Graphviz-based mindmap with Tomboy

After having started using Tomboy, I've already become addicted to it. It's basically a merger between a note taking tool and a desktop wiki (with some issues with WikiWords nonetheless: #396177).

I was missing a Mind map feature though. Thus I wrote the tiny teeny hack of the day which processes Tomboy's notes from ~/.tomboy/ and generates a Graphviz graph that is then rendered (to SVG) and shown on the fly. Now I can just run mindmap to obtain a Mind map of my notes, the following is a sample result:


Enjoy mindmap

  • tomboy2dot.xsl (XSLT stylesheet for converting a Tomboy note to a Graphviz snippet)
  • (Main executable which process all Tomboy notes with the above stylesheet, supposedly in ~/bin/, and do all the remaining jazz)


  • add hyperlinks from the SVG output back to Tomboy notes (easy) and find an SVG viewer which follow hyperlinks on click invoking tomboy (uhm, ... anyone knows a SVG viewer able to follow links?)

Kudos to Sebastian Menge who wrote the XSLT stylesheet I started from.

i changed one line in the script to get it to work:

xsltproc $xsl $HOME/.local/share/tomboy/*.note | sed 's/^/ /' >> $dot

Comment by Harold de Bruijn Sun 15 Aug 2010 03:54:38 AM CEST

Dear Zack,

Great idea! I would love to use this for my own stuff . . . if I could.

I'm more noob than hacker and don't know how to install/integrate your tool into Tomboy.

Would you be able to help?

Thank you!!

(I'm using Ubuntu 11.10 if that matters)

Comment by wesamuels [] Sun 04 Dec 2011 08:28:24 PM CET
Many thanks for this script. I have been searching for some way to produce a graphic representation of my notes. In case anybody is trying to get this to work with Ubuntu 12.04, you will want to change the line "xsltproc $xsl $HOME/.tomboy/*.note | sed 's/^/ /' >> $dot" to "xsltproc $xsl $HOME/.local/share/tomboy/*.note | sed 's/^/ /' >> $dot".
Comment by timdor Sat 03 Nov 2012 05:02:50 PM CET

Thanks for writing this hack. I am currently using Tomboy to plot out a D&D adventure where each note is a room in the dungeon, and it's getting a little hairy with all the links and links back! For example:

West Battlement

This part of the roof is the far west edge, and there's a chimney full of smoke coming out from the Forge.

North: 60' drop to wilderness
East: around the central tower to 
  • North Battlement or 
  • Central Battlement
  • South Battlement
  • 60' drop to wilderness
  • Stairs to NW Hallway
South: 60' drop to wilderness

So, this tool has enabled me to view the rooms, as they are connected--and make obvious some of the orphan rooms, and other elements!

Check it out on imgur.

Anyway, just saying thanks!

Comment by gavmor Fri 22 Mar 2019 12:48:24 AM CET