Notational Velocity – Elegant Note Taking for the Mac

Notational Velocity is a free and open source note taking application for Mac OS X that is extremely simple, fast, and stable. I find the minimalist interface very functional and pleasant to use. It is one of my favorite applications.

I mentioned Notational Velocity’s ability to sync with the Simplenote iPhone note taking application in my Messaging News Magazine column Great iPhone and iPad Apps for Reading and Sharing Docs. The combination of Notational Velocity and Simplenote allows me to create, edit, and manage notes that are seamlessly synchronized between my desktop and iPhone without worrying that I will have the latest version on the other device.

Dropbox and SimpleText.ws allow for synchronizing Notational Velocity across multiple machines. The author of SimpleText.ws provides the source code you can run your own private server on Google App Engine.

Aside from the ease of use and speed some of the features of Notation Velocity I like are:

  • Makes no distinction between searching notes and creating new notes
  • Displays search results incrementally to help rapidly filter documents
  • Saves automatically, no save button needed
  • Allows data export with a single click
  • Preserves creation and modification timestamps for both import and export
  • Optionally stores notes as plain text, rich text, or HTML
  • Optionally stores notes as a single database or as plain text files in a directory
  • Optionally encrypts the database and provides secure text entry mechanism
  • All commands have keyboard equivalents

* This article originally appeared as Notational Velocity – Elegant Note Taking for the Mac in my Messaging News “On Message Column.”