I haven’t used a Mac since leaving Mozilla in 2015. Since then, I’ve been using Linux and, for a brief period, Chrome OS. One thing I miss from my Mac, for which which I’m yet to find a replacement, is Notational Velocity. I actually used nvALT which was a continuation of the former, which halted development in 2011.

The reason nvALT is so great is that it just gets out of your way. I don’t think I can do a better job than the website to explain the functionality on offer:

Notational Velocity is a way to take notes quickly and effortlessly using just your keyboard. You press a shortcut to bring up the window and just start typing. It will begin searching existing notes, filtering them as you type. You can use ⌘-J and ⌘-K to move through the list. Enter selects and begins editing. If you’re creating a new note, you just type a unique title and press enter to move the cursor into a blank edit area. Check out the descriptions at notational.net for a more eloquent synopsis.

The only thing I can find for Linux which in any way resembles this functionality is nvpy which, not to put too fine a point on it, is fugly. In addition, you have to do some annoying configuration to get it to install in a way whereby you can run it as a regular app, and I’ve experienced random crashes due to incompatibility with Unicode characters.

So, for now, I’m using Simplenote, which is Open Source and now developed by Automattic, the same people who make WordPress. it’s not quite Notational Velocity, but the search is fast and full-text (i.e. not just the titles of notes).