When to use new types vs templates?

I’ve been using Anytype for a few days and been trying to recreate my PKM from Notion. I understand that Anytype works a bit differently from Notion in term of database things, so I am trying to adapt to it. I am using the PARA methodology, but highly inspired by the structure of Thomas Frank from Youtube and adapted to my needs. Basically, I would have those types:

  • Project
  • Area
  • Resource
  • Task
  • Note

I won’t detail all relations, but let say I would like my Notes to be linked to any of the other types. Then, I assume I would need to create an Object relation to Note, named something like “Root”, or “Linked to”.

But I would also like that this relation (and any other relevant ones) to be shown by default when creating a new Note, without having to add manually the relation block. The only way I found to do that was by using templates. Unfortunately, it seems the default Note type doesn’t allow to create custom templates or to edit the existing one.

So this made me ask myself these questions:

  1. As I have different kind of notes, such as basic notes, project notes, web clips, etc. Should I create new types for each one or should I use different templates (which is not possible at the moment)? They all share the same relations, except for web clips, which has an added URL relation.
  2. As custom templates for Notes is not possible, does this mean that I simply don’t use correctly the types?
  3. Are there better ways to show default relation blocks when creating new objects?

The default note type is more of a draft than a note (it was actually previously called draft). I personally have a custom type for what would usually be called note (called zettel temporally in my case), and I would recommend you do the same. Also, since it’s a system type, you aren’t able to change much (including adding templates).

This could be done in a couple different ways depending on where you want and need the relations to show. If you just add the relation to your type in the library, the relation will show up when you open the relation panel in the object.

I would recommend this even though it takes one extra click because if you use templates and decide you want to switch up your template a bit later on, you will need to go trough all of your objects one by one and manually change the template.

If you do want to use templates, you can either use featured relations (click the star button in the relations panel and they will show up below the title afterwards) or embed the relations themselves in the canvas.

If you have different note types, you can either use a relation to distinguish between them (and then use a template to auto apply the tags or just manually add them), or use types for them. This is more of a personal preference.

Why do you think that different templates are not possible at the moment?

Ah thanks for the explanation, this is really helpful!

For the temporary note type, I will try to do so. But I find this a bit inconvenient, as a “note” is pretty much a good global term and easy to use. I hope it will be possible in the near future to use the default term.

I did not know for the relation panel (or I didn’t understand it correctly). I don’t mind the extra click in this case, and the featured relations may be useful too.

I was referring to the fact that the default Note type can’t have custom templates.

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Keep in mind that you don’t have to use note type that comes with Anytype. You can just create your own and customize it as you like (by adding templates, for instance).

Unfortunately, the default note type is one of the ones that still can’t be deleted so you might end up with a duplicate if you name your replacement type note or similar.

Yeah exactly, this is my only issue. I would end up having duplicates. As you did, I will try to add custom types.


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