Personal Wiki Testimonials

Stand-alone wiki on MacOsx:

See for a detailed step-by-step description of how I set up a stand-alone version of ZhurnalWiki on a Mac (23 September 2001). It's nontrivial, but not too intimidating if you don't mind editing the Apache configuration file, installing the QuickiWiki cgi-bin Perl program, etc. I've been quite happy with it for a couple of years now, and use it every day for my personal journalling. -- MarkZimmermann

You might also try a Swiki from which comes with its own server and was wonderfully easy to set up on an OS X machine, so much so that I haven't really investigated much else. Easy editing as well. -- Michael Rohaly

From AnonymousDonor:

''I have just installed a PersonalWiki (TWiki). I think it will be a handy "free-form database", where I can easily collect lists and other bits of information.

Here are some ideas: For most things, a customized Web application might do a better job, but it's easier to have the wiki there and ready to go.

I was wondering if anyone else has done this, and what they might use it for.

P.S. I realize that wiki was created as a collaborative tool, but that doesn't have to be its only use. (In some homes, I could still see it being used as such).''

From RobertWatkins:

I've got a PersonalWiki of my own at work (a slightly-hacked version of DolphinWikiWeb, FWIW). Ultimately, I hope to infect enough other people to get some true collaboration going, but even if that happens, I'll still keep the PersonalWiki going separately. I find it an easy way to keep and reference notes, and the automatic hyperlinking is very useful.

From JuneKim:

I use my PersonalWiki 24 hours 7 days. The primary use is keeping bookmarks. It is way better than IE bookmarks because you can have several different views on the same contents very easily. Moreover, you can take brief notes (IntentionRevealing?) on them for the future - no more BookmarkMess?. Since I want to get access to my wiki anywhere any time, I used to use Swiki, which is a free wiki service.

[and then ... after a few months]

Due to its frequent downtime, however, I moved with MoinMoin to a Web hosting service; I took it further and customized it a bit. Now I use my PersonalWiki as my PersonalKnowledgeManagementSystem?. I manage my files - lots of pdfs, pses - on my computer through my PersonalWiki; sometimes they are all put in a single folder, but just like Model vs View separation, they are organized in each wiki page per file as both hierarchically and associatively (aka rhizome way); the two accessing ways are complementary - it works like my brain. One more wonderful thing is that I can do context search (like usual search engines that shows the result with the contexts) in my wiki, which gives me an opportunity to take advantage of far more recall cues. In addition to that, I manage e-mail addresses through the wiki. I keep a journal in the wiki. I put my ideas in it. If there's anything I learned anew the day, I put it in the wiki. It really is my knowledge repository and cognitive tool that makes me smarter - not only memory-way.

From StevenNewton:

My 'piki' serves as a "PersonalInformationManager" - not only a todo list but also appointment book, address book, contact list, and most importantly, my grocery list. I tweaked the code a bit to look for dates and highlight the current date in bold/red, so the todo/appointment pages have an added help. The in-house Python-based wiki we had at my last job served as a good repository for short documentation, discussions, development plans, and general inside jokes.

From HelmutLeitner:

I use a closed PersonalWiki since Jan 2001. It uses the ProWikiEngine and contains notes, to-do-lists, a lot of project related materials and the rough outline of a book I'm working on (800 pages, late 2002). If possible, I put technical notes and bookmarks in public wikis or project wikis. Sometimes I prepare wiki pages in my personal wiki and "publish" them when I feel ready.

From IvanFernandez?:

I am writing a PhD dissertation and use PhpWiki to store my research notes, quotes, ideas, etc. I've been looking for a long time for convenient software to do this, and have not found anything that satisfies me completely, but a WikiWiki is what comes closer so far. I especially like the fact that you can switch from a strict hierarchical tree structure to free-form node connections and reference other pages easily. Plus, it forces me to categorize information when pages get too big, which is a great help both in finding information later and in working on the final structure of the dissertation.

From DaveBerkeley:

Hard to imagine life without it.

I've been running a personal wiki since Jan 2000. It is now up to 1900 pages. Based on the wonderfullPythonLanguage based PikiPiki but hacked beyond recognition it has also become the center of all my dumb CGI things.

I have added CVS versioning. It has a diary - which although simple has brought some organization into my confused life and has now replaced the paper journal I have been keeping for a number of years. It has a platform specific hack to my answering machine. I log all my messages and they get indexed in the diary. There is a dialer which talks to a modem, allowing me to dial out and log all the calls I make. You can find out who called you and when, who you called and when. A phonebook - removing the need to use an address book in my email client and allowing one-click printing of envelopes - saves a lot of time at Christmas.

It has a cookie based authenticated login which probably need re-writing. User based options and account management. Simple things are automatic links for RFCs, postcodes (in the UK - link to MultiMap?) phone numbers (link to my dialer), ansaphone messages, ISBNs, patent numbers etc. I've also written an interesting but not fast enough search engine.

