hnb: Quick, clever and clean

I probably shouldn’t mention two task managers in a row, mostly because one may overshadow the other.

But it was yesterday’s run-in with yokadi that made me pick up hnb again.


Not that I had ever really put it down, if I may extend that idiom. But working with task managers and list utilities, like yokadi, remind me of what I like about hnb.

To wit:

  1. Completely visual. Everything is on the screen, both data and controls, with a drop-down menu for more obscure utilities. A command-line interface to the heart of hnb is there too.
  2. Very fast navigation. Jumping between nodes is done with arrow keys, in a very intuitive manner. If you have ever worked in an outline fashion, you’ll love this. Want to keep an entire node open at a time? Try the plus key.
  3. One- and zero-button add and edit. Edit a note? Hit enter and go to work. Add a note? Just start typing. hnb is even smart enough to skip to a similar node as you type, so there’s your bookmarking system. When your text differs from anything else at that level, it pops out a new line, without skipping a beat.
  4. Built-in calendars and tick-mark system. I don’t use the calendar system because wyrd is so strong in that department, but the to-do tick marks and sort functions are genius. True, the calendar creation is a little obtuse, but that’s minor for me.
  5. There are lots of other reasons, most centering around tools that are just too quick and smooth to discard.

    I compare that with key or even full command sequences to add items, edit them, assign priorities and hierarchies, or even just to show a list of things to do.

    I appreciate the work done and the effort shown in applications like devtodo or ikog, and I understand that for some people that approach is preferable.

    But I’ve had hnb on board for years now, and it’s just to quick and easy to let go.

18 thoughts on “hnb: Quick, clever and clean

  1. xwhatsit

    As an aside, what do you use to view animated gifs such as the screencasts you’re attaching to posts now? I have fbi set up in elinks as the default image viewer but it only shows the first frame statically.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I have seen a gif viewer for the framebuffer anywhere. I use fbv, but that only shows the first frame too, if I remember right.

      I’ve used fim too, but it fell out of development and I don’t think it will build any longer. I better take a look around and see what is out there. … 😐

  2. tim

    This seems to work in my case (debian): In ~/.mailcap: image/gif; mplayer -vo fbdev %s

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  5. jojo

    Would you consider doing a more in-depth analysis of vimwiki? Configs, keys, a general how-to perhaps. Maybe some real life examples of how you’ve used it to organize info & how you use links. Tx for considering!

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I might … although to be honest, I hardly use it for more than the list of applications I collected, and each “link” is just a few notes about the program.

      I never really get into the nitty-gritty of vimwiki, except maybe for sorting or minor page management. 😐

      But I’ll think about it for the weeks to come. 🙂

      1. jojo

        Thx for considering – like your work here & on the prior motho site. Thanks for being a good resource & helping promote these great tools.

        Off-topic: pdftk is an outstanding pdf tool that I’ve maybe not seen reviewed here. I use it weekly or more. Any interest in receiving some content on that for a future post? (Warning, not trivial to install deps on arch)

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