Exploring Omnivore: A Powerful Open-Source Alternative for Content Aggregation

An illustration representing the concept of content aggregation and management. The image should feature a central figure symbolizing the Omnivore app, depicted as a powerful, modern tool. Around it, various streams of information (like articles, newsletters, and notes) are being efficiently organized and funneled into a streamlined workflow. Elements representing key integrations, such as Obsidian, should be subtly included, emphasizing the seamless connection between Omnivore and other productivity tools. The overall tone of the image should convey a sense of organization, efficiency, and technological advancement, suitable for a blog post about innovative content management solutions.

Streamlining Content Consumption with Omnivore – Integrations, Features, and Personal Experience

In the quest for efficient content management and aggregation, especially for those of us embedded in the tech and AI space, finding the right tools can be a game-changer. Today, I want to delve into one such tool that has recently caught my attention: Omnivore.

A Glimpse into the Landscape

Before Omnivore, there were several alternatives for content aggregation, notably Readwise. However, as a family man and solopreneur deeply involved in blockchain and AI, I sought something more aligned with my workflow, particularly integration with Obsidian, my go-to for managing information. Here’s a quick overview of what I considered:

  1. Zotero2Readwise: A Python library, perfect for bibliographic data management.
  2. Obsidian-Readwise: A TypeScript plugin syncing Readwise highlights into Obsidian.
  3. Omnivore: An open-source app with a compelling Obsidian integration.
  4. Wallabag: A self-hosted read-it-later app focusing on privacy and offline reading.
  5. Instapaper: A freemium model for saving web pages, albeit not entirely open-source.

Each of these tools offers something unique, but Omnivore stood out for its alignment with my needs.

Why Omnivore?

Omnivore appealed to me for several reasons. Its open-source nature means I can delve into its workings, ensuring it meshes seamlessly with my other tools. More importantly, its integration with Obsidian—a cornerstone of my workflow—made it an attractive option.

Personal Journey with Omnivore

My journey with Omnivore wasn’t without hiccups. Initially, I faced issues setting it up and turned to Wallabag as an interim solution. However, Wallabag’s lack of annotation features, crucial for my work, led me back to Omnivore.

After overcoming initial setup challenges and integrating it with Obsidian, the true potential of Omnivore began to shine. Its ability to pull in newsletters and possibly handle RSS feeds aligns perfectly with my need to sift through vast amounts of information efficiently.

Current State and Future Plans

I’m currently in the process of refining my use of Omnivore. The aim is to fully integrate it into my morning routine, replacing the manual trawl through news feeds with a more streamlined, Omnivore-mediated process. This change promises to enhance my competitive edge by allowing me to process and act on information more effectively.


In conclusion, for those in the AI and blockchain space, tools like Omnivore can significantly impact our daily productivity and information management. It’s not just about consuming content; it’s about integrating it into our workflow in the most efficient way possible. Omnivore, with its open-source nature and integration capabilities, is a tool that deserves attention for anyone looking to streamline their content consumption.

Fight mind-set

pair of pink boxing gloves

Not tolerating failure

It’s the end of the day here, the kids are asleep, and I’m sitting down to write now because I had a dentist appointment and it threw my morning routine off. The trip to the dentist was my first since COVID, and I bring Elder with me, so I was a bit anxious about what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried, since we’re dealing with medical professionals here, so everyone was wearing PPE and we didn’t run into any patients, except for one lady who quickly exited past us as we were walking out. She wasn’t wearing a mask, but I forgave it as I figured it was just a lapse since she was coming out of her cleaning or whatever. It was a black woman, about my age, although I wonder if I would have had the same reaction if it had been a white person.

The office was understaffed for a couple of reasons, so the dentist himself did my cleaning, tearing through it in record time. We talked for a bit about what was going on, and he admitted problems they’d had with PPE previously, and that they were unable to get the disinfectants that they usually used.

