Tana Weekly 2023-05-20: Latest Updates, Upcoming Feature, Resources, Tana Commands and AI and more

A look at the latest Tana news, updates and thoughts during the past week. Tana Weekly 2023-05-20: Latest Updates, Upcoming Feature, Resources, Tana Commands and AI and more

Tana Weekly 2023-05-20: Latest Updates, Upcoming Feature, Resources, Tana Commands and AI and more

Hi Everyone.

Now that the semi-finals of the Champions League have been played, we know who will be in the final. The mighty Inter vs Manchester City. Things are certainly heating up. This nicely brings me to Tana.inc.

We have another content-filled week with lots of great posts / questions / responses being made by the community and Tana Team alike. So, while we have to wait a bit longer for the Champions League Final, let’s see what Tana had in store for us this week.


This past week Tana released the following:

Friday Release node

Features - aka the Brage Section

I am very happy to report that Brage did not disappoint us this week and managed to sneak in a "Redacted" even without saying it. You do have to do a little bit of hunting for it but once you see it, it cannot be unseen, and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Bug fixes and enhancements:

  • When using explicit IDs in Tana Paste (like [[^fsd0f]]) we now insert a reference to that node, even if it does not exist currently – meaning it will resolve when that space is loaded.
  • Added a new command—“Insert Relative Date”—which can update dates based on a relative string.
  • Empty nodes in command nodes no longer make command fail with error message
  • Putting “next” before a relative date, like “insert date next march 28” will force the date inserted to be in the future. (“Next March 28” now gives you March 28 in 2024, not 2023.)
  • System-defined fields Due Date and Date didn’t work with Tana Paste! They do now!
  • Fixed freeze when using running command nodes that use prompt expressions on very large nodes (thanks @Emmanuel Galanos!)

For the post in all its glory, click here. 

Tana Weekly

Tana and Artificial Intelligence

In Fis Fraga's latest newsletter, he looks at "Why Tana is Perfect to Leverage AI".

Tana was built with AI in mind.

This is NOT just another app that decided to implement some nice features using ChatGPT. It's much more than that. Tana works much like a programming environment. As if Notion, Roam Research, and VS Code had a baby who speaks Python.

The intersection between note-taking and computer software.

You can reliably store knowledge and also execute commands using your knowledge.

This is possible because Tana's core features come from Computer Science and Software Engineering. That's where we'll start…

Check out the rest of the post here.

Show off Your Daily Notes Pages

Looking for inspiration or wanting to share your Daily Notes Page set-up, then please do check out this Reddit post. A few examples have already been published, and would love to see some more.

Just from the above screenshots, you can tell there is a lot of personality in each of the Daily Notes Pages. Cannot wait to see yours.

On This Day Retro

I am a sucker for an "On this Day" type post, and I am very happy to report that Stian has prepared a Command that allows us to retrieve our historical journals based on set criteria (for e.g. 1 week ago, 6 months ago, 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 2 years, 3 months and 1 week ago etc. you get the gist).  

The easy-to-use Command can be downloaded below. Once you add it to your workspace, you can easily customise it and run it. If you are a bit of a newbie to Commands as I am, to run you, Ctrl + K, "retro". ta-da!.

Just another hint: "The above command inserts date references, and if you right-click on them you can go to the day node. In Tana, we usually avoid linking to day pages directly in Tana."

Things3 vs Tana

@Carl comments, "Tana is catching up to Things3 in the areas where it was weaker.  Having tasks within Tana is so much better than in a separate task manager as it allows you to write tasks where they belong and when they arise.  

You just build them into the projects/ideas/areas as they come up.  But Things3 is such a wonder of outstanding UI/UX, that it has been hard for me to leave it.

With the recent Tana improvements, it is becoming a viable replacement.  It still doesn’t have the same polish level, but that’s not such a big price to pay to gain the benefit of not having tasks scattered around in a separate app.  Nice going!"

Being an ex-user of Todoist, I have to agree with the majority of the above. A lot of the functionality I used in Todoist is available in Tana and being able to see your tasks and your notes in one place is great for context. There is a bit more of a learning curve, but once you get over it, you will be ticking those tasks like there is no tomorrow.

Table View Improvements

Although the table view functionality is already second to none, there is a minor tweak I would like to see implemented to really bring it up to the next level. I ave been spoiled in Excel where the filter is applied to the cell - I am not looking for such an intricate update (yet ;)) but something more simple like:

When viewing a large table, if I want to activate / change a filter,  you need to be at the top of the table which sometimes means scrolling to the top to change.

Scrolling to the top can take time and adds a bit of inconvenience.

Suggest a solution

In the table view, have the Filter options also frozen at the top so that you could transform your data without having to scroll to the top. So, in addition to having the table headers frozen, have an extra line above for the table filters.

Freeze / show Filter Options on top of table - Tana Ideas

If this sounds like a good idea to you, please upvote it.

Reduce On-Screen Clutter

Sticking with Feature Requests, this is another one that I think would really add QoL improvements:

Reduce on-screen clutter through collapsible fields

Explain the problem as you see it

When working in Tana with nodes that have rich field structures and in particular, have fields with many values the amount of vertical space that is taken up by the field rendering often pushes important data off the screen. Indeed, the area to add new child nodes is below the scroll on many of my structured nodes.

Reduce on screen clutter through collapsible fields - Tana Ideas

Tana for Meetings, Meeting Notes, and Action Items

R.J. Nestor demos the meetings, meeting notes, and action items feature that comes with Tana for Tasks 2 (sold separately).  

Line Breaks

For those that "want to write a block of text without triggering a new blank node when I hit "Enter" is it possible?" Then I have some good news.

Rather than either copying and pasting from elsewhere or using a code block as an alternative, the Tana Team have confirmed that "something is coming soonish". Glad to see it is on the radar.

Retrieve Papers from Semantic Scholar

@TanaNodes provides us with a template that includes commands to retrieve the top 5 papers from Semantic Scholar's custom-trained ranker.

You can then extract information such as abstracts, citations, and author details. See the video in the thread for an overview. Detailed instructions on how to edit the commands in the bundle. https://app.tana.inc/?bundle=CJLxnNW36m.P35roVIftt.


Tana Community In China

Putting aside the feat of Jimmy who spent (I am assuming) a considerable amount of time looking through 3 months worth of Slack comments, Jummy is looking to organise / build a Tana China community. If you are interested, definitely hit Jimmy up on Twitter.

P.S. If anyone is using Tana in the UAE, or just generally a fan of PKM, please do get in touch with me.

The Power of...Tana

It took me a while to get to grips with Commands, and I would say I am still before a beginner level. I will be spending the week on them, so I will try to do a write-up from start to finish showing each step, resources used and whatnot.

Tana Resources for Newcomers

There is no doubt that there is a learning curve. If anyone tells you otherwise, then it is likely they are not using Tana to its best capabilities.  The question that comes up, though is, "How to overcome the learning curve or what resources to use".

Several resources are available, some of which you can find below.

Resource for newcomers to Tana
by u/therealsyncretizm in TanaInc

What I found helped (and I am far from being a novice) is to have a look at a few resources and stick with one from start to finish. Avoid jumping between the resources as you will end up procrastinating and not learning how best to use Tana.

So my advice, start with one, complete it, and move to the next one, but more importantly, play around in Tana so you can have hands-on experience.

Until Next Time

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any comments or questions, please let me know.

Thanks again for reading, and I look forward to chatting with you again next week.