Discourse as a personal-wiki note-taking markdown-editor local app

Uff. That’s rough. A few years ago I started a Discourse server on Oracle Cloud that cost nothing. I moved over to DigitalOcean when I started my consulting businesses, but I think Oracle Cloud’s free tier still works. (It’s just slow.) If you have a domain (or can borrow a subdomain from someone) I believe you can still get a version of Discourse up and running for no cost.[1]

Once I had a Discourse instance, I almost immediately used it as a personal wiki sort of thing. (I use categories that only I have access to.) Last year I experimented with replacing social media with Discourse. Sometimes my private notes become public posts too. It’s hard to beat the combination of features Discourse offers:

  • Markdown
  • Timed bookmarks to act as a personal reminder to look at something
  • Tags
  • Mermaid support
  • Search
  • Images are easy to import[2][3]
  • Revisions are saved automatically

You get the idea. It’s really been handy to have Discourse for keeping notes as well as using it for my blog’s comments. I do think it helps to have the system on the internet so that I can publish notes and so I can find things when I don’t happen to be on my laptop.

I’m playing around with an idea for supporting small communities that can’t afford to pay for Slack. While I’d rather it be used for actual groups, it would be helpful to have people kick the tires:

  1. I am struggling to set up a new instance at the moment, however. ↩︎

  2. Maybe it’s just me, but I always struggle with images when I’m using other tools. I don’t want to have to think about resizing images and I want to be able to find the original again at a later date. ↩︎

  3. Footnotes are another feature I love! ↩︎