The kids were ok today. Elder and I continued our stalemate for most of the day. She wanted to ignore me and read a book, which was fine except for the extent that I had to keep an eye on Younger as a result. She decided to play with some slime on the back deck, and now the whole thing is stained with the residue of purple paint and glitter. If I wasn’t planning on ripping everything up in a few weeks and laying down new boards I would have been mad. Elder’s defiance continued until after lunch when she began to realize that she wasn’t going to get what she wanted, TV, until she spent sufficient time studying, and I managed to get her to do some math work. I even got her to do piano this evening as well.

A few days ago I printed up the following image from a metalearning post on Medium. Elder has this tendency to get frustrated at the things that I try to get her to do, saying things like “I can’t” or “I don’t know how” whenever she doesn’t want to do something, usually the dishes or some other academic point that I’m trying to make to her. We fought over it yesterday when I tried to get her to go over it with me, and she finally sat down with me this afternoon. Missus was in the room, giving me side eye for “trying to force freshman level psychology on our seven year-old”. Elder got it though. I asked her which side of the diagram that she thought she was, and she said, “I’m this side (growth) for my teachers and mommy, and the other for you.” That kid.

Overall, it was a good day. I managed to keep the kids from tearing each other apart by interjecting at even the hint of conflict, and Missus was more available to take over during the day instead of locked away in the office like she’s been more recently. We spent some time preparing for our getaway to the mountains Thursday evening, I did some yard work and the girls got their bags packed. We’ll be spending a couple days away, going canoeing, and maybe a hike.

Work was OK. I finished a small job for a Zombie, LLC partner outside the Denver area, which is nice because having contacts out there would be great in case we ever want to leave where we’re at. The owner is an old software development guy, more upper management than coder, based on what he told me, but it was nice to show off what I knew. In this case it was just a simple, single server Active Directory setup, but I did most of the prep yesterday building a Desired State Configuration in Azure. I just ran the script and was done in an hour and a half.

Today was also a bit amazing cause Boss actually agreed with me and seems to have decided to finally dump our problem employee, E., after what seems like three years after I first said that he has to go. Boss asked me to manage a couple projects, and I did my best to do so for the past two weeks, but E just refuses to check in with me, which forces Boss to get involved managing him. I told Boss this was the same pattern of behavior that we had fallen into several times before. If I’m going to manage someone, then I have to manage them, not him. And the time that Boss spends managing someone is lost time. Boss is our bottleneck. I think today he finally realized the E. is going to lose us a lucrative contract, so he told me I was right and that he was going to contact a potential new hire. Thank goodness, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’ve been continuing with RemNote today, just getting into the habit of recording some of the things I read, trying to get into the habit and figure out how to use it. I also spent some time looking at videos for Notion, and I’m leaning more toward cancelling my Basecamp subscription. I think the only thing I’ll actually miss is the communications features, since I like having that record instead of relying on text messages. For now I’m just using it for work related documents, while I give RemNote a proper chance, but Notion does so much more I think it will wind up cutting out several other apps I’m using, such as Google Drive. It reminds me a lot of Airtable, the way Notion’s spreadsheets resemble databases. Even the font’s look the same, so I’m fairly confident that there’s some sort of relationship there, even though I can’t confirm it.

Since I’ve been working on this tonight, I think I’m going to take a break from working on Substack and pull a couple other cards out of the kanban that I can knock out. Tomorrow night I’ll be on the road, so I’m going to really have to make an effort to get my posts in while we’re out of town.

Personal Knowledge Management tools

Experimenting with digital brain software

It looks like I have a bit of a new obsession this week: the digital brain. Note taking apps like OneNote and Evernote have been popular for some time, but the latest generation of apps have added backlink features, a sort of hypertext link between notes, creating nodes and graphs between individual items in the list. I was first introduced to Roam Research through Yak Collective, but found the fifteen dollar a month price tag a barrier at this point. There are a number of competitors out there, including Obsidian, Notion, and RemNote, which all have slightly different features and use cases. None of them are strictly productivity apps in the way that OneNote/Evernote are, but are geared more toward creative work than task management.

