I recently started using Neeva as a “privacy focused engine” which offers better results than DuckDuckGo. Luckily, they made a free tier, which includes the search results from Dropbox. I can easily search across papers (on the pubmed) and everywhere else.
Google has been becoming less and less relevant for my needs. These specialized engines aggregate and add more context. I started trialling Kagi – but my experience was less than stellar. They too aggregate and clean up data, and can include websites that have faced DMCA takedowns. Neeva and Kagi offer a reasonable search experience. I also became aware of “you.com”, which has a different UI take on presenting the search results. The results are “okay-ish”, but I can’t complain much. I am glad there are investors risking their necks to provide better alternatives.
I’ll update my workflows in a follow up post (including my attempts to get Readwise) and create a “second-brain” in Obsidian. That remains an elusive goal for the time being.