Let RedNoteBook be your daily journal

Jack Wallen
Sep 22, 2010
Updated • Jan 16, 2013

There are those of us who like to keep a daily journal. For those that do, the application used for this purpose must fit the bill. For some the daily journal can simply be a text document. For others, however, the journal must be a full-fledged application geared specifically for that purpose. One such tool is RedNoteBook.

RedNoteBook is a graphical daily journal tool with plenty of features that is sure to please nearly every level of user. It has an outstanding interface that allows for drag and drop support as well as exporting, backup, and statistics. And in this Ghacks entry, I am going to show you how to install and make use of this handy tool.


Let's take a look at some of the features of RedNoteBook.

  • PDF support
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Edit and preview mode
  • Category cloud
  • Entry tags
  • Text format
  • In line images
  • Export to PDF, HTML, Latex, or plain text
  • Multiple journals
  • Auto save
  • Open source
  • Translated into 16 languages
  • Free

And much more. Now let's install.


The installation is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open up your Add/Remove Software tool.
  2. Search for "rednotebook" (no quotes).
  3. Mark RedNoteBook for installation.
  4. Click Apply to install.
  5. When complete, close the Add/Remove Software tool.
  6. That's it. You are now ready to start keeping your journal.


Figure 1

To start RedNoteBook click Applications > RedNoteBook which will bring up the main window (see Figure 1). As you can see the developers have taken it upon themselves to create some nice documentation for the first four entries (regardless of what day you installed the application). These entries serve as a very easy to use quick start guide. So instead of repeating what the developers have already done, I will show you some of the features they haven't listed.

Adding images

One of the first things that tripped me up with RedNoteBook was adding images. RedNoteBook clearly supports drag and drop. So you can open up your file manager and drag and drop images to a journal entry. But when you drop the images into a journal entry what you will see is something like:


It wasn't until I realized there is two modes for RedNoteBook (Edit and Preview) that this made sense. By default, RedNoteBook starts every entry in Edit mode. So when you drag and drop images the image will show up as a link to the image. It's not until you switch to preview mode that you will then be able to actually see the images. This should have been all too obvious. Now you don't have to have that same "head slapping moment" as I had. ;-)

Annotations and Categories

One of the best features of RedNoteBook is the ability to annotate and categorize your daily entries. This allows you to search your entire journal for various subjects. The right hand side of RedNoteBook is dedicated for what is called Annotations in Categories. You create categories for your journal entry and then annotate your categories.

For example: You can have a category called "Meals" and in that category you can annotate the list of meals you had that day. To create a new category right click an empty spot in the right pane and select Add New Entry. When you do this a new window will open (see Figure 2) where you can then enter the category in the top drop down. You have to add a new entry before you can actually hit OK. After you have created a new category, that category will then be available, via drop down, for future usage.

Final thoughts

There are a ton of really great features that make RedNoteBook an ideal journaling tool for just about any type of user. The only thing you can not really do (without some work) is publish your journal. You could export the journal as an HTML document and then upload that document...but that's more work than necessary. Maybe in future releases the developer will create an auto-publishing feature to various blog sites?


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  1. BIll said on November 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I would gladly pay for an Android version.

    I use Red now on Windows and Ubuntu Precise, synched through Ubuntu One. It’s clean, light, and simple. I was dragged kicking and screaming to the dark side and now have an Android phone, and I would *really* like to be able to use Red across all three devices.

    All your gearheads out there who write the code for us absolutely *rock*. Thank you.

  2. Brian said on February 16, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Another vote for Android version, and iphone… would be cool if they all sync’d

  3. mck855 said on February 3, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Ditto on the previous wish for an Android version that syncs with the desktop version.

  4. Jonathan said on November 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I just tried the Windows version 1.1.1 and it is seriously lacking on every front. Drag and Drop doesn’t seem to work. (In edit or preview)
    I copy and pasted sections of webpage with images and the images never showed up, not even in preview.

    Hopefully the Linux version isn’t this bad.

    Personally, for windows Evernote 3.xx total beat any other program I have used. Version 4 is an online web-based sync app.

  5. Saint DanBert said on November 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Is there any prayer that an Android (mobile phone) edition of RedNotebook exists?
    I would really want a phone edition that would sync with my workstation edition.

    It RedNotebook per se is not available, is there some other ‘droid app that is close
    second to RedNotebook?

    Thanks in advance,
    ~~~ 0;-Dan

  6. Jojo said on September 23, 2010 at 9:49 am

    This looks useful. I am going to try it out. Thanks!

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