Reading through a Reddit post on RoamResearch alternatives is quite disorienting, as there are a number of alternatives out there, and I felt a bit lost. Obsidian seems to be one off the best offerings out there, and I had made a half-hearted attempt to use it a few weeks ago. It doesn’t support blocks as linkable objects, which seems to be a requirement for a good Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) system. Obsidian does have nice Markdown features. Data is stored locally, which can be a plus or a minus, depending on your needs. I took a quick look at Notable, which seems like a slimmed down version of Obsidian, but only took a cursory look at it while I was watching a YouTube video on the others.

I’m now moving forward with RemNote. It’s geared toward students, and the spaced repetition features are interesting to me as someone who’s used Anki in the past. I’m not sure that it’s the best to use for straight up writing and editing like RoamResearch is pitched as, but I’m going to give it a shot for a few days and see how things work. I may also take a look at Notion, since it seems like it has some interesting features and may be more suitable for some of the work and personal projects that I have been working on. I don’t see dropping Trello’s Kanban boards for it yet, but it may be nice to save that hundred dollars a month on Basecamp if my consulting work doesn’t take off from here.

I hate getting caught up in all these tools, spending more time experimenting with different platforms. In a way, it’s a distraction from actual work, but on the other hand, it can be viewed as sharpening an axe before taking the first swing at a tree. Trying to find a mix of physical and electronic tools that works well together is a challenge. My Kanban wall of Post-Its in the dining room went completely untouched yesterday, and I’m tempted to tear them all down right now and start over in Trello or somewhere, but having something physically present, and prevalent in the room seems important, and is something that I don’t want to do away with just yet.

The Zettelkasten system kept coming up in my searches yesterday. The word literally means “a box of notes” and was used by a prolific sociology researcher, Nikolas Luhmann, who wrote some seventy books and published over four hundred papers during his career. He attributed his success to his Zettelkasten system.

I’m hoping that a mix of one of these note taking systems can help me organize my thoughts, and that Kanban can help me prioritize my personal, professional, and familial projects. I’m going to give RemNote a shot for a couple days, maybe play around with Notion for work. And maybe, just maybe, do something about these Post-It notes.

Casa kanban-a

two blue and red Sharpie pens

Getting ready to decorate the walls

Forgive the horrible pun, my head is already swimming with things I have to do, and this morning I’m already trying to remember where the Post-Its are so I can convert my dining room wall into a operations board. I even had an idea to put the letters of the alphabet in lanes to track which ones my four-year old knows. That might not be a bad idea, actually. There’s a chair guard running across the middle of the wall, I could put Elder’s above the guard and Younger’s below, household stuff on the other wall. If anything, it would allow the kids to visualize not just their work but all of ours as well. Maybe it would help them realize just how much work there is to be done around here. We’ll give it a try.

I went to bed a quarter after ten last night, slept well for the most part as Missus and Younger were in the other room. I woke up just after four this morning from a dream where I had sold my car to an ex-girlfriend that I haven’t seen in near twenty years. I’m not even going to try and analyze that one… Four is just too early for me at this point, so I went back to sleep and got up an hour later.

A lot of things came up in my head during meditation. I’ve got a lot on my plate today, including an important client meeting for Zombie. I had a call yesterday with the head of what is now Zombie’s current cornerstone client, and it went pretty well, but I’m not ready to rename them quite yet. We had some conversations about doing some WordPress SEO work yesterday, so that was interesting. Keeping work and side work separate is becoming a bit more difficult.

Besides work work, I’ve got weekly work meeting with my current WordPress development client tonight, and a hard date to get the new deployment up by the end of the month. It’s doable, but I have to get them to understand that launching isn’t the end of the process, it’s the beginning. I’ve been struggling to find some good resources for “web design” that aren’t just about the how-to technical process, but about the higher level stuff where I’m lacking. Most books and courses that I’ve been coming across are tech tutorials, but I’m looking for something different at this point. I suppose it falls more along UI/UX design than anything else at this point. Hopefully we’ll be able to start converting some of the traffic that the current design is getting after relaunch.

I’m way overdue with my Substack, so I need to spend another hour on that. I’ve got a couple ideas to add to my review of The Phoenix Project so that it’s more newsletter-y. Yes, one of them is about kanbans, and I might add a response to an email that I got from the last issue that went out. And I’ve got to figure out a pipeline for them so that I’m not always behind. Since I can’t add capacity, I’m going to have to reduce the frequency (bi-monthly?) or the amount of content. I had the thought or releasing one issue publicly on LinkedIn, and making the second for email subscribers only? We’ll play around with it.

