This is an archive page for new ideas for Tomboy. We don't use it any longer, but preserve for historical purposes. If you have any ideas or suggestions - please submit them to our GitHub tracker.

See also Ideas for new add-ins

Ability to disable auto-linking

Tomboy turns anything it thinks is a link in to a clickable hyperlink; unfortunately this very often results in it converting things that aren't links in to hyperlinks. Even when it actually does convert a real link in to a hyperlink, clicking on an unexpected link can be one of the most vexing experiences in using what is otherwise an awesome note-taking tool. However, despite this fact that (for many users at least) the auto-linking is a defect, not a feature, there is currently no way for a user to disable it.

I'm not the only one who feels this way; for instance: and there are other similar threads out there too.

Idea credits: #JeremyWalker (and everyone in the thread I just linked)

Anonymous notes

  • Not be required to 'name' notes when they are created without getting the not-so-useful name 'New Note #' (when there are lots of 'New Notes #' they get difficult to manage). Maybe the note list could display a summary of the contents when the name isn't set?

Idea credits: RyanProbasco


  • Would be nice to have a way to archive notes

Idea credits: Nat

[#Nat ]

It would be excellent to have an option to archive a note instead of pressing [Delete]. That way, if you later want to search for a phone number that you took down several months ago, it will still be available. Personally, until there is a way to store large numbers of old notes long term, Tomboy won't be an adequate solution for my own note-keeping.

#RobertHoegerl I'm already using Tomboy and find it very useful. But I totally agree with Nat, it would be a *big* difference if there was such an archiving feature. Think of Gmail: "Why should you delete an email again?" You find some paragraph in a website or come up with a sudden idea and just take down a note. Maybe you don't need it anymore, but maybe it might be useful in the future. So if you some two years later think, oh, yes, there was this note sometime, you just type it in the (beagle) search field and Tomboy presents you the note.

Unless Tomboy is suffering somehow performance-wise, I don't see what the advantage is to archiving a note. The note will be out of your hair as soon as a few notes are edited, and it will always be available from the search dialog. Once you reach a certain number of notes, do you really browse through every single note, or do you just search? Personally I haven't scrolled through a list of my notes in over a year. Dropping out of the applet/tray menu is effectively archiving for me. --SandyArmstrong

Well, then there should not be a "Delete" toolbar button. The dialog it displays is annoying and it triggers obsessive behaviour: I would not even think of deleting stuff if it was not there. (If someone wants to delete a note for reasons of secrecy6 they could just delete all text in the note; then it would also become unsearchable. It can also be truly deleted in this case, without an annoying dialog). -- AlexanderKhodyrev

Application grouping

  • A really cool idea would be to be able to group a bunch of windows (applications) together and associate them with a note. The way I would use this is to use notes for keeping track of different tasks. When clicking on a task, that will instantaneously bring back the windows for this task. Some random use case examples:
  • Many of us tend to pay our bills every month. For this I might need a web browser with my internet bank, a spreadsheet with this months budget and outcome and a calculator. These applications are associated with the note. When clicking on it, it brings up all the applications I need.
  • Programming is a complex task that involves many applications like debuggers, IDE:s and editors. For larger projects it might also involve Bugzillas and wikis, not to mention documentation. Associating the applications needed with a note will bring up my workspace fast and elegantly.

  • A party setup might include Amarok and a browser with YouTube readily available.

These are just some contrived example, I'm sure you could come up with your own. To implement this, tight integration with common applications and the window manager would be needed, a pretty daunting task. I put it up here mainly for your consideration. -- ErikNilsson

Audio notes

With a click in the button bar you can speak a short note into your microphone and Tomboy saves it directly as a note with audio attachment. Later you can play and pause the audio note and if necessary write it down in characters. A simple function with much value.

* Synchronize audio notes. The idea is to be able to play bits of an audio lecture that correspond to text notes the user was typing while the audio was recording. To parts are required for this: keep a date/time stamp on the audio note when recording was begun and a date/time stamp on the text as the text was written (see Timestamp below). Then, to play just a particular section of the audio, click on the text you're interested in, subtract that time stamp from the audio clip time stamp and start playing the audio clip from that offset. The system can be optimized further... but that's the basic idea. twinotter

Auto-Open Note flag

  • With this add-on enabled each note could have its Auto-Open flag ticked. With the A-O flag ticked the note(s) in question will automatically open when Tomboy is opened or synchronized. This is especially valuable when one creates a note on machine A, sets the flag, and moves to machine B where the note will be open and waiting. Presumably this would be included as a checkable/uncheckable item in a menu.

Idea credits: JamesIsIn 2011-08-04 09:30:27

Automatic capitalization

  • At the start of a new line or after a period, Tomboy would automatically capitalize the first letter of a word as you typed. Maybe it would be better as an optional plugin.

Automatic index for tagged notes

When tagging is in place, it would be very useful if every tag in Tomboy had an automatically created page, by default containing links to every note with that tag. This automatic page would not be saved, thus allowing for additional functionality: The user could create his own note for a tag, so instead of that search there could be a bit of information.

Alternatively, such a link could open a regular search for that tag with custom tag notes ignored.

Idea credits: -- DylanMcCall 2007-11-05 22:08:27

Automatic linking of specified text patterns

When I used TortoiseSVN it had a great feature for automatically linking to defect tracking / bug tracking systems. It allowed you to specify a given set of text patterns using basic RegEx and use those patterns to automatically generate links to given URLs (see their manual page for details of their implementation). For instance you could define that B12345 would link to //bugzilla/?do=details&id=12345, T54321 would link to //taskzilla/?do=details&id=54321 and so on. This would be very useful for me day to day as I often refer to bugs and task list items with a similar notation & being able to click those phrases and have the webpage display would be very helpful. By allowing users to specify there own sets of tags it would allow let people do things like Wiki:foo to make foo and many other such systems from inside notes. If this is only done client side then notes would still make sense without the Add-On but some way of allowing a person or organization to export & import lists of these associations would probably be a big boon too.

Idea credits: -- ThomasThorne 2011-05-17 09:29:05


  • When you start writing, Tomboy should suggest the existence of another note whose title coincides
  • Hitting enter when this happens would complete the note's name
  • This would help many people remember that they have a note related to what they're writing
    • If anyone has any real idea how to implement this, I would love to give it a stab (with a push in the right direction) KevinKubasik

      • Here are my thoughts -- I would absolutely love to have this feature (SandyArmstrong):

        • What I want is to just hit ctrl+space and get a drop-down. But this can only ever work with exact matches. I can argue this if you don't buy it. But personally if I'm doing autocomplete it's because I can't remember the title of my note, so exact matches usually won't cut it.
        • An alternative (easier to implement, less discoverable?) approach would be to something like this:
          • Type some sentinel text like "Note:"
          • As soon as you start typing, a drop-down appears with the results of searching through note titles (favoring exact matches, then "AND" matches, followed by "OR" matches).
          • Select the note you want, click or hit enter, and "Note:stuff i typed" gets replaced by a proper link to the selected note.

  • When writing any word, Tomboy should suggest possible words (that already exist in Tomboy) as you type. Kate does this and its very handy, its useful in the same way as predictive texting.
  • I believe that autocompletion is a very useful feature, and it should be thought as something more powerful. Having this in mind, I would suggest to have two autocompletion modes:
    • Eclipse-like autocompletion -- I feel that there is a lack of wikiedit-like commands for text formatting (currently there only exists text to specify unordered lists), and an autocompletion feature for this "commands" could make them easier to use. For example, suppose that there exists a command to create tables of the form "||- heading | heading || first row cell | first row cell || second row cell | second row cell ||". When the user is typing the initial text of the command, he could press ctrl+space to get a drop-down where he could select an "insert table" template, which will insert the appropriate command for a table. After that, the user could hit enter to see the pattern transformed into a table. In this way, there could exist different templates for inserting whatever command or text pattern is needed

    • Shell-like autocompletion -- This type of autocompletion could work much as the tab key works on a Unix shell. When the user is typing a word and press ctrl-tab, he could get a drop-down with a suitable list of words containing not only notes and notebooks names, but also system's directories and files names (if the user's currently typing text is something like /blahblah/dkfjkd), or even installed software names, contact id's, etc ...

    I'm very interested in developing this feature. If there's someone willing to point me in the right direction for this, I would appreciate the help. -- CarlosAlegría 2009-02-11 07:17:01

Backlinks, make more of a feature of them.

