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TiddlyWiki: A 21st Century Roladex

A good way to streamline the way you work is to keep a Roladex on your bench or desk containing all of the little bits and pieces that you need to do your job – things like stock solution recipes, abbreviated protocols for example. (for 19 more ways to streamline your work, click here)

Having these notes at your fingertips allows to you work faster because you don’t have to find the original information from the original source; a text book, your lab book or a colleague.

TiddlyWiki is a great piece of open source software that can be used as a 21st century version of a Roladex. It’s creators call it “A non-linear, re-usable notebook”, which is a pretty good description.

Basically it is a souped-up HTML file that you can use to create a searchable archive of notes (a.k.a. a Wiki), that can be opened in any web browser.

The amazing thing about TiddlyWiki is that there is no server involved, so you can put your TiddlyWiki file containing your personal notebook of time saving notes and protocols (or whatever you like really) onto a USB stick and carry it around with you wherever you go.

TiddlyWiki is very versatile and easy to customise… to get started, check out this guide. And, being open source, it has a community of developers who have created some very nice variations on the original theme. Two of my favorites are

GTD TiddlyWiki, a modified TiddlyWiki that you can use to organise your tasks, and TiddlyWiki-SE (Student edition), a TiddlyWiki version that is designed to be used for or note-taking.

Photo: Phillie Casablanca


  1. CK on July 4, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Ah this is really useful. Instead of e-mailing oneself to get files & sequences between computers, try setting up a page at tiddlyspot.com. Nifty, thanks.

  2. Dan on July 1, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    You should also try out Luminotes, a personal wiki notebook similar to TiddlyWiki. It does require a server, but that means you have the ability to collaborate with friends and colleagues by inviting them to your wiki. And in many ways Luminotes is easier to use than TiddlyWiki.

    Check it out at http://luminotes.com/

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