Skip to main content

A cross-platform simplenote-syncing note-taking app inspired by Notational Velocity.

Project description


nvpy is a simplenote-syncing note-taking tool inspired by Notational
Velocity (and a little bit by nvALT too) on OSX and ResophNotes on
Windows. It is significantly uglier, but it is cross-platform. Yes,
you heard right, you can run this on Linux (tested), Windows (tested)
and OS X (lightly tested).

It was written by Charl Botha, who needed a simplenote client on Linux and doesn't mind ugliness (that much). Sjaak Westdijk has contributed significantly to the codebase since right after the 0.8.5 release.

* nvpy lives happily at
* For news and discussion, join the `public nvpy google group <>`_ or subscribe to its `RSS topic feed <>`_.

If nvpy blows up your computer, loses your job or just deletes all
your notes, I am NOT liable for anything. Also see the liability
clause at the end of the new BSD licence text in the COPYRIGHT file.

That being said, I use nvpy daily on my own precious notes database
and it hasn't disappointed me (yet).

Screenshots and screencasts

* Screenshot taken shortly before the 0.9.7 release (clam theme, droid font):

.. image::

* Screencast of nvpy's inter-note linking (May 27, 2012):
* Screencast of nvpy's gstyle search mode (October 18, 2012):
* `Picasa Web album containing various screenshots over time <>`_.

A note on automatic syncing

* When nvPY starts up, it automatically performs a full sync. When you start it up for the first time, this can take quite a while. On subsquent startups, it's much faster, as it maintains its own database on disk.
* While running, nvPY automatically and continuously saves and syncs any changes to disk and to simplenote. You don't have to do anything besides typing your notes.
* If you edit the same note simultaneously in nvPY and for example the web interface, these changes will be merged as you work.
* If you add or delete notes from a completely different location, nvPY will not pick this up until your next full sync. In the future, this will also happen automatically.
* In short: You usually don't have to worry about syncing and saving, simplenote takes care of this. If you have any more questions, please post them in the `nvpy google group <>`_.


nvPY works best on Python 2.7.x. It does not work on Python 3.x yet.

To install the latest development version from github, do::

pip install 'git+'

OR, to install the version currently on pypi, do::

pip install nvpy

If already have nvpy installed, but you want to upgrade, try the following::

sudo pip uninstall nvpy
sudo pip install --upgrade nvpy

OR, you can of course use easy\_install instead::

easy_install nvpy

github always has the latest development version, whereas I upload
tagged snapshots (v0.9 for example) to pypi.

For more detailed installation recipes, also for beginners, and for instructions on how to integrate nvPY with your Linux desktop environment, see the `nvPY installation guide <>`_.

How to run for the first time

Create a file called .nvpy.cfg in your home directory that looks like
the following::

sn_username = your_simplenote_username
sn_password = your_simplenote_password

If you installed this via pip install, you should now be able to start
the application by typing "nvpy". The first time you run it, it will take
a while as it downloads all of your simplenote notes. Subsequent runs
are much faster as it uses the database it stores in your home directory.

If you prefer to run from your git clone, you can just invoke python on, or on the nvpy package directory.

The `example nvpy.cfg <>`_ shows how you can configure the font
family and size, the widget theme (!) configure nvpy to save and load notes as clear text, disable simplenote syncing, and so forth.

Making nvpy slightly less ugly on Linux

On Linux, I set the nvpy ttk theme to ``clam`` (instead of ``default``; the example
config above has more information about themes), and I select nicer fonts. The
relevant config options are as follows::

theme = clam
font_family = droid sans mono
font_size = 12
list_font_size = 12

On Debian systems, you have to install the ``fonts-droid`` package to be able to
select the attractive ``droid sans mono`` font. ``ubuntu mono`` is also good and
should work out of the box on Ubuntu installations.

Let us know on the Google group if you have suggestions for further decreasing
the level of ugliness!

