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Easy note taking in Vim
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Easy note taking in Vim

The notes.vim plug-in for the Vim text editor makes it easy to manage your notes in Vim:

  • Starting a new note: Execute the :Note command to create a new buffer and load the appropriate file type and syntax
  • Saving notes: Just use Vim's :write and :update commands, you don't need to provide a filename because it will be set based on the title (first line) of your note (you also don't need to worry about special characters, they'll be escaped)
  • Editing existing notes: Execute :Note anything to edit a note containing anything in its title (if no notes are found a new one is created with its title set to anything)
  • Deleting notes: The :DeleteNote command enables you to delete the current note
  • Searching notes: :SearchNotes keyword … searches for keywords and :SearchNotes /pattern/ searches for regular expressions
    • Back-references: The :RelatedNotes command find all notes referencing the current file
    • A Python 2 script is included that accelerates keyword searches using an SQLite database
  • Navigating between notes: The included file type plug-in redefines gf to jump between notes and the syntax script highlights note names as hyper links
  • Writing aids: The included file type plug-in contains mappings for automatic curly quotes, arrows and list bullets
  • Embedded file types: The included syntax script supports embedded highlighting using blocks marked with {{{type … }}} which allows you to embed highlighted code and configuration snippets in your notes

Here's a screen shot of the syntax mode using the slate color scheme:

Syntax mode screen shot

Install & usage

Unzip the most recent ZIP archive file inside your Vim profile directory (usually this is ~/.vim on UNIX and %USERPROFILE%\vimfiles on Windows), restart Vim and execute the command :helptags ~/.vim/doc (use :helptags ~\vimfiles\doc instead on Windows). To get started execute :Note or :edit note:, this will start a new note that contains instructions on how to continue from there (and how to use the plug-in in general).


If you have questions, bug reports, suggestions, etc. the author can be contacted at The latest version is available at and If you like the script please vote for it on Vim Online.


This software is licensed under the MIT license.
© 2011 Peter Odding <>.

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