RedNotebook—Advanced Diary Keeping

RedNotebook is a nifty little diary application. According to its Web site:

RedNotebook is a graphical diary and journal helping you keep track of notes and thoughts. It includes calendar navigation, customizable templates, export functionality and word clouds. You also can format, tag and search your entries.

RedNotebook's many features include the ability to add text, images or links to any day within the excellent calendar navigation; backup utilities; HTML exportation—the list goes on.

RedNotebook lets you keep a daily journal with organizational categories, multimedia attachments and more.

RedNotebook has some unique organizational structures and search functions, such as its unique cloud interface.


Installing RedNotebook from source is quite easy, but there also are a number of different binaries available, so you might want to check those first on the Downloads page. In terms of library requirements, you'll need Python (2.5/2.6), PyYaml (>=3.05) and PyGTK (>=2.13). Depending on your distro, package names will be something along the lines of python, python-yaml and python-devel.

If you're going with the source, download the latest tarball from the Web site, extract it, and open a terminal in the new folder.

If your distro uses sudo, enter:

$ sudo python install

If not:

$ su
# python install

If Lady Luck is smiling, an entry for RedNotebook may appear in your main menu in the Office section.


When RedNotebook starts, you should be at today's date on the calendar automatically. You can attach journal entries to each day on the calendar, and you can have text along with pictures, links and so on. Near the top right is the New Entry button. Click that, and you'll be presented with a small window with two fields. The first is to select or create a category (such as Todo, Cool Stuff and so on), and the second is for naming your entry.

Once this is done, the big pane in the center of the window is where you enter text and other material. Write the text for today, and in the top row of buttons is Insert. Use this to add any images, links, formatting or for numerous other options. During the editing process, you'll see each attachment only as bracketed text, but if you click Preview, you can see your work in progress. When you're done, click Save under the Journal menu, and you can create or browse any other journal entries on the calendar and come back to your entry at any time.

Also, well worth looking at are the Search and Clouds sections, which make navigating through your old entries easy and may save you some headaches in the future. There are many more features that are worth covering (especially the ability to encrypt journals), but I'm afraid I'm well out of space for this month!

Overall, this is an intuitive program with an easy installation that should appeal to someone looking for a good journal program that's both well designed and easy to use.

RedNotebook—Advanced Diary Keeping (

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John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.


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feelmypain's picture



RHM's picture


I second that...

Ken Sarkies's picture

I was using korganizer's Journal for daily notes until recently when a new update took it beyond the simple one-click application to a multi-faceted nightmare. RedNoteBook filled the need marvellously and I've been using it for some months now. It provides basic notebook functionality with a page for the current day being presented on startup ready to accept notes. The search features are also simple and easy to use and seem more intuitive than korganizer. It has the feature, great for absent-minded people like me, that it automatically saves work when the application is closed.

There are yet a number of features that could be added, for example a button or menu to return to the current day after ending up on another page. Nothing fundamental. However it may develop, I hope that it retains the simplicity needed for note-taking at odd, random times.

A simple script to import from korganizer's ical format, which brought across about 6 years worth of notes, was all that was needed to get started.


Hi Ken, glad you like

Jendrik's picture

Hi Ken,
glad you like RedNotebook. Actually you can use the "Today" button in the top left corner to jump to today's entry.
Would you mind sending me your import script?