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[Goodie] CintaNotes Tips and Tricks

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:03 am
by kranor
This is a collection of tested tips and tricks for use with CintaNotes. Posting here is subject to following rules:

  1. Please do not post any new tips or tricks, unless they have been verified by at least 2 other users.

  2. No discussion; go to original thread or open a new one for it.

Thank you.

Official CintaNotes help page:

Other pages referencing CintaNotes...


XBeta (for Chinese users):




Change Sidebar Width

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:13 am
by kranor
To Increase the width of your sidebar:-
Tip now outdated - just resize with the mouse
1. Shutdown CintaNotes.
2. Navigate to your CintaNotes Program Folder.
3. Open the cintanotes.settings file in notepad.
4. at the bottom add the following line

app.mainframe.tagsidebar.width = 200

(the 200 is the sidebar width in pixels).

5. Save the file.
6. Start CintaNotes

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Academic paper

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:45 pm
by Midas
Academic research paper about issues on information scraping:

Bernstein, M., Van Kleek, M., Karger, D.R., and Schraefel, mc. Information Scraps: How and Why Information Eludes our Personal Information Management Tools. To appear in ACM Transaction on Information Systems, special issue on Personal Information Management (58 p.)

Online at
More info and other papers at

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Usage method

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:02 pm
by Midas
[Post by mrthermister; Post subject: Re: Beta M6 is out! Please discuss it here; Posted: 28 Feb 2009 19:47]

Let me say that after using CintaNotes for a while, it is the END ALL and BE ALL of GTD capture systems...It is all of the following:...a ubiquitous thought & note capture system, a GTD capture trusted system, a knowledge base, and a to-do-list system. It IS bare bones, but that is the beauty of it...nothing to get in the way of your notes and your tags.

The tagging system is the secret to it's success. Everything that comes in to CintaNotes (either by you typing it in manually (which I have set up with a keyboard short cut of Win-A) or by Ctl-F12, with which you can copy anything on the screen, or web) should have the following tags, depending on if it's actionable (a la GTD) or not. Actionable: a status tag (! for immediate, .nextaction (or variation) for next action, s/action, s/waiting, s/someday), a project (i.e p/home/bathroomremodel), and a context (@computer, @call, @home, etc). NOT becomes a reference, or archive (r/travelideas, etc.. where the r/ is for reference, or aRchive).

Once an actionable item is completed, you delete the context tag, set the s/ status tag to s/finished (or s/done), and change the project p/ to a aRchived project rp/ which immediately moves the item or task to your knowledge base.

Use CintaNotes as a to-do-list (again, it's always available with a keyboard shortcut) with the effective ! tag. When you need to see what you need to do, just type ! in the tag search bar, and voila! you have your to-do-list pop up! how convenient!. When you've completed a to-do-list, just delete the !, or delete the whole note, depending on if u want to keep a record of what you've accomplished. If you do want to keep the task, just add a completion date in the note some where (at the top is best): Out @ 02/28/09 10:55 AM , is what I use (accomplished with a text macro; I use RoboType, but Texter should work as well)

This system combination of GTD capture tool, knowledge base, and to-do-list can be used with many other applications, but it seems like CintaNotes' simplicity makes this so effective...

One request...allow multiple search criteria to select multiple independent tags... like give me everything I have to do immediately (!) for my bathroom remodel (p/home/bathroomremodel)... This could be accomplished by simply having 3 search boxes at the top... More than 3 tag searches seems unlikely.

Lastly, if you combine CintaNotes with DropBox, you have a capture system with the same notes on all of your computers, no matter where you are; plus, it's continually backed up. You can also use it as a portable app, but then you have to remember to take your USB stick with you. Using it with DropBox means never you have to remember.

Hope this helps you discover for yourself as I have how useful CintaNotes can be.

[Original thread:]

Re: [OBSOLETE] Linking files from notes

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:13 pm
by Midas
Update (by Alex):

After Beta M10.4 this trick is no longer necessary, just write the file name directly in the link field:

Code: Select all

c:\Documents and Settings\USER\Desktop\My.txt

    Local files can be linked from CN notes using the "file:///" protocol prefix; should there be any spaces inside the path string, replace each of them with "%20" (without quotes; some other contentious characters like quotes and ampersand will need to be replaced, too).


