After 11 years I’ve shut down TypeLink, the personal wiki notepad. Important logistics first, then reflections.
- TypeLink users were notified of the pending shutdown via email in November 2022, with a shutdown date of no earlier than March 1, 2023. They were provided with instructions to export their data before that time.
- TypeLink was permanently shut down on March 2, 2023. After this date, no data is accessible through the web site or iOS app.
There are now many notetaking apps with a lot of powerful features that TypeLink couldn’t match. Popular ones include Bear Notes, Obsidian, and Notion. I was able to get my TypeLink notes loaded into Obsidian by changing the
.txt file extensions to
The source code of TypeLink’s web app and iOS app have been released, in case you want to run your own instance:
Note that the codebases are very old and I won’t be able to provide support. I’ve archived the repositories to help make that clear.
TypeLink was my first personal application, and it represented a big step forward in my career. Previously I had only created software for other people. But with TypeLink I saw a need I had that wasn’t getting met (a personal wiki notepad) and I decided to create it. I was in the Java world at the time but I had recently learned about Groovy on Grails at a conference (you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s a take on Ruby on Rails), and it allowed me to rapidly prototype the site. Then building the iOS app was a way to realize a lifelong dream of being an Apple platform developer. When TypeLink launched on the App Store, there were few enough apps that every app in a category was featured on that category’s home page, and that led to a huge influx of users.
TypeLink was initially hosted on a Mac mini at my house with a Dynamic DNS IP address. I remember stressing when the server went down while I was out of town. Ultimately I learned about Digital Ocean and decided to spend the money to host it there.
In the last 11 years, I’ve learned that you can do side projects just for yourself; you can do them cheaply enough that you probably don’t need to monetize them. You don’t even need to make them publicly available! My personal apps I currently use daily are Surely Todos (which is open for free registrations) and Firehose, a single-user link-saving app.
I’ve also learned that creating apps isn’t the only way to code on the side. You can do code exercises like Exercism.org, create throwaway repos to try things out, and write to share what you’ve learned.