The Simplest, Best Writing Tool Ever

Notational Velocity is an amazing, amazingly simple tool for word processing. Sure, Word is always an option, but it’s relatively intensive to run when other lightweight programs like TextEdit (for Mac) or Notepad (on PC) do the same thing just as well without the frills. I tend to write things in TextEdit before copying them over to wherever they need to end up, but manually organizing and saving all of my text files can naturally get pretty annoying.

That’s the beauty of Notational Velocity. It’s a desktop text editing client that’s got the basic features you absolutely need (or didn’t know you needed) and no extra junk to speak of. It’s beautifully simple, really. Notational Velocity auto-saves all of your documents constantly as you write them (and can sync with an online account for extra security if you so desire), so no more “file, save as” business. You can organize your text files with very simple tags and view them all at once in a simple, clean interface.

My only complaint? It’s not called Notational Velociraptor. (A minor quibble, but still.)

Notational Velocity is super lightweight, so you can keep it open in the background without your computer getting all fussy about it. I keep mine open constantly, and while I use it for longer format writing, it’s also perfect for jotting little notes or to-do lists.

And if you’re not convinced yet, the official description describes Notational Velocity as “an attempt to loosen the mental blockages to recording information and to scrape away the tartar of convention that handicaps its retrieval. The solution is by nature nonconformist.” Tartar of convention! Can you believe it?

Check out Notational Velocity (Mac) and its Windows counterpart, ResophNotes. Take a deep breath- shit’s about to get majorly zen.

[@lifehacker]

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Back in the day, Taylor Hatmaker was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle's tech sister site, Technostraddle, may it rest in peace. Now, Taylor writes about technology for ReadWrite.com and Entrepreneur Magazine. For Autostraddle, she writes essays, takes pictures of thing and draws comics on occasion too, if you ask real nice.

taylor has written 109 articles for us.

23 Comments

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    I cannot imagine there is anything better than notepad. And I have a very healthy imagination, filled with images of spaceships, dragons and naked people among other things. All using notepad.

    I will try it, if only because it would be refreshing to be able to see my corporate desktop again beneath the layer of .txt dust motes.

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    Oh my gosh that sounds amazing. I write everything in Notepad, but auto-save with backup to the web is, like, manna from heaven. There’s a bit of a difference between lyrics and other, longer things of writing, but it hurts just as much to have them disappear into the ether without saving.

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    This seems amazing so far and I think I am really going to like it, but right now my left hand is awkwardly twitching with a compulsion to press ctrl S. Like I can’t not press it. It’s a problem. This is something I am going to need to get over.

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    I love Notational Velocity!

    One of the other great things you forgot to mention is that it’s so keyboard friendly. If you take the time to learn the keyboard shortcuts, you can the manoeuvre UI so easily, and it’s so much faster than using the mouse/trackpad.

    Also, down with Word.

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