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A Tool to Write Simple Notes


I read/listen/watch stuff and want to write down notes.

I have to:

  • create a new file or open an old one
  • start my editor
  • wait for my editor to load
  • manage all files, because I have a lot of them

This is annoying.

Solution (Linux)

I need a simple tool to write down notes quickly.

Without the hassle of thinking about a new file, a name for it, the place where to store it, the editor loading times etc.

  1. Open my hidden shell configuration file. I use Zsh, so I use ~/.zshrc. If you use Bash, you can use ~/.bashrc.

  2. Add alias n='function _note(){echo "$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M: )" "$1" >> notes.txt;}; _note'

  3. Type the note in the shell: n "my very important note"

  4. See the result

simple notes


alias n: the command I want to use, in this case n. You can use whatever you want as a command, e.g. alias note.

'function _note(){...}; _note': setup a function named _note and run it.

echo "$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M: )" "$1" >> notes.txt;: take the current date in my desired format, add the first input after the alias and append it to the file notes.txt

"$(date +%Y-%m-%d_%H:%M: )": the current date in my desired format
"$1": the first input after the alias (e.g. my very important note)
>>: append
notes.txt: where I want to save my note

Further Reading

Top comments (4)

nicolasini profile image
Nico S___ • Edited

Thats pretty neat. I tried in the past and it was cool too. In the end I just wasn't that much into doing it via the terminal (though I spend quite a bit of time on it)
Im now working in a small side project to create a very basic Digital Bullet Journal ( and Im writing about it here too.

Off-topic question: how do you create the post index at the top of your post?

miku86 profile image
miku86 • Edited

Hey Nico,

thanks for your comment, looks quite handy.
Your Bullet Journal looks pretty useful, great work! I try to stay focused by minimizing my open browser tabs, therefore I've built it in the terminal.

If you want to create a post index,
you have to add a series property into your post header:


title: "A Tool to Write Simple Notes"
[other properties]
series: Shorties

In the first post of your series the index won't show up, only if you'd add a second post.

nicolasini profile image
Nico S___