Tana Weekly 2023-05-27: Latest Tana Updates, Tana Jam, System Thinking, Zettelkasten, Android Workaround and more

The latest Tana news, updates and thoughts during the past week. Tana Weekly 2023-05-27: Latest Tana Updates, Tana Jam, System Thinking, Zettelkasten, Android Workaround and more

Tana Weekly 2023-05-27: Latest Tana Updates, Tana Jam, System Thinking, Zettelkasten, Android Workaround and more

Hi Everyone,

As we approach the end of May, there is no stopping the Tana Team and the amazing content that its wonderful users produce. It is as if they embodied their namesake and have found a constant stream of releases and information (see what I did there?)  

Anyway, now that my cringe-worthy comment of the week has been posted, let's see what we have to discuss in this week's release.


This past week Tana released the following:

Friday Release Node

Features - aka the Brage Section

  • ([Redacted] is doing fine, by the way, but is still a few weeks from release!)
  • Oh, and since we introduced Autofill, Autotag also wants to join the party. It isn’t as polished as Autofill yet, but you can check them both out here.

Bug fixes and enhancements:

  • You can now configure the number of child nodes required before we insert a page break in a field. You find these settings in the advanced section of the ‘configure field’. This can be useful if you have a field with many values that takes up too much space in your table. (You can also configure this on a single node by going to Cmd/Ctrl-K Configure node.)
  • We had some mangled output in AI answers. We now have better code block parsing in Tana Paste.
  • Some users couldn’t create API tokens for their Inbox. Guess what; now they can!
  • It wasn’t possible to hit ‘backspace’ to delete inline dates; we ‘backspace’-deleted that bug.
  • We fixed a bug related to using the command line to set dates on multiple nodes at a time.
  • We fixed a bug that caused a ‘tuple recursion warning’ when editing commands.
  • We fixed the “Node context” parameter in command nodes.

For the post in all its glory, click here. 

Tana Weekly

Tana Jam #17

Here is the recording of Jam #17 on commands & prompt engineering with @1eo (Andrew)

Tana and Artificial Intelligence

Coincidentally we also have Fis Fraga's #17 post that looks at Systems Thinking in Tana.

Fis is a firm believer that everything is indeed connected.

  • My Second Brain is not a dead machine, with isolated parts.
  • My Second Brain is a living system, it's like Nature, connected.

If a note-taking app does not allow you to represent connections, you'll never be able to easily navigate through your Second Brain. Everything becomes isolated. Just like the current situation with computer folders. Without connections, you might as well just use pen and paper, because at least you get the benefits of a more sensory experience.

I'm all about connections and thinking in systems. And Tana does a fantastic job at this. Actually, the magic of Tana comes from many powerful features connected to one another.

  • Capture Inbox.
  • AI Commands to manipulate data.
  • Supertag Structure.
  • Fields to connect Supertags.

To find out more, definitely check out the amazing post.

From an Avid Obsidian User: Why I Came to Love Tana

About two months ago, stories about Tana started popping up in my Medium feed. I quickly scrolled through a few that had interesting titles but was mostly indifferent to the idea of trying out a new app. I had been an avid fan of Obsidian for the past 3 months, you see. From previously having all of my notes in Google Docs, Obsidian was a game-changer for me, and for weeks, I had spent my time and efforts setting up everything exactly how I want it to look and feel. I thought I was in a monogamous relationship with Obsidian. So, it never registered to me that there might be something out there that I could love as much as Obsidian.

But the seed had been planted. More and more articles, videos, and stories were catching my eye, and every time I clicked on one, I was unconsciously warming up to the idea of Tana.

Check out the article here:

From an Avid Obsidian User: Why I Came to Love Tana
The Pros and Cons of Tana and Obsidian and how using them together allows me to work better and faster.

Twitter Content in Tana

@houshuang (Stian) showcases how to obtain and process tweets in Tana. The template (very kindly provided here) will fetch contents and autogenerate the title and contents. Amazing work!

Tana / Logseq Pros and Cons

@OneStuttering (Dario) presents a wonderful video on Logseq and Tana.