Keyboard handling

nvPY was designed for lightning-speed note-taking and management with
the keyboard. As you type words in the search bar, the list of notes
found will be refined. In the default search mode ("gstyle"), it finds
notes that contain all the words you enter. For example::

t:work t:leads python imaging "exact phrase"

Will find all notes tagged with both "work" and "leads" containing the
words "python" and "imaging" (anywhere, and in any order) and the exact
phrase "exact phrase". The default is to search with case-sensitivity.
This can be changed with the CS checkbox. Remember though that
case-sensitivity has a significant effect on search speed.

By editing the config file, or by toggling the search mode option menu,
you can use regular expression search mode. This is of course much more
powerful, but is much slower than gstyle. The difference is noticeable
on large note collections.

Here's a summary of the different shortcut keys that you can use in nvPY:

========== ==========
Key combo Action
========== ==========
Ctrl-? Display these key-bindings.
Ctrl-A Select all text when in the note editor.
Ctrl-D Move note to trash. This can be easily recovered using the simplenote webapp.
Ctrl-F Start real-time incremental regular expression search. As you type, notes list is filtered. Up / down cursor keys go to previous / next note.
Ctrl-G Edit tags for currently selected note. Press ESC to return to note editing.
Ctrl-M Render Markdown note to HTML and open browser window.
Ctrl-N Create new note.
Ctrl-Q Exit nvPY.
Ctrl-R Render reStructuredText (reST) note to HTML and open browser window.
Ctrl-S Force sync of current note with simplenote server. Saving to disc and syncing to server also happen continuously in the background.
Ctrl-Y Redo note edits.
Ctrl-Z Undo note edits.
Ctrl-SPACE In search box, autocomplete tag under cursor. Keep on pressing for more alternatives.
Ctrl-+/- Increase or decrease the font size.
ESC Go from edit mode to notes list.
ENTER Start editing currently selected note. If there's a search string but no notes in the list, ENTER creates a new note with that search string as its title.
========== ==========


* Syncs with simplenote.
* Support for simplenote tags and note pinning.
* Partial syncs (whilst notes are being edited) are done by a
background thread so you can keep on working at light speed.
* Can be used offline, also without simplenote account.
* Search box does realtime gstyle or regular expression searching in all your
notes. All occurrences of the search string are also
highlighted in currently active note.
* Markdown rendering to browser.
* Continuous rendering mode: If you activate this before
starting the markdown rendering, nvpy will render new html of
the currently open note every few seconds. Due to the refresh
tag in the generated HTML, the browser will refresh every few
* reStructuredText (reST) rendering to browser. Yes, you can use nvPY
as your reST previewer.
* Automatic hyperlink highlighting in text widget.
* KickAss(tm) inter-note linking with [[note name]]. If note name is
not found in current list of notes, assumes it's a regular expression
and sets it in the search bar. See the `screencast <>`_.

Planned features

* Port to Python 3.
* sqlite storage backend.
* Full(ish) screen mode.
* Full syncs also in background thread. At the moment does a full sync
at startup, which can take a while. nvpy already does background thread
saving and syncing while you work, so everything you type is backed up
within a few seconds of you typing it.
* Prettiness.

Bugs and feedback

* Report bugs with `the github issue tracker <>`_.
* It's an even better idea to clone, fix and then send me a pull request.
* If you have questions, or would like to discuss nvpy-related matters, please do so via the `nvpy google discussion group / mailing list <>`_.
* If you really like nvpy, you could make me and you even happier by `tipping me with paypal <>`_!


* Sjaak Westdijk made significant contributions to the code starting after the 0.8.5 release.
* nvpy uses the `fantastic library by mrtazz <>`_.
* The brilliant application icon, a blue mini car (not as fast as the notational velocity rocket, get it?), is by `Cemagraphics <>`_.
* Thank you very much peeps for the PayPal tips!
* stfa
* stephen powell
* Robert Munger
* Jordan McCommons
* Jan Steinocher

Running Tests

PYTHONPATH=.:$PYTHONPATH python -m unittest discover -s tests -p '*.py'

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for nvpy, version 1.0.0
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size nvpy-1.0.0.tar.gz (1.3 MB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View hashes

Supported by

Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google BigQuery Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN SignalFx SignalFx Supporter DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page