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To get the most out of Gingko, browse through our templates, example trees, and blog.

(You can also access a user-created Chinese translation, here)


The fastest way to start is to Watch the short video tutorials:

If you have any more questions, look through this FAQ, or Contact Support.

How do I use Gingko?

Everything you need to do with Gingko, you can do via the keyboard, or one of the two menus.

Keyboard: Access the keyboard reference sheet by pressing the ? key.

my gingko trees: At the top left. Use this to create new trees (either blank, or with template), or to open existing ones.

Gear: At the top right. Everything else (export, sharing, support, LaTeX, logging out, etc) can be done here. If you have any questions, this is also where you’ll find the “Contact Support” button.

Video: Introduction (<90 seconds)

(Same video as homepage)


You format cards by typing in Markdown text. You can access a cheat sheet of the formatting options by pressing Ctrl+M.


To Insert images, press Ctrl+Shift+I while in edit mode to bring up the dialog.

(if the shortcut doesn’t work, contact me and I’ll look into it)

Search, #Tags

The Search bar at the top allows you to not only find, but also filter your cards.

You can use this to create #tags. To filter by a tag, just click on it.


What goes in each column?

The principle is:
Left → Right = General → Specific.

There is no wrong way to use Gingko, and you can always drag things around later.

Video: More on Using Gingko (4min)

For a quick guide on some of the ways to structure information with Gingko, check out this video:

Can I add a name to the top of each Column?

There’s no simple way to do this, other than to have a “name” row or regular cards. But these scroll out of view.

If you’re persistent, you might be able to figure out a way to do this by including Javascript & CSS in a card. (e.g. use jQuery to prepend an h1 tag).

What can I use it for?

Short answer is: anything.

Use Gingko any time you want to write or organize something hard.

Here are some examples:

  • Set Goals & Tasks.
  • Make presentations or storyboards.
  • Organize and write a plot outline.
  • Class notes (individually or collaboratively)
  • Write a physics paper.
  • Document your business processes

See the Templates and Examples for more ideas.

Pricing: How much does it cost?

Gingko is free to use as long as you create 100 cards or less each month. Usage resets on the 1st.

You can support Gingko by subscribing. Pricing is on a pay what you want basis.

Can I use Gingko offline?

Yes, it’s now possible to access and edit all your trees while offline.

Works in Chrome on Windows, Linux, Android, Chromebook, and Mac* for now.

* Except iOS. Apple doesn’t allow non-WebKit browsers on its devices, so Chrome on iOS is basically Safari under the hood.

Gingko Desktop

If you see yourself working mostly offline, consider trying Gingko Desktop:

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It saves to local files, so you can have total control of your data, make your own backups. It also autosaves regularly, and has crash recovery.

What it doesn’t have, is collaboration, and automatic syncing.

How do I print?

Simply export as “Formatted Text (HTML)” and hit print.

How do I export my work?

Click on the Gear menu, and select Export.

Plain-text (Markdown)

This takes each card’s source text, and flattens it so it all appears as one linear document.

Use this to keep a local copy of your tree. (note: will not preserve the tree structure).

Formatted Text (HTML)

For printing or for copying to Word for PDF output, select this option.

This is a “flattened” copy of your tree, and doesn’t preserve the tree structure.

Custom Stylesheet

You can add customization to the HTML Export, by adding a card somewhere in your tree, with the following code:

article.html-export {
    /* Your CSS here */

You can use this to change the look of fonts, font-sizes, background colors/images, or anything else on the page.

Presentation (impress.js)

Use this to turn your tree into a slideshow. This means you can quickly create a clean and well-organized slideshow in Gingko!

Structure Text (JSON)

This is a basic format that saves all your tree content and the structure.

Use this for local backups, or if you want to copy a tree/subtree to some other tree. (see “How do I copy a part of my tree”).

Micropublishing (ePub, Kindle, etc)

If you need to export to these or similar formats, Professor Marcelo Steins (in Brazil) has put together a handy list of options here:

(“Obrigado marcelo!”)

How do I rename/delete/share my tree?

Click on the tree title, at the top. Or select “Setting of current tree…” from the Gear menu.

How do I copy my tree?

Click on the tree title, at the top. Or select “Settings of current tree…” from the Gear menu.

You’ll find a “Copy” button on the bottom left of that window.

How do I copy a part of my tree

Simply press Ctrl+C to copy the current card and all its children. Ctrl+V to paste it somewhere else, or on a different tree.

Is my work safe?

We make nightly backups of everything on Gingko on our US servers, and keep additional backups on our two machines.

We are also using a “commit” system on the backend, so every change you make is saved, and nothing is ever permanently deleted.

We also have a trash feature, and are working on full undo, and eventually a complete version history.

How do I create my own backups?

Just click the “Backup All Files” button in the gear menu (top right).

Is my work private?

