Logseq Alternative: Scrintal | Connected Note Taking

Introduction

Many people are looking for simple visual alternatives to traditional notetaking tools that may better fit their use cases. This article gives a side-by-side comparison with pros and cons of Scrintal and Logseq. If you're looking for a new note-taking tool, this article may help you decide which one is the best choice for you. If you are just getting started with visual mapping, I recommend Scrintal; and if you are an advanced note-taker and are comfortable with coding languages, you might find features in Logseq that you really like. The key shared feature between both tools is their utilization of connected notetaking. Scrintal has a unique feature set for users who want to organize and visualize their personal knowledge management system.

Free Logseq Alternative: Scrintal’s Best Features

Personal Knowledge Management

Personal knowledge management is a set of tools and processes that helps you track and organize your information. It starts with ideation, continues with structuring and organizing as more knowledge is added, and finally the knowledge is shared or utilized in relevant projects. In Scrintal, you can follow the whole process from beginning to end in the same dynamic platform.

Personal knowledge management in tools like Logseq focuses on the writing down of ideas and organizing them; however, these notes are in the same format as notes in a notebook, and the ability to write uninterrupted during streams of thought are less efficient in Logseq than Scrintal. Scrintal also allows the user to have a holistic view of the information in a different way than Logseq. 

Additionally, Scrintal bridges the gap between structured data and visual representations of that data with a set of dedicated tools that emphasize mind-mapping.

Connected Note Taking

A good personal knowledge management system makes it easy to materialize connections between notes to allow the user to build on these connections with new knowledge. Logseq has this functionality, but Scrintal’s edge is that the connections are both visual and also available and visible on the same page as the notes themselves. This reduces the need to move back and forth between a map of notes and the notes themselves.

It’s much easier to make connections when you can see them laid out in front of you like this. Scrintal provides a versatile, highly customizable interface to access your notes. You can choose which tags you want to be displayed, how they should be sorted, how much space they should take up on the screen, and even the layout. 

Multimedia Detailed Notes

Logseq is a great place to write notes in the MarkDown syntax, but it’s more difficult to use it as a place to store and build open knowledge. Working with multimedia files as opposed to text is not intended to be a key feature in Logseq, whereas in Scrintal, you can easily upload and link photos, videos, PDF files, and more. The card structure makes it easy and intuitive to work with both media files and text to build a diverse board. 

Multimedia files can be moved around on a single board for practicality and stream-of-thought writing and notetaking. Media files can also be opened in a new “floating tab” that enables the user to watch YouTube videos and read PDFs within the Scrintal ecosystem.

All your media are embedded by default so that you can explore them directly from your workspace. In Scrintal, have an overview of your knowledge and resources in one place. Accessing every single bit of information without leaving the app allows you to stay focused and work more efficiently. 

Intuitive User Experience

Scrintal is a simple visual knowledge management system for anyone who wants to organize their notes. It has a simple set of features and simple UI, making it easy to focus on what's important: organizing your ideas and knowledge without having to sort through complex features and a non-intuitive interface.

On the other hand, Logseq has a steeper learning curve for those not familiar with tools like Evernote and Obsidian. Getting started can become cumbersome, and the bullet-point note style is not for everyone. While many have grown up taking notes this way, the ability to connect ideas is a critical part of effective learning that Scrintal enables with its interface. 

Logseq Alternative: The Pros and Cons Comparison

Logseq Pros

Logseq stores files locally for easy access without needing the internet, which enables offline use for people on the go. The files themselves are not imported into Logseq, they are simply opened and viewed there. That means that if you ever decide to stop using Logseq, what you are left with is a folder full of plain text files and images. While some features in Logseq may use special formatting, the foundation of your notes documents is standard Markdown that can be opened and edited in any other plain text editor.

You can also add helpful plug-ins and run them on Logseq to customize your user experience. For example, dark mode is a feature that many users care deeply about. Scrintal instead has a wide variety of tools and capabilities to tailor a board for any specific project, but the interface is largely unchangeable. Logseq is compatible with many web-based tools and allows users to annotate PDFs. 

The focus on privacy (with local storage) and customizability (with many added features for dedicated users) makes Logseq an attractive choice. 

Scrintal Pros

The structure and flow of Scrintal lends itself to an intuitive process from beginning to end: plan, brainstorm, execute, and share. This method of work makes the journey from ideation to presentation smooth and prevents interruptions to the creative thought process due to formatting, organization, or tab switching. 

Empowering your first brain

Scrintal’s virtual canvas ensures the steady flow of creativity without interruptions. Connections rise to the surface more easily in a visual format and are not at risk of being forgotten or overlooked. The Scrintal ecosystem can host videos and PDFs on the same screen as an editable note, avoiding the need to scroll up and down or switch back and forth between tabs or windows. Your research and writing can take place in the same environment.

As needed, notes can appear as cards, full-screen text editors (for focusing), or titles only (for a holistic view of the network). This is a tool for the mind to more effectively engage with information and produce new ideas, as well as determine whether any information is missing or lacking.

Networked note-taking

Cards can be linked together or tagged, and these are two of Scrintal’s most important features. Our minds work similarly, forming connections between ideas and using these connections to create a knowledge base that not only consists of information, but also a network that inspires innovation and enables problem-solving. Creating a visual representation of this network, whether hierarchical or more flexible, is more efficient than holding it in your mind, where only one connection can be considered at a time and new ideas may be lost or forgotten.

Logseq has a very useful automatic backlinks feature that also enables the same stream-of-consciousness thinking as Scrintal, but comparing more than one note (or image, video, or PDF) at the same time is Scrintal’s key advantage.

