Local-First Software

Local-first software is a software data management strategy and philosophy that stores a user's functional data on their own device rather than on the company's servers, ideally in a manner that allows the user to trivially access this data offline or with external programs. Think programs like

 and their ability to allow users to develop software on their 
       own at any time, anywhere, in a decentralize fashion, then sync it with some 
       external source of truth when available.

The research lab [Ink & Switch] has in particular been a major proponent of this organizational strategy (see their article - [local-first software] - for elaboration), though it hasn't yet infiltrated industry. It's used in a variety of niche personal knowledge management solutions, such as Roam and Obsidian, but hasn't yet found a place in the average computer user's software arsenal yet.


Much of today's cloud-based software traps user data in proprietary silos, preventing end users from freely using their data however they'd like.

Generally, it's good to be able to access data offline or to be able to extract it! This prevents companies from being able to hold data hostage and extract value from something that users have presumably only provided to the company in order to use it themselves.

This also saves users a lot of time. It seems senseless to have to manually input complex, computerized information when switching products or services, but data siloes typically prevent this from happening easily.

Locally Encrypting





People have internet connections everywhere nowadays. Why should I care about using data offline?

There are a variety of ways in which internet can be deprived from you. Dependence on the internet for regular tasks is dangerous!

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