They are incredibly useful, more than an add-in tool. Maybe they could go in the right-click menu so finding and using the feature is more automatic? -- GlynWebster

Browser integration



  • Create a Tomboy Firefox Extension
    • Tomboy Button would be available in Firefox's Toolbar/status bar (maybe similar to the Beagle extension)
    • Be able to:
      • Create a new Tomboy Note that includes the URL to the specific web page you're visiting
      • Access/open all notes that contain the URL to the web page you're on
        • Tomboy icon shows actual number of notes associated with the web page
        • Click on the Tomboy icon and it pops open a menu with the corresponding notes so you don't have to go searching in Tomboy for them
  • If you're writing in a Tomboy Note make it easy to quickly add (without copy/paste) the Title + URL of the website of:

    • Any opened web pages in the browser
    • Pages from your bookmarks
    • Pages from your browser's history
    • Bookmarks stored in your account
    • Bookmarks from, etc.
  • Just found DBuzilla (D-BUS for Mozilla)

    • Still need to check it out, but it could be exactly what we need to make this extension fairly simple
    • Could be able to talk with Tomboy via D-BUS to search and open existing notes or create new notes based on the web site (URL) you're currently on!
  • TomFox is a Firefox extension to create a note out of selected text, with the page title as note title and the URL included


  • Send a note via Bluetooth to a configured device with one click
  • in the notes window or in the main window
  • sending as plain text or html

Idea credits: MartinRaissle

Browser mode

  • Tomboy notes run in a single window
  • Use forward/backward button as you open different notes
  • Link/button that allows you to go to any "parents" of the current note
    • This could be useful outside of browser mode
      • Perhaps middle-clicking a link uses the current window?

This could be a simple preference:

[x] Open notes in new window (Shift+click to override default setting)

With the back/forward buttons only showing up once there is a history trail for a given window.

Idea credits: JeffDay

There is a program already that is like this, it's called Zim. I love the spatial mode myself. Sunnan

And yet, there are those of us that would prefer a browser mode. I don't care which is default, but I would love to see it as an option. Zim isn't an adequate substitute yet.


  • The ability to stick in simple, one-time, calculations. Just the four basic operators would be a great start: add, subtract, multiply, divide. Perhaps something like "[365*24]" which would immediately be replaced with the result.
  • When I get time to breathe I'll pursue a plug-in for this functionality.

Calendar view

  • It would be good to have a better time-based view of the notes, like displaying them on a calendar. And it would help if it kept track of (at least) both the time the note was originally created and the time it was last modified and you could switch between those when viewing the calendar.
  • JoaoSilva: this would be very nice indeed. I suggest that whenever a note is changed, a new entry in the calendar is created for the present day with the note. For example:

    1. 1 Jan: I create a new note titled "ReadingAssignments" with some text

    2. 3 Jan: I update the note with some new assignment.

    Now there would be an entry for the note "ReadingAssignments" in both the 1st and 3rd January. However, the entry in the 3rd would show the current note, while the entry in the 1st would show how the note was in that day. This would be very useful but it implies a different way of storing the notes.

Checkboxes are Task Items

  • As a solution to the todo item question, there could be a type of bulleted list called "task list". A task list is a bulleted list with checkboxes instead of bullets. Clicking on the checkbox crosses out the text belonging to the list item. Then there could be a summary note that would list all task documents and their states across the wiki.

Created a CheckboxesMockupPage:

Idea credits: Joseph

#RobertHoegerl: I agree. Would be useful.

Cheese integration

Would it be possible to integrate Tomboy with Cheese? This would enable users to create little video snippets and sort them through Tomboy. This idea comes from the OS X program Journaler, which beautifully integrates multimedia possibilities with note taking.

Clear/reset the recent list

The recent list which pops when you click tray icon can get pretty clogged when you create many notes in a short time. This kind of spoils the usefulness of a "recent notes" menu. It would make this menu much more useful if it was possible to either remove notes from there or reset (i.e. empty) the list.

What about a list where the "pinned" notes are listed first (after all, if you flag them as important, they shouldn't be lost somewhere down at position 65...) and then the "N" most frequently accessed notes for the last "T" time, sorted by access count for the time period ? To this, you add a "clear recent list" button and an maybe the option (context menu ?) to remove a note from the recent list. There, "N" and "T" could easily be an user options.

You could also have a three section recent menu : First, the pinned items, then the most visited (access count) and then the most recent (either creation or visiting... Since the access count would pump up frequently visited notes, I think the third section would be more useful if it considered creation time...). This would be much easier to implement and a little more "feature rich" but would take a little more room... Again, you could set N2 and N3, the number of notes in section 2 and 3.

Have fun, Francois ( )

  • This seems like a pretty cool idea! Could just add some separators, probably no need to label the sections...feel free to file an enhancement bug for this. --Sandy

ClipMate-like functionality

For many years I've been a registered user of the brilliant Windows program ClipMate, which was simply the single best and most useful program I used under that OS. It has so many wonderfully useful features, such as combining any number of clipped items, and cleaning junk formatting out of such items. To save boring you by raving about the program, just have a look at to get an idea of its superb functionality. I feel somewhat bereft as I enter the Linux world, as all I've been able to find so far are very inadequate clipping programs. I've recently had a most unsatisfactory correspondence with the President of Thornsoft Development, Inc., which produces ClipMate. Unfortunately he's very dismissive of Linux. It surprises me that the Linux world doesn't seem to have anything remotely like ClipMate. Or is it lurking out there unseen and unknown?? It seems to me that TomBoy is a very promising program, which would meet a real need in the Linux worked if it could have added to it the sorts of clipboard-extender features which are so excellent in ClipMate.

  • You are barking on a wrong tree here. There are clipboard extenders (in Gnome, the best IMHO is Parcelite. Unfortunately, that's development is frozen ATM, but certainly trying to push its functionality here, won't help.

Columns for multiple lists

With prioritised ToDo lists it is often useful to show more than one "parallel" list side-by-side eg:-

  • Project1, Project2, Project3, etc. Then one can compare the next task in each project to decide what to do next.
  • Big Projects, Small Tasks. If not time to start anything on the Big Projects list, do something from the Small Tasks list.
  • Work, Personal. etc.

The columns would be simple vertical divisions of the page, and there does not need to be any interaction between columns. No flow of text between columns. Each column is an independent list.

This could be done with Tables (see below) by putting each list in a single cell of a one-row table, and of course tables would be useful for arranging other information too.

Columns for sorting

  • Please add a sort column for creation date. Currently notes can only be sorted by modification date ("Last Changed"). I find this problematic since after a couple of years of using Tomboy I want old notes to stay far down in the list and new (recently modified) notes to appear high up in the list (this makes it easier to find what I am looking for). Unfortunately old notes have their modification stamps changed a lot, for various reasons, at least for me, e.g. due to sync conflicts and notes also have their modification dates changed when links are updated (which can affect a lot of notes in some cases). Moreover the modification date appears to be different on different synced computers, I think because the modification date is adjusted after a sync? Anyway, all this makes the sorting by modification date not very useful, and to get a real chronological list of ones notes a sort by creation date would be required.

Idea credits: #AndreasJonsson

  • This could be done on the same column, clicking on the column header would rotate: Last Changed, Last Changed ^, Last Changed v, Created, Created ^, Created v. How does it looks? #LucPionchon

    • I think having separate columns would be better as it allows you to also have an overview of the timestamps you want. The columns should be customizable ina way that you can decide which one you want to see in the list of notes. As Tomboy really looks like a notebook that suits my needs I would also appreciate this feature.


Possibility to change the notes background colour, and having as choice the window decoration a bit like MacOS-stickies, making it looking really like a Post-It

Trimming off junk from note windows

  • + 1 for configurability of appearance! The ability to hide that big (esp. with short notes on a low-res screen, and esp. using a lot of them, making good use of linking!) and hardly ever used toolbar would be quite a natural step toward Tomboy's priority of "software should never get in the way". (Even the humble XPad can do things like that, and more, like removing window decorations (although not auto-redisplaying on mouseover, so it still doesn't cut it). It's a pity I ended up uninstalling Tomboy for this omission, because the awsome linking feature would really be worth being supported by this smallish extra effort.)


