TfT Performance: RemNote
RemNote has a strong focus on learning with its multiple flashcard options. It recently got a facelift and mobile apps are in the works. But how well does it handle large amounts of data?
And welcome to the benchmark of RemNote, a relatively young contender with a strong focus on learning and scientific work. I used the desktop application with local storage for all of the benchmarks.
I created the following videos essentially for me to measure the times quickly. I've linked them here to prove the results, but they're probably pretty dull despite being partly time-lapse.
All the diagrams I show here use the same color scheme and order—Blue for the 2,000 data set, turquoise for the 5,000, and green for the 10,000.
And please remember: We focus here exclusively on the performance figures of some operations. These may be entirely irrelevant for your use case. Also, the numbers say nothing about the tool's other capabilities - so please take the results with a grain of salt.
RemNote imported the Markdown files in a zip file in average time, faster than Roam Research but slightly slower than Logseq and way slower than Obsidian. We had no out-of-memory situations and could import everything in one session (unlike Roam Research or Logseq).
Application Start Times
RemNote starts fast. It is slightly slower on small graphs but way faster on large databases than Logseq, and marginally quicker than Roam Research. Obsidian still beats it.
Heavy Duty: Searching and references
Opening pages with a lot of backlinks was very fast. Not sure if there is some preloading the second and third pages when opening the first, but their load time was always speedy. Impressive.
The overall UI felt a bit chewy on large graphs, especially when opening the search bar to find a page.
RemNote always starts crowding all backlinks when loading the page. On smaller graphs, loading was already finished when the page opened. This could take some additional seconds on larger databases, but it's still so much faster than Logseq and Roam Research and just a bit slower than Obsidian. Nevertheless, developers might consider loading the references only when needed.
Unfortunately, you can't easily filter backlinks which is a significant advantage for Obsidian and Roam Research. Also, queries aren't as powerful as in Logseq, Roam Research, or Obsidian. Search Portals compensate for this just a bit because they can only fulfill easy tasks (which they do in a decent time).
Alice in Wonderland: Adding content and exporting
Pasting was the slowest compared to all other contenders. The time taken is not critical but should be improved. You can literally watch RemNote take over and format the text.
While Exporting on Roam Research and Logseq really took a while, RemNote did it quite quickly.
RemNote surprised me very positively. It processed all the data without complaint and delivered results quickly. The interface feels chewier for some interactions than the application is overall. The critical interactions (e.g., the search dialog) should be carefully optimized to improve the user experience.
The next contender will be Craft. Anyone who thinks that my benchmark should be an easy exercise is in for a surprise. Stay tuned.
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