Stay Organized & Remember Everything With Tomboy Notes [Linux]

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linux notesIf the title made you think of Evernote, I don’t blame you. It’s a great tool which is capable of a lot, plus it syncs with whatever devices it can run on. However, Evernote is still a proprietary tool, and some Linux users may not wish to use it simply because of this reason. It’s also possible that they don’t want all of their notes stored on a different server, where they don’t own their data.

Linux users who are in this predicament will preferably need a native tool which stores all notes locally, all while being very functional and flexible.

About Tomboy Notes

Tomboy Notes is a native Linux application which uses the Mono framework which allows you to take notes and keep track of them. It includes some very useful features which give it a “wiki” style, as well as other usual tools which help you distinguish between different types of information within a note. For those who are concerned about the Mono framework and the possible patent infringements hovering around it, one may also take a look at using Gnote. It’s identical in look and functionality, as it is merely a C++ port of Tomboy Notes.

While Gnote doesn’t depend on Mono, it does lag slightly behind Tomboy as it ports new features after they are released with Tomboy.

Interface

linux notes

When you first start with Tomboy, you’ll be presented with the main screen – which contains a list of some sample notes – as well as an open note, titled “Start Here“. This special note welcomes you to Tomboy and introduces to you some of the important unique features in the program – links. These aren’t just any regular old website links – they’re links between different notes. Each time you type out the name of a note while writing in another, the entire name automatically turns into a link. Clicking on this link will open up the note with the same title.

Another neat trick – say you have a note called “School Homework“. You have a link to “School Homework” in a number of other notes. If you suddenly change the title of  “School Homework” to something else such as “Unfinished Homework”, all of the links in the other notes will change names as well.

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Writing Notes

tomboy notes

While writing notes, you can do whatever your heart desires to organize the information. You can make lists with bullets, highlight certain words or phrases, underline/italicize/bold parts of the note, make them larger or smaller, create new notes by using the wiki-style “ThisIsANote” (when the correct preference is enabled), find items within a note, and much more. Printing a note and exporting it to HTML is available as well.

You can also create notebooks and assign notes to them. These are similar to categories, and make it easier to find notes that have to do with a particular subject.

Preferences

linux notes

There’s a wealth of information which can be changed in the preferences. For example, you can enable/disable spell check, automatically create lists with bullets, edit the new note template, use a custom font, customize hotkeys, enable synchronization with your favorite location in case you do actually like such functionality (including Ubuntu One if you’re using Ubuntu), and enable add-ins which can add extra functionality such as automatic daily notes of which you can change the template as well.

Installation

To install the application, simply search through your favorite package manager for tomboy or gnote, whichever you’d prefer the most. Ubuntu users can also install the program using sudo apt-get install tomboy, while Fedora users can issue the command sudo yum install tomboy. For installation of Gnote, simply replace “tomboy” with “gnote”.

Conclusion

This application is great for my rather busy life, as I’m balancing social life, work, and college classes all at the same time. Tomboy is great at working with me, and doesn’t get in the way. It’s a highly recommendable way to stay organized using just one simple application. If you need to keep notes or have a place to keep track of what still needs to be accomplished, give Tomboy a try!

What’s your favorite note-taking application? What’s your most favorite feature and why is it important to you? Let us know in the comments!

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Comments (22)
  • nemocorp

    After investing many note taking program, and because i don’t want my notes stored remotely on a proprietary server, my preference goes to zim, self defined as a wiki for the desktop. Very easy to use, great plugins, organize everything…

  • Josh

    Another good note-taking app is NoteCase. The current free version of Notecase (free as in BSD-Licensed) is stuck at 1.9.8, circa 2008, because the author moved in the proprietary direction after that version. However, 1.9.8 is great because it’s very lean but provides just the right amount of functionality. You can attach files to notes, arrange them in a heirarchical structure and link between notes, save the notes securely (encrypted – and there’s also an option to unload encrypted notes after a period of inactivity). I use this daily under Linux and Windows, and there’s also a version for Mac OSX.

  • Chaos Emperor

    i love linux more than windows and mac

  • juan david gil

    tho i can be good i still wanna see something in the lines of the ” onenote of linux” wonder if the libreoffice folks have one in mind….

  • Rdo. Neto

    I’ve been using this tool for a couple years and for what I want.. it meets my needs.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.