What is ListDB

This is a database program with only a single field.  

Actually, it has a data field and an optional state field.

It has nothing to do with the rest of this website, which is mostly about car software.


Why would you make something so useless when so much awesome database software already exists?

And why hide it here?

Why not just use a basic text editor for keeping notes?

Or why not a more popular solution like EverNote or Google Keep?

I’m not entirely sure, but…

  • It is designed for making and maintaining lists.  Lists of anything.
  • Its design paradigm is: Flexibility through total lack of complex functionality.
  • The power of arbitrary searching and filtering allows it to function somewhat like the mutant offspring of a database and a text editor.
  • Each database item exists in a self-explanatory state of existence: Checked, Unchecked, Locked, and Critical (Meaning editable but can’t be deleted)
  • The combination of the searching/filtering/state system can be very powerful for task management.

Where can I get it?

For Windows:

ListDB (2119 downloads)

It’s written with QT.  Compile it for Linux or MacOS if you like.

Here’s the source: listdb

How do I use it?

On first launch, you must provide it with an empty directory in which it will store its data files.

Pick an easily found directory so you can back up your notes, ideally one that contains no other files.  You can easily start a second directory later if you like, and switch between them.

You’ll want to make a new list, and then Alt+Enter to start a new note.  Remember that alt+enter thing, it’s important.

When writing notes, keep search-ability in mind.

Search is simple and powerful, and to the point.  It searches for words, but in any order.  No symbols, regular expressions, or other bullshit.  No ‘middle of word’ searching.  No case sensitivity.

If you make a note with Joe’s Phone Number 555-255-1354, you can Ctrl+F Joe.  Each space separated item in a search field has to match for the item to show up.  You could also search for Joe Number or Number Joe.

You’ll find it naturally finds things even before you are finished typing if you make your lists properly.  If you had a list with Joe’s Phone Number, and a separate entry with Login 1234 Password 5678, and you search for joe pass, you’ll get the login.  In fact if you were paying attention to the search results, you might stop when you type ‘joe p’.

It’s up to you to build your list to be searchable.

You can use search to perform operations as well.  For example, search for phone Phone, Select All, and Move To… to start a separate phone list…

Here are some other tricks to get you started:

  • Select an item and double click a word to copy it to the clipboard.  Double clicking a URL-like string launches your web browser instead.
  • States are great:
    • Everything starts as unchecked
    • Locked items can’t be edited or deleted
    • Critical items can’t be deleted
    • Double click a non-locked item to ‘Check’ it.
  • Stateless lists are also an option.  To migrate from a stateless or stateful list, simply make a new list of the type you want, then: Select All + Move To…
  • To delete all checked items, Filter Checked + Select All + Delete
  • To move all important items to the top, either Sort->Priority or Filter Critical + Select All + Top
  • Split will split the selection if something is selected, or before/after cursor if nothing is selected.
  • The split button will turn into Merge if you select multiple items (ctrl-click/shift-click).