I've been looking at static site generators to build a very simple set of note pages. All I want is a menu on the left with categories and pages, pages in a simple format like Markdown or WYSIWYG editor, and a dark theme. Output should be static HTML/CSS, no need for Javascript or fancy features like search or in-page navigation.

I have tried mkdocs, but I can't get the navigation menu to work how I want it. I just want category headers with indented pages in a list. I tried the two bundled themes and Material, they don't seem to support this. In Material the side-bar is collapsed into menu icon at 1220px which is too small for me, and I couldn't find any information on changing that behaviour.

I looked at Jackyl, but it seems overly complex and blog oriented. I looked at 11ty but it seems similar to Jackyl. Middleman seems somewhat promising, but I can't see from the docs if it does what I want and finding example sites isn't easy because the name is to generic. The themes I found all look like blogs, not what I want.

What is a suitable application for this? Formal requirements are that it must be open source. Ideally Windows compatible, but I can run it under Linux if needs be.

  • 1
    I was going to suggest FOSS Joplin to you but it does not generate a menu on the left with categories. It has a nice WYSIWYG and MarkDown editor and can export the notes as pages to HTML. As it FOSS maybe you can suggest this as a feature. Runs on Win, MacOS and Linus. See here: github.com/laurent22/joplin
    – jmizv
    Jul 12, 2022 at 8:54
  • @jmizv I've started building my own software for this from the ground up because none exists.
    – user
    Jul 13, 2022 at 9:09

2 Answers 2


Nothing seems to be suitable, so I made this: https://github.com/kuro68k/koto


For Code snippets of all kinds I use Visual Studio Code and the free GistPad Extension. You need a GitHub account for using that extension.

However, GitHub's Gist page (Gists = Snippets) will then be a web frontend for your snippets (which you can also set to "private" visibility). Nice to have.

Then you can create your notes in VSCode, which has synchronization across several devices built-in, syntax-highlighting and other IDE features. You do not need the Gistpad extension for that.

For web bookmarks, web-image grabs, screengrabs and webpage fragments I use NimbusWeb, as a paid servcice; However it might have a free tier. NimbusNote offers Browser Extensions.
You can also publish selected notes to the web.

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