9 Note Lifecycle Hooks


Create plugin system that can execute custom logic when notes are being changed.


We currently have limited ways of programmatically updating a note while editing in Dendron. This RFC aims to introduce a plugin mechanism to allow users to add their own custom logic.


  1. Add a plugins field in dendron.yml
          - id: addEmoji
            # optional filter 
            pattern: "*"
            type: js
      onDelete: ...
      onChange: ...
  2. Add a plugins section in the dendron workspace
    - plugins
    - addEmoji.js
  3. Plugins should have the following format
     @params note: Object with following properties https://github.com/dendronhq/dendron/blob/master/packages/common-all/src/types/typesv2.ts
     @params execa: instance of https://github.com/sindresorhus/execa#execacommandcommand-options
    module.exports = async function({note, execa}) {
        // do some changes
        return note;


At startup, Dendron will register all plugins found in the plugins section of dendron.yml. At runtime, when Dendron creates/updates/changes a note, it will call the corresponding plugins in the order they were registered via the yml.

Dendron currently supports a node minimum runtime of v12 which means javascript plugins that target this environment should be supported.

We also have an escape hatch for non-javascript executables using execa to execute an existing binary. Note that you'll have to pass in the note object yourself to the given binary.

You can see the example of a note object here


  • dendron.yml
        - id: addEmoji
        # only add to journals matching daily.*
        pattern: "daily.*"
        type: js
    onDelete: ...
    onChange: ...
  • plugins/addEmoji.js
module.exports = async function({note}) {
    note.body += 🌱
    return note;


  • adding plugins to the note lifecycle can add extra latency to function calls
  • shelling out using execa is ugly and really a placeholder until we get url endpoints working

Future work

  • being able to register arbitrary url endpoints as extensions