Elaborating about Tomboy Usage Ideas


Tomboy is a nice and usefull note taking app. It is well known among Linux users, since it often comes preinstalled with several Linux distributions. Nonetheless, it runs on Windows or Mac OSX, too, and thus has wide plattform support.

In this article I won’t give a tutorial about the Tomboy Notes app (this has been done before, e.g. here or here). Instead, I want to give examples about how to make use of Tomboy for several specific use cases. In that way you will gain insight into the usefullness of Tomboy. Therefore I will outline usage ideas as they were formulated by other people, as you will see in the following.

Management of Citations, References and Bibliography

A video from here shows how you can use Tomboy Notes when you write a research report. You can save each of your references there e.g. in BibTex format in one notebook. Save all of your citations in another and link these to the according references. Take a look here how it exactly works:

Link Tomboy Notes with Your Activities via Zeitgeist

You can connect the use of Zeitgeist and Tomboy. Thereby all activities, i.e. programs and files you opened, during the usage of a Tomboy note are linked from that note. This means that you can look that activities up from that very Tomboy note at a later point and access it. See how it works here:

Tomboy as Offline Code Snippets Database and Manager

I use Google really a lot for finding example code to achieve something I only can describe in normal words. For instance, if I want to know how to remove leading and trailing spaces of a Python string, I search Google for “python remove leading white space”. And I do not only search for this same code snippet once, but oftentimes until I learned it by heart. So I need to search for the same term several times and click through the same search results until I see my desired code snippet to copy it — several times! I think that’s to much effort for such a stupid task.

Instead, I use Tomboy to save example code on my computer that I found once for solving a specific task. I copy the example code and paste it into a new Tomboy note. As title I use the search term which I used to find it via Google.

This could look like the following:

Bildschirmfoto von »2016-01-25 00:15:01«

As you can see, I created an extra notebook inside of Python called “Code Snippets”. That’s where all my code examples are that I found via search engines. My Code Snippets notebook in Tomboy looks like this:

Bildschirmfoto von »2016-01-25 00:20:33«

In this way you can use Tomboy as offline question & answer documentation for programming languages. It gives much better results than any downloaded API documentation of a programming language, since you can find it by using the words you would use to find it. And Tomboys search function is I think especially suitable for indexing and finding these kind of things.

ToDo Organisation

I have two notes:

  • TodoToday and

  • TodoTomorrow

Both are linked to each other. Now I only add 1-3 important points on the list what i want to do today. If I cant get them done today I move them to tomorrow note. Maybe also a point is not useful any more and gets dumped. This is a very good reminder of what is really important. Them being interlinked makes it very easy to access each one quickly. This is a very simple system that his proved to be very effective here.

Source: Gnome.org – Tomboy Wiki: Usagae Ideas

Quick Access of Tomboy Notes Search via Shortcuts

Last but not least you should bind a keyboard shortcut to Tomboy, so that it gets opened if you press a certin key combination. I chose “Ctrl + ^” for that, since this is easy accessible with one hand and good to remember.

I hope this hints of using Tomboy will be usefull to you. Thanks for reading!


About Gerhard Hagerer

I am a Computer Science Master. Talk to me!
This entry was posted in Computer Pragmatics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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