I've added a WikiWord_dd-mm-yyyy format for page names which allows dated notes to be kept. You simply use the project name and append dates to it. I use this as a ProgrammersNotebook and e.g. for holiday journals. Macros exist to 'list notes', 'expand notes' and 'edit notes'. There are some navigation shortcuts which allow icon links to previous and next notes in the series. You can upload documents and images to the server and refer to them with macros.

I have it running on my home / office intranet. It will run happily on Windows, Linux and even my SharpZaurus SL-5600 (Python 2.2, Apache and Opera). It is CascadingStyleSheets-based and also has templates which allow you to design very different views for different users / platforms (e.g. it has a PDA view).

It has some rudimentary GroupWare features - email notification of changes of pages etc.

I have made major moves to a paperless office. Scraps of paper now get transcribed and thrown away. I have no address book in my email client. I have no 'favourites' links in my browsers.

I often have to work on several machines and having a Web-based OS-independent tool common to all machines makes it easy to share information between platforms. I sometimes use a 'Temp Page' page to paste text from one machine to another.

If anyone asks me a question about almost anything I reply 'it is on wiki'. It indexes all my digital photos against the diary too, so you can search for something in the diary and then click on 'picture gallery' to see a set of thumbnails of photos I took that day.

I've bolted on a gazetteer / mapping program so that I can search for a link to place names easily. Now if I'm listening to the news, within a couple of clicks I can be from wiki to a map of the place mentioned in the news. The dialer has an exchange database so that you can find out geographically where someone is calling from (for standard UK numbers) and link straight to a map of the place.

It is of course the best 'favourites' facility possible. I also link to documents using file:// syntax so I can access all my correspondence referenced and indexed from the wiki. All my invoices are easily accessible, the diary does reminders of overdue stuff for me. I have never been so organized in my life. I had to buy a PDA so that I can carry it around with me.

So a big thank you to WardCunningham for thinking of the idea, and MartinPool for writing PikiPiki and introducing me to Python CGI programming. Oh, and I now write Python for a living as a result. All a far cry from my sad story in FortyHourWeek.

From MarkIrons?:

A PersonalWiki was just the thing for a patterns project I'd worked on sporadically for two years. After trying and giving up on a variety of media (HTML, word processor, index cards), wiki got my creative juices going. The tight edit/view cycle and the ability to create pages & links effortlessly enabled me not only to complete the project, but to quickly restructure it when need arose. ThankYouWard!

With a bit of CGI programming, my PersonalWiki (a slightly modified ClusterWiki) now has a flexible reminders feature. It also stores my to-do list, calendar, address book (linked to GoogleMaps), system configuration notes, daily exercise & therapy regimen, Web bookmarks, RSS feeds, and email addresses/nicknames/whitelist (which are extracted to my email client via the PowerOfPlainText). Even better, I can check off to-do items, click a "done" button, and they disappear - no page editing needed. I've added graphs using GraphViz, function plotting via GnuPlot, and equations via LaTex. (I could add PovRay, too, I suppose...) Still on the to-do list is adding photo cataloging. Thanks to DaveBerkeley for the inspiration -- his testimonial expanded my idea of what a PersonalWiki could be.

Best of all, thanks to my wiki I no longer forget my mother's birthday. That alone makes it worth it.

Standalone PersonalWiki??

I can see the potential of using it as a knowledge management tool for myself. However, if I am the only one using it, is it possible to do it without installing a Web server? I would rather not do that as my PC at work is owned by the company and I cannot install a Web server on it.

See the list halfway down PersonalWiki.

Additional Comments and Discussion

What a fantastic idea... to make it maximally useful, it would be available via appropriate password over the Internet.

I've also noticed that it's vastly easier to update the stuff in the wiki on my Web site than it is the HTML on my Web site. This would be contrary to the normal nature of wiki, but I've thought of making one that lets only the site owner(s) update it, using wiki syntax, yet appears normal (not obviously a wiki) to other visitors. -- KyleCordes

Kyle, I've already done this to some extent. See the discussion at WikiJournaling. -- PeterProvost

Using a PersonalWiki to take notes and to annotate is one of the many things you can do if you OwnYourOwnWiki?! If you are a Windows user, EddiesWiki (postcardware) is a good candidate, flexible, small - I can run a small wiki 300 or less pages, from a floppy! Using other media it is capable of handling hundreds, thousands, and perhaps even more than 20000 pages (on a 100 Meg Zip Disk, or even a CD-R), Apache or other server not required (uses Winsock), Useful on Intranets as well, other people can participate using a browser. I use mine by typing in an address (xxx.yyy.a.bbb) in the browser address window. The wiki can be downloaded from the Internet, and includes source code (written in C++). Security - you can monitor accesses in the DOS window, or remove the floppy or zipdisk in a matter of a second or two, I have installed the mod by MikeSmith and have my own interwiki set up.

Examples: {link no longer works ( Note! This appears to be the new site for foulger's wiki: )He also has a student interface: }

If you want a local PersonalWiki for Mac?: MarkDilley asks a newbie question - - I really would like to put a wiki on my laptop. I have the (fortune or misfortune) of having a Macintosh and more importantly, I am fairly non techy, any suggestions? Thanks.

