vim wiki to organize existing documents and more

Discovering Vimwiki

Today was another of those weekend days where I start out on a project I wanted to continue on and magically discover some vim feature which I then have to follow all the way into the rabbit hole. Today one of those was vimwiki.

As a background a made a short foray into trying to use Emacs since I was unhappy how vim plugins foro language support worked. After a while I realized that Emacs plugins don't work much better and instead tweaked my vim setup to get better results. However while on that short journey I discovered org mode which I found super useful to organize project research, todos and more. Naturally after switching back to vim I missed it a bit and didn't immediately find a replacement.

Today when I saw vimwiki I realized that it is featured enough to at least organize project todos, research with interlinked documents and possibly even a diary to note misc things to find them later.

Connecting Vimwiki to existing organized Documents

Since I already have a repo for this blog and a dox repo I figured out a way to link those instead recreating or copying them in vimwiki.

My current vimwiki folder structure looks like this:

├── blog -> /Users/thlorenz/dev/thlorenz/
├── diary
│   ├──
│   └──
├── dox -> /Users/thlorenz/dev/misc/dox
└── projects

I then include links into dox and blog entries inside the main index page so that I can quickly jump back and forth, as an example here are some links into the dox repo.

### Admin

- [bash](dox/admin/
- [dtrace](dox/admin/
- [firewall](dox/admin/

Those links are concealed, so that I only see bash for instance and can hit <Enter> when my cursor is on top in order to navigate there. <Ctrl-o> gets me back to where I was.

As I understand each of those can be suborganized by adding an in its root as vimwiki treats each as a subwiki which can be listed via <leader> ws.

Tweaking the Markdown Plugin and Instant Markdown Preview

When opening a set ft=vimwiki document (which is set when opening a vimwiki file via one of the provided shortcuts), some extra features are activated, i.e. code blocks are highlighted and clicking on a link navigates to the local file or opens it in the browser if it is a URL.

It also conceals those links. Editing those concealed links is hard as you cannot easily move the cursor inside the actual link in normal mode. Therefore I recommend you to add a quick option to toggle the markdown conceallevel. To this end I added the following to my .vimrc.

au FileType markdown,vimwiki noremap <leader>mc :call ToggleConcealLevel()<CR>
function! ToggleConcealLevel()
    if &conceallevel
        setlocal conceallevel=0
        setlocal conceallevel=2

To quickly preview the markdown entry/post I'm writing I added a shortcut to launch it and disabled it auto-launching when I open a markdown file.

Here's my instant-markdown plug with those settings.

Plug 'instant-markdown/vim-instant-markdown', {'for': 'markdown', 'do': 'npm -g install instant-markdown-d'}
  let g:instant_markdown_autostart = 0
  au FileType markdown,vimwiki nnoremap <leader>md :InstantMarkdownPreview<CR>

En Fin

There are lots more blog posts and YouTube videos about vimwiki so I'm not going to detail how to navigate and such here, instead I'll just link this cheatsheet which I found very useful and encourage you to give it a try. For the impatient here's my vimwiki plug inside my .vimrc which sets markdown as the default format and remaps the shortcut to toggle a list todo item.

Plug 'vimwiki/vimwiki'
  let g:vimwiki_list = [{'path': '~/.wiki', 'syntax': 'markdown', 'ext': '.md'}]
  au FileType vimwiki nmap <leader>tl <Plug>VimwikiToggleListItem
  au FileType vimwiki vmap <leader>tl <Plug>VimwikiToggleListItem