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Description note taking mode
Author Jason Blevins
Maintainer Jason Blevins
Source git://

Deft is an Emacs mode for quickly browsing, filtering, and editing directories of plain text notes, inspired by Notational Velocity. It was designed for increased productivity when writing and taking notes by making it fast and simple to find the right file at the right time and by automating many of the usual tasks such as creating new files and saving files.

Basic setup

(require 'deft)

Helpful keybindings

In the "*Deft*" buffer you can start typing to filter the list of notes.

[C-c C-c]
clear the filter
[C-c C-n]
quickly create a new note

Common Customization

You can bind deft to a single key for quick access to notes:

(global-set-key (kbd "<F8>") 'deft)

Use Org for Deft Files

To use Org mode for you Deft files, add the following to your Emacs configuration file:
(setq deft-text-mode 'org-mode)

Then do one of the following:

  • Configure Deft to use .org as the file extension:
(setq deft-extension "org")
  • Associate Org mode with .txt files, or just with .txt files in a specific directory (e.g. notes/ as shown here)
(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("notes/.*[.]txt$" . org-mode))

Deft with Dropbox and SimpleNote

Deft notes can be stored in the cloud using something like Dropbox. Simply configure Deft to use a directory that is being synced:

(setq deft-directory "~/Dropbox/notes/")

If you use the online service SimpleNote (e.g. to read and capture notes on an iOS device) you can combine this with Dropbox sync and Deft. SimpleNote looks for .txt files and uses the file name as the note title, so configure Deft to do the same:

(setq deft-extension "txt")
(setq deft-use-filename-as-title t)

See Also

Project Pages

Tutorial Pages