When I began my self hosted home lab journey nearly 10 years ago, I was so unorganized that my head was spinning. I had bookmarks saved in my browser, notes on my desk and screenshots stashed away in folders randomly spread across my work station. Needless to say, I needed a solution to help me collect my thoughts and document procedures as I continued to learn. Also a place to store those golden nuggets you come across from time to time that you just never want to forget. It was time to get organized.
I started out using TiddlyWiki. It's a single file non-linear notebook but I just couldn't grasp the concept of how it worked and it seemed... well it seemed outdated and cumbersome. I found myself constantly having to check their FAQ to figure out how to do things and it was just more trouble than what it was worth to me. So TiddlyWiki was crossed off the list for now.
Then I found WikiJS. This software is beautiful and quite the upgrade from TiddlyWIki. They are completely different in so many ways. WikiJS was the reason I learned how to use Markdown and what a journey that was. It's a lot like HTML in some ways and not so much in other ways. At the time, when I discovered WikiJS, it was still rather new. This was a few years ago and many of the features were still not available yet. Plus, I wanted something a little more friendly. The formatting of WikiJS can be confusing if you are not familiar with their folder structuring and how to create pages.
Best for last? Well, as always, that's completely subjective to the user and I'll never claim one is better than the other. These wiki software's all have different options that appeal to different use cases. I finally found one that works for me and that is BookStack!
The way I can store things using books and shelves is perfect for being as detailed or simplified as I want to be. I've yet to use shelves because the books and chapters work just fine for how I use it. I also prefer using WYSIWYG editors because it's easy and quicker for me.
The real answer here is that there is no "best" option. I recommend trying them all and see for yourself which one suits your needs. You may find the single file that TiddlyWiki offers more flexible and versatile because it can be taken anywhere and does not require a host to use it. You may also prefer the Markdown format that WikiJS offers and the formatting might be more suitable. BookStack also has a Markdown option just in case you were wondering.
What wiki software do you prefer? There's tons more options out there and a few I haven't mentioned are MediaWiki, DokuWiki and Outline. Or if you prefer more of a notebook style format, check out Joplin!