Zettlr and Zettelkasten discussion [was: Will version 3 be released this year?]

An update from the team would be much appreciated.

With fingers crossed. :slight_smile:

There will be no further announcements of anticipated release dates:
literatureandlatte.com/blog … her-delays

The pinned thread at the top of this forum is the best place to look for the most recent changes to the software.


I agree. Trying to put a date down brings a lot of unnecessary pressure. Let It be ready when the developers say its ready. :smiley:

Thanks. I just remember reading this by one of the developers:

“I do believe we are a matter of a few weeks away now - I’m certainly not talking months.”

That was almost two months ago. :frowning:

Thus the danger of making estimates.
Officially we have had several weeks, but still only one full MONTH. (Not quite plural yet)
And we are getting very regular bug fixes with the only “New Feature” work I see mentioned is the Character Generator to get it simular to Mac. That is what happens near the end of project.
Everything should be BUG fixes with only release-blocking bugs being worked on, so they can start charging for all this work. IMHO

Thanks. I appreciate the response. However, since my initial question, I’ve looked into other software, because the constant delays worry me. I’ve found Zettlr which looks quite promising for what I have to do. Good luck with getting version 3 on the street soon.

I’m don’t understand why you would make the leap to other software with the learning curve etc. The current Beta is very useable with a few caveats and if you have even a quick glance at the release notes you can see the significant progress being made towards full release.

Have to agree with @Astaff’s thought – This Beta is very usable indeed, and has been for many months.

In it, you get a myriad of abilities and features which aren’t in other writing software. That’s Scrivener. And having years with this team, I know they will make all the depths of it work. Patience is much easier because they invite us to use every part that already does work.

Thanks though for mentioning Zettlr. Trying it, I immediately run across bugs more or less at the level of Scrivener 3 Beta, but it is interesting – and it is also useful. It has its own very nice smoothness in its design, which I also appreciate.

I’m putting it side-by-side with Typora, which I have worked with for a long time, also with a constant stream of continuing improvements, and which I quite like indeed – for Markdown especially, though it can be used without this as Zettlr can. It’s just a great tool for writing (and being able to directly use) all journalings and notes.

The Zettelkasten idea: I’ve just time to have a moment for this right now, but:

  • There’s a vid which has an amusing intro, and goes into the background, and then how software can get involved.
  • it’s here: youtube.com/watch?v=c5Tst3- … e=youtu.be , and that is the Zettlr author presenting.
  • in it, you’ll find an example of just what kind of thinking is necessary, though there are many other manners for it, to actually write each part of a Scrivener, a Zettlr, or any other of the tools you use.
  • in short, this is an exemplary demonstration for why things take time, and thus why we should be grateful to have the results along line as each becomes strong and useful: the Beta, or the ongoing development of Zettlr or Typora, which is the same thing…

I was also very intrigued to see Luhmann name come up, and yes, it was as remembered – taking me back to a Germanic Swiss decade of life…and there is a lot of history and culture in this little film’s surround, but especially, a smile… I hope you find it when you listen to this fellow, across cultural distinctiveness.

My take at the moment: Luhmann’s Zettel-memory system intrigues, but today, we have computers that can search. I can just write my notes, copious as they are, in text or markdown notes, saving them only slightly organized on five or so topic folders just to keep things a little straight. Then I can use even Microsoft’s built-in Windows search to find any that mention what’s turned out to be the interest at the moment. It’s a bit of magic, considering things done before.

And then…what our invisible parts of mind can do, be a concept, or feeling, or impression -addressable, discoverable memory; that is really the deep capability we have for what we write. We can ‘find things’ experienced or otherwise noted; they just float up after we’ve been involved with expression of something for a bit, and they make that expression interesting and full of flow: which is ‘writing’, isn’t it, at it’s best.

I think that is the basic capability, this and the ability to move portions around, which Scrivener excels at. Search provides us the ability to expand once we’ve lighted on something, remember more, and search works equally with Scrivener (because of its RTF files), as well as text or markdown notes, writeable by such nice tools as Typora or Zettlr.

Zettlr might have an advantage in being open-free, where Typora is free but keeps its hat on. In the end, I wouldn’t mind paying writer-pricing for Typora, tightly budgeted as I am, and that’s what should be donated on Zettlr’s asked-for support anyway. Scrivener is already extreme value for its own writer-pricing. So we are all-around fortunate here, not so?

