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noted

Lightweight CLI for taking markdown notes in a journal-like (time-seried) fashion on macOS.

Contents

Features

Noted can do the following and more:

  • Automatically create a markdown file for you, named with today's date (in a customizable date format)
  • Append note entries from the command line automatically, formatted with a Markdown template you can customize
  • Timestamp all entries with a customizable timestamp format
  • Quickly open the notes from any given date for you to view or edit
  • Work with any text editor, with no interference between noted and the editor

Getting Started

Required steps

Getting started with Noted only requires that noted is placed on your path.

A good standard way to do this is to symlink the noted script to /usr/local/bin as follows.

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Clone this repository to your Documents folder.
git -C $HOME/Documents clone git@github.com:scottashipp/noted.git
  1. Symlink the file:
ln -s $HOME/Documents/noted/noted /usr/local/bin/noted
  1. Verify that it is visible on the path:
noted version

If the above outputs noted v0.0.3 then all is well. Check out the Typical usage section below to take your first notes!

Optional steps

You may want to follow the configuration guide if you do not like the defaults.

Typical usage

You're a developer. It's 8am and you start work on a new project. From your terminal, you type:

noted 'Begin creating Foo'

A new Markdown file is automatically created with today's date in your configured directory.

Note: The default directory is $HOME/Documents/noted. It will be created for you if it doesn't exist.

Second, noted also creates the following automatic entry:

---
8:00:44 UTC

# Begin creating Foo

---

At 9am, you have a meeting with the Foo team. You type noted in your terminal to start a new note. Your default editor opens to today's file, the template is automatically appended to the end, and it is timestamped for you. You use this entry to take notes during your meeting, which include links, images, and code.

Later, you start work again, and note this:

noted 'Working on foo again.'

You're trying to remember what your team talked about in last week's meeting, so you view the notes for that day:

noted view 2021-09-27

This opens the file from that date with your default editor.

After a bit, you open a pull request for Foo. You type:

noted

This automatically opens today's file in your default editor, and appends a new entry using the template. In the resulting new entry, you record the link to the PR.

The rest of the day goes similarly. At the end of the day, you check in your notes to Git.

Your notes page, when viewed as HTML looks just like this:

You now have a source-controlled, time-seried journal of events. Most importantly, these notes look great and include links, snippets of code, and images.

Subcommand reference

Noted works like many other CLI's, through the use of subcommands. Subcommands are fully-specified in the subcommand reference.

NOTE: You can find detailed information about each subcommand in the subcommand reference. Skip to a specific subcommand using the list below.

Noted currently supports the following commands:

Configuration guide

Default values

The following default values are configured.

Property Description Default Value
NOTED_MARKDOWN_HOME The place where markdown files are automatically generated. $HOME/Documents/noted
NOTED_FILE_NAME_DATE_FORMAT The date format string used as the file name for new notes. "+%Y-%m-%d"
NOTED_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT The timestamp format for the timestamp placed on new entries. "+%H:%M:%S UTC"
NOTED_TEMPLATE_FILE A file containing a Markdown-formatted entry template to use. ""
(It is empty by default. Which means the script's own default template will be used.)
NOTED_TODO_MARKER A string that indicates the following text is a TODO item. This text is searched for by the todos command. TODO

Configuring custom values

To configure custom values, you may place a .notedconfig file in your $HOME directory.

For example, saving the following contents into $HOME/.notedconfig will alter the behavior of noted accordingly:

# Save my notes here instead
NOTED_MARKDOWN_HOME=$HOME/Documents/mynotes
# Use month-date-year instead of year-month-date as the file names
NOTED_FILE_NAME_DATE_FORMAT="+%m-%d-%Y"
# Use Pacific time
NOTED_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT="+%H:%M:%S Pacific"
# Use my own template file
NOTED_TEMPLATE_FILE=$HOME/Documents/mynotes/template.md
NOTED_TODO_MARKER="REMINDER:"

Both the NOTED_FILE_NAME_DATE_FORMAT and the NOTED_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT are format strings as specified by the date shell command. You can learn more about this format by reading the man page for date.

Custom template file

Noted templates only support the variables TIMESTAMP and HEADERTEXT.

TIMESTAMP is replaced with the output of date as formatted by NOTED_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT.

'HEADERTEXT' is the value of any argument passed to noted when quick-creating a note. Place it in your template so that this value is output.

By default, noted uses the following template:

---
TIMESTAMP

# HEADERTEXT

---

Another valid custom template might be:

# HEADERTEXT

<small>_TIMESTAMP_</small>

Recommended aliases

Besides supplying a custom configuration, you probably want to add the following aliases to make using noted even easier:

Alias Description
n Alias for noted itself.
ne Alias for noted edit.
nv Alias for noted version.
nc Alias for noted config.

Usage with a static site generator

Some people may prefer to use noted with a static site generator like mkdocs , Maven site, or Hugo. Those are just a few examples. Doing so will allow you to view your notes in HTML format locally.

Change default editor

noted used open command to edit a markdown file. Usually open command is an alias and can be changed using the following commands.

Add a new alternative to open command:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/open open <path> <priority>

Choose the new alternative

sudo update-alternatives --config open

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Lightweight CLI for taking markdown notes in a journal-like (time-seried) fashion

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