I'm looking for free and open source notetaking software that allows me to highlight specified words (or preferably whole lines after a specified word) and helps me organize and categorize ideas and similar textual content?

It would be great if that same software could also help me organize weblinks and associated content. But maybe that's more or less a separate question / software.

Under Windows Notepad++ allowed me to create a custom language to highlight words.

I'm running Debian 9.1 with KDE.


3 Answers 3


Did you try those one:

  • Turtl

    It's available for almost ALL platform,

Turtl lets you take notes, bookmark websites, and store documents for sensitive projects. From sharing passwords with your coworkers to tracking research on an article you're writing, Turtl keeps it all safe from everyone but you and those you share with.

It has bookmarking extensions for your browser that makes it easy to bookmark the current page you're on. This is great for quickly saving sites to read later or for creating a list of pages you frequently visit.

- Zim

enter image description here

You can check more screenshots here

- LeaNote

It's open source apparently.

- Boostnote


- QOwnNotes

QOwnNotes Is another option too


edit 2

- TiddlyWiki

Area51 link

enter image description here


Org mode, which runs on top of Emacs, has lots of features for taking, categorizing, and organizing notes. Emacs itself has a generic highlighting feature: type M-x regexp-highlight RET, then the regular expression you want to highlight. For example, the regular expression cheese.+ highlights the word cheese and everything after it on the same line.

  • Good suggestion. However I'd like to use a GUI.
    – mYnDstrEAm
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 14:59
  • @mYnDstrEAm Emacs has a GUI, which most people use these days. You can run it in a terminal, but there's no real reason to do that. Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 15:12

Maybe ToDoList could be one more software to have a look at.

  • is free and open source,
  • although it can be considered primarily as a to-do list software, I think it fits very well to your use case,
  • you can tag, highlight, organize and categorize your notes,
  • it does run on Linux/Debian machines, although a bit of tweaking is required,
  • and you can organize web links and associated context no problem.

Here is a quick screenshot: enter image description here

I think this is a really cool software, maybe it is worth a look.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.