# Introducing notes.txt

After discovering todo.txt, I realized that I needed something similar for notes. About a year ago I started working on a similar tool that would enable me to write

n a Cookie recipe

which would open up an editor where I could start writing down the fantastic cookie recipe I had in my head. I’m really no good at cookie recipes, but I tend to want to type down ideas or notes quickly when they are fresh in my mind. Opening up a text-document, saving it somewhere and typing away is usually no problem, but finding these spread out text files later is much more tedious.

So I figured I needed a way to organize this. There are several GUI apps that do this, but I really like the availability of the terminal. todo.txt really showed me how much more efficiently I managed to store and maintain my TODOs, and I wanted to do the same with my notes. This is where notes.txt comes in.

### Creating notes

By typing

n a Cookie recipe

in a terminal, vim pops up at the end of a file named 2012-10-30.mkd (the current date) with the cursor ready at a point below a ready-made title:

I am then able to start typing away, and save the document when I’m done.

This makes me satisfied when it comes to typing down things easily.

### Opening up an old topic

The next important step is to make it easy to find this cookie recipe at a later point. First I thought file names would do the trick, but I figured that making it easy to search for titles would be way better. If I now type

n e Cookie_recipe

in a terminal, the same document shows up with the cursor placed on the title:

This is of course also works with tab completion, so that if I type

n e Cookie

### Finding notes

If I want to list all my topics, I simply write

n ls

and a list of all topics show up.

If I remember that I wrote something about sugar, but don’t know in which note, I may type

n ls sugar

and note.txt will print out all topics where the word sugar is found somewhere in the text below:

As you see, the titles are listed as Cookie_recipe/Ingredients and Cookie_recipe/Recipe, allowing for you to access subtitles through

n e Cookie_recipe/Ingredients

If there are multiple instances of the same title, let’s say that we have two titles named Cookie_recipe, notes.txt will prompt you to select which topic you would like to open:

### The current state of affairs

The application is not quite release-ready yet, but I’m hoping to make an Ubuntu package in a short-term future. In the meantime, you may find the source code for this at my Github account.