This is an ever-expanding list of tools that can help you work and live more efficiently in plain text. In case you’re wondering, I’ve worked with or tried all of these tools.</p>

Text Editors

  • Notepad++ — A popular text editor that's good for both programmers and ordinary mortals (Windows)
  • Atom — While aimed at coders, Atom is a great and flexible editor for anyone working in plain text (Linux, MacOS, Windows)
  • Leafpad — A simple but useful editor (Linux)

Note Taking Tools

  • Turtl — A secure note taking tool (Linux, MacOS, Android, Windows)
  • Standard Notes — A simple and secure app for taking and managing notes (Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Web, Windows)
  • nvALT — A plain text, Markdown-friendly desktop app (MacOS)
  • Notational Velocity — The tool that inspired nvALT (MacOS)
  • The Archive — A simple but effective looking note taking tool (MacOS)

Task Managers

  • Todo.txt — A simple, effective command line task manager(Linux, MacOS)
  • DayTasks — A plain text task manager for the Linux desktop (Linux)
  • TaskPaper — A plain text to-do list that’s surprisingly adept (MacOS)


  • Calculist — An open