If you want to jot down notes quickly, you shouldn’t use notepad or Wordpad in most cases. It’s better to use a note taking application and there are plenty of these to choose from.
tomboy-ng is an open source taking app which is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. It is the next generation version of the original tomboy note taking application which was made by the same developer.
We will be taking a look at the Windows version. A few features like network sync, auto snapshot aren’t implemented yet and are set to arrive later.
You can access the interface of tomboy-ng from the taskbar icon to get started. The first thing you will need to do is select where your Notes will be saved. You can opt for the default location or set a custom path. Use the file menu to create a new note; this opens the note editor which has a simple interface.The toolbar has some useful options like using the search to find text inside your notes.
Remember how Zim Wiki can be used to link to different pages? tomboy-ng has a similar option to link notes to each other. The unique thing about ng’s feature is that it automatically adds a link to a note when you type its name in another note. tomboy-ng supports basic text formatting options such as Bold, Italics, Strikeout, Highlight, Fixed Width, Underline, Font size and Bullet lists.
The Settings allows you to modify the default font size and show internal/external links. The Backup option creates a backup of your notes but only when you delete a note or before the sync overwrites something. If you want a better backup, use the built-in Snapshot tool. The task scheduler isn’t available yet so your only choice right now is the manual snapshot. Select a folder and it will save your notes in a ZIP archive on the local system.
The spell check option available in tomboy-ng requires a hunspell dictionary that you have to download and point its location from the settings. That’s not very comfortable but it works well and is a one-time process. To manage your notebooks (add/delete), click the notepad icon on the toolbar. You can print the notes directly from the program’s interface. The option is slightly hidden, it’s available from the Tools menu (gear-cogs icon) on the note’s UI.
tomboy-ng does not have a portable version. The program can synchronize your files using a shared drive and is limited to file sync. Just select a folder for the repo, and it will sync to it. The network sync option isn’t available yet but you can place the file in your cloud folder (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive) for a network based backup.
You can export your notes in TXT, RTF and MD (Markdown) formats. So, in a way it is more than your average note taking app. You can view and edit multiple notes at the same time, they’re automatically saved. Since the application lets you add bulleted lists and cross out stuff (with strike through), you can use tomboy-ng as a task manager. A reminder feature would make it a true to-do list program, but it’s not what it was designed for.
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