Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life


A PKM in VS Code

Even though technically it’s in maintenance mode now, it’s still my favorite way to manage information from inside VS Code. Plus it’s under Apache licensing if anyone wants to fork it.


Pulled almost verbatim from my Dendron vault because it’s got some thoughts that remain useful for me.


I don’t have one. But here are some things to keep in mind until I do.

  • Dendron supports the Amoeba pattern
    • extract note via selection
      • select text
      • click :bulb: icon
      • select refactor text to new note
    • hierarchy refactoring
    • schemas
    • hierarchical graphs
  • Dendron Refactoring commands
    • Dendron: Rename Note
      • moves note to new location in hierarchy
      • updates backlinks to new location
    • Dendron: Refactor Hierarchy
      • updates multiple hierarchy pages via regular expressions

How I currently use Dendron

Not a formal process — trying to identify and improve my flow. Tweaked slightly as these days I use this vault for the stuff I don’t mind people seeing, and other tools for work and other such sensitive bits.

  • first stop is always C-S-i for the daily note in Daily Journal
    • my journal isn’t really a “5 minute” or bujo; more of a “WTF is happening”
    • borrowing taxonomy, it’s where I put my fleeting notes
  • when I have a concept I think should be a node, I decide where it goes and link + C-<click> to add with summary and a resource link if handy

How I’d like to use Dendron

  • first stop remains the daily note in my journal
  • the day’s tasks get added as task notes
  • when I have a chunk or section that makes the journal note feel cumbersome, extract it to a scratch note
  • periodically refactor scratch nodes into the schema heirarchy, either as new chunks in existing notes or as new notes

Command: Dendron: Configure (YAML)

Use the command! Stop looking in your workspace for the YAML file!


Fiddly customization

Ctrl+Enter should open note under the cursor

At some point C-ENTER stopped opening notes in Dendron. My own fault, I’m sure. But I figured it out! Fiddled with the where property of the VS Code binding for Dendron: Go to Note: editorFocus && resourceExtName == '.md'

Task notes

Dendron Wiki: Tasks

Not as polished as Taskwarrior or Org, but more useful than your basic checkboxes.


  • Dendron: Create Task Note
  • Dendron: Set Task Status
  • Dendron: Complete Task


        name: task
        dateFormat: y.MM.dd
        addBehavior: asOwnDomain
            later: ' '
            now: '/'
            wait: '?'
            done: x
            nah: '-'
            - done
            - x
            - nah
            H: high
            M: medium
            L: low
        todoIntegration: false
        createTaskSelectionType: selection2link

Todo Tree Integration

Integrates with VS Code Todo Tree

If you enable workspace.task.todoIntegration, then Dendron adds a frontmatter item TODO: TASK TITLE on task creation. Since it already has task-specific frontmatter, I opted to tweak workspace settings for Todo Tree instead.

    "settings": {
        "todo-tree.general.tags": [
            "[ ]",
            "status: ''",
            "status: x",
            "status: later",
            "status: now",
            "status: wait",
            "status: done",
            "status: nah"
        "todo-tree.general.tagGroups": {
            "NOW": ["[/]", "status: now"],
            "LATER": ["[ ]", "status: ''", "TODO", "FIXME", "XXX"],
            "WAIT": ["[?]", "status: wait"],
            "DONE": ["[x]", "status: done"],
            "NAH": ["status: nah"]

The tree is still a little iffy about grouped views, but that’s probably a config thing for me to figure out rather than a bug.

Added to vault 2024-02-04. Updated on 2024-02-04