Personal Wikis is more of a description for Wikis in regards to one's personal life.

So here's a list of all the things you can do with a Wiki:

*Note that this is only a small glimpse into the possibilities.

Wikis As a Personal Notebook Summary

Wikis have a wide variety of uses, but one of the most handy uses - and yet possibly even one of the least popular - is using a wiki for a personal notebook. Whether it be creating an imaginary world for a fiction novel, creating a database of culinary creations, or simply just making a grocery list, personal wikis can be just the right fit for keeping one's work and life as organized as possible. Despite Wikipedia being the first thing that often comes to mind when thinking of wikis, wikis have much more to them than what meets the eye. Some may find Wikipedia to be useful as an encyclopedia resource, but when it comes to each person's individual life, personal wikis are a simple solution and a perfect route.

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