Eventually I realized that Notational Velocity was just an extra keyboard shortcut and window on my desktop, so I ditched it for some better alternatives in vim. I'm especially fond of using ack and the ack plugin for vim. I'm using these mappings for my .vimrc

map <leader>n :e! /notes
map <leader>] :Note
map <leader>[ :NoteTab
map <leader>0 :Nls
command -nargs=1 Note :exe "e! " . fnameescape("/notes/<args>.txt")
command -nargs=1 NoteTab :exe "tabnew " . fnameescape("/notes/<args>.txt")
command -nargs=1 Nls :Ack --text "<args>" /notes

I've also made some snippets to help with notetaking in markdown.

snippet img
![${1}](/notes/img/${2})${3}
snippet t
# `expand("%:r")`
> Date: `strftime("%m-%d-%y")`
> Instructor: ${1} `

## ${2}

The video also references my post about WriteRoom mode in vim.