    Code: Select all


    [Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Shortcut management

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:34 pm
by Midas
While deciding on CintaNotes hotkey assignment, one might wonder what are the available choices, as Windows provides no centralized resource for keyboard shortcut management.

One solution would be to use free & portable Ethervane ActiveHotkeys, by Marek Jedlinski (All Windows):
ActiveHotkeys detects what global keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) are currently registered on the computer by various applications. This helps you determine which hotkeys are in use, and which are still available.

[Discussion: &]

Re: Debug version

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:44 pm
by Midas

Re: [Goodie] AutoHotkey scripts

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 3:20 pm
by Midas
mgainer007 wrote:AutoHotKey Script to Execute Embeded Code Within a Note

The general idea behind this AutoHotKey script is to be able to execute an embedded AutoHotKey script which is contained with in a note. This allows me to create website/application login scripts.

Currently the script only supports a single embedded script within a note.

Vista users will need to run the script with admin permissions.

The hotkey for the script is Ctrl-Alt-L

The script parses the clipboard contents looking for the below code wrapper, strips out the script code and executes it.

(Can be on a single line)
AutoHotKey Script Code...

The steps I use for a website are the following:
  • Search for website note
  • Press Ctrl-C to copy note contents to the clipboard
  • Press F3 to launch browser with website URL
  • After website has loaded, place the cursor at the appropriate login field (if necessary) and press Ctrl-Alt-L

I also have included a couple of example hotkeys for creating note templates for logins. You could also modify the script to include the 2 and 3 steps as part of the process. For myself, I wanted something a little more generic.

Along with the script file I've included a sample batch file for launching the script.

Example Note:

Code: Select all

This is an example website logon script:

SendInput {Esc}Username{Tab}pa$$word{Enter}
Sleep 5000
SendInput {Tab 10}Some secret question answer{Enter}


[Original thread:]

Posted by Pierre, Post subject: Re: Feature Requests, Posted: 22 Jan 2009 09:09

Launch CintaNotes with WIN+N, if already running activate it:

Code: Select all

if not WinExist( "ahk_class Cinta.Frame" )
   Run %mydir%\CintaNotes\CintaNotes.exe

Insert data hotkey (works in all programs, various formats):

Code: Select all

;date and time
FormatTime, CurrentDateTime,, dd MMMM yyyy
SendInput %CurrentDateTime%

FormatTime, CurrentDateTime,, dd MMM
SendInput %CurrentDateTime%

FormatTime, CurrentDateTime,, yyyy MM dd
SendInput (%CurrentDateTime%)

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Notebook encryption

Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 3:23 pm
by Midas
CintaNotes Developer wrote:
Puh wrote:A missing Feature is Password-Protection. IF you use CintaNotes on a Multi-User Computer or you put the portable CintaNotes on a USB Stick, the Data should be protected with a Password and strong encryption.

Notebook encryption is on the roadmap for the commercial version of the program. In the meanwhile, you can use external tools like Microsoft Private Folder to get CintaNotes folder and thus your notes password-protected, or better use a separate Windows user profile, put CintaNotes into your profile folder, and encrypt it.

Free Microsoft Private Folder:

Also free, but open-source, Truecrypt:

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] CintaNotes as an address book

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:00 am
by Midas
ale wrote:I was thinking CintaNotes may be interesting for representing an address book or another data set organized around the alphabet. We just need to define a tag for each letter of the alphabet, you may see an example in the attached screenshot. [...]


[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Scroll notes without opening them

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:25 pm
by Midas
ale wrote:[...]

I would like to add that we can scroll long notes staying in list view using the left and right keys on the keyboard, so you might scroll the note and see if the highlighted match is in the "hidden" portion of the note, because I had exactly the same problem, I could not find visually the search matches in some notes and the explanation as said was that there were long notes and the match was in the portion of note out of view :)

[Original post:]

Re: [Goodie] Spaces in tags

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:36 am
by Midas
CintaNotes Developer wrote:And by the way, if you really really want spaces in tags, you can still have them... but with a little twist:

You can use the "hard space" (Alt + 0160 on the numeric keypad) to enter this symbol. It looks just like space, but has a different code, so it won't be treated as tag separator.


[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Synching CintaNotes with Dropbox

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:38 am
by Midas
CintaNotes Developer wrote:Backup folder shouldn't be synced with DropBox. The main notes cintanotes.db file should.

