Many annotation tools have been developed, covering a wide variety of tasks and providing features like user management, pre-processing, and automatic labeling. However, all of these tools use a Graphical User Interface, and often require substantial effort for installation and configuration. This paper presents a new annotation tool that is designed to fill the niche of a lightweight interface for users with a terminal-based workflow. Slate supports annotation at different scales (spans of characters, tokens, and lines, or a document) and of different types (free text, labels, and links), with easily customisable keybindings, and unicode support. In a user study comparing with other tools it was consistently the easiest to install and use. Slate fills a need not met by existing systems, and has already been used to annotate two corpora, one of which involved over 250 hours of annotation effort.