Anyways, Elder is up early, so that means I’m done here for today. Off to find the Post-Its.


grayscale photo of girl doing face palm

When getting things done turns into getting things done

I’m not sure what did it today, but I am B-E-A-T. I woke up at five AM and went back to sleep before finally getting up and starting my day. I worked on my Substack instead of writing here, writing a short review of The Phoenix Project. I’ve got more to write, this week’s (or is it last week’s?) post will likely be three shorter segments instead of one long one like I’ve been doing. I just got to keep writing.

Work really kicked my ass. I had clients texting me near the end of the day yesterday, so I got an early start. It didn’t end until almost three. Missus is still on leave from work, so she managed the kids, so managed to get a lot done. A LOT. I started reading Personal Kanban last night, so I decided to give Microsoft Planner another shot, and started by creating three lanes: to do, in progress, and done. I limited my work in progress to four items, and started cracking. It helped me stay focused, and I managed to move four tasks to the done lane. I’m going to leave them there till next week, so I can see what kind of progress I’m making.

I’m going to have to create another board for my work outside of Zombie, LLC. I’ve been using Trello to try and keep track of things that Missus and I are dealing with, but it’s devolved into a bit of a mess. When I heard that Personal Kanban is a bit of an evolution over Getting Things Done I became really interested as I’ve never been able to really make GTD click. I started really trying to give it a go a few months back, and kept writing things down on index cards, going over them once a week at our review. I tried sorting the cards in a small recipe box, but they just got too many and I couldn’t keep them sorted. Our current system involves writing new tasks on cards, then processing the cards into Trello during the weekly review. I tried to have lanes for the various tasks based on category, and one lane for doing/to do, but this lane soon became populated with things that we just want to put off further and further down the road, like replacing the deck, or other expensive projects. It has been successful in getting some of our recurring duties on a calendar, like balancing the house accounts, or weed eating the yard.

I also really like Nirvana. It’s a great app, and seems to be geared well toward the GTD methodology, but when it came time to choose something to manage the house, I went with Trello instead. I think it’s time to go back to using a wallboard. Take the tech out of the equation completely until we get into a rhythm and have something that works. Having it in Trello means that I’m the only one that’ll do it, and looking at it once a week isn’t really helping us keep on top of things.

If today is any indication, it looks like I may wind up with a board for work, a board for family stuff, and a board for consult clients. I’m using Basecamp right now, and I’m not happy with the way my todo lists develop on there. I do love it for communication and client management though. If only my clients would use it more… I think that’s going to give me about twelve tasks for my work in progress across the board. That may be too much, but we’ll see how things go. Four for Zombie seems like a good number, but it already looks like blogging and the Substack are going to take up two of the slots for the consulting lane, so I’ll have to figure out a way to break the larger projects into smaller chunks if I’m going to be able to keep my capacity to a manageable level. Having FINISH PROJECT as a card isn’t really going to do it.

For today though, I’m going to turn in early, read a bit more and see what time I wake up tomorrow. I’ve not been very consistent at all, so I really have to make sure to turn in on time if I’m going to get up early enough to get things started. And tomorrow’s the last day that Missus is off work, so after that the kids are on me again. Missus is really pushing about having them go back to daycare, and I’m not really happy about that. I finally feel like I’m making progress, financially, and not looking forward to losing that money again. Part of me likes having the kids around, however there’s no denying that they distract me from work. Missus is concerned they’re missing out, especially that Younger isn’t going to have the educational head start that her sister did. I’m not as worried about that, but she’s the one with a background in early childhood development.

I think it’s more important to have them nearby and be able to bond with them, but that means that I’ve got to make sure that our interactions are positive. There’s just too much strife in the house. I don’t think it was any better when they were at school, to be honest, but taking breaks from work to talk, play, and care for them is probably better for my stress in the long run than just spending six or seven hours a day focused on work tasks. I’d say it gets easier, but I know it doesn’t. It just gets different.