New Tool: Tana — nodes + data model on top

I watched several videos about Tana and it looks like a very interesting tool for personal note taking.

The best thing about it is a domain model on top of nodes. You have a usual outliner like Roam, but you can define your objects (and even have inheritance!) in a nice way.

For Alpha version it looks very impressive. UI is cool and building blocks composability power is huge.


@mdubakov this looks cool! So basically like a more chill and UI/UX-friendly version of Anytype?

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I will say that you guys have I think an undervalued deep talent for UI/UX. Not really talked about much here among the Fibery proponents in the forum, but I just played around with Asana/clickup/Zenkit and 2 new tools and to see how they are handling notifications and comments - I know I’m obsessed with that stuff :grinning:, and some of the way you navigate around Fibery, the subtleties of entity design, font selection, stuff like your foresight to allow for Multiple rich text boxes and ability to name them as you see fit, which is a much better solution than, say, Notion where you break up a page into sections, but in reality those sections don’t exist as separate areas, really well thought-through!

So I will just say again that the foundation of Fibery stands out when comparing with most other tools out there, even the new ones that keep coming out. I just yearn for the day when the level of polish catches up!



Wow, this does look super cool! Unfortunately they use Slack for “community” and no company that does that can actually have any good ideas, this is a fundamentally bad one. So I must disregard it. :joy:

Seriously though it is a really nice-looking app, with seemingly well thought-out UI+UX. It appears to have some very good ideas and implements a lot of things I have thought about and wanted in tools for some time (e.g. quickly switching in-line between different representations of the same data/node/object). In-line bulk operations, etc. are all very clever. Typed Relationships are also really nice to see. This is basically the dream of structured data without the rigidity of Fibery’s Database-centric approach, and is something I hope Fibery can bring in a bit of over time (in-line fields and calculations, ad-hoc fields, etc.).

I’m quite curious what CortexFutura’s relationship to Tana is. To-date I think he’s been largely tool-agnostic, but he seems to be approaching this very much as an advocate for Tana. Curious to see how that plays out.

Also worth noting that Rob Haisfield is working with the Tana team and I think he has a lot of potential value and insight to bring to their product. I’m glad he’s involved.

Check out Twitter thread below for links to some other cool examples of Tana in action and practical problems being solved with it. And also of note, many of the people being referenced in this thread (and indeed TfT Hacker himself) are somewhat luminaries of the recent PKM/TfT community on Twitter and elsewhere (e.g. Maggie Appleton, Haisfield who I mentioned, etc.), so it’s quite notable to see them all talking about this tool at once. Is this clever marketing of a savvy team at Tana that put it in the hands of all the right people at once, or something more organic? My bet is on the former. But it’s still cool. :grin:

Early signup for Tana doesn’t even list Fibery as an option for existing tools you use. :frowning:

Sure, but neither does it list ClickUp or Monday or Asana or Coda or Airtable, etc… It’s targeting a different kind of user/tool market. With the exception of Confluence and Slack, the other options are all arguably note-taking specifically, and individually-focused tools *first and foremost. Notion can be used in teams and often is, but its greater user numbers are individual, and they are quite open about this being their target even now. Related discussion on this in the Lack of Work Management features in Fibery (Reminders, Dependencies, Notifications, My Work, etc.) thread recently (i.e. what is Fibery’s market positioning).

But speaking of Tana, the more I learn about it, the more fascinating I find it how much people want to build order from chaos in these incremental ways, and how this approach seems to be firing people’s imaginations. I say this because… there is very little I see Tana doing that cannot already (and for a long time) be done by Fibery. The biggest missing piece (aside from the more ad-hoc structure capabilities) is in-line Views (tables, etc.). The “live searches” in Tana are basically just Databases, at least in effect. And the things people seem to be getting most excited about are when they can impose structure on otherwise less ordered data, get contextual backlinks, etc, etc. Basically all stuff you can already do in Fibery. It’s partly a result of people not seeing Fibery as a “note taking” tool (which it totally can be!), and partly that Fibery doesn’t have the kind of Roam-like “ad-hoc structure from manipulation of formatting”, i.e. bullets and indenting = hierarchy. Fibery doesn’t do that (in fact it does not have good hierarchy support at all). So there are some notable differences, and Tana does have advantages (the way templates and inheritance work is pretty slick), and yet… again the things people are getting most excited about seem to be database-like. :smile:

I find it particularly interesting because I am currently building what I think will end up being a pretty sophisticated PKM system in Fibery, and one which mirrors a lot of what people are doing in Tana. Except I find it way easier and less abstract to setup a DB in Fibery and I get a lot of other benefits, like more rich text/page formatting, charts, data integrations, etc.

Tana does seem to be the right approach for the Roam/outliner-loving crowd, bringing much-needed structured data features to that whole concept. And I think it will be extremely powerful, etc. But for my needs I think Fibery will be a better fit, at least for a while. If nothing else, I hate being limited to just outlines. (not certain that will remain a limitation in Tana but it appears to be so now)

Does this mean we’ll get Daily Notes in Fibery without having to build a really hacky version?

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What features would you want this to include?

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What would a ‘Daily Notes’ feature look like to you?

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With the new block stuff, Fibery provides a really good substrate for notes that allow us to create entities inline and also offers pretty reliable bidirectional linking.

However, that’s all data entered through manual processes.

First we need the “Daily Note” entity. We could probably set this up to create 2 years in advance, or more. Not that hacky, but still a little hacky.

The most important feature would be creating entities from Google Calendar and keeping them in sync. Then I could modify the Daily Note view to show me all “Calendar Events” for that day and I’d be able to keep notes for all my meetings, create task entities, and I’d probably be quite happy.

So do you mean a sort of dashboard that shows things ‘on the radar’ (upcoming meetings, tasks in progress, etc.) and also allows you to add new things?

This is not a thing most (or perhaps any?) systems that have “daily notes” can actually do so far. It’s an interesting idea, but doesn’t seem critical to a “daily notes” feature as we know them so far, IMHO.

As to a general daily notes workflow, I actually have this setup in my personal Fibery instance and it works well. I auto-generate a note (with template in markdown) for the next day at 12:01AM that day, so it’s there and ready for me every day when I wake up. I also auto-link it to a “Habit tracking” entity that is also auto-generated. It pretty effectively emulates the “daily note” functions in other apps like Roam, with the exception that some of those apps only generate a daily note if you “open” that day. I don’t consider that a big distinction or unique value, and you could arguably do something similar in Fibery if desired.

What else is missing? Or is the Automation-based approach too complex?

I’ve been using Tana for 2 days and it’s very impressive. Daily notes becomes this really simple interface to the rest of the entity system. It makes you realise that daily notes should be the starting point for everything, ideas, meetings, things I work ok start as a log in my daily note and I navigate around from there as needed.

Very cool app

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can anyone here, invite me for tana… :pray: :pray:

I’m a heavy and long-time workflowy user and store most of my life in it. I love this software, the balance of power and simplicity, the elegance in all aspects of their design. I love it so much I can forgive the poor mobile experience and other lacking features.

Tana feels like the first product that could tempt me to switch (for product management, obviously I already use fibery and for knowledge my company is into Notion. Looking forward to testing it. There is something beautiful in the simplicity of a good outliner, wondering how they will fit all their complex ideas into this model.

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