Tools Roundup - October 5, 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!


A word processor at the command line? One that’s more than just a glorified text editor? That’s what you get with WordGrinder.

WordGrinder doesn’t pack the features of, say, LibreOffice Writer but that doesn’t make it useless. It’s a great way to hammer out drafts. You can add formatting to text and create headings, craft lists, and even add code samples.

While WordGrinder saves documents in its own format, it can open HTML and plain text files. You can also export your work to Markdown, LaTeX, or troff (an older typesetting system).


textnote is a command line application for saving what its creator calls daily notes in plain text.

When you run textnote, it uses a simple template that creates a new file containing placeholders for your tasks and for your notes. That file opens in your default text editor.

You fill in the blanks throughout the day and then save the file. You can later open that day’s file to look back your notes or check your task list in preparation of a review.


nb is a bit of a multitool for information in plain text. Not only can you take notes with it, you can also save bookmarks and create task lists. And, like the other applications in this roundup, nb is a command line application. Don’t let that scare you off, though. It’s quite user friendly.

nb also has a number of other features, including the ability to create multiple notebooks, add inline images, tag notes and search them, encrypt your information, and to store your notes as Markdown, Emacs org-mode, or LaTeX files.

There’s a bit more to nb. If you’re a command line junkie, give it a peek.