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Side Notes


Quickly display your quick side notes in quick side window.

Side notes live in a plain text file, called notes.txt by default, in the current directory or any parent directory (i.e. when locating notes, we first look in the current directory, then one directory up, then two directories up, and so forth.)

Side notes are displayed in a side window with the command side-notes-toggle-notes.

The filename is defined by user option side-notes-file.

To really mix things up, there’s the user option side-notes-secondary-file, which defaults to notes-2.txt, and will display a separate notes file in a lower side window when the command side-notes-toggle-notes is prefixed with an argument (C-u).

By default a notes file found in any parent directory will open that file rather than visit a non-existing file in the current directory, but you can override this by prefixing side-notes-toggle-notes with…

  • C-u C-u to force visiting side-notes-file within the current directory.
  • C-u C-u C-u to force visiting side-notes-secondary-file within the current directory.

Of course, you can use Markdown or Org Mode or whatever by changing the file extensions of side-notes-file and/or side-notes-secondary-file.

For more information on how to change the way the side window is displayed, see (info "(elisp) Side Windows").


Install from MELPA stable then add something like the following to your init file:

(define-key (current-global-map) (kbd "M-s n") #'side-notes-toggle-notes)

Bugs and Feature Requests

Send me an email (address in the package header). For bugs, please ensure you can reproduce with:

$ emacs -Q -l side-notes.el

Known issues are tracked with FIXME comments in the source.