This is a constantly-expanding list of links to articles and sites that explain how to effectively use plain text in your life and your work.
This page isn’t meant to be a comprehensive resource. It’s a collection of articles and posts that I’ve found interesting.
If you’re looking for more links related to plain text, I keep a rather disorganized and steadily growing list in Pinboard.
Click the arrow beside any heading below to expand what’s under it.
Plain Text Websites
- 8 Everyday Things You Can Track with Text Files — As the title says ...
- 10 Plain Text Files You Should Have on Your Desktop for Higher Productivity — I'd say pick and choose the ones you want to use
- WorkingMemory.txt (The Most Important Productivity Tool You’ve Never Heard Of) — A guide to using a text file to track what you need to do
- Managing IT Projects in Text Mode — Good advice for managing any kind of project, not just ones in IT, using plain text
- Why I moved my tasks to plain text — As the title of the article says ...
- A Plain Text Personal Organizer — How one person runs his life out of a big directory of text files
- Go Plain: My Simplicity-Driven Personal Productivity System — Itamar Ostricher shares his plain text productivity system
- The unsexy plain text todo file — No, looks don't matter. Especially when maintaining a todo list
- How I’m Using Notational Velocity, Simplenote, and Merlin Mann’s QQ Trick as a Replacement for the GTD Application Things — A detailed explanation of how one person combined to a pair of tools and a concept to help him become more productive
- 5 Unexpected Benefits of Plain Text for Writers — Yes, writers can benefit from doing their work in plain text
- The Lo-Fi Manifesto — A reasoned explanation of why we should adopt Lo-Fi Production Technologies
- The Beginner’s Guide to Writing With MultiMarkdown — A look at how to use a flexible variant of Markdown
- A Plain Text Workflow for Academic Writing with Atom — Some good advice for using plain text to write. And that advice applies to other kinds of writing, too
- How To Use Git to Manage Your Writing Project — It's a bit geeky, but using this workflow can help ensure that you don't lose a draft or a version of whatever you're writing
- Learning Markdown — My book, which offers a step-by-step guide to formatting documents using Markdown
- Markup, Markdown: Write In Elegant Plain Text — A good intro to the lightweight markup language
- Markdown Reference — A cheatsheet from the Commonmark project
- Mastering Markdown — A guide from GitHub
- How to Create a Markdown Table — A good how to, explaining this tricky task
- About 1400 Words of Skepticism about Markdown, and an Imagined Alternative — A well reasoned, contrarian look at Markdown
Other Markup Languages
- LaTeX-Tutorial.com — Learn about the popular typesetting language
- Getting Started with DocBook — An introduction to the markup language made for technical documentation
- reStructuredText – what-you-see-is-what-you-get plaintext markup language — A look at the markup language popular with the Python programming language crowd (and others)
- HTML.com — Learn how to use HTML and Cascading Style Sheets
- Getting to Know Textile — A look at the basics of Textile, a Markdown-like formatting language
- AsciiMath — An easy-to-write markup language for mathematics
- PreText — A markup language that combines the best of DocBook, LaTeX, and HTML
- DocBook Rocks — A quick dive in to about ten DocBook tags to help you get going with the language
- AsciiDoc – text document format for writing — Learn about a simple formatting language for documentation, books, slides, articles, and more
- A Plain Text Primer — Some advice for getting started with plain text
- Text rules for journals and notes — Thoughts about using rules from a plain text task manager with journal entries and notes
- Why Geeks Love Plain Text (And Why You Should, Too) — A good primer on plain text
- store everything in text files — Leo Babauta on why plain text can be a better choice
- How I organize everything with plain-text notes — Some good advice for taking, storing, and managing notes in plain text
- Plain Text — Quick look at the benefits of using plain text
- My Text Editor Journey: Vim, Spacemacs, Atom and Sublime Text — Tristan Hume looks back at the text editors he's used, and how he settled back into using Sublime Text
- always bet on text — A detailed look at why you can't go wrong by embracing a plain text workflow
- What can and cannot be done in a text file? — A measured look at where plain text is strong, and where it can fall flat
- How to Set Up a Text-Based Notes System — While aimed at Mac users, you can adapt this advice to whatever operating system and tools you use
- Plain Text Emails, Please — A good argument against using HTML in emails of any kind
- Simple and Universal: A History of Plain Text, and Why It Matters — A good overview of what plain text is, and why you should think about using it
- Plain Text Accounting — A site devoted to tools and techniques for doing your accounting with plain text data formats and scriptable software