Tools Roundup - January 12, 2022

by: Scott Nesbitt

Welcome to this edition of an irregular series of roundups that look at plain text tools I’ve found interesting but haven’t explored in depth. Let’s dive in!


Code is the text editor that comes with a Linux distribution called elementary OS. It lies somewhere between a bare bones text editor and one packed with a pile of features. While Code probably isn’t going to appeal to the techies, it’s more than up to most everyday text editing tasks.

While Code doesn’t pack much in the way of features, what features it does have are better than pretty good. That includes syntax highlighting, an HTML previewer, along with a solid search and replace function. Code also comes with a set of extensions like a spelling checker, word completion, and bracket completion (useful if you’re working with a markup language).


A while back, I looked at how to create a plain text timesheet. What I described in that article was pretty basic. If you’re looking for more, then you’ll want to check out ts.

ts is a text-based timesheet parser. You create your timesheet entries in a text files, using some simple formatting. Then, you run that file through ts to create your timesheet which includes the total number of hours that you worked. You can also generate a PDF that doesn’t look too bad.

Auer Notes

I can’t tell you how many note taking tools there are for macOS. Mainly because I don’t use the fruit company’s wares. Every so often, though, one of those note taking tools catches my interest. Recently, that was Auer Notes.

Auer Notes is reminiscent of note taking app built into macOS Notes or something like Notes, which I looked at in a previous roundup. Auer Notes saves your notes as individual text files, which are saved to your hard drive. The app’s interface is sparse and clean, making it easy to learn and to use.

Tomboy Notes NG

Once upon a time (and that time was quite a few years ago), one of my favourite tools on the Ubuntu desktop was a note taking tool called Tomboy. Mainly because it combined the best aspects of a note taking tool with a wiki. For a variety of reasons, Tomboy fell off my radar. But it’s being revived (in a way) by the tomboy-ng project.

Like it’s predecessor, tomboy-ng enables you to quickly create and link between notes and easily add formatting to the text of a note. You can also sync files between computers and create snapshots of your notes in case you need to go back to a previous version.