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notational velocity

Notational Velocity / nvALT: 10 power user tips & tricks

Notational Velocity (NV) is a “modeless, mouseless Mac OS X note-taking application”, as the author describes it, which is elegant, attractive, and powerful. The original application has inspired various forks, of which nvALT is perhaps the best, and adds some very useful new features. In this article I’ll show you 10 power user tips and tricks to get the most out of nvALT.

1. Use NV as a knowledge organiser

NV is a great place to keep text of any kind:

  • tips
  • ideas
  • reminders
  • notes
  • meeting agendas and minutes
  • checklists and workflows
  • recipes
  • procedures and howtos
  • draft writings
  • cheat sheets

You can use it as a kind of external brain pack or databank: anything you think you might need again, stick it into NV. You never need to save; everything you type in is saved automatically.

It’s easy to find notes: just start typing in the title area and NV searches as you type, listing all matching notes.

If no note matches what you’ve typed, just press Enter to create a new note with that title. Simple, but brilliant!

NV works best with lots of short notes: for example, instead of one big note called ‘Recipes’, make separate notes: one for bolognaise, one for shepherd’s pie, one for cheesecake, and so on. If you put the word ‘recipe’ in the title, typing that will instantly find all your recipes.

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