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Access Notes From Anywhere

A (Very) Poor Man’s Org-Mode For Taking Notes

I had a colleague at my previous role that would collect wisdom seen in Slack channels or things he learned in a text document. Whenever I asked a question he’d usually have the answer. The secret was this text document.

I had always thought: “Man, I really should have one of those.” I’d send myself notes in Slack and then one day that just disappeared. So I learned my lesson. It was only until recently that I threw this together.

The super power is being able to invoke my notes with one command and immediately be in them with my editor of choice.

I wanted this to be simple. I didn’t want to learn a new way to do notes. It needed to be simple and quick. So Org-Mode in Vim/Emacs was a no go for now.

So a simple Python script, a shell script, a shell function, and boom I can access my notes from any terminal (a place I exist in 99% of the time).

How It Works

There are three files. – a file that has a template for the current date that makes it easy for me to grep for things and a template for todo items

from datetime import datetime

def print_date():
    current_date =
    day =
    month = current_date.month
    year = current_date.year
    print(f'day: {day} month: {month} year: {year}')
    print(f'date: {current_date}')
    print('- [ ]\tStuff\n'*3)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    print_date() – a shell script to place in one’s PATH to use wherever

/usr/bin/python3 /home/gigatexal/tools/scripts/notes/

And then this puts it all together in my shell:

function notes(){
  lvim /home/gigatexal/notes/
  git -C /home/gigatexal/notes add
  git -C /home/gigatexal/notes commit -m "stuff added"
  git -C /home/gigatexal/notes push
#> ln -f $(readlink -f /home/<user>/.local/bin/dt 
#> notes <-- this opens the editor with the file

And what’s really cool about this is that whenever I save and exit if there are changes they get added and pushed to a private repo – that’s what all the git stuff is after the invocation of the note

Another interesting part of this is that all my changes go into a single file, I find a single file more useful – for me.

So the flow is:

Invoke ‘notes’ from the shell <– or whatever you call the shell function

Start a new entry at the top of the file…

In Vim/NeoVim I do this by going :r! dt which outputs this:

day: 15 month: 2 year: 2024
date: 2024-02-15 16:37:22.078864
- [ ]   Stuff
- [ ]   Stuff
- [ ]   Stuff

I’m not 100% the day month year stuff is relevant but I can in my editor now do a search by date to get what I was thinking there and since it’s one document (yes, yes, fzf and other things can search all files in a folder or an entire filesystem) I can easily find things I’m looking for

Cool huh?!


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