Use Case Ideas / Suggestions

I have been using Joplin for some time now, and have posted a few times looking for opinions of other users on usage. I wanted to query the users on this new question on usage:

While I have grown to like Joplin, I also use Obsidian. This offers me numerous features such as the ability to easily collaborate with files. Example, I can store MD files into folders, having some of the folders as git repos.

That said, I understand that Joplin uses a database to store notes, which in itself also provides numerous features/advantages over separate MD files. Has anyone looked into how to get the advantages of both designs without having the need to use two totally separate softwares for notes/files?

I use MD not just for notes, but for all text based documents. So in the past where a user might have a folder(s) of numerous Word documents, I have this in MD files. Given this, I hope it can be seen how and why I have a need, or at believe that I do, for each of these designs of software. One thought I had was to have a folder in Joplin that would contain the separate MD files that are used elsewhere, while still allowing them to be used and accessed from within Joplin, also with the ability to edit so long as standard MD rules are followed.

Anyone run into this, or have any thoughts on how this might be done?

Hello there, fairly recently a similar request was discussed here

If you're just seeking a way to open a file from local git repo, you can just paste a file link to it in a note. It would be not a native Joplin note, so it will be opened with external editor.


I've given a thought to this problem of connecting files / notes together. Long story short: it takes quite a lot of manual work to setup the two way link between the Joplin database and native file structure. It can be done, but as of now, it's difficult, flaky and not really scalable. Maybe it'll get easier in the future, but as of now, you gotta be very selective with what files you're two-way linking with Joplin.


Floating around "Multiple profiles Project" gives me hope as maybe we'll get the ability to package files inside the archive along with the native Joplin notes.

What also could be great for this use case is the following feature

File symlinks to resource folder in markdown export


ls -R md-exp/

e7e06dd06e08d35bda16ace909935f0f.png (symlink)

e7e06dd06e08d35bda16ace909935f0f.png (actual resource)

Of course, potentially it can break import but on the upside, it would allow much easier file management after export.

On the closing note, from the perspective of Joplin, I feel there's no intention to be all encompassing emacs-style system, it's a note taking application afterall. It's just we, power users, at times trying to whip Joplin into Confluence. So, we might never get there and it's okay.

Just curious, how is linking Joplin notes into native MD structure complicated?

Here's how I would go about it as part of the sync process. Every 5 minutes perform the following:

  1. Export current workspace to MD (e.g. local MD). Use the already existing "export to MD" feature but add the note ID in liquid
  2. For each note in local MD do the following:
    a. Find the matching note using the note ID in liquid in the sync target (e.g. remote MD)
    b. If local note == remote note then do nothing
    c. Else if remote note is not found, add a new MD file in the sync target
    d. Else if local note != remote note and local note has not changed since last sync, copy remote note content into local note
    e. Else create a conflict folder in Joplin and place the remote note there. Overwrite remote note with local note and add the conflict folder to sync target

Now there are a few drawbacks with my method. Mainly you must delete notes from Joplin (e.g. deleting a markdown file from sync target will just result in this markdown file being created in next sync). You also might lose some change history or the update time will not be accurate if change was made on the markdown files. But, I think that's a fair tradeoff.

Thanks for the reply and information. While I do not know all of the details (I have not yet looked at the link you provided), I do understand how this might be a bit difficult.

You first assumption is correct, sort of. I would just have interest to accessing the files as any text editor might. Even if it cannot naively connect to a repo, I usually have all of the files local anyway. So for example, I have folder /home/documents/markdown/ that might contain a large group of MD files, or folders containing the files of a repo, or even just folders of MD files for organisation. I would want the ability to browser those folders in a tree view (sort of like Zettlr) and have the ability to open/edit/delete. I personally have no interest in syncing of these files, only the database.

My reasoning is that it would be nice to avoid having to open another software and have all done in the same software. I am not sure if other features like searching would have the ability to search both the database AND the individual files Contrary to my initial views, I fully understand the database style Joplin uses and I see the benefits it offers. That said, there is also benefit to individual MD files that Joplin cannot offer, at least I do not think so.

One of those differences, and for me a large one, is that in order to use Joplin for notes, I need to then install Joplin in order to access them, assuming I am not wanting to manually browse the database. On the other hand, individual MD files can be opened with most any software such as the OS default text editor.

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