If you’re a Simplenote user looking for a way to keep on top of your to-dos in Linux, try nvPY — an open-source note-taking tool with first-class support for the service.

Inspired by the popular Mac application ‘Notational Velocity’, nvPY provides a simple and straightforward interface for syncing, creating, editing and managing notes stored in your Simplenote account.

NvPY (Back); Simplenote web app (Front)

The app can be used without any online service if you wish, but the pull here is in the Simplenote synchronisation and offline support. Neither is available in other Linux desktop apps, and the official web app requires an active internet connection at all times.

Sync Baby, Sync

When running, nvPY will automatically and continuously save and sync new notes and edits both on your disk and to the cloud. You don’t have to do anything besides write! 

Other features include:

  • Supports Simplenote tags & pins
  • Partial sync whilst notes are being edited
  • Search box for realtime searching of all your notes
  • Markdown rendering
  • Automatic hyperlink highlighting in text widget

Install nvPY in Ubuntu

NvPY is not the nicest looking application you’ll ever use, and certainly doesn’t embody the minimalist style of apps found on Mac and Android. But, importantly, it gets the job done.

The app is available to install on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS straight from the Ubuntu Software Center, no manual downloads or PPAs required.

nvPY on Ubuntu Software Center

Alternatively you can grab the .deb installer from the Trusty archives.

Download nvPY (.deb)

How to Sync with Simplenote

Getting your Simplenote account set up with nvPY requires a bit of upfront manual effort.

Having installed the application, the first step is to open your home folder in a file manager and press Ctrl+H to reveal ‘hidden’ files. Right-click in a blank part of the file manager to create a ‘new blank document’. Name this  — and notice the period preceding it — “.nvpy.cfg”.

Now open this file in a text editor. You’ll see a blank document. Paste/type the following text in full, replacing ‘SimplenoteUsername’ and ‘SimplenotePassword’ with your account credentials.

sn_username = SimplenoteUsername
sn_password = SimplenotePassword

Finally, hit save.

You can now launch the application from the Unity Dash (or equivalent app menu). On first run (and assuming you entered your credentials correctly) sync may be slow. Subsequent runs happen faster as it stores/mirrors changes in a local database.

Apps note taking apps notetaking nvpy simplenote