"In this video, I'll explore the similarities and differences between Logseq and Tana, and have a look at Tana's distinguishing features. I'll also discuss where I believe the tools stand out above the other, and share my perspective on the best use case. By the end of this video, hopefully you'll have a better understanding of which tool is right for you, or perhaps the best outcome, how you can leverage them both in the areas that they're strong."

UX / UI Improvements

Some very valid points about potential improvements Tana could implement to improve the UI / UX for users.


Also, check out some valuable comments here.

Unfortunately, the Twitter embed post in Ghost does not seem to work (hopefully will be fixed soon).

Tana Support Club in Dubai

Bit of an odd one, but are there any @tana_inc users in Dubai that would like to catch up and discuss:

  • AI
  • Commands
  • Linking PARENT etc. etc.
  • Proper use of Supertags
  • API
  • Autofill
  • Anything else the amazing team brings out.

I feel like going through these as a group live would expedite a great deal. Coffee would be on me!

If you are interested, please hit me up on Twitter or comment on the post.

Zettelkasten in Tana | Live Note-Taking Session

So, let's give it a go. I don't know if I can make note-taking as exciting as a Marvel Action movie, but I'll do my best. We will do precisely three things:

  • Show how to get started if you don't have any notes in your blank Zettelkasten (it's so easy, you'll laugh when it hits you)
  • I will show a more complex extension of a note in my own ZK in one of the areas within it. I am still deciding which one.
  • Use AI to generate the starting point for how to use your Zettelkasten to publish something. In this case, we'll keep it simple and work through a short blog-nam-style post that we'll drop into Substack or Medium.... or both.

Great video session!

Could Tana be the one?

Antonio Bradley posts an excellent comment on the closeness of Tana being the one to rule them all.

I have to say the more I use Tana for capturing notes and information and compiling new ideas, the more I like it. I could say that I could soon find myself thinking of Tana as an invaluable tool for so much. A couple of items holding me back is from going all in and saying Tana is THE BEST PKM tool on the planet, one of which I learned the hard way when my internet went out.

I don't even have access to view my notes stored in Tana. - This is crazy! I conduct work all over, and I can think of dozens of scenarios where I would need to ref and not to mention actually add to my notes. I am not sure what is keeping the program from being locally accessible without an Internet connection but it's actually a major concern.

Most people don't sit in front of their computers. They are busy living life. Why in the world is such a carefully thought-out application meant to store notes (Most of which occur to people on the go) and trach tasks that do not have a well-thought-out mobile app?

The Apple app looks great for capturing but not distilling, reviewing, referencing, or compiling multiple pieces of information.

And forget about the Android Folks - we're left out in the cold waiting for a day we can be invited into the play yard.

Again I know that I may seem like I am harping here these are only a few items I don't like about the program. Overall I like Tana. The more I use it the more I see its power, and I am loving it.

There is not one word in the above that I disagree with. Thank you, Antonio, for putting it so eloquently.

Can't wait for Tana capture for Android?

Raul Alba posts a great workaround for anyone wanting to use Tana on Andriod whilst the devs are working their magic on creating an official Android app.

Would you like to have a simple way to send "text" to Tana from your Android phone? You only need two things

  • HTTP Shortcuts app
  • Set up Tana

The guide walks through each step so that you can have something like the one below.


Tana Trash

Several posts revolve around the trash in Tana and how it can be emptied.

Firstly, to access the trash, you need to Ctrl / Cmd+k -> Open trash (deleted).

However, at this juncture, you cannot empty the trash.  The issue seems to be that emptying the trash could potentially cause havoc in your graph, depending on what you’ve deleted.  The devs talked about eventually making this doable, but no updates yet.

Quick Capture

Just as a helpful reminder,  you can do Crtl / Cmd + e to quickly capture anything, no matter where you are in Tana. A pop-up box will appear, allowing you to type and add your thoughts. The text will then be added at the bottom of your daily notes page.

This is great to avoid having to break your thinking flow.

Apple Shortcut

Harry designed a small Apple Shortcut for Tana that allows me to open a Quick Add window in a single shortcut wherever I’d be in the system I assume it can also be modified to accept selected text on screen, but I didn’t manage to get it to work 100% well.


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.