Notational Velocity: simple notes program

I came across an article by Merlin Mann in which he raved about this software. Merlin has written extensively about productivity at 43 Folders, and is a keen Mac user. So I checked Notational Velocity out. It’s really simple, and a delight to use. Basically it stores your notes, and each note has a title.

Here’s a section from the author’s site which explains it well…


Okay. But what makes Notational Velocity special? Well, let me give you an example… I have a note called ‘Books new’ which lists several books that I… well you can guess. If I want to add the name of a new book to the end of that note, I simply go to Notational Velocity and enter ‘books’ into the search box at the top. This is what I see…


Notice that 8 notes have been found, and Notational Velocity has completed the rest of the line: ‘books new!’ as this is the latest note containing this word. If I now press Enter, the cursor point is where I left it last time I edited this note (usually I left it at the end of the note), so I can type the name of a new book, or paste the title in. And what I type in is automatically saved: there’s no Save button. That, for me, is fast. With other software there might be another key press or 2 to be able to do this.

Let’s say that I didn’t want to add to the note ‘Books to buy’ but I wanted to create a new note called ‘Books to borrow’. I would then type that phrase and press Enter and type away. There’s no need to click a button called New Note.

So Notational Velocity does its job in a very simple and elegant way.

Here’s the best part: its file syncs over wifi with a free app on my iPad and iPhone called SimpleNote. To get the files on those devices, I just have to launch SimpleNote. Provided I have Notational Velocity open on my Mac then all the files are updated to my portable iDevice within seconds.

Notes go the other way too: from my iPad or iPhone to Notational Velocity. So if I’m surfing a site in Safari on my iPad and I see some text I want to keep, I copy it (I’m assuming you’ve worked out how to do this), quit Safari, launch SimpleNote, open, say my Triumph Over Challenges website ideas note, and paste it there.

Within a couple of seconds, that text is transferred automatically to Notational Velocity on my laptop (providing it’s not in Sleep mode!). That’s cool.

Notational Velocity is free, so go grab it from here if it interests you. I think you’ll love it.

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Christopher John Payne

Chris helps coaches, trainers and consultants to double or triple their net income by optimising their website, product funnel, pricing structure, and more. He lives just outside London, England. His main site is at

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