My Most useful Note taking tool

I take a lot of notes, most of the time I use my normal note taking system which I am not going to go into detail on this post.

The tool I use the most is called note it's a very simple bash script. All it does is echo the current date and whatever I type into a file called notes.txt, for example

mark@Zeta ~ $ note "this is a note for the blog"
mark@Zeta ~ $ tail -n1 notes.txt 
2021-07-01T00:27+01:00 this is a note for the blog

This simple command is extremely powerful; to have such a low overhead for taking notes is the most meaningful thing about this script. It enables me to take notes about anything and everything, if there is a thought in my head that just won't go away I can just note it down, I'll stop thinking about it then.


Of course there are many limitations to this tool which is why I have a full notetaking system that this is just a part of.

Although this could be added relatively easily1 there are none. If I want to add something I generally write a new note with a ^ at the start so it points to the previous note. I even use this for corrections if I mistype something, it's quicker then editing the actual notes.txt file and this tool is all about speed.


Every so often I look through the file to see what I have noted down, sometimes I get new thoughts and ideas from looking at this file as the notes are grouped together, perhaps I thought I had many fragmented ideas on a certain day but looking at them in a whole shows that they actually do piece together.

Because it's just a text file it's also very easy to search and grep out certain dates. I don't find myself often doing this but it's there if I ever need it.

The script (really, just a one liner) is here it can be improved but it's working for me just fine at the moment, if you want to make any changes feel free and let me know!

  1. Prehaps even by invoking the command differently this could be done 

Published on July 1, 2021, 7 a.m.

tags: notetaking