Is Bike ready for a believer-tier subscription?

Let me preface this with an anecdote. Yesterday, I was going through edits of my fantasy manuscript. I keep my notes for the magic system across multiple apps, because I tend to work with whatever my brain feels aligned with at the time, but I do keep a few rules for the suite of apps:

  • outliner-capable
  • cross-device sync
  • backlinks and unlinked references
  • if possible, local and offline-first.

While I was editing, I noticed a minute but vastly important detail from my magic system was missing in my notes, despite clearly remebering I wrote it down. After panicking that I may have lost it during my frantic migration from app to app, it turned out I had it stuck inside a Bike outline (whew!).

Because I can’t sync Bike files to mobile, I keep these outlined as scratch notes to be migrated. Eventually, they pile up, but I rarely find the time to clean everything up.

The fact is that Bike is a very powerful app, and with outline filtering and 2.0 around the corner (right @jessegrosjean ?:sweat_smile:), I’m wondering if it’s ready for further evolution into a research multi-file workspace like Roam/Logseq, with referenceable blocks, backlinks and a sidebar to offload frequently used outlines.

I personally would be prepared to invest into a believer-tier subscription if this was the case simply because as an outliner, Bike is one of the best out there, and has the potential to grow into a proper research environment.


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A quick reply: I share your enthusiasm for Bike, which has become the main place I like to start my writing projects and organize most of my thinking. I find myself trying to go back and forth between Bike and Obsidian – and ideally, I’d like to combine the best of both. (Describing what the “best of both” could be a useful exercise.). So I’m intrigued by a “believer-tier” subscription and thinking more about what that could look like.

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I would just use hookmark to link between rows in files or between files altogether.

Yes, this is already possible but far from a coherent, focused workflow because a) you’re dependent on two apps working consistently across multiple platforms and b) dependent on remembering to manually establish relevant links where they belong. The whole idea of interlinked note-taking apps is that the workflow is as easy as putting two brackets around keywords.

It’s around some corner for sure, but I’m terrible and predicting exactly which corner.

I’m definitely thinking about some of these things. And even working on them. Unfortunately this is also what has slowed down the 2.0 preview release. See this post for more info:

I thank you, and maybe someday, but I don’t think I’m setup to handle that right now. At least I don’t know how it would make things go any faster. I’m a long way away from being able to hire anyone else, so I think it would just be more money for same results.

I feel like I may have guilted you into giving us a 2.0 progress report, and if that’s true, I’m sorry, that wasn’t really my intention. The intention was to start a conversation around the future of Bike, because I am frustrated with my current toolset and I see Bike as a potential candidate to replace at least three of them. That’s why I wanted a conversation around the future of Bike.

Are you able to speak more about what future features you’re thinking about? Or at least, do you have any interest at all in evolving Bike into a Roam/Logseq-like PKM tool? I fully understand that some users may prefer Bike to remain what it is.

As for the rate of development, I’ve never seen Bike’s progress (and your support here) as anything less than stellar. A believer-tier subscription shouldn’t be a way for users to demand features faster (kudos if that’s possible), but more devs saying yes to a roadmap and users committing themselves to the tool.

Not at all. It was just a good excuse. I like to keep everyone updated, but I also get sucked into a project and kinda ignore everything else. So this was a good chance to give a quick update.

My general thinking for a while has been:

  • Bike 2: Stylesheets, filtering, make all the changes that I want from 1.0
  • Bike 3: iOS, Sync
  • Bike 4: Workspace, where the central feature of the workspace is that you can have multiple outlines in the same window. But it also, over time, means more UI for browsing and navigating content. Also, I really want to implement javascript plugins.

As I’ve been exploring iOS/Sync one thing that’s become apparent is that I really need to build some of the workspace infrastructure at the same time as iOS sync. So Bike 3/4 maybe is same thing.

Hard to say. I hope that a future version of Bike has some similar features: Multiple outline support, search across those outlines, and javascript plugins. With that said I think those apps are defined by also by being fully javascript/HTML and open source. I think that makes them much larger and quite different than anything Bike would ever become.


Im quite happy about the limited capabilities of Bike.

I do have a iA Writer monthly subscription (1$/m) which i use to sync notes on mobile / desktop. I have used many of the 2nd brain softwares like Obsidian, Roam. I feel they haven’t brought me the peace i was hoping.

Nowadays i stick with Bike and organize my thinking in 3 Bike text files + paper notebooks

But to answer your question - the subscription would depend on the price. I gave up Reflect after 10 mths because 15$/mth felt like a ripoff to me. I would pay max 5$/mth.


All very welcome features and looking forward to those! I think the main thing Roam/Obsidian/Logseq/Tana/Tangent etc. are defined by is the linking capabilities between disparate files within a single workspace, and a way to resurface those links. If there’s a way to encourage that capability into Bike >4.0, let me be the first to vote :smiley:

I suppose that’s really up to how much functionality you need and are willing to pay for. When I say believer-tier subscription, I mean an up-front lump sum that gets you 3-5 years of defined major updates. Hence the word believer :smiley:

Does filtering mean something similar to FoldingText’s tags? That’s the one feature that I’m hoping for, and the reason I’m still using FT.

Yes, similar idea.