- The previous comment "If you're using Mac OS X..." means that because the OS X is based on BSD, which is related to UNIX, then you can get most of the *nix-like wikis to work. The term "*nix" means UNIX or LINUX. -- Doug - thanks Doug!

Working on this next angle, thanks all for your help! Other ideas are certainly welcome! 6/17/2

A much simpler solution is a small stand alone OS X application found at No browsers, servers, Perl, configuration, etc. If you don't want to get involved with underlying technology this might be good enough, even though it is in early stages of development (05/23/2003). -- MitchellModel

This may answer this question entirely and easily. At MacDevCenter? on the O'Reilly network, there is an entire how-to for setting up phpwiki with MySQL. Here's the link: I just read this today and had everything set up in about half an hour. -- ChrisCabanillas
Has anybody any idea how to access the PersonalEmailArchive? i.e. of Mozilla from the PersonalWiki? The emails are one of the last personal info and knowledge resources I haven't integrated into my PWiki yet. As I use ZWiki for Zope, I gonna try to access them via the Zope LocalFS product and the filesystem. Let's see... -- FlorianKonnertz, 1005
MiniRubyWiki targets the PersonalWiki through IntranetWiki? markets. It could target PublicWikiServers?, but I have not bothered to fret about security or versioning. Sending raw, tainted RegularExpressions, which could contain /e callbacks, into the Search system might be a bit of a breach in the fortress walls.
There is no better Wiki than WakkaWiki :-), a version of which I run at --DavidCollantes
I love Eddie's WikiServer. It's very nice. Only thing that might make it better is having it run on linux.
Does anyone know of any type of wiki implementation for J2ME or Symbian devices? I guess given the "resource sensitive" nature of such target platforms we might not want a full Web server - but something that does the same job as a standalone client would be great. I want to take my wiki on the move!
In the spirit of the SimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork, since I also use LispMe on the Palm, I've been experimenting with just having a bunch of defines in a memo called wiki. Example

  (define (page1) "item11,item12...")
  (define (page2) "item21,item22...")

Then in the LispMe environment I load it and if I want to go to an existing "page" I type (pagei) it displays the associated data (if you use (display) it prints twice). If I want to create a page for an item I create a new define ie (define (itemij) "...") I've tried using HyperNote but it has no find function, can't delete or change page names, truncates pages more than a screen width after save, can't easily back up to a desktop etc. With LispMe I can just copy to a desktop file called Wiki.scm and use PltScheme on the desktop. I'm sure if I try other wikis on PalmWiki there might be better solutions, or I could spend a lot of time coding a more sophisticated wiki in LispMe. But for what I am using it for this seems to be a QuickStart?. Memopad in Palm has no find function otherwise I could just search the file but this way you can hide all unrelated data and just search for what you need. Again there are other memo programs that could be downloaded with search functions but since LispMe is already there and easy to install, and it is more interesting to be sort of programming even in this minimal sense, I am trying this for now. On PocketPcs, PocketScheme ( should be able to do the same.
EddiesWiki with Michel's mods has absolutely impressed me as the second most useful piece of personal software that I have ever had the pleasure finding. My productivity is dramatically improved by:

I am sufficiently impressed by all of this that I am thinking about how to swap 'Pages' containing useful text blocks with others, perhaps by simply Posting well-named 'atomic' Pages, that could be Included to instantly 'make' a relatively large, tailored document, especially if the Include pages are themselves also Posted. -- HansWobbe

I use the term PrivateWiki? to distinguish my 1-reader space from my 1-writer-many-readers WikiLog. I've been keeping a PrivateWiki? since 1999. Almost all of that time I've used PikiPiki (written in PyThon?, uses little PyThon? as its WebServer stub. I've run it on a few different laptops, a Zaurus, and a NokiaN810 (one place at a time).

Since I've been consistently running my whole life from a single laptop for years, it's been ok to run my PrivateWiki? on that. But I miss having it handy when out-and-about, and want it available even when no data signal handy, so have a process of synching via SimpleNote? to a little text browser on my Android Archos70 tablet.

I've always been a fan of the WikiAsPim concept, but Android's integration of AddressBook? and CalenDar? across phone and web is too attractive to ignore. And I use MindMapping apps for my ToDoList handling. --BillSeitz

I am a fairly advanced user who is looking for a personal wiki that I can use on both my computer (WinXP or Linix) and my Android phone. Preferably it would synch between the two. Down the road, if I ever get a personal web-server, (i.e. cloud computing without Google recording all my files) I might want to transition to a password protected hosted wiki.

My requirements (in descending order of importance): Does it exist? Thanks in advance!! --boone
Where is the opposite topic? There's usually the sour side of any tool also. I want to see, "A wiki killed my dog and gave me a crotch rash" or something.

Because I used it so much on my Windows phone (shhh) and because I did not find any alternative for Android, I created my own, see Ema Personal Wiki ( It runs on Android and Windows, and synchronizes with Dropbox.

View edit of January 23, 2014 or FindPage with title or text search