I find myself often taking quick notes. E.g. jotting down what files I have edited etc, or a quick reminder.

For this I just have a gedit window open to which I alt + tab, and then apply "always on top" to when I wish to take notes, and reverse to process when I am done.

But I am looking for something much more convenient, What I am hoping exists is a Guake-like text editor, that I can just hit a key and it drops down from the top of the screen, hit the key again and it pops back up.

Does said item exist anywhere?

3 Answers 3


I don't think there's anything currently out there that directly provides this functionality, short of running a console text editor within Guake.

You may be able to repurpose Scribes into a tolerable substitute, though. With a little help from Compiz and custom keyboard shortcuts, it gets pretty close to what I imagine you're looking for. At first glance, Scribes is fairly plain looking:

Scribes 0.4 in Ubuntu 12.10

Press Ctrl+H, though, and your screen will be overlaid with a sizable army of keyboard shortcuts for advanced text editing functions like word completion, automatic quote escaping, and multi-edit mode.

Assign a custom keyboard shortcut like Ctrl+` to scribes /home/user/notes.txt for instant access to your notes. When you're done, just close the window (Ctrl+W). It saves automatically.

To keep your notes (and only your notes) always on top, set CCSM ▸ Window Management ▸ Window Rules ▸ Matches ▸ Above to class=Scribes & title=notes.txt.


I use Tilda to keep a terminal handy at all times http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilda_(software)

And often in said editor; Vim with my DailyLog.otl loaded. (http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=517)

Very handy; have said log reside in Dropbox; and the world is your oyster. or something.

  • +1 for 'have said log reside in Dropbox' mate...
    – Parto
    Aug 23, 2015 at 6:38

You can use Sublimte Text 2 for that. Although it isn't specially designed for your purpose, you can get the functionality quite easy. You can write down notes, close the program without saving and reopen the program again to see your notes. It's amazingly fast, it will open instant.

The only thing you've to do is to define shortcuts to open and close the program.

And besides taking notes, it is a great editor. It isn't commercial, but

Sublime Text 2 may be downloaded and evaluated for free [...] There is currently no enforced time limit for the evaluation.

  • 1
    Cheers for the suggestion, but don't really feel like paying USD $59 (That's $72 for me!) for the convenience.
    – Hailwood
    Nov 8, 2012 at 3:20
  • You don't have to. A long life free trial is available.
    – OrangeTux
    Nov 8, 2012 at 3:20
  • Define "Long Life"?
    – Hailwood
    Nov 8, 2012 at 3:57
  • The free trial won't end.
    – OrangeTux
    Nov 8, 2012 at 11:31
  • Then what on earth is the purpose of buying it 0_o? A support the developers donation?
    – Hailwood
    Nov 8, 2012 at 11:38

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