Roman Veselý Software Engineer from Slovakia. Somewhere between trees and bytes of code.

Krystal, a TiddlyWiki plugin

A couple of years ago, during the Covid pandemic lockdowns, I focused more on how to improve my notes and note-taking process in general.

Back then, I was not satisfied with my notes spread across several documents1. Many times, I could not decide where to put something because I felt it belonged to more than one specific category. Also, for some reason, I barely came back to look for what I had already noted. In the end, it felt almost useless to spend time with note-taking at all.

I came across Anne-Laure Le Cunff and her blog full of loads of articles about productivity, learning, and journaling. Thanks to these I have found a great tool TiddlyWiki—a non-linear personal web notebook—and a great source of thoughts on note-taking by Andy Matuschak.

I liked the TiddlyWiki philosophy as well as its possibility of having backlinks between different notes.

So I have built Krystal - a lightweight plugin for TiddlyWiki that changes its vertical “story river” to a horizontal one to imitate the UI of Andy’s notes system2.

Video showing how the TiddlyWiki UI changes with the Krystal plugin.

Since then, I have rewritten my old notes as atomic and interconnected notes. I put them into this system having a couple of hundreds tiddlers3 as of the time of writing. Along with that, I have also incorporated flashcards (with the TiddlyRember plugin) that I can export to Anki, a spaced repetition system.

There’s a great power when notes and flashcards are being kept in the same place.

[…] it’s (finally!) a nice minimal and pleasing theme for TiddlyWiki (it even looks great on mobile!).

So, let’s go ahead and check the Krystal plugin:

If you build something on the top of Krystal, share it with others in the discussion, so we can learn from each other.



  1. Not only documents, I also used to use calendar events for journaling. I still keep my training logs in calendar, though.

  2. Andy has expressed some concerns about the design.

  3. In TiddlyWiki, a “tiddler” is one specific note. Or, more broadly, the fundamental unit of information.