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CLI notes app for Linux (and probably macOS) ((and maybe Windows Subsystem for Linux)) written in Ruby

CNote is my personal system for managing notes. I wanted something snappy and lightweight that would let me search, tag and edit a folder full of markdown files using just my keyboard and some vim-ish single-letter commands.



Sept. 23rd, 2017

  • Added tags command to view all tags used in your notes.
  • Note numbers are now consistent from program start to program close. No more confusing indices relative to the last listing.
  • Note numbers also no longer correspond to array indices, so deleting multiple notes shouldn't cause problems anymore.
  • Expanded the delete command to take a comma separated list of notes to delete.


  • Added config command to adjust configuration within CNote. Try: config set prompt >>> or config get editor, or even just config to edit the file directly. Current config properties are prompt, editor, and note_path.

0.1.1 - 0.1.3

  • Trial and error gem publishing-related fixes.


  • First release


First of all, make sure you have a recent version of Ruby installed (including RubyGems). I'm using 2.4.0. Then run:

$ gem install cnote


CNote will be installed as a command on your machine. To get started, run cnote. The first time you run cnote, you'll be walked through the basic setup process which will produce a .cnote.yaml file within your $HOME directory. To skip this, just create the file yourself. Valid options for this file are covered here.

$ cnote

Hello, new user!
Enter the path to the folder where you would like to store your notes: _

Running cnote again will drop you into a REPL interface where you can type in commands to interact with your notes. help will show the complete list while the program is running.

$ cnote

Welcome to CNote! Type 'help' or 'h' to see a list of available commands.
> _

Here are the available commands:


Keywords surrounded by <these> are placeholders. You would enter the real value yourself.


Aliases: l, ls

Lists every single note in your notes directory (recursively). This might be a lot of notes. To search for something specific, you would use the find command.

> list

    All Notes

1.  Note Title
    tags: [pickle] [fish]

2.  Note Title
    <no tags>

3.  ...

    Listed 27 Notes

new <file_name>

Aliases: create, n, c

Creates a new note with the given filename. If you pass in a nested directory, the directory will be created relative to your note_path value from the configuration file.

> new general/
#=> creates file at '$note_path/general/'

> create note.jpg
#=> creates file at '$note_path/'
#=> (File extension is ignored. All notes are markdown.)

> c
> n
#=> All aliases do the same thing.

edit <note_number>

Aliases: open, o, e

Opens the note file in your editor of choice, first looking for the editor property in your .cnote.yaml config file, and if that fails, uses the EDITOR environment variable.

delete <note_number(s)>

Aliases: d, rm

Deletes the note(s) specified by their numbers. The numbers will be whatever number appeared next to that note the last time the notes were listed.

> delete 12

Are you sure you want to delete note number 12 with title 'Some Title Here'? [y/n] y

> _

find <search_term>

Aliases: search, s, f

Searches and returns a list of all notes whose title or contents contain the search term.

> find cnote
#=> Returns a list of notes whose titles or content match the given term.
#=> Sample output:

    Found 2 Notes

1.  CNote Commands
    tags: [cnote] [programming]

2.  CNote Sync Backends
    <no tags>

    Listed 2 Notes

> find +t cnote
#=> Returns a list of notes that include the tag 'cnote'
#=> Sample output:

    Found 1 Note

1.  CNote Commands
    tags: [cnote] [programming]

    Listed 1 Note

> find -t cnote
#=> Returns a list of notes that DO NOT contain the tag 'cnote'

> f project +t cnote
#=> Returns a list of notes that both match the text 'project' AND contain the tag 'cnote'

peek <note_number

Shows a short preview of the note, just to make sure it's the one you're looking for before you commit to editing, tagging, etc.

> peek 10
> p 10
#=> Shows the first 15 lines of note number 10

tag <note_number(s)> <tag> <tag> <tag> ...

Aliases: t

Adds a space separated list of tags to the note specified by its list number.

> tag 15 pizza charcoal fishness
#=> Adds ['pizza', 'charcoal', 'fishness'] to the tag list of note number 15

> tag 4,17 double_tag
#=> Adds 'double_tag' to the tag lists of BOTH notes 4 and 17.

untag <note_number(s)> <tag> <tag> ...

Aliases: ut

Removes the space separated list of tags from the note specified by its list number. Works exactly the same as tag, but in reverse.


CNote uses a YAML file called .cnote.yaml to store your preferences. The file is stored in your home directory and is editable in any text editor. Here are the options:

# note_path is the only required property.
# This is the root directory for your notes folder.
note_path: ~/Documents/Notes

# Optionally, you can provide an editor that CNote will 
# open your notes in. This can be any editor that handles
# markdown files: vscode, gedit, emacs, etc...
editor: vim

# prompt can be any string. This will show up just
# before your cursor whenever CNote is waiting for you to
# type something.
prompt: "=> uLtR4Hax <=(🌭)>>"


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.


Command-line note manager written in Ruby




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