  • Should be able to associate notes with one or more Evolution contacts.
    • Check uppercase words against contact db?
    • "Link to:" menu that included contacts, events, etc.
    • Or, typing the email address or name of a contact could bring up an autocompletion box, and if one hits <enter> it associates that contact. Brian

Context-specific notes

  • Should be able to create notes specific to the currently active application.
    • For example, if I open a context-specific note while I'm in Firefox, at, then the title of the note will automatically be set to "Google" (i.e. the window title minus " - Mozilla Firefox") and I will be able to type some comment about that website as the body of the note. Whenever I'm at this web site again and I try to open a context-specific note, the same note I wrote before will come up and I will get the chance to view, and edit it, if I wish.

    • This can also be applied to other commonly used applications such as Open Office apps (notes being specific to the file open in the active window).
    • I wrote something like this with Autohotkey for Windows about a year ago and use it ALL THE TIME. It's a fantastic way to do research or keep up with the latest products and services. This way, when I or a friend decide we want a really great RSS reader or personalized homepage, etc, I can simply do a search and instantly find all the great articles and blog entries I found on that particular subject along with my personal thoughts about each article (for example, "This seems like a pretty user-friendly desktop search, but it's known to use up a lot of system resources. Definitely not for slower computers."
    • *NOTE* - this is similar to the idea in the "Firefox Integration" idea, except I'm not suggesting an actual extension for Firefox or anything, just something that, when you want to open the special kind of context-specific note, does something more like this:

Checks if note already exists

If note DOES NOT exist

  • Create the note with the appropriate title and make the title a link to the page/file

Otherwise if note DOES exist

  • Open the note so that the user can view the note and edit it if they like

Create a new notes from search terms

I have thousands of notes and sometimes I'm not sure if I have started a note on a particular topic. I search and find no results or the results I see are not what I'm looking for. I use Ctrl+N to create a new note, and expect Tomboy to make the title of my new note from the search terms I entered. I can correct them if I want, but at least Tomboy has saved me from re-typing it.

Daemon mode

Thanks to its D-Bus interface, users can choose to interact with Tomboy through programs like Gnome Do (rather than via the main Tomboy window). In this case Tomboy still needs to be running, and if a user's preferred desktop configuration lacks a notification area then they are stuck with an unused window for the entire session. Tomboy could provide a --daemon option, launching the application without the main window. Once running in this mode, the command "tomboy" could display the window (or toggle its visibility), the window's X button could hide it, and the window's File>Quit item could quit the program.


  • Ability to store notes on multiple similar subjects that you want to keep separate. This way you could have two notes titled "important people". So, such as in my case I can keep notes on characters in one game and not be forced to keep them mixed with characters from another game or my personal to do list. Being able to save a collection of notes and make them unavailable to another set, saving to disk would be nice too.


Drag 'n' Drop Files and Folders in Notes (see also: File Attachments)

  • Make it possible to add Links to Files and Folders with Drag 'n' Drop. Make a Prompt which asks what Tomboy would do if the User click on these Links. Click an Link to an Folder would open these Folder in Nautilus. Click on a File would open these File with the application OR open the path of these File in Nautilus.

Drag 'n' Drop linking

  • I want to link notes by dragging them from the Tomboy "Search All Notes" page into the current note.
  • I want to be able to drag links between notes.
  • Until then, I would settle for pasting without formatting, so that I can pastes a link to a note title, but not the huge font from copying the title.

- WinterGreen

Encrypted notes

  • Should be able to mark a note as "protected" or something, ask for a password, and need to enter the password everytime the note is opened. The note is encrypted on the disk.
    • This would be easy to implement using the D-Bus API provided by Seahorse. Simply check the text when the note is loaded for crypt text and then prompt for passphrase. The key set as the default in Encryption Preferences would be used. The signing and verifying functionality may be useful if note sharing ever becomes available. - AdamSchreiber

  • I have another idea that should even be simpler. Anybody remembers ROT13 encoding? This is no strong encryption but it makes a note unreadable. I think that would solve much problems as one does often not want to let people view all notes from just one glance. But for me personally I am not very interested in stronger encryption. It would help a lot if there would be a button (make readable/make unreadable). Or do something similar. Maybe a start would be that Tomboy needs to have access to the central desktop password to open a note? -- ThiloPfennig 2006-10-07 12:38:38

    • No, I don't think that this is the right solution. When we tell the user that something is encrypted, it should be really encrypted (and not only with a joke like ROT-13). It's really easy to read ROT-13 »encrypted« messages... (with a bit practice) -- ChristianKintner

  • Encryption should be provided by gnupg. If a user chooses to encrypt a note, the content block should be encrypted to ascii armored using the default private key. An additional tag could be used to store the key id used and also store the fact the content has been encrypted. provided gpg settings are transferred with notes, decrypt functionality will remain even if a user migrates to a new machine. Th is would work well with the seahorse/dbus suggestion from AdamSchreiber -- Cafuego

    • IMO there should be a keys page in settings, allowing you to set one (or more in case you used a different key on a different computer) key(s). Private notes will be displayed as This is a private note. Please add your key to (settings page). When a matching key is found, the note will automatically be displayed as a normal note, with a little banner thingie saying Private note. -- Redsandro 2013-01-13 13:59:00

  • The ability to set a notebook as encrypted would be nice, this would allow you to share your Tomboy folder and allow you to control permissions for notebook access -- RichardThomas

Enhanced linking associations

  • Currently, links to other notes are generated on the basis of the titles of other notes; however, this feature could be enhanced by allowing a list of "linking-expressions" to be associated with other notes. Links to other notes could be generated on the basis of a configurable list. The list could be accessible via a button on the menu bar of a note.
    • Example 1 - Suppose that a user creates a note describing a particular theory; however, the theory is referred to by various names in the relevant literature. So, she inputs the other names of the theory into the "associations list" and when typing any of those expressions in another note, a link is automatically generated that points towards the appropriate note.
    • Example 2 - Oftentimes, a user will designate a note by a full title, suppose it's "Deoxyribonucleic acid". However, the user may find it useful to associate the note with "DNA" as well; that way whenever she types in either "Deoxyribonucleic acid" or "DNA" a link is generated that points to the note titled "Deoxyribonucleic acid". Likewise with other abbreviations or acronyms.


  • Keep the auto-link the same by default, but have an option, or right-click, to change the link's association.
    • Example 3 - now you can have links that say "back", which go to a parent note when notes are organized hierarchically.
    • Example 4 - you can have links that say something like "the website to sign up is [link]here[link]" and have "here" go to the website
    • Example 5 - if you have notes that are named the same except have different dates in the title, such as notes for a specific class or daily schedules, you can have links that say "previous" or "next" that go to the the next sequential note.
  • I'm not saying program all these functionalities into Tomboy, just the ability to change the link's association and then people can do this themselves.
  • This way you can also erase the current link if you do not desire a certain word to link to an unrelated topic.


  • Enable users to use notes with partial of the name from another note. This is done by letting tomboy scan for the longest combination that matches a note.
    • Example 1 - Using the current tomboy a user is unable to link to a note called "Ruby on Rails" if the note "Ruby" exists.
    • Example 2 - If this feature gets implemented tomboy would first link to "Ruby" as you type, but after further typing (adding the "on Rails" part) tomboy would recognize that it is not the "Ruby" note you want to link, but the "Ruby on Rails" note.


Events and tasks

  • Should be able to associate notes with Evolution appointments and meetings.
    • Drag a note to an appointment/meeting.
  • Should be able to associate notes with Evolution tasks.
    • Drag a note into the task list in the clock applet to create a new task from the note.
      • Should the note and the new task stay in tune? Should the note be removed?

Evernote integration/synchronization

  • Use the Evernote API ( to sync Tomboy notes --> Evernote, and possibly Evernote --> Tomboy (though obviously images, etc. wouldn't sync into Tomboy...perhaps include a link to the note online in that case?)

Evolution integration

  • Synchronize Evolution Notes and Tomboy Notes.

Evince - Tomboy integration

Implement PDF Annotations support in Evince with Tomboy.

  • The notes would not have to be at the time of executing the document, but rather the notes must be all along available for the user, this or not the this opened document, so that having to open the document to see everything what I write down, is not good.
  • But the interesting thing would be that, when the user marks some part of the text for a note, the Tomboy activates.
  • And in this part he would be rich to play with part of the code of the Tomboy so that it has supported notes of evince, since it would show to the name of the document and all the notes that became in the document, and the Tomboy would give the option to open the document if the user wishes it.

For more details:

Idea credits: BenjaminPerez


  • Export to Text
  • Export to a Wiki
    • The idea here is that the HTML that is generated is more rich (and in this case a wiki)
    • TiddlyWiki Homepage

  • Email
    • Email a note to someone and allow them to open it with Tomboy, make changes and email it back
      • Perhaps a .note extension and an appropriate MIME type?
    • Email a note with Evolution (or other mail client) with note header as subject and body as text. This will allow one to exchange ideas with someone who does not have Tomboy installed.
    • See also: merging notes

    • Evolution-Plugin: Copy or Move an Email to TomBoy. Today we need to do this with Copy Paste. This should result in "Subject"->first line (header) - maybe add some date. -- ThiloPfennig 2007-04-24 09:29:46

  • Print
  • Web Publish
    • Automatically upload marked notes to a predefined web site FTP (thanks Victor for the idea)
    • Related to previous: I would like to export a simple folder containing all my notes as a linked set of HTML pages. Ideally, that folder could be imported by another Tomboy instance on a different machine.
    • Export to MediaWiki, MoinMoin, other Wiki formats -- B. Bogart YES PLEASE!!! Converting my Tomboys to plone is getting tiresome.

    • Export to Google Notebook
    • Export to Jaiku or Twitter or Pownce
  • Export to iPod
  • See also: Sharing

  • Export to .rtf (rich text format, as used by AbiWord and many other apps) would be great; Of course, having also .rtf import to a note would be awesome, specially that Copy/Paste operations between Gnome apps looses all formatting. (Ariel)

Idea credits: Nat, BoydTimothy

  • Just a simple text export/import would be a real boon for me. HTML, XML, wiki formats, etc. may be overkill - keep it simple. Must also have text import.

Idea credits: John

  • Export a Notebook with all the notes linked by name to a template generating an .rtf file with for example APA style and formatting. I think it would be an awesome tool.

Idea credits: Zalves

  • Export to PDF would be great aswell. This is already possible but in an non-user-friendly way : Print note > Print in a file > PDF. A simple "Export" item in the tool menu with possibility to export to PDF (or other file formats such as RTF, HTML, TXT) would be definitely better

Idea credits: Cowboydan

File attachments (see also: Drag 'n' Drop files and folders in notes)

Support to drag and drop files into the Notes (and actually store the files inside the notes, like in emails). (Ariel)

Actually I would like to see the reverse as well: attach Notes to files. When opening a file (ideally using any Gnome application), there would be an extra "Note" icon somewhere on the Window frame - a click would open/close the notes.

Use cases:

  • Attach 'Todo' lists to files. 1 Todo Notes for many files / Many Todo Notes from 1 file.
  • Attach 'Tips and Tricks' notes to a program (which is a file as well)
  • Attach 'Links' to other files (Web site for an music file author,..etc,...)

Note: Under Nautilus there is already a tab with notes. (select a file/right click/Properties/Notes) - The idea is to use the best of both worlds (McG)

-> In the mean time, you can use URLs of the form "file:///home/$user/filenam.ext" in Tomboy.

Find/replace and bitmap graphics

Find/replace says it all. As I use Tomboy as a scientific notebook, I would love to be able to insert diagrams and charts. I'll may try the inline LaTex viewer. 2008-07-10 00:36:31


Quotes from Nat:

  • "My notes are poorly formatted. How can I make them look better?"
    • How do you make Word documents look better? Using bullets and indentation, most likely. (Alex)

  • "Rearranging text between notes is hard. I'm faster in emacs."
  • Ability to rename links. Currently you can only have full URL's.
    • When dragging a link from Epiphany, preserve the link "name".
    • The same with bookmarks.
  • A literal text style for text that should not be spell-checked or automatically linked. (See the following notes asking about disabling spell checking. I think this would be a right way to solve technical notes problem, at least.)

  • Please give the user the option to disable spell checking. I use Tomboy for technical notes, almost every word is not in the dictionary and gets highlighted red by Tomboy as misspelled, this is aggravating. -- Already exists, see the Preferences panel by right-clicking the icon (Alex)

    • What exists already is the ability to enable/disable spell checking for all the notes. However, I think it should be possible to enable/disable spell checking per note, and also to select the language per note (currently it is totally impossible). Many people work with more than one language, and spell checking in the wrong language is just annoying (I use English for most things work related, but Spanish for most other things and my UI is in Spanish: I cannot take notes in English without disabling spell checking).
  • Support for Simple Font Colors: A simple yet useful feature to enrich the information content in the notes would be the support of font colors, with a few keyboard shortcuts for quick on-the-fly access - for example, say Ctrl-1 is Black (default), Ctrl-2 is Blue, Ctrl-3 is Red, with the last two (or all three of them) configurable by via Preferences (Ariel)

  • Indentation:

    • Intelligent indentation support (like gedit) (for example keep the indentation of the line above or below, etc), very useful when building lists etc.

    • Block indentation: select a block of text and push a button to move it all right or left (pressing Tab and Shift-Tab) (Already Implemented as of 0.15)

    • Shit+Enter with bullets: It'd be nice if pressing shift+enter would create a new with the same indentation than the previous and no bullet like in OO; right now it just creates a new bullet (HansiRaber) (Already Implemented as of 0.15)

    • Ctrl-TAB to insert a regular tab: Sometimes I need to enter tabulated information in a note, and while some sort of table functionality would be ideal, just supporting regular TABs (without generating bullets and without modifying the indentation of the whole paragraph) anywhere in a paragraph or line (beginning or middle) would be really useful and sufficient for many simple table-like scenarios; I suggest making "Ctrl-TAB" insert a true tab character (Ariel)

    • Tabs work cool in my version of Tomboy, but what about making elastic tabstops? See this website for infos on this great concept: (DraganEspenschied)

  • Allow the user to choose the colours for links and possibly allow multi-colour text. (PeterArthur)

  • Bulletin folding, similar to code folding in popular IDEs, to allow the user to collapse itemized bulletin lists. (TomWeingarten)

  • I would like to see the format kept when printed to a PDF file or to a printer. I used the bullets in Tomboy and when I printed it to a PDF all my tabs were lost so I was left with one enormous bulleted list with the shapes of the bullets changing.
  • Add some standart-formattings via CTRL+0 - CTRL+5 like normal text, textsize++/bold, textsize+/bold/italics, ..., textsize-, textsize--/bold, ... as we all appreciate it in OpenOffice etc. Needed because, textformatting should only need one command/shortcut on a note.

    • We already support basically all of these, unless I misunderstand what you're suggesting. You can change text size with ctrl++ and ctrl+-, reset to default size with ctrl+0, and all other formatting also has shortcuts, like ctrl+b for bold. --SandyArmstrong

* "Red Links" for empty linked notes: If a linked note is empty, it should display in red text like wikipedia does. -crapshooter

Freehand drawing

  • Support drawing with the mouse pointer. This is very useful in tablet PCs. Not an easy feature I guess, though :)

  • Instead of trying to support inline drawing from Tomboy, maybe we should look at cleanly connecting to another application, such as Inkscape, which will provide a much better drawing package.
    • I think, it's overkill. This feature should provide easy drawing for simple images, not so complex as Inkscape. And only few people have Inkscape installed.
    • Yes, I'm all for something simpler (with maybe a right-click popup for "Edit in Inkscape").
    • RobertHoegerl: That's overkill. I don't think that there is a need for an Inkscape integration. Inkspace is a professional vector graphics software which needs quite long to load. Very few actually have it installed. Tomboy is a small, quick notes application.

    • JeffTickle: This is what I am working on for my Google Summer of Code project.

      • BradLandis: After a long search, I found that this project is called Virtual Paper, and found a recent blog on the topic, which also includes instruction for downloading it via SVN.

        • Apparently Virtual Paper has disappeared from the web? I think simple freehand pixel drawing (no vectors please!!) would be awesomely useful. Vector drawing for example on windows mobile sucks terribly for making quick graphical notes. It is overkill to make every brush stroke into an object.

Instead of displaying the actual link contents such as:

code something on this order: [][shortlink] This will just display: "shortlink"


Tomboy looks like a potentially fantastic app. However, it has one shortcoming in my opinion:

As far as I can see, it cannot currently handle data that is in the form of graphics or images. (Please correct me if I'm wrong here).

Include the ability to import and display a wide variety of graphics, and you would have a killer application on your hands!

  • Perhaps this could be implemented in two ways: (1) Embed small images with Base64 encoding, much as is done with SMTP mail. (2) Link to large images, either in the local Tomboy Notes directory, elsewhere on the hard drive, or even on the Web, and represent the image in Tomboy Notes with an icon that might even be an embedded Base64-encoded thumbnail of the large image. Give the user manual control over which method to use on an image-by-image basis. Embedded is great for static information that one wants to freeze in time, while linking is best for graphics which change, perhaps even edited by others on the Web. --AndrewP 2012-02-15 17:15:48


  • Inline Media
    • Images
      • Drag and drop images directly into a Tomboy note and size to fit
    • Video & Audio - Show an icon and open a helper app to play file.

  • * More distinct title
    • Still appear editable
    • Something like the evolution mail header display
    • Stylable
  • Open new notes centered on the screen, not in the upper left corner
    • If the center is occupied by other notes, show the new one shifted a little to the bottom right of the top note. This is especially useful for opening notes by clicking links.
    • Not that I'm a programmer of Tomboy, but I think if changing that behaviour it would make sense to put new notes close to where "new note" menuitem was clicked. It's as simple as making the action happen where the users eyes expect them to happen. (HansiRaber)

  • Keystroke to close all Notes except the one on top.

  • Menu-Icons should be able to become smaller.

Idea credits: Nat, drewkerr

Idea credits: Faizi Crofts

Google Drive Sync app

An separate app for Google Drive, which:

  • Syncs notes between Tomboy and Google Drive
  • Manages (Tomboy) notes on Google Drive
  • Tomboy (online) notes and collections are held in special folder named 'Tomboy'
  • Handles note editing via Google Drive

This would be useful, when one (like me) has bad internet connectivity (Google Drive not loading, yet small uploads still possible). That gives kinda (pseudo-)offline note making for Google Drive. Another feature is that you can access to your Tomboy notes nearly anywhere via internet (like public library or school computer). One can still edit those notes in Google Drive in Tomboy way and format, as notes uploaded/created to Google Drive would be in Tomboy format and therefore features remain. Also file conversion to from Tomboy/Drive format and related problems wouldn't be issue.

Idea credits: Janar Leas

Hierarchical table of contents

With a lot of notes with interlinks it can be really hard to find notes, a table of contents that groups the notes by hierarchy, based on link parents would make notes easier to find visually.

Lets say I have a bunch of notes that were all created by creating a link in an other note. That note would be parent and all the notes linked from it would show up in a second pane. Otherwise your table of contents could easily fill with notes and the search would be the only way to find anything, rather than being able to use the link structure to organize ideas (the purpose of a wiki right?).

Idea credits: [ B. Bogart]

Hotkey for opening notes

It would be nice to have a hotkey to bring up pre-selected notes. In addition, you could call notes individually or in groups. --KirkWerklund

The Title of a note should link to a "Home" note by default. --infoBsoft

HTML plugin

Open a window with html text to copy&paste instead of saving file somewhere. Maybe save it into a temporary file and launch gedit to edit it by default?

HTML5 Version of Tomboy

If an HTML5 version could be written then we could have Tomboy running on Google Chrome. Google has paused their Scratchpad support and now a version of Tomboy is needed.

Features should include:

  • Offline Support
  • Synchronization with Ubuntu or Google Drive

IMAP support

Currently, a user has three main options to sync notes: get an Ubuntu One account, set up a Snowy server himself, wait for the official deployment of the Snowy server. Other options, like webdav, etc. (through Fuse) do not work on windows. Moreover, if one has several devices (say, a home computer, an office computer, a smart gadget), then one either have to remember to sync them all or to put a short sync interval. The problem of synchronization or better, synchronous access, is not new though, and there is an established solution: IMAP. If to think of it, notebook = folder, note = email. If to write an IMAP plugin for Tomboy, then a user can simply use his current email account. And, I thinks it should be possible to make Tomboy work like email programs work today: if I save or change a draft email on one computer, I can immediately see the change on any other computer connected to the same IMAP store. Andrei Dubovik

I've just discovered there is the same suggestion at PluginList.

Import documents from other PostIt-like apps - and synchronise with them

Tomboy being able to work over MacOS-X Stickies (since Linux can mount hfsplus unjournalled partitions as read/write -- very useful for people like me using MacOS-X and Linux on a dualboot machine) - and maybe able to work with some PostIt-like tools for w32, like BlocoDeRecados and many others. Importing a mere txt file would be useful as well


I have the same needs, however from MS Outlook. I don't think that Tomboy should go as far as importing from various applications and formats, but a bare minimum should be to import text files from one single directory, each file creating one note on Tomboy.

For synchronisation: Forget it. You can only sync formats which are identical (or at least very similar). Tomboy's notes are much richer than Outlook or Palm notes, which are pure text (no links, no format, etc...). Once you migrate to Tomboy, forget about your old note application. -- PascalSartoretti 2008-10-29 09:36:31

  • I'd like to be able to import from an old Micro Logic [] Info Select database. My program was originally created for Windows 3.11, and I've been running it on Windows 98SE, albeit badly: It has had problems with date formatting since 2000 and only supports file names in DOS 8.3 format. Now that Tomboy Notes is supporting the notion of "Notebooks", it mimics the "stack" behavior of Info Select. It would be great if Info Select stacks could be converted to Tomboy Notebooks. Info Select is a proprietary product, but it looks to me as if the earlier database formats were mostly ASCII text, and wouldn't be too hard to decode, even if Micro Logic decides to be uncooperative. (Micro Logic polled users six or seven ago for feature requests, and one that was loudly voiced was a Linux version. To-date, they have not ported their product to Linux, leading me to believe they never will. Since Microsoft lost its way with Vista, I'm unhitching my wagon from them and gradually converting to Linux and FOSS.) --AndrewP 2009-02-03 19:56:49


In many code editors (such as Scite) you can highlight lines of text and hit tab to indent each selected line or hit shift + tab to dedent each line. I'd like it if Tomboy had this feature.


Having Tomboy on multiples platforms is great; adding synchronisation is even better. However, most people use only one platform; if they need to synchronise notes, it is probably more between their computer and their mobile phone. As Tomboy already works on OS X, maybe it would not be that hard to port it to the iPhone's version of OS X. Having Tomboy on the iPhone syncing to your desktop (Linux, OS X, Windows) : that would be a killer feature. -- PascalSartoretti

and iPad

Installation - include GTK# automatically

Most Windows users are not accustomed to loading dependent libraries that applications require and will probably scrap the install when they see the first dependency error. I suggest the TomBoy WIN installer automatically download all dependencies (including GTK#) during the initial installation. --CorneliusD

Integration into desktop wallpaper

It would be great to be able to "integrate" Tomboy notes into the desktop's wallpaper (may be with transparency) and to activate them by doubleclick on them if they need to be changed or deleted. Like on a real workspace you would be able to make notes on your paper desk cover while keep on working on it. Notes would be permanently visible to the user while not disturbing the normal workflow. This could also compensate for the disadvantage of having to open every note again when restarting the computer.


What would be better than Tomboy with emacs keybindings? Currently, you can set gtk programs to use emacs keybindings, but quite a few important ones are overwritten by some of the default Tomboy ones.

example: ctl-b in Tomboy toggles bold text; ctl-b in emacs moves cursor backwards

All that it would take to implement this would be a way to edit all of Tomboy's default keybindings.

Ordering bulleted lists

If the order of a bulleted lists signifies priority, then a common operation is to move a bullet up in the stack or down. A keybinding would be nice. Given Alt + { LeftArrow | RightArrow } already move bullets left and right, it would be natural to use Alt + { UpArrow | DownArrow }.

Knotes import

Here's an idea arising from necessity: when one switches from KDE to a GTK Desktop using Tomboy, there's a problem that one cannot import the Knotes File(s) to Tomboy; so the idea is, a feature for Tomboy to import a Knotes notes.ics file by having the user point at it. Idea credits: JohnBulsterbaum

LaTeX equations display

It could be really nice to have a plugin that uses gtkmathview to display LaTeX equations.

Plugin is available at

It might be very useful if one could associate notes with several notes, not just one. In fact, using Notebooks would become very much like 'tagging' notes (/ assigning keywords) to notes. I don't know how Tomboy handles 'notebook assignments' internally and whether this idea would be line with the general conception of notebooks, but I believe it would be very helpful since many or perhaps even most times notes are connected to different events, tasks, etc. (for example, my notes for the next pta meeting might need filing both in the 'PTA meeting' notebook as well as 'Open tasks'. Idea credits: homoludens1000


Its already possible to make a link to an other Note but an created link is only removeable by deleting the linked text and delete the linked note. This should be an option for instance under the right click of the mouse on a link and then ask you will you only want to delete the link or also the linked note or Notes.

Lock individual notes

Allow important notes to be locked so they become "read only". It is very easy to overwrite notes when not paying attention. Notes might contain strings that are the same as links which could be updated automatically. This is sometimes unwanted and can lead to problems.

Logs/status reports for specified period from Tomboy

Have Tomboy generate a log of the entries from certain entries showing only the entries made during a certain period of time. Allow them to be organized by topic. This would allow me to take notes on my work in Tomboy and quickly generate a log or status report.

Mac OS X support

Or rather, un-abandon the Mac version, as it predates two major operating system versions, Mac OS X 10.7 and OS X 10.8, and is significantly out of step with development and the current release version.

Macros for templates

The functionality of templates -- particularly now that we have Notebooks -- could be profoundly improved if one could create macros. For example, a user who is creating a journal may use a notebook in Tomboy. In the notebook's template, he would have a macro that inserts the date as the title, his name. (Macros could be super simple, like date surrounded by "at" symbols, as we use here!). That same concept could be of use for the Note of The Day extension, which could then have its functionality handled entirely by the template system and only need to trigger the creation of its note. With macros to insert appointments and tasks in Evolution, that extension could become very useful. -- DylanMccall 2008-11-18 15:29:57


As the different alternatives of sharing Tomboy notes evolves (networked, peer-to-peer, email, etc.), Tomboy ought to be able to resolve conflicts easily on already existing notes. For example, if you sent Bob a Tomboy note named, "Golf Scores", he edits it in Tomboy and sends it back to you (but you've also edited it in the meantime), Tomboy ought to be able to show you the two notes side-by-side and let you choose whether to keep the old one, use the new one, merge them together, or keep both of them (rename one of them). The UI for doing this needs to be dirt simple!

  • One simple idea enabled by note-linking is to just create links to altered notes. Alterations that require merging can be dumped into a newly created note named "Golf Scores by Bob (September 8, 3:23pm)", and a link created at the top of the original note. It's pretty low-tech, but has a lot of value.
  • Could Meld be used somehow (in a nice way for basic users) to deal with merging?

  • User something like gmail message-IDs (that could be hidden). This would also allow to transfer notes.

Middle-click for more actions

Originally suggested as a bug in

When you click a hyperlink from a Tomboy note, it closes. That's quite cool, but to make that behaviour more consistent I think the note should close too when:-selecting some text and middle-clicking the "link to new note" button.

  • -middle clicking the "extensions → what links here → note" menu item.

Mindmap navigation


  • Visualize the organization of your Tomboy notes
  • Quickly visualize the relationships of your ideas/notes
  • Navigate quickly to related notes

Can Tomboy and Labyrinth collaborate? That would be really useful!

Multiple titles for notes

If notes could be given multiple titles, it would be easy to link to a note within a sentence (without having to engineer said sentence around a descriptive title) while also preserving informative main titles. This idea would benefit greatly from Reusing Titles, as well. This idea could be similarly approached using tags.

Idea credits: -- DylanMcCall 2007-11-05 22:08:27

Done: Tomboy Redirects

I wrote a plugin called Tomboy Redirects that does this. See: -- YuvalShavit 2009-07-12 18:37:22

New notes default to their parent's notebook

Most of the time when people create notes by making a link from another note, they will want that note to be in the same notebook. For example, if I have a note called "New Features" in the "New Features" notebook which links to notes of new features I want to add to program X, I am going to create those new feature notes by making a link from the "New Features" note. When I type "Tagging support", highlight it, and then hit the link button, I want it to automatically be added to the "New Features" notebook.


  • More information on the Notebooks page

  • A notebook is a collection of related notes
  • Export as a single file
  • Can be shared with others (which shares all the notes inside of it)
  • See also: Export, Sharing

Notebooks as namespaces (or "Closed Notebooks")

This suggestion relates to, or incorporates, stuff from Discrimination, New notes default to their parent's notebook, Reusing Titles and Separate Linking.

Here's the problem: if you accumulate enough notes then, sooner or later, you'll have too many links appearing. This happened to me when I put a glossary of grammatical terms in Tomboy. Tomboy is the perfect tool for glossaries, because it automagically handles the cross-references, but this becomes a nuisance when I'm not writing about grammar. When I write Tomboy is the perfect tool... I don't want to link to a definition of the perfect aspect.

I want a way to "close" a notebook. If a notebook is closed, I cannot accidentally create links to notes in that notebook. I have to explicitly say, "I want to link into that closed notebook" by typing notebook-title: note-title. E.g. Grammar Glossary: Perfect.

More formally:

  1. A note should have two names: a short name and a full name. The short name is just the note's title. The full name is: notebook-title: note-title. The full name always gets turned into a link.

  2. A notebook can be "open" or "closed". Open is the default. If a note is in an open notebook, its short name always gets turned into a link. If a note is in a closed notebook, the short name only gets turned into a link when used in the same notebook.

So, for example, if I have a closed notebook called Grammar Glossary, with a note called Perfect, the full name Grammar Glossary: Perfect gets turned into a link no matter where I use it. But because Grammar Glossary is closed, the short name Perfect only gets turned into a link when I use it in other Grammar Glossary notes. Elsewhere, it has no special powers.

Three other points I should mention:

  1. None of this makes sense if New notes default to their parent's notebook is not implemented.

  2. It's hard to decide what to do about inbound short name links when a notebook is converted from open to closed. Should they be broken, or converted to full name links? The best solution I can think of is to give the user the means to easily convert short name links to full name links, both individually and in bulk. Any links the use has not converted should be broken.
  3. It seems to me that Reusing Titles makes much more sense in the case when the notes have the same short name, but different full names. When the user clicks on a shared note title, Tomboy can ask, "Which notebook did you want?" and give the option of converting the short name to a full name.

Nesting multiple notebooks within other notebooks

I would find it very handy to be able to nest notebooks within another notebook, i.e., A Notebook Titled Computer, within that notebook are the notebooks... Computer Software, Computer Hardware, Computer Reference, Computer Programming. Within Computer Software are the notebooks Linux Software, Windows Software, Freeware, Shareware, etc. Within Computer Hardware are the notebooks Computer PII 450-1, Computer PII 450-2, Computer PII 450-3, Computer PII 450-4,Computer Core2Duo 3ghz, etc. this is just an example of what I would like to be able to do within Tomboy Notes. Idea credits:James Allen Adams(1bluelight)

Notes Folder - easily selectable root directory for the Notes

Easily selectable and changeable root directory for the notes; this would enable you to copy your Tomboy notes from one machine, to another machine in any folder, and be able to access them. For example, I keep work-related notes and personal notes in different "note sets".

Having a menu option to display the directory tree and being able to select a new directory for the notes (and loading the existing note tree, if any) would be great. (Ariel)

Open note by name

  • Have a binding to open a dialog similar to GNOME's ctrl-l (in desktop, or nautilus), and then open the named note. Should show completions as the user types.


  • Turn checkboxes on by typing [] (open and close square brackets)

  • indent/unindent
  • move up/down
  • disclosure triangles
  • style by depth/structure
    • simple css-like for fonts, size, color
    • other elements could be modified in this way too
    • headings, emphasis, etc.
  • Use Gecko.WebControl + Javascript Formatter instead of Gtk.TextView (major change)

    • Could use FCKEditor to provide a bunch of features, but most importantly Bullet + List support

      • LGPL
      • Would need to strip down the features of FCKEditor to keep things simple
      • XHTML so a note's XML format could be preserved
      • Would have to rewrite XSL exporting features (among many others)
    • Could also use TinyMCE

      • LGPL
      • Has "simple" mode
    • Update (07 Oct 2006): Started looking into this (using TinyMCE) and saw some problems almost immediately

      1. Slow to start up since it's essentially loading a browser
      2. Widget (text and controls) doesn't really "look" like it fits in because it's not a Gtk.Widget
      3. Finicky...kind of slow and didn't quite behave like other standard editors that supports editing.
  • See also: Gnome Outliner this is just a gtk treeview

  • The 'Zim desktop wiki' is similar to Tomboy in many aspects and already has bullet support. It might be a good idea to check how they solved the issues mentioned above, and contact the developer. Zim works really well on this.