Publicly shareable boards

Either individual cards or entire boards can be shared with users to view or edit as needed. This feature is paramount to the process of collaboration in an even better way than the shareability of a Google Doc: others can not only see your ideas and information, but can see the network of connections and more easily understand the main ideas and key takeaways.

Logseq Cons

Logseq still lacks some features that are offered by other apps with a similar constriction. However, because it is a relatively new (and completely free) application, we can expect to see many helpful updates and additions in due time.

The learning curve of Logseq is a bit steep because of its complexity. If you have never used any note-taking apps before, you might be overwhelmed at first by all the functions and options of this app. Even if you are familiar with similar applications, it might take some time to get used to Logseq's way of working and using shortcuts. This is especially true for more advanced features and queries. 

The overview graph can be overwhelming or confusing, since it shows either the entirety of one’s notes or a page-graph view that shows all notes linked to the current note. The benefit of Scrintal is that boards make the “graph view” (which is the essential structure of the board) completely customizable and easily editable.

It would also be nice if you could easily create new notes directly from the graph view or automatically add linked notes to the graph while writing markdown notes, for those who prefer visualizing their notes network over just reading them in plain text form with only titles.

Scrintal Cons

Scrintal is a young product that has potential to become a major knowledge management and project management tool. Because it is an early stage product, there is a lot of room for development. 

For example, the ability to annotate PDFs is a hugely important feature for research and note-taking purposes, and this functionality is not yet available in Scrintal. Integrations with a wide range of other apps like calendars, meeting platforms, and others that are used by knowledge workers on a daily basis are still being developed. Offline support and a mobile app are in the works; this is definitely a big focus for the development team in order to provide a competitive experience with other note-taking apps and be a more commensurate alternative to Logseq.

Logseq Alternative Use Cases

Consultant

Consulting projects are almost always unique, composed of a specific set of deliverables to meet the needs of each client. It involves collecting loads of information, most of which will end up being irrelevant. For a client to execute recommendations requires careful planning and thorough explaining on the part of the consultant.

Scrintal has exactly the kind of features to enable and improve this process. Parsing through information to find the significant data points is made easier with a hierarchical structure. A visual network of connections that was created during the long research phase is valuable in explaining the reasons for recommendations, and the linking and tagging system makes it simple for a client to navigate between different facets of a recommendation. The ability to share a board is the perfect medium: a simpler and more easily navigated version of a Prezi presentation that explains one’s thought process and inspires creativity to ensure no points are missed. In most cases, consulting is not heavier on visuals than most other professional fields, so Logseq might not be the best choice because text-heavy notes, especially with a weaker and more cumbersome link feature, will make a board harder to navigate for an informal presentation.

Knowledge Worker

Scrintal is very useful for organizing knowledge work like writing journalistic articles, scholastic papers in the arts and sciences, and reports for corporate use. Ideating and planning is made easy with the hierarchical and flexible structuring that the platform offers, and the abilities to fold, unfold, display, and dismiss cards as needed enables holistic awareness and focused work. This type of work is heavy with connections, making Scrintal a more intuitive choice than Logseq.

For example, a journalist can use Scrintal to record the different facets of a story, including interview notes and critical images, documents, and videos, see how they connect, and have a bird’s-eye view of how an article can come together. With Logseq, this bird’s-eye view would be heavily reliant on notes and images, and it would be difficult to organize text-heavy content like interview notes and fact-finding investigations into visually disparate categories. However, Logseq may be a good tool for early stage ideation, especially for large bodies of text in a bullet-pointed format.

Also, scientists can plan their papers within Scrintal, utilizing the whole ecosystem to keep their sources, notes, data, and original ideas together in a single place. In a corporate setting, the platform can be used to construct business reports from the ground up by consolidating information; connections may reveal new areas of exploration and new data to collect.

There are, however, ways to utilize both Scrintal and Logseq in creating a report (even if it has nothing to do with marketing). For example, many reports do have a large visual component that can be added after the content is completed; in this case, Scrintal can act as an organization tool for images and text with Logseq being a good place to store and sort through lots of information in the form of notes. 

Student/Researcher

Visual representations of a network of knowledge are particularly important to students and researchers because in order to study material effectively or write a convincing essay or thesis, information must be organized, holistic, relevant, and cited. Within Scrintal, one could store notes on lectures or research papers, a list of sources as a bibliography, ideas for an essay topic, or a table of contents outlining a scholarly article.

The hierarchical structure of a network on the platform can help cultivate a thesis; this feature is not present in Logseq except as the aforementioned graph view (which only shows the title of notes), because it organizes information at the behest of the user and notes and media can be cumbersome to quickly navigate. An important future feature for Scrintal would be the ability to annotate documents like scholarly papers; in Scrintal you can only read PDFs while note-taking, while in Logseq they can be annotated.

Logseq Alternative: The Final Verdict

Scrintal is the best Logseq alternative

After reading this guide, you can choose the software that suits best your needs and tastes. As a visual thinker, Scrintal is a great alternative to Logseq. Logseq is a markdown note-taking app that uses a familiar folder and file structure to organize your notes. You can create links between your files, tag them, search them, and it has a graph view that can be used as an overview of your knowledge base.

But if you are not a person who thinks in text or that learns by reading and writing alone, then you may find Logseq rather difficult to use. The structure is entirely reminiscent of traditional note-taking in long pages of bullet-pointed text. Scrintal allows you to integrate visuals and multimedia files easily into your knowledge base, and its emphasis on linking notes makes it easy to follow information. It can be customized for font size, color, card view, and more.

If you’re a visual learner or find it difficult to keep track of myriad connections between information, give Scrintal a try!

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