Which program/app for creating simple sutta database?

I would like to create a simple database where I can read a sutta, enter that sutta’s ID, and attach my own keywords/tags to that sutta. Most importantly, I’d like it to also have a “lookup” feature that has two functions:

  1. When clicking on a sutta id (e.g., MN 1) from a master list of all suttas, it will show all of the keywords I’ve entered for that individual sutta.

  2. When clicking on a keyword (e.g., “sekha”) from a master list of all keywords I’ve entered, it will show all of the suttas linked to that keyword.

I’m not a coder; just have a basic proficiency with common programs like MS Office and its Google versions. A friend of mine helped me build something in Google Sheets, but it’s pretty complicated and requires him to update it periodically so that the newly-entered suttas and tags show up in the lookup feature. It seems that there must be a simpler way – ideally one that I can maintain by myself.

Any suggestions?

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If you want something like the following, it is not too hard:

Sutta Notes
MN1 root of suffering (sujato: relishing; bodhi: delight)
DN33 Sariputta’s description of everything

The first link is just to SuttaCentral MN1.
The second link is just a link to Voice for finding the suttas that have a given phrase.

You could do this in Google Sheets. For this post I used Markdown. And I have made this post a wiki so anybody can edit it and you can see how I used Markdown.

(Anagarika @Sabbamitta, I’ve often wondered how we might support study notes in Voice)


This sounds like a good use case for a personal wiki. There are many applications, across all of the common platforms; it may take some trial-and-error to find one with the features that suit your needs.


Personally, I use Google Docs.

Specifically, I put the suttacentral epubs on the Google Play Books app. I turn on note exporting to Google Docs and then highlight the sutta title and add my tags there (in addition to highlighting and annotating passages that speak to me).

These notes (along with all my other notes on everything else) are then easily searchable on Docs.


Actually this is a really cool idea. If someone is feeling industrious, they could start a thematic index wiki here on SCDD, perhaps using AtI’s Index as a starting point.

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FYI, SC’s has its adapted version of the same index: