Joe's Personal Discourse Theme

Here’s what may be a new way to use Discourse. Though I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this, I haven’t seen any posts about it.

I’ve started a new private instance of Discourse that is designed to be a notes app replacement. Think of Evernote or OneNote but it’s Discourse and for only a single person.

It occurred to me that all of these notes apps have things like URLs per note, APIs for interacting with the notes, email in, and the ability to share notes with others. But those are all things that Discourse does. :smile:

But there are also a lot of things that Discourse has available that are completely unnecessary as a notes collector. Namely, custom branding, Top/New/Unread, # of posts, etc… These aren’t helpful number/lists when you’re the only one looking at it. Which is what led me to creating this theme.

The biggest change is the home logo area. It’s been removed and replaced with three icons:

  • Archive - list of latest
  • Categories
  • Inbox - Uncategorized

The theory is that you’ll typically want to see the topics (notes) you’ve recently edited. Thus, the archive comes first. Buth then you may want to see the categories of notes. And if you just need to get something out quick, you won’t categorize it at all and leave it Uncategorized.

There are a few settings I found helpful to change for this as well. But the big one was the minimum length of title and body. That’s mostly because I sometimes want to capture a quick idea and fill in the details later.

I’m sure this will continue to morph as I use it. So if you have suggestions, I’m all ears. :wink:


In light of the new Theme Creator, I created a share link so you can kick the tires on this a bit. Enjoy! :hugs:


Cool! I might have to try this out. I too have a personal Discourse site that I use for all my notes. Mostly I just hid a couple things with css. I do like to see the reply count though, but probably don’t really need it. I also decreased the minimum title and body length. I think the one other thing I would like to get rid of is the blue popover if I paste a duplicate link or type about a similar topic.


Good call. I’ve been meaning to remove the composer popups as they drive me nuts. “Of course I haven’t let anyone else respond yet! No one else is here!”

I should also note that I’ve tweaked a number of settings to make it more conducive to a single person:

  1. I turned off the badge system. - enable badges
  2. Disallow public sign-ups - invite only
  3. Remove anon access - login required
  4. Let me post things however long I want - min post length, min first post length, and min topic title length
  5. Turn off the not enough topics/posts notice - show create topics notice
  6. Let me use as many emoji as I want - max emojis in title
  7. I sometimes use similar titles in different categories/tags - allow duplicate topic titles
  8. Don’t limit topic title - title max word length
  9. I store a lot of code and I’m lazy - autohighlight all code
  10. Let me upload whatever I want - authorized extensions
  11. No need for digests - disable digest emails
  12. Enable all oneboxing - enable inline onebox on all domains
  13. I’m in this a lot so I want more backups - maximum backups to 10 and backup frequency to 1
  14. Remove the bootstrap mode - bootstrap mode min users
  15. Yes to tags - tagging enabled
  16. I like tag boxes - tag style

I’ve also set up the mail-receiver so I can email into the thing as well.


Great work.

How did you manage that? I would love to see that feature in core so I can forward info for myself or the forum as a new topic in certain categories.

Plus this feature slated in #releases seems super aggressive from a privacy standpoint:

Forward long email chains to Discourse, creating posts for each email in a new topic, staging all unknown emails as new users


Cool! But you haven’t gone as far as using discourse as your email client, have you? This is something I’d like to try but haven’t gotten down to yet.

I have actually! It’s a different instance that I built for a podcast I cohost. You can see it at Every email address runs through Discourse with the mail-receiver. We just create groups for user specific email addresses and shared emails. Works really well.


I was referring to forwarding an email (like from another mailing list) into Discourse in a way so that the email doesn’t get truncated. Is there a workaround for that, besides cut and paste the whole thing into a new topic (which doesn’t work well on mobile)?

In the v2.1 “forwarding long email chain” feature, I also have concerns that random people in that email suddenly get staged accounts. I should probably split this off into a new topic but it’s related here because I often want to forward an email into my project list that I keep in a category.

1 Like

Hello @joebuhlig, can you sync category evernote to category discourse for me?

I don’t need sync all category, i only wanna sync 1 category, that is uncategory discourse.

i wanna user evernote because, i wanna share number phone detail to app and save it when have a call to me, example: telegram chat or evernote

Thank you for the amazing theme. I like it