by Steve Dondley

⬅ Notes listing

Author's note: The note below is part of a digital garden. Therefore, it is likely incomplete, inaccurate or both. In other words, it's just like other information sources but perhaps to a higher degree. That said, it may still be worth exploring.



What is it?

vimwiki is a vim plugin that helps you write a wiki, which is just a collection of hyperlinked documents.

What makes it so good?

I’m still learning the ropes but the short answer is:

  1. Double tap <enter> on word or highlighted group of words to open and edit a new wike page.
  2. Type into your new document
  3. Hit <backspace> to return to your original document
  4. Easily navigate between your wiki pages
  5. Easily maintain a diary. See keeping a diary
  6. Absolutely fantastic for generating content as an outline which is far faster and easier to write than prose.

Random tech notes

  • vimwiki is running out of my ~/git_repos directory using the customizations branch

Searching and navigating a vimwiki quickly

  • use CtrlP plugin to jump to files
  • Searching the wiki:
    • use :VWS /term/
      • use :lopen to see results

Diary navigation

  • <C-Up_Arrow>
    • Open the previous day’s diary link if available.
  • <C-Down_Arrow>
    • Open the next day’s diary link if available.

Other Tips, Tricks and Advice

If used in conjunctions with a Jekyll site

  • Be sure to use markdown as the syntax for best integration with Jekyll site generation
  • Do not place diary in subdirectory (this is the default)
    • Instead, ensure entries are created in same folder as wiki so that documents in diary can link to wiki documents not in the diary
      • Accomplished by modifying g:vimwiki_list:
        • let wiki_1.diary_rel_path = '.'
  • use fzf and ripgrep to search vimwiki
    • see maps section below

Shell integration

Useful aliases

Launch default wiki pages from command line:

# launch diary from command line:
alias diary='vim -c ":VimwikiMakeDiaryNote"'

## launch index page from command line
alias vw='vim -c ":VimwikiIndex"'

Musings on the usefulness of vim and vimwiki


  • Insert link to another wiki page:
    • type in first couple of letters and then:
      • inoremap <buffer> <leader>xo <C-o>"cciW[](<C-r>c)<left><c-x><c-o>
      • Then to actually select a file:
        • inoremap <buffer> <c-y><c-y> <c-y><esc><esc>T(vt)y<esc>F[pf)a <left>
  • Rewrite <cr> to Vimwiki 3, 5 per help file
    • Needed if you are using hard wraps
    • This will create a bullet on the next line after hitting return if there is more than one line in the bullet
  • faster indenting
    • <c-d> and <c-t> outdent and indent
      • too cumbersome to type
        • remap << to outdent
        • remap >> to indent

          " faster in/outdenting
          inoremap << <c-d>
          inoremap >> <c-t>
          "outdent all the way to margin
          inoremap <leader>,, <esc>0dt*$a
          nnoremap <leader>,, 0dt*$
          " needed for vimwiki plugin with hard wrapping
          inoremap <cr> <esc>:VimwikiReturn 3, 5<cr>
          " in/outdent next bullet
          imap <c-i><cr> <cr><c-t>
          imap <c-i><c-i><cr> <cr><c-d>
  • search file names, buffers and file text quickly with fzf/fzf vim plugin
    nnoremap <leader>f :up<cr>:Files<cr>
    nnoremap <leader>r :up<cr>:Rg<cr>
    nnoremap <leader>b :up<cr>:Buffers<cr>
  • <tab> key should be remapped
    • by default vimwiki maps <tab> to VimwikiNextLink
      • Since <tab> and <c-i> are the same as a result of some terminal quirk, you are also overriding the default behavior of <c-i>
        • default behavior is to go forward in jump list
    • I use: nmap <leader>n <Plug>VimwikiNextLink
  • Create link and new vimwiki page with same title as bullet:
    inoremap <leader>lb <esc>^wy$i[<esc>$a](/<esc>pa)<esc>:VimwikiFollowLink<cr>i# <esc>p:w<cr>a<cr><cr>


  • Getting started guide broken link as of 7/16/2020
    • guy in video keeps syaing to use mod-v
      • actual combo by default:
        • ww
        • consult documentation for how to quickly open other wikis
        • :h vimwiki-global-mappings

Bugs and Troubles

Stuff I’m having problems with

Other notes linking here:


How This Site Works

Thoughts on Digital Gardening

Diary entry for 2020-07-14

Diary entry for 2020-07-25

View the edit history