Idea credits: Nat, drewkerr, BoydTimothy

  • Bullet ordering


Panel applet

  • Ability to choose which notes are displayed in the panel applet list.
  • Ability to choose the number of items in the panel applet list. This should be customisable by the user (ie : display 10,20 or 50 notes).
  • Ability to display notes per notebooks in the panel applet list. Actually the list of notes that appears in the panel applet is unsorted. It would be great to gather notes per notebooks, with a drop-down menu if necessary.
    • Notes are ordered by last-modified-date, they are not unsorted. We experimented with adding dropdowns for each notebook, etc, but it made the menu very messy, and we decided not to do it. --SandyArmstrong

Idea credits: cowboydan

Parent indexing in drop-down

  • Ability to label a note as a parent and then all linked notes to be indexed as children.
  • Ability to see this relationship in the main drop-down from the applet. Exp: When you click you'll see your main notes with their sub-notes indented or have the sub-notes appear in their own sub drop-down.

"This type of option would allow you to keep a long list of notes, or give you the ability to clean up the clutter and only see the main or "top" (parent) notes. Right now if I'm working on two websites and I'm making notes on all of my pages my Tomboy drop down is far to cluttered. I can search but pages with similar data will cause further "post searching eyeballing" If I click the applet and get three to five titles or parent notes (website 1, website 2, etc...) Then I can mouse down to website 1 and then get an additional submenu with the Children notes."; Idea Credits: Greenwood

Preview in search notes window

It would be very convenient if one could preview notes within the Search Notes Window without actually having to open (i.e. click on) them. I'm thinking along the lines of previews commonly found in email programs. So, if one would keyboard scroll through one's notes, the preview (e.g. a window below) would show the content of the currently selected note. Idea credits: homoludens1000

A mockup for how previewing could be done (AllanDay)

"Print All" notes in notebook option

It would be useful if there was a Print All Notes option - either for a notebook or (preferably in addition) several notes selected together. Not sure if this is platform-specific, but would be a very nice to have option.

Programming Language

* I bet a lot of development using C# and Mono was already done but it will be great if TomBoy is ported to another language. Ubuntu might remove Mono in their next release, Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin", and discontinue support for it.

* Also, should Microsoft attack the users of Mono with their patent of .Net Framework, TomBoy won't be affected anymore. "To Linux purists, Mono applications should be stripped from all of Linux. There are other open-source alternatives that can take its place. If Mono is allowed to roam freely in Linux, the potential for legal action is ever present. It just a matter of time whether Microsoft exercises it or not." --[

* There is already a C++ port here and the reason why it was ported: Gnote, {

* I'm not sure if this is a good idea, as I am not a computer programmer (still, I am not completely ignorant), but Vala is influenced by C#. Also, there is Python (I think Python is a good programming language).

* Python has good reviews, despite people being irritated with the whitespace/indent being part of its syntax. Other people got over with that small issue. [

* Python ships by default in most Linux distribution. It is a "standard" package. Many libraries, and other stuff that I don't know depend on it but I only know a few apps in Mono.

I am just concerned with the progress of Tomboy, so please consider.

Read-Only .note files feedback

Tomboy used to have a bug doesn't notify us if the notes were really being saved (like notes copied from other unix users directories, and forgot to change chmod/chown, readonly .note files, etc.) - a mere 'revert' or 'refresh' command, which reloads the .note files into the opened notes would be enough for our immediate feedback, to get assured our notes are really being writed

Reusing titles

Tomboy offers a very useful functionality where notes are automatically linked to as soon as their titles are typed. This is exciting because it means one need not directly remember to link to further information on a topic; it happens automatically! However, because one can not use the same note title twice, that functionality is often not exposed in actual use; people use descriptive titles for notes that must be linked to directly, in a way that tends to not integrate well with a sentence. It would be useful if titles could be reused, and when a link points to many notes with the same title, a menu appears containing all of them. As a result, less descriptive titles could be used that integrate better with sentences for linking, and a person's collection of notes would be more manageable.

  • That selection of identically named notes could be sorted in such a way that puts the one most likely on topic nearer the top. For example, it could be sorted based on tags, where the most similarly tagged notes are at the top of the list. Sorting by dates could also be interesting.

Idea credits: -- DylanMcCall 2007-11-05 21:50:10

Revision history tracking

Store a wiki-style changelog for each note. This would allow tracking of changes, super-unlimited undo/roll-back. Following the style of a wiki. Google Documents does this well.

Idea credits: [StevenGarrity]


  • Ability to list orphaned notes (orphaned from "Start Here")

Idea credits: drewkerr

  • Reshape the 'Search all notes' menu entry of the panelapplet to a input field where you can type directly your search terms (and use 'Enter' to submit). This should than also gives the same search window used todays. I am a bit disappointed that I should click many times for I can do a simple look up.
  • Maybe a good attention point is to shape a 'Do Search' button in the near of the textfield so that it is clear it can also used to access the Search window directly
  • Similar idea: Bug #519974

Idea credits: Klap-in

  • Have search result markers in the scroll-bar.

    • Longer notes are so much easier to search when you have this Chromium-style search hit indicators in the scrollbar.

Idea credits: Redsandro

Selecting multiple words/sentences

  • Ability to select several none succeeding words/chracters holding in Ctrl
  • Great if you are going to change text properties for several words at once that are not adjoining

Idea credits: Mandingo

Separate linking

  • It would be nice to have the ability to have sections of notes that are linked together with others that are excluded from those links. With this feature if someone were taking notes on several books it would be easy to keep the notes seperate without linking through to other notes accidentally.
  • This would allow you to have several 'binders'(for lack of a better word) and give the option to include new notes in the section without the chance of crossover to other 'binders'.

Sharing (networked Tomboy)

Sharing a note is different than exporting a note. A shared note is linked between computers and changes when any user makes a change to a note.

  • Share notes with a team
  • Share notes with an individual
  • Share notes with a service
    • Google Notebook
  • Existing sharing efforts
    • iFolder 3 - file synchronization for Linux, Windows, and OS X

      • Create an ifolder out of your /home/user/.tomboy directory

      • Note: notes that are added from other machines into the .tomboy directory by iFolder aren't picked up by Tomboy without restarting
    • Conduit - synchronization for GNOME

    • WSOP project for synchronizing Tomboy notes

    • Google SOC Project 2006 Networked Tomboy

      • Haven't heard anything out of this project or seen any code. Is it dead?
      • I think the project jielded some refactoring and nunit tests
    • There is a Bugzilla entry with some code using .net remoting and Avahi: Bug #321037

  • See also: Export, Merging

  • rather than share it would be nice to use TomBoy via a JabberNetwork or locally with live editing. I think every participant should have a different default color (take a look at Gobbys implementation). I think one also could share the placement of notes. -- ThiloPfennig 2006-10-19 14:51:49

  • I think it should even be combined. There should be a button "share notes". You select the connected other Tomboy users, with who you want to share this note. Click "ok" and it will be available for the other user and show a little hint "User 'xyz' shares the note 'xyz' with you." popping up in the taskbar. Afterwards both users can edit the note at the same time, every user has a different colour. -- RobertHoegerl

Shortcuts (keyboard)

  • when pressing alt-f12 let user navigate to note starting with letter pushed on keyboard and highlight it, so that user can open it pressing enter
  • also maybe it would be an idea to autoplace pinned notes alphabetically on top of the list?

Idea credits: #Mandingo

Spell checking

  • Toggle spellchecking on a per-note basis.
  • Select languages on a global and per-note basis. -- DanielSchierbeck

    • What's the use-case for selecting these on a per-note basis? (David)

      • Half my notes are in Danish, the other half is in English. My grocery list is in Danish, while ideas for Evolution, Tomboy etc. are in English. -- DanielSchierbeck

    • Only show language selection UI if more than one language is available. -- DanielSchierbeck

  • Quickly accessible spellcheck enable/disable toggle (e.g. a button in the the note window toolbar, with maybe a dropdown for language selection).


An important change to make Tomboy much more friendly, an option in Preferences to start automatically. The first two things I do with Tomboy are: add it to Startup Applications so it's always ready, and change the hotkeys so "Create New" and "Search", the only two I really want, are available from keyboard. JeffStone


Add statistics to the about box. Show the following:

  • Number of notes -- Number of notes is now shown in the ToC in 0.4 (Alex)

  • Number of links
  • Number of words
  • etc.

