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5 tips to get the most out of Tomboy notes

Tomboy is one of the most powerful notetaking desktop applications out there. Though these days, many people are switching to web-based tools like Evernote and Springpad, Tomboy can still serve as a good alternative for folks who like doing things old school. Tomboy has many interesting features, and knowing even half of them can make you more organized. So, here are 5 tips which will help you get the most out of Tomboy.

Make it work with email

If you are one of those people who forgets to write important emails, Tomboy could be a very helpful tool for you. Say you are busy working on some report, and suddenly you remembered that you have to write an email to Bob, thanking him for last night’s dinner. Either you can lose your workflow and write that email right now or you could file it somewhere GTD-style so that you can tackle it later. If you are more into the second method, Tomboy is just what you need.

To get started, create a new note, and write about the email you want to send later. Also, it would be great if you include that person’s email address. Now, whenever you have time, open the notes and start writing those mails. Clicking on the email address you mentioned in the note will open a new compose window in Evolution. The address from the note will show up in the ‘To’ section of the compose window. If you are a bit more organized, you can save all email-related notes in a separate notebook titled, let’s say ‘Emails’. This technique is great for people who devote a specific time of their day to managing emails.

Interlinking notes

You can reference any previously created note by just mentioning its name. The mentioned note then shows up as link in the current note, similar to what happens in Wikipedia. Clicking on the link will open that particular note. Furthermore, you can interlink any number of notes, making it easier for you to reference previously written stuff.


You can also view which notes link to the one you are currently viewing. To do that, enable the Add-in ‘Backlinks’ by going to Preferences > Add-ins > Tools. Then, select the add-in and click on enable. Whenever you want to view which notes link to the current note, just click on the gears icon and hover over the option that says ‘What links here’.

Note of the Day


Note of the Day is a very useful feature if you have a habit of jotting down the day’s Tasks and Appointments. The add-in creates a new note everyday with the date as the note’s title. This note comprises two customizable sections, one for adding tasks and other for writing down appointments. It’s not a perfect organizer but works great if you’re looking for something less complex and easy-to-use. To enable the feature, go to Preferences > Add-ins  > Tools. There, select the option that says ‘Note of the day’

Create notes the lazy way

Many times, while writing something important, something else that is equally important pops into our heads. To not write the second thing down means to forget it and to write it down means a break in workflow. Tomboy can address this dilemma with its ‘Highlight Wikiwords’ feature. The add-in allows users to create new notes without closing the one you are currently writing. Just write the name of the new note in a WikiWord format and the word automatically gets underlined. Clicking on the underlined word will create a new note by the same name. To enable the feature, go to Preferences and then check the option that says Highlight Wikiwords. If you don’t know what the WikiWord format is, then take a look at this article.

Tomboy Everywhere

As I said earlier, Tomboy can act as a perfect desktop replacement to services like Evernote and Springpad. Tomboy, being a popular software, has been made available on a variety of platforms including Android. Here’s how to make Tomboy work across every device you own.


If you use Ubuntu, Tomboy can be synced across multiple computers using UbuntuOne. To do that, go to Preferences > Synchronization. Select the service UbuntuOne and link Tomboy to your UbuntuOne account. There are also other sync options like SSH sync, Webdav and Local sync. If you are an Android user, you can access your tomboy notes using the Tomdroid application. For iPhone users there is a DIY method out there. Here’s a link to an article explaining the method.

Installing Tomboy: If you don’t have Tomboy installed on your computer, just go to this page to find the setup files pertinent to your Operating System. To get more add-ins, visit this page.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.