We use secure SSL encryption, which is the same security used by banks.

We will never access your documents without your permission.

We do collect information such as your approximate location, and your usage patterns (how often you log in, etc). This is only so we can serve you better.

How do I add equations/LaTeX?

We now have LaTeX support!

Just add $...$ for inline equations ($\tau \equiv 2\pi$), and $$...$$ for display equations:

$$f(a) = \frac{1}{2\pi i} \oint_\gamma \frac{f(z)}{z-a}\, dz$$

You may need to enable it in the Gear menu (top right > “Enable LaTeX”).

How do I add tables?

You can insert Markdown tables. I recommend using this Table Generator (Markdown) to quickly make a table.

How do I add plots & charts

You can embed any HTML or iframe plot you have.

We recommend our fellow Montrealers,
They have a great API, a powerful selection of plots, and real-time streaming data.

<iframe src="" width="450" height="350" 
seamless="seamless" scrolling="no"></iframe>
(note that HTML sometimes has some formatting issues with newlines. For instance, a regular newline in your HTML tags is sometimes converted into <br> tags)

Isn’t it spelled “ginkgo”?

Yes, I know. I did it on purpose.

For more on the name, read deeper →

The name “Gingko”

We named our app “Gingko”, after ginkgo biloba, an ancient tree found on every continent. Some of the reasons for the name:

  • It seemed appropriate to name our tree app, after a tree.
  • It is associated with enhancing memory & cognition.
  • My wife Jessica and I were walking by the botanical gardens of Montreal, while on a “branding walk & talk”. The name gingko was added to a list then.
  • Its simple, and we like the sound.

We mispelled “Gingko” on purpose, for two reasons.
First, it seems a more natural spelling to me (both phonetically, and visually). And second, it would help with SEO and with securing domain names, accounts, etc.

Account Questions

If you need to reset your password, visit:

For other account questions or concerns, contact me directly.


Themes & Scripts & Tricks

For more details on how to customize, check out the Gingko API docs

Visual Changes

You can make changes to anything you see on the screen, by including CSS into any card:

.some-class {
  background: somecolor;

Column widths

#c3 {
 width: 800px !important;

Note that if you change the widths too much, horizontal scrolling will be a little off.

Higher Contrast Theme

Add this to any card on your tree to get a slightly higher contrast look:

body {
background-image: linear-gradient(to bottom,#C7CDD4,#989FA8);
.cards {
background: #DAD8D8;

Change card color

First, find the id of the card. You can do this by:

  • Right-clicking on the card.
  • Choose “Inspect Element”
  • In the HTML find the card id:
    <li id="card12345090af2144f2540abcdef" ...

Then add this code to any card:

#card12345090af2144f2540abcdef {
 background-color: #FFF5C5;

You can keep all your color changes in one card, for simplicity. (If you can’t click on card after, just refresh).

AutoHotKey scripts

Some of our users use AutoHotKey to insert quick common phrases or codes into their cards.

Check this script file for a few shortcut examples (turn url into hyperlink, image, etc):


(Thanks to Rob W. for this!)

User-Created Extensions


When you create a new tree, you can choose from several templates. Here are a few others that are not on that list.

We are constantly on the lookout for more templates so if you have any to submit, please contact us.

As a thank you, we’ll give you more space on your account!


  • Academic Paper: The basic structure of an academic paper, including tips on how to write better to improve your chances of getting published.
  • Business Model: Use this tree to structure your new business idea. Courtesy of James Jeffries, Ph.D.


  • Goal tree: Use this template to tie your long-term goals to your day-to-day tasks
  • Project Planning: Whether you’re planning your company strategy or your next vacation, try this template to get clarity & focus.
  • Getting Things Done: Gingko’s tree structure makes it ideal for GTD. Just add next actions to your runway, and then as you add more “Horizons of Focus”, add more levels upwards in the tree.
  • Kanban Calendar: Frank D, of Productivity Mashup has created a Gingko version of the Kanban Calendar
  • Blogging: John R. Meese has been using this template to quickly write up his weekly blog posts.


  • Screenplay template: Despite the whimsical nature of this beat sheet, it’s a powerful template for screenwriting.
  • NaNoWriMo. Story arc, with word count goals. For tips on preparing, also check out NaNoWrimo Prep
  • One Hour TV Script. Modification to screenplay template, submitted by @PulpWestern.
  • Hero’s Journey: The classic structure of many of the world’s stories. Also called the “monomyth”.
  • Snowflake Method: Write a novel or large work, by starting with a single sentence, and expanding progressively. Thanks to Scott Clegg for creating and sharing.

Example Trees

These are completed trees that show you some things Gingko can be used for.

Contact Me

If you need more help, or have any questions, comments, or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Adriano Ferrari

On Social Media

Gingko Blog

Read about organization, productivity, as well as tips and ideas for using Gingko in new ways.