A reader who was also a fan of Patternjump sent in vim-columnmove, which is by the same author. This is a plugin that helps make vertical movement more convenient by providing vertical equivalents of motions like
columnmove-f (mapped to
<M-f>) will move the cursor down along the current column to the next matching character.
columnmove-w which is for word-wise movement, where "words" are the characters in the current column. I find this harder to visualise, so I've only really used