Idea credits: drewkerr

Stylus support

I would love it if it was possible to use your stylus to write notes on Tomboy and as an added extra with support from someone like "cellwriter" convert from handwriting to text. This is missing from Linux at the minute and Windows does it so well.

Synchronization, unsupervised, from the command-line

A command-line switch to trigger tools > synchronization, if it has been correctly configured. This would allow simple shell scripts to be used for synchronization; allowing, for instance, simplistic cron-based sharing of notes.

Extra credit:

* Work on running Tomboy instances (probably already there; have not checked). * Echo output correctly to the terminal, as stdout or stderr depending on degree of errorness. * Make operation fail-safe; but instead of aborting in case of conflict, a copy of both versions should be kept and propagated, each with an "@hostname" suffix. A new note with the common name should also be created, linked to each of the two conflicting versions (let the user sort out the merge).

Sync at launch

TB by now does not execute the sync command at launch (Tools>...), only if you press the command or after the time interval you specified in the sync settings. This can easily cause note-version problems. Should be quite easy (?) to implement, though.

Syntax colouring

  • I often paste some code snippets to a Tomboy notes, but to be able to read and analyse it easily I have to use an external text editor with syntax colouring. It would be very nice if Tomboy could colour the code.


Support for tabular data (GregorHoffleit)

Tomboy does no good job for tabular data. Tab stops have fixed width, while as the width of text elements might vary (depending on your display and font).

Tomboy should support some kind of tables, either by allowing to change tab stops, or by implementing full tables.

Tables would also allow multiple ToDo lists to be shown side-by-side - see 'Columns for Multiple Lists' above. (Haz)

Tabbed Notes

  • Like in Firefox have all the different notes under one window.
  • Have a small extra toolbar that keeps track of all the open notes.

Tagging notes

The ability to tag notes would be helpful both for finding them and for organizing them. Ideally, they could be tagged the way Meta Tracker and similar systems do it (, but it could also be used in the note name. Right now, the note names are random (I think) but they could possibly be changed to something like this: work_projects_2009_[random number].note

Then it would be able to organize them in various ways beyond notebooks.

* I agree. I frequently want to put notes in more than one notebook (e.g., digital photography and landscape photography), and tagging would effectively let me do this. (AndrewS)


"When I take meeting notes on paper, I have a little symbol I use to denote that a particular note is an "action item" or task." (Nat)

  • Mark parts of a Tomboy note as an action item
  • Could create a task item in Evolution and display task completion UI inside Tomboy
    • Alternatively, a special Tomboy note/dialog could show all tasks grepped from all notes in a single list (complete with links to the Tomboy note they came from (Boyd)

    • Done (without Evolution integration): A plugin for the above can be found at

  • Proposed Tasks Solution

Idea credits: Nat

OS taskbar options

"I have so many notes, they take up most of my (OS) taskbar leaving less room for other open applications"

Add new options to Preferences:

  • Show single Tomboy Notes item on the taskbar (Default)
  • Show each Notes item on the taskbar
  • Show nothing on the taskbar

  • Show Tomboy notes icon on the notification area

Idea credits: ianp5a

Terminal command-line interface

Use Tomboy's DBus api to implement a command line interface for the program

  • Allows for editing / viewing notes over a network (i.e. over ssh)
  • Extremely simple to create, so I'm not sure why it hasn't been done before
    • DBus makes this task almost trivial, as everything seems to be available in the /org/gnome/Tomboy/RemoteControl interface
    • I wrote a ~60 line script in python that allows for viewing/editing/creating/deleting notes via the command line

Idea credits: Wayne

Text-editing toolbar

It would be great to have a simple toolbar with buttons to change the text formatting (like in Rich Text Editors or in applications such as Open Office). The user interface would feel more natural than having to use a drop-down menu to make the text bold (for example).

Idea credits: cowboydan

Toolbar Options

"Tomboy supports many advanced editing features won't bother you until you need them. Stream-lining the interface is a key goal of ours."

(Different in detail from Bug 433616)

  • Hide the "Search/Link" toolbar (Streamlining! Plus some people never use Search or link)

  • Show toolbar on active note only (Streamlinig. Ideal for small notes)

  • Flip between the "Search/Link" toolbar an a new mini "Text Format" toolbar: Italic Bold Bullet - Indent - Font^ Fontv

Idea credits: ianp5a

Thumb Drive

It would be ideal to include Tomboy as part of a thumb drive. This can be similar to portable apps. Idea credits: Tammy


Timestamp a note.

  • See on a line-by-line basis the time at which that line was edited or added in a left-margin annotation
    • One idea I've had for this is using a vertical bar graph with a bar for each line, and the bar's width dependant on the age of the line, or possibly using color shading. (Alex)

  • Less ideally, a little button or shortcut for inserting a timestamp would be okay

Idea credits: Nat

  • Better just an automatic timestamp on a note, plus the ability (through a shortcut keystroke) to insert the current timestamp). If you add timestamps on a line-by-line basis, or if you use some sort of graph, please make it an option which can be disabled. I think timestamps on every line would be overkill and would cause TomBoy to lose one of its greatest features: simplicity.

Idea credits: John

  • Use timestamps to play audio clips from the moment when the timestamp was created. This way you can play back only the complicated portion of a lecture. twinotter

Tomboy for Android

  • Develop Tomboy for Android
    • Include sync with Tomboy for Windows or Tomboy for Linux
      • This already exists, it is called Tomdroid, and is not yet in the market, but an apk is available for download. It syncs with Tomboy Online and Ubuntu One. -- SandyArmstrong

Tomboy for Windows Mobile

  • Develop Tomboy for WinMo platform

    • Include sync with Tomboy for Windows or Tomboy for Linux


Some preferences are needed to remove, hide, reduce the toolbox, which looks huge.... - btw, the context menu would have all of them, like 'Tools' and 'Delete'

Transparent filenames

If a user wants to amend a note remotely via ssh, he can open the .note files in ~/.tomboy. These .note files are uncompressed XML, so while they're not pretty to look at with VI, they're not difficult to understand either. The main problem is opening the right .note file, since their names are strings of 32 seemingly random hexidecimal digits. Since the notes have names anyhow (New Note #X, by default), why not name the .note files with something that might be more helpful?

  • I'm not opposed to this idea but if you are ssh'd in, won't a simple grep (for the title) show you which file to edit? Just something to help prioritize features. -- WaltArmour

Trash can

URLs (treatment of pasted...)

  • I often insert http links in my notes, an nice option would be that Tomboy could fetch the header of the url, e.g. that "" would be displayed as "Youtube -Ronald McDonald insanity" ; when you hoover over the icon it could display the full url, and clicking your right mouse button would give you an option to copy the actual adress to clipboard. It would be useful to be able to turn this behaviour on/off via preferences..

Idea credits: #Mandingo

Window positions

  • A simple wish. I wish Tomboy would remember the window positions between sessions. If it already does, I don't know how. --Vinksu
    • Tomboy should do this automatically. The only thing it doesn't remember is which virtual desktop each note was on. If this is not working for you, please file a bug and we'll figure out what's up. --SandyArmstrong

Write-protected Notes

  • I use Tomboy for simple documentation and idea collection. Sometimes, I accidentally change or overwrite content without realizing it. An "edit" (toggle) button for individual notes would solve this problem for me.


  • "Stick" a Tomboy note to an application

    • When you move the application window around, the Tomboy note moves around with it
    • Possibly attach the note diagonally like a "sticky" note
    • Integrate Tomboy with the window-decorator so the notes can be "minimized" to the application's title bar and not clutter up the screen
    • Show "minimized" Tomboy notes as tabs sticking out from the side/back of the application
    • So doing stuff like this is a pretty strong motivator behind Gimmie. Doing this without help from applications as to what resource is currently inside the window is hard/useless.

  • Use effects when viewing mindmap
  • Show minimized Tomboy notes as crumpled up pieces of paper

  • References

Kudos to the following people/sites for the ideas used on this website. If you'd like to be recognized for the work you contributed to this site, add yourself here!

    • BoydTimothy - initially created this wiki page and gathered mine and others' thoughts here


I suggest to refactor these ideas sometimes because they will grow. So rather use this to develop ideas that actually will be used. This way maybe a wiki can be more powerful in dealing with feature requests as Bugzilla? -- ThiloPfennig 2007-04-24 09:36:31

CategoryAccessibility CategoryIdeas CategoryUsability

Apps/Tomboy/PlaceForNewIdeas (last edited 2016-08-28 11:40:56 by AlexTereschenko)