I recently came across a handy, free note-taking application for Linux called Tomboy, which works like a wiki, an application that lets users create a body of linked pages in an open-ended, distributed fashion.
Wikis are typically Web-based, making them a good fit for distributed authoring (Wikipedia is an impressive example of what a widely worked-on wiki can become). Tomboy, however, lives on an individual workstation, which limits the distributed aspect of the wiki model but makes for faster performance—theres no waiting for Internet page loads.
Tomboys note window lets you jot information and highlight words or text chunks to create links that begin new notes. Once youve created a link, all appearances of your linked words will lead to that words own note page.
What I like about this model is that it lets you create an ordered body of data without planning in advance a particular structure.
Tomboy is built with Mono, an open-source implementation of Microsofts .Net, which lets the application take advantage of prebuilt components such as a spell-checker and Web and e-mail link handlers. Tomboy includes nice search capabilities, making it easy to find and build on notes.
During my tests, in which I used Tomboy along with the KDE desktop, the application crashed when I made settings changes to the KDE task bar. Tomboy is still a fairly young application, and I hope to see bugs like this ironed out in future versions. In addition, Id love to see applications such as Microsofts Outlook or KDEs Kontact build wiki-type functionality into their note-taking components, which havent been sites of much innovation.
To download Tomboy, cruise to www.beatniksoftware.com/tomboy.