Working with Vim


VimWiki is a powerful plugin that enables Vim to be your own personal wiki. It is a great tool to keep track of notes, lists, or just about anything.

😎Yes, Vim is a text editor and obviously you can type notes or lists in any text editor. What VimWiki provides is the convenience and a defined space to always have a scratch area ready to write without having to think about it.

Install and Configuration

Install the plugin using vim-plug

Plug 'vimwiki/vimwiki'

I configure VimWiki to a specific directory that I sync across devices using syncthing, similar to Dropbox. VimWiki stores everything in plain text files. I use the markdown syntax, the default wiki markup is similar but just different enough that I need to switch it to markdown.

" Vim Wiki
let g:vimwiki_list = [{'path': '~/Sync/wiki/', 'syntax': 'markdown'}]
au FileType vimwiki setlocal shiftwidth=6 tabstop=6 noexpandtab


The basic usage is typing <Leader>ww to open your index file, one will be created if it does not already exist.

This can be an instant scratch pad to take whatever notes that you want. Create additional files by insert links and navigating to them.

Insert a link by surrounding text with double-brackes, for example [[LinkText]]. Once a link is created, navigate to the new page by placing your cursor over the word and pressing enter. This will open, creating the file if needed, the linked page.

Create pages for any list, tasks, info, notes, or for whatever you want.

Todo Lists

VimWiki has a few built-in types and features. One is a todo list feature that you can create a list of items that can be checked off using the syntax:

-   [ ] Write Vim Lessons
-   [ ] Edit Vim Lessons
-   [ ] Publish

You can add a checkbox using ctrl-<Space>, use gl<Space> to remove checkbox.

To toggle an item complete use ctrl-<Space> with your cursor on the line you want to toggle. Todo lists also work for nested items, simply indent the item. Vim folding works with nested lists. Toggling will also mark all sub-items.

For an item that might be partially complete, use gln to toggle forward completion levels, and use glp to toggle backwards completion levels. Levels progress through '.oOX' sequence which you consider equating to:

[ ] -- 0% complete
[.] -- 1-33% complete
[o] -- 34-66% complete
[O] -- 67-99% complete
[X] -- 100% complete

If you do not like the sequence you can set your own using g:vimwiki_listsyms for example

let g:vimwiki_listsyms: 'βœ—β—‹β—β—βœ“'

See :help vimwiki-todo


Use :VimwikiTable 5 3 to create a table with 5 columns and 2 rows

|     |     |     |     |     |
| --- | --- | --- | --- | --- |
|     |     |     |     |     |
|     |     |     |     |     |

Press tab to advance to the next column, it auto formats as you go.

Press enter on the last row to create another row.

Vimwiki table example

See :help vimwiki-table


VimWiki diary makes it easy to create a daily entry. Type <Leader>w<Leader>w to create a new entry based on today's date. A diary subdirectory is created containing the wiki files.

This Calendar plugin works with the diary feature, allowing you to browse and create entries using a calendar interface.

Create a diary index page by navigating to the page using :VimwikiDiaryIndex and then automatically create entries list using :VimwikiDiaryGenerateLinks

I find both commands a little tedious, so I create a :Diary command to navigate to the index page, and an autocommand to generate links each time the diary index is open.

command! Diary VimwikiDiaryIndex
augroup vimwikigroup
    " automatically update links on read diary
    autocmd BufRead,BufNewFile VimwikiDiaryGenerateLinks
augroup end

VimWiki Diary

Use :VWS /term/ to search.

Use :lopen to see all results