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A command-line interface for collecting and organizing quotes, and a quote of the day web server.

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jotquote is a command-line tool for building a collection of quotes, and it includes a simple web server to display a quote of the day. The quotes are stored in a single text file in a human-friendly syntax, one per line. 100 famous quotes are included with the package, and it is easy to get started:

$ pip install jotquote
$ jotquote
The best way out is always through.  - Robert Frost

Although there are 100 quotes included with the package, the purpose of jotquote is to help you build a collection of your own favorite quotes. Adding new quotes is easy:

$ jotquote add "The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. - James Madison"
1 quote added for total of 639 quotes.

Starting the web server

In some cases, the command-line might be good enough for viewing the quotes in your collection, but you can start a web server that will show a quote of the day. The jotquote webserver command can be used to start the webserver:

$ jotquote webserver
* Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)

By default, the web server is only accessible on the system on which it is running. But by editing the settings.conf file, the web server can be made accessible to computers on the network also. See the section below about the settings.conf file for details.

The quote file

jotquote stores the quotes in a text file that uses a human-friendly syntax and can be modified with a plain text editor if necessary. Quotes are stored in the text file one per line using the syntax:

<quote> | <author> | <publication> | <tag1, tag2, etc…>

For example:

The best way out is always through. | Robert Frost | A Servant to Servants | motivational, poetry

You can find the location of the quote file using the jotquote info command, and you can change the location by modifying the quote_file property in settings.conf (see the settings.conf section below).

The text file is encoded in UTF-8 to allow the full Unicode character set.

Extended functions

To help you build your collection, the command-line interface has an extended set of functions including tagging and keyword searching. Here are a couple of examples. To display a random quote that has the ‘motivational’ tag, use the command:

$ jotquote random -t motivational

Or to display all quotes that have the word ‘Einstein’ in the quote, author name, or publication name, use this command:

$ jotquote list -k Einstein

The help for these extended functions can be accessed with the ‘-h’ argument; for example, to see the help for the jotquote add function, use the command:

$ jotquote add -h

The settings.conf file

The behavior of the jotquote command is controlled with the settings.conf file. This file is always found at ~/.jotquote/settings.conf on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Supported environments

jotquote is tested on Python 2.7, and 3.5 through 3.8 on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Cloud storage

If you’d like to make your quotes accessible from multiple computers, you can put your quote file in a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or Google Drive and then configure jotquote on each computer to use the file on your cloud storage directory. To do this, edit the settings.conf file and change the quote_file property to the path to the file on your cloud storage drive.


This package was inspired by other similar utilities including Ken Arnold’s original UNIX utility fortune. This package also relies on the Flask and Click packages by Armin Ronacher.


Contributions are welcome, see CONTRIBUTING.rst for details.

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