Love Anytype, but need more flexibility

I’m a heavy notion and obsidian user, and have tried several other personal knowledge management systems over the years. In general I think Anytype is great, I like how it combines the aesthetic and flexible layout options from Notion with a graph-based model for the data.

My main complaint is that it is too rigid at the moment. There are dozens of objects, templates, and relations that do not suit my needs, and they clutter the UI, which is a problem for people who need minimalistic UIs to be productive, like me. I need to be able to edit and/or delete these. I understand the Anytype team has a very rigid idea of what the “correct” way to use the software is, but users will inevitably find what works for them and should not be barred from doing so because of misconceptions and assumptions of the developer or product teams. At the moment all these things clutter the UI, which for me matters since I highly value a clean and simple experience when I’m trying to collect and organize important information.

Some examples of things I need to be able to use Anytype as my main second brain:

  • let users start with a clean slate, i.e. make all objects, templates, options, and relations editable and/or deletable
  • allow any type of thing to be embedded in any other type (i.e. let me embed a note in a set, or a set in a page)
  • let me decide what shows up on the home page/landing page (maybe let users choose to set it to a certain existing page)

In general this is an amazing app and has so much potential, I just constantly find myself wishing the development team would “set us free” so to speak; let me use the app how I want to use it, not how someone else thinks I should use it. All the built-in Anytype data is clutter and in my way now that I understand how the tool works. I just want a clean slate.

But the data modelling capabilities and local-first data storage are essential features that so far I don’t think any other tool can match. I don’t trust notion to store critical information and not lose it, leak it, or deny me access to it, but sometimes I need more than plaintext and markdown functionality, hence my current notion/obsidian hybrid workflows. Anyway thank you for reading this and letting me be an alpha tester of this software!


Some of those things are planned!

About clean slate, you might want to check out, comment and vote on a few posts related to “workspaces”. Current anytype could be just an Introductory workspace with a bunch of premade templates. Then users would have the option to create a blank workspace.

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I hope that they release an API early in the product lifecycle; I share the same sentiments and I feel like I could script out exactly what I want much more efficiently than learning to do it from the UI.

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