Notational Velocity


Here’s one for the GTD’ers out there. It’s sort of an ‘Oldie but Goodie’. Notational Velocity is a couple years old, and has received no attention seemingly since it was released on the world. Yet it’s a strong application that I have yet to have crash on me, nor do I see need for updates on this powerful yet simple program.

Notational Velocity is little more than a note-taking program. There’s a text entry field, a pane that shows the current notes you’ve got, and a space for the body of the note. The text entry field plays two parts, where it will search for notes already in Notational Velocity, or if there’s no match it records it as the title for a new note. Once the note has a title you enter the body of the note and go on your merry.

The interface is simple and concise. It’s as responsive as it can get. The best part? It stores your notes within a database so it’s not a bunch of files all over your hard drive. you just open up Notational Velocity and it’s all there. Don’t like the closed storage schema? No problem – it’ll allow you to export your notes, all separately, based on their titles, into txt files.

Last thing that makes this tool so great – There’s a Quicksilver plugin* that allows you to add and search notes right from within Quicksilver. Doesn’t get much better than that. If you’re looking around for a nice note-capturing tool, I highly recommend Notational Velocity.

*EDIT: So Grant asked where the plugin is available. I misspoke, so thanks for making me check it again Grant. The plugin you’ll need within Quicksilver is the Services plugin. Notational Velocity puts a couple of Services in the general OS X list. The Services plugin for Quicksilver makes this available to whatever text you’re working with.


Rich Schmidt

Is there anything else out there remotely like Notational Velocity? I’ve been using it for a couple months now & love it… except that it’s a bit sluggish, I’m guessing because it’s not a Universal binary & I’m on a MacBook Pro. I’d love it if NV would go intel… and for that matter, there are other features that would be nice, too… like clickable links (to web pages, files, etc), pictures, etc.

I’ve yet to find anything that has the same simplicity & flow that NV has…


NV 2 is ready and avalaible: Now Universal binary and open source… and a lot of your requests are featured in this new version. Enjoy it!


Great, two for one on this article. I like the idea behind the editor, I constantly need to throw small bits of note somewhere, and the services plug-in just expanded my capabilities within QS. Thanks. It is nice being new to QS, I learn so much more that I can do with it on a daily basis. And it was your coverage that got me to try QS out a second time with an idea of how I could use it, so thanks for that as well.

Nick Santilli

thanks for checking me on that Grant. I read it wrong when I used it in Quicksilver. It’s actually a NV Service, available through the Service plugin in Quicksilver. I’ll update the article.

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