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Notational Velocity
8 Mai 2010

This post is part of my productivity mini series. Underlying this series are two personal beliefs of mine. First, one is able to improve the results of ones efforts when in possession of the right tools. Second, sharing my experience could provide some benefits for you, the reader, and should be fun for me, too. Comments, inputs and suggestions are highly appreciated.

Today I’m going to write about Notational Velocity (NV), which is my quintessential information procession, organizing and archiving tool. I truly love NV and to my knowledge neither Windows nor Linux OS have a tool working 100% alike. On my desktop it has replaced Evernote, all journaling software and my task manager.

NV looks very basic and consists only of three text fields. In the first field you either type-in the title of a new note and hit enter to create it or you beginn a search also by just typing. Search results instantly show up in the second field (while you are still typing). In case you don’t do a research all your notes are listed there. If you select a note in the second field it’s contents are shown in the third field. And that’s it.

A number of keyboard shortcuts gives you full access of every aspect of the program.

Now if you take Merlin Manns advice about naming your notes in certain ways NV becomes truly magic. Above, in the picture, you can see all the abbreviations I use in the titles of my notes. For example I would give a task the following title TK clean the dishes and ideas about a certain newspaper article would be filed in as xw 国家土地督察局要求对“庄河事件“责任人实行问责. Now if I search for tk I get to see all tasks, more recent show up first.

NV does flawlessly sync with the Simplenote website and the iPhone/iPad app, which both work and look almost like NV. Each character instantly is saved and synced when you are online.