A powerhouse note system gets even better: Notion with back-links

Makzan’s Dispatch 2020 week 37

Hi my friend,

In my knowledge management system setup, bi-directional linking is a critical functionality.

I shared my plain-text based knowledge management system in my previous emails. If you found that putting everything in plain-text is too old-school, then I will recommend another system: Notion.so.

There are already many tutorials about Notion.so. But a recent update worths mentioning here: The link-to-page feature now comes with back-links references. This makes Notion.so capable as a knowledge powerhouse.

Notes are flexible. They are fragmented initially. From time-to-time, some notes may show their strong relationship that you can group them into a structural database. Or some notes may show a strong hierarchy relationship that you may put them into pages and sub-pages.

Beyond these strong relational notes, there are links across notes regardless of where the notes are stored. These links are the most important linkage to the system. These links and back-links creates new relationships between two different aspects and thus may form new ideas by combining two concepts that don’t have obvious relation at first glance.

Now Notion with all the different ways from quick notes taking to structural organizing. It is a solid alternative to the plain-text notes taking system that I mentioned in previous emails.

Links worth sharing

Let’s Bring Webrings Back

What if a 20-year-old concept held the key to revitalizing design blogging?

The Sidebar Webring is a collection of handpicked sites and blogs focused on design and the web.

On Applebot

Applebot is the web crawler for Apple. Products like Siri and Spotlight Suggestions use Applebot.


Some fun facts:
- Applebot was originally written in Go (and uncovered a user agent bug on redirects, revealing it's Go origins to the world, which Russ Cox fixed the next day).
- Up until the release of iOS 9, Applebot ran entirely on four Mac Pro's in an office. Those four Mac Pro's could crawl close to 1B web pages a day.
- In it's first week of existence, it nearly took Apple's internal DNS servers offline. It was then modified to do it's own DNS resolution and caching, fond memories...

Super bacteria survive for three years outside space station

Scientists who attached a strain of bacteria to the outside of the International Space Station have been stunned to find it survived for three years, in open space.

AVIF vs. WebP image format

At the time Safari is going to support WebP image format, a superior format comes.

Document your masterpiece-in-progress with Hustl timelapse Mac app

I like to take time-lapse of my daily life. This screen-lapse software which take screenshot every second and export a time-lapse video. An easy way to record the work-in-progress.

How we learnt to stop worrying and love web scraping

Until next week,
Thomas Mak