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Notational Velocity is an application that stores and retrieves notes.

In Notational Velocity, the same area is used both for creating notes and searching. I.e., in the process of entering the title for a new note, related notes appear below, letting users file information there if they choose. Likewise, if a search reveals nothing, one need simply press return to create a note with the appropriate title.

Its unique advantages are as follows:

  • Modeless Operation
    Searching for notes is not a separate action; rather, it is the primary interface.
  • Incremental Search
    Searching encompasses all notes' more...

What's New

Version 2.0 ?5:
  • "Edit With..." menu for editing in WriteRoom, TextMate, etc., for all DB storage options
  • Indentation is preserved for lists created in TextEdit and Pages (Thanks to tewe)
  • No longer crashes when reading note-files containing illegal Unicode characters
  • No longer crashes when syncing to Simplenote on OS X 10.7 Lion Preview
  • Japanese font-substituted more...


Mac OS X 10.4 or later

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Notational Velocity User Discussion

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Philosopherdog Member IconComment+99

nvALT, which is a fork of NV is probably more up to date and has some extra cool features.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
J.w. Member IconReview+17

Great app, but development seems to have stopped. You may be better off looking at a fork.

Reply1 reply
Version 2.0 β5

better off for what ? it works fine in ML and shortly I expect to be using it within Mavericks. One can encrypt the file if desired, use multiple files for differing purposes. It does what it does exceedingly well. I have an idea that there are indeed forks, but this does for me just fine for all sorts of uses. Its genius is its simplicity and ease of use. Get with the flow . . . ! It ain't broke

Vinkri Member IconReview+102

I often have ideas when I'm not supposed to: when I'm writing an email, using skype or working on my website... the idea pops up in my head and I have to write it down quickly, before I forget it.

And guess what? NO application allowed me to do that fast enough. Whatever I was using, I had to launch it or click on its icon somewhere. Then wait 2 seconds for it to open, then jot down my idea and save it. Then I could go back to whatever I was doing before.
Until now, I was using Dovonthink's drawer... Mouse driven. And slow.
In other words, a pain in the ass...

Then I discovered Notational Velocity.
When it"s launched (in a fraction of a second), just write your idea, then close it.
Created a trigger hot key (with keyboard maestro) to launch it wherever I am on my Mac.
When I want to note something, all the process takes less that 4 seconds.

I take notes all the time, now.
A brilliant app.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
Thomas-Svendsen Member IconReview+26

Love it!! Great feature set!!! Fast and easy to use.

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Version 2.0 β5
Snappir Member IconReview+25

Brilliant application!!!
I love the fact that it works only with plain text, keeps it lightweight with unlimited number of notes, articles...etc...etc.
and the fact that all words are magically linked - fantastic!
Thank you!

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
Himalayan Member IconReview-1

I love NV. Have been using it for more than a year now, and it has become my go-to place to write everything down. Quick notes, important financial info, whatever.

I also love the fact that the notes database is encrypted.

My only wish is that I could find an iOS app that will sync with NV in some way *other* than via the cloud. All the solutions I've found sync via Dropbox, Simplenote, or Evernote. But since I have some very private information in my NV notes, I don't want to have them sitting unencrypted on some third-party server.

What I'm looking for is an app that syncs with NV locally (via iTunes, Bonjour, or LAN WiFi). Any suggestions???

Reply4 replies
Version 2.0 β5



Oups, wrong suggestion, I suppose...I wish we could edit our comments.


Something you said here intrigued me.

What's the issue with having ones Dropbox contents be encrypted? Are encrypted volumes unsafe via Dropbox, because such sparse bundles are quite possible on there. I think.


El-Duderino: According to the NV instructions, synching with Dropbox only works as plaintext: https://github.com/scrod/nv/wiki/synchronizing-with-dropbox

M_Wilke Member IconReview+1

It just occurred to me to check for an update. Guess it's been a while since I last did that.

Just to prove how great this app is, I've been using the 2003 version 1.1.1 for all these years, flawlessly. Glad to see NV is alive and well. I'll get the iPhone app next.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
EndoLab Member IconReview+95

Great app. Love it !

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
Cv186 Member IconReview+19

This is simply the finest note-pad available for Mac. Just brilliant.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
Joni Meeserman Member IconReview+1
Joni Meeserman

Aarrrggghhh!! I have a mixed feeling with this upgrade.

On one hand, I love that it adds vi style navigation with control key. I have setup my capslock to control so it's really easy to navigate in NV now (rather than use cmd+h/j/k/l).

On the other hand I now can't use some of the emacs keybinding (which supported system wide in Mac OS). One of the most important and sorely missed is control+k to delete to the end of line. I've used NV to manage my to do list, and usually just put the cursor at the beginning of the line and delete/kill it.

Overall though, great work by developer. And NV is still the best notetaking app out there.

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0 β5
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Current Version (2.x)


Downloads 21,754
Version Downloads 8,481
License Free
Date 01 Apr 2011
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32 / PPC 64
Price Free
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