Principles and Values


Come up with governing principles and values for the Dendron product and the Dendron Community. This item is complete and documented under Principles


Product Principles

  • speed: Dendron should be the fastest way for people to access the information they care about
    • lookup should finish in under a second
    • all parts of our toolchain should optimize for speed
  • ownership: users should have full control of their data and it should be our first principle to maximize this as much as possibility
  • interoperability: it should be possible to import/export your data from/to any other source where a user might want to use their information
  • easy to learn, hard to master: see Bushnell's Law

Community Values

  • open and inclusive: Dendron is a tool for all users that are interested in creating, building, using, and sharing knowledge. full stop.
  • documentation first: we don't just share what we learn in a chat at a moment in time. we make sure that the information remains accessible longer after we are gone. we do this by documenting useful information in Dendron
  • have it in writing


You can't have something that is everything for everyone. While both characteristics matter, we agree to make these tradeoffs when necessary.

  • function over form
    • in Dendron, its more important for something to be useful than it is to be beautiful
    • the focus in Dendron should be about your content and the hierarchies that connect them
  • focus on speed
    • we can't predict the future but its likely that no one will ever say that they wish their note taking experience to be slower
    • when thinking about features and tool chain, bias for speed
  • focus on hierarchies
    • while Dendron supports backlinks and other forms of organizing notes, Dendron's foundation is tooling to help you manage hierarchies
  • retrieval over insertion
    • Knowledge only compounds if it's easy to refer back to and connect messages weeks, months or even years after it's written. We value structure that provides enough context for your notes to be valuable for the long haul.