nvAlt by Notational Velocity

:Note taking made more intuitive in your text editor using nvAlt by Notational Velocity.

Have you ever lost that important note on an obscure topic? Has there ever been a time when you wish you had access to your notes while working on another platform? nvAlt may be a solution to resolve this for you. Operated from the terminal using shortcuts, nvAlt enables you to search for keywords in all your notes which are saved on each keystroke in an encrypted and compressed file. All file saves occur automatically and are able to link directly in your files.

More robust versions of nvAlt exist as downloadable applications. If you are using a Mac you will find the source code to Notational Velocity is distributed under the GNU GPLv3 license and is currently hosted on github.” http://notational.net/ Windows version called “Notation” can be obtained here: https://www.getnotation.com/ And for those running linux all is not lost. The linux version can be downloaded and installed from the following website: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/nvpy

The version I found and fell in love with is called “Textual Velocity” and is a package install for Atom (my text editor). This version is very much the same as the others except it takes advantage of Atom’s inherent functionality.

To invoke the software from your text editor is a simple shortcut displaying a search field which autocompletes keywords in your notes as you type. Creating new notes and naming them with the user’s own convention makes finding items easier within certain contexts. For instance, adding “ToDo” to the title will make finding those items an easy exercise later. Further, if you have a shared folder on multiple devices, it can be configured as a common repository for all and it can be sync’d using another third party application like “Simplenote’s Simperium” for example.

One particular aspect that appeals to software developers is it’s inherent support of markdown language and it’s styling like creating header tags as well as styling text in bold or italics as just a few examples. nvAlt has an emphasis on keyboard commands, HTML can be ported directly from the devs markdown notes preserving intended formatting. Using double brackets is also a cool feature which creates a shortcut link to the note. If you love the keyboard and see the advantages of markdown and plain text this is a tool for you.

Although many note taking applications include much of this functionality and more, the simplicity and manner in which nvAlt interfaces with my text editor and the ease in which it enables me to search for and find information within a single repository makes it a very powerful tool despite it’s humble facade. Underneath the hood is a well designed and formidable engine of productivity. The ease in which I can manipulate plain text, format it appropriately in markdown and insert without issue into HTML is extremely useful. Being able to search all my notes from a quick shortcut, link directly to those notes from other disparate locations and preserve them all automatically in a compressed and encrypted format is a mental force multiplier for me.