I don’t want to get into a long discussion about this, but surely Scrivener can do a lot Zettlr cannot. This might be good for some people, but I might not need those features.

Regarding the learning curve, I’m rather new to Scrivener, so the learning curve is steeper for Scrivener for me since it’s a more complex piece of software.

When it comes to the idea of a Zettelkasten, I have more to say, since this is something I have experience with. And I can tell you this: A Zettelkasten is - if done right - much more powerful than random notes and/or Word. It’s an utterly different way to think about organizing thoughts and it takes quite a while to understand the concept. But when it clicks, there is no going back. If you are curious about the Zettelkasten method I highly recommend Sönke Ahrens book How to take smart notes.

Zettlr is useless on Windows 10. In the last two months, it stopped working on Windows 10, maybe not for all users, but for most of them including me. Besides, Zettlr is a very simple piece of software, so simple in fact, that everything that can be done with it can be done with Notepad and Explorer, so to compare it with Scrivener is simply ridiculous.

Scrivener 1.9 is a mature software with no alternative in Windows environment when it comes to writing literature.


From my experience with the beta, the management of most software companies would have pushed Scrivener 3.0 for Windows out the door by now as “good enough to generate revenue.” What I adore about L&L’s is that they haven’t.

I look forward to sending them my money, as soon as they think they deserve it.

Wonderfully well put!

Hey cigoLogic, thanks for the book recommendation. Stuff on the web for the Zettelkasten method is sorta scattered, so I’ve been keeping my eye out for a book.


You are welcome. :slight_smile:

If you want to see how you can make an analog/digital zettelkasten you can have a look here. It is something I made about a year ago.

forum.zettelkasten.de/discussio … ten#latest

Moderator Note: Seeing as how this has gone from short-lived query about Scrivener into a discussion and promotion of another program entirely, I’ve moved this thread to the appropriate forum and modified the heading. Feel free to suggest another if you prefer, OP.

I’ve tried just about every notes manager out there and I still prefer DEVONthink 3 for putting together a Zettelkasten note archive. Check it out if you get a chance.

Yep. Me too for DEVONthink. It works a treat.

I have been using Zettlr under Windows 10 for the past year for a Zettlekasten. The program has been stable since at least version 2.2.6. The version as of this post is 2.3.0.

In case someone somewhere in the forum finds this interesting or useful, I have isolated the configuration files that Zettlr uses with Pandoc to create LaTeX output so that they can be reused with Scrivener. The intention is to create LaTeX or PDFLateX output with either Zettlr or Scrivener using the identical Pandoc defaults files and Zotero-exported JSON bibliography files. (I’m adding Scrivener to my workflow.)

I first set symbolic links to some of Zettlr’s default files in the pandoc data directory. This was initially empty on my machine, incidentally. Creating this subdirectory and adding symbolic links to Zettlr’s export files (which are Pandoc defaults files) does not change the behavior of Zettlr or Pandoc.

C:\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\pandoc>cd \Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\pandoc  
C:\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\pandoc> mklink export.latex.yaml   C:\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\Zettlr\defaults\export.latex.yaml  
C:\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\pandoc> mklink export.pdf.yaml  C:\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\Zettlr\defaults\export.pdf.yaml

I had hoped that Pandoc would pick these files up without the directory having to be specified in the command line, but no such luck. I will return to this at some point …

Zettlr exports markdown files by calling Pandoc with a defaults file and an optional bibliography file specified in the command line. Pandoc defaults file is what Zettlr calls export.outputtype.yaml. The bibliography file is in my case a JSON CSL format bibliography exported from Zotero. The JSON CSL bibliography is specified in the Pandoc command line with --bibliography media\MyLibrary.json (in my example).

C:\Users\fleng\Dropbox\Zettelkasten>pandoc --defaults=\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\pandoc\export.latex.yaml --bibliography media\MyLibrary.json  Hom20221026.md -o Hom20221026.tex

This completes without warnings or errors. The code is identical to the output that Zettlr produces by exporting to LaTeX. When exporting from Zettlr, WinEDT–my favorite LaTeX editor–is invoked.

The same also procedure works for PDFLaTeX as if the export were run from Zettlr.

C:\Users\fleng\Dropbox\Zettelkasten>pandoc --defaults=\Users\fleng\AppData\Roaming\pan

The point is to continue to use Zettlr for the Zettelkasten, draw from this as needed for Scrivener projects, and process those using the same configuration files for output that Zettlr uses.