The recommended way is the following:
- cintanotes.db in some subfolder inside of "My Dropbox" folder;
- CintaNotes executable outside (e.g. in "C:\Apps\CintaNotes");
- edit cintanotes.settings parameter "notebook.file" to point to the .db file inside of DropBox (e.g. "notebook.file = C:\My Dropbox\CintaNotesData\cintanotes.db").

Replicate this setup on each PC. That's it!

Putting CintaNotes folder inside of DropBox folder is NOT recommended because:
- Backup files will constantly be "conflicted";
- you won't be able to have separate settings on different PCs.

If you don't care about independent settings (e.g. you use same fonts and screen resolution on each PC), the alternative way would be to put CN folder inside DropBox, but take the backup folder out using the "backup.folder" parameter.

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] CintaNotes synchronization

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:50 am
by CintaNotes Developer
I think this info from the help file (does anyone read it? :) ) is also worth noting:

You don't have to close CintaNotes for your notes to be synchronized. After some time of inactivity CintaNotes releases the database file lock. But please allow some time (usually about 2-10 minutes, depending on your internet connection) for synchronization. But if you take notes and then immediately shutdown the computer, the last notes won't be synchronized, and if you go and take notes on another PC, conflicts might arise. You will notice them with the appearance of the "conflicted copy" database files alongside of cintanotes.db. If you see these files, you will need to merge them back into your main notes database.

To do that you can use the import command on this conflicted file. As of version 1.1C and later, the import command filters out duplicate notes automatically so that you will get the notes that you don't have. This handles the most frequent case of added notes. But keep in mind that it's different for modified or deleted notes, where you will still have to delete some notes by hand.


Re: [Goodie] Copy entire notes

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:34 am
by Midas
Urmel wrote:[...] Ctrl+Shift+C is the solution [for copying full note data...]

CintaNotes Help wrote:Ctrl+Shift+C Copies selected notes into clipboard as text. Notes are copied in a format which includes note's creation time, title, text, and link.

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Compact database

Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:26 pm
by CintaNotes Developer
To compact the database size:

1) Download the SQLite3 Command-Line Utility
2) Unpack to the folder with cintanotes.db file
3) Open command line and issue the following command: "sqlite3 cintanotes.db vacuum"

Re: [Goodie] Run two or more notebooks...

Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:43 pm
by Midas
DennisG wrote:I have two databases that I run concurrently — one for work and one for my personal notes. I copied the entire CN application into a new folder, MyCintaNotes. I renamed the database MyCintaNotes.db and edited the settings file to point the notebook.file parameter to MyCintaNotes.db. To get it to run simultaneously, I created a .bat file to run MyCintaNotes with the -i switch. Finally, I changed the global hotkey from Ctl-F12 to Ctl-F11.

[Original post:]

Re: [Goodie] Use CintaNotes as a diary...

Posted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:04 pm
by Midas
See this thread for a way to use CintaNotes as a diary, via importing an adequately formatted XML file.

[Original thread:]

Re: [Goodie] Synch CintaNotes via LiveMesh

Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:39 pm
by Midas
Ritergal wrote:[Synch via Livemesh howto]

Here's the revised drill for those setting it up the first time:

1) Install as usual on the main machine, moving cintanotes.db into a new folder of its own.

2) Edit the settings file for that machine to include the path statement in notebook.file = .

3) Install on the target machine(s), but delete the database.

4) From the main machine, open the LiveMesh control panel and set up sync for the cintanotes.db folder. LiveMesh will create a corresponding new folder in Username on the target machine(s).

5) When you are sure of its location, edit the notebook.file = line in the settings file accordingly on the target machine(s).

You could actually have any number of files in that folder, or put the db in an existing synced folder.

[Original post:]

Re: [Goodie] CintaNotes Focus Option

Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:48 pm
by Midas
AveFenix32 wrote:When you create a new note or edit one, and the modeless dialog opens, the control with focus was de Edit one, since version 1.4.2 -i presume-, the RichEdit has it.
IMHO, I think it's more comfortable and quicker the prevoius behaviour, because the sequence more intuitive: Title, <TAB>, Note, <TAB>, Tag, <ENTER>


CintaNotes Developer wrote:This is not a bug, the default was changed, but you still can get back the previous behavior.
Open your cintanotes.settings and find the line

editor.focus.title = 0

Change it to

editor.focus.title = 1

That's all!

[Original post:]