My wacky vim/simplenote setup

Today I saw a question on the /r/vim subreddit about what people use to keep notes in vim and sync them across devices. Since this is something it took me forever to find a “groove” with (I guess that makes it something I’m passionate about?),)I took the opportunity to put down all the various programs I use to enable me to deal with taking notes and using vim.

I have always wanted a system that:

  • I can read pretty much wherever
  • I can take notes primarily in the editor I am fastest with (vim)
  • I don’t have to do maintenance on (remember to upload, commit, sync, blood sacrifice)

The following is the best I’ve come up with, and works pretty darn smoothly.

I tried a bunch of stuff over the years. Vimwiki, Vim-organizer, running org mode in that other editor, managing my own ReST files, keeping things in dropbox, keeping things on github… nothing was quite right. It was either a management overhead or didn’t go on all my devices how I liked or whatnot.

Nowadays I use this setup:

  • simplenote account

    Store simple plain-text notes in a cloud account. There’s like 90 bajillion apps that sync to simplenote because it does one thing and it does it well.

  • Simplenote.vim

    This one lets you see, edit, tag and delete your simplenote notes from a buffer in vim

  • Flick Note

    No bullshit simplenote app for android so I can get the notes I took on the go. Actually, they’re just magically already there, i don’t have to “get” anything.

  • nvAlt

    On the Mac, this is a really handy simplenote viewer plus it can render markdown and TeX, AND it has hotkeys to launch the current note as a buffer in Macvim.

  • nvpy

    This is the same as above but for linux (although it runs on the mac too with python and gtk installed). Slightly different features, but same use case and effectiveness.

This setup is the one I’ve found that gets what I want (synced markdown notes everywhere that I can edit in vim everywhere that I care to do editing and not mattering which OS I am using at the time and mostly just view on my phone or tablet) with the least amount of care and feeding to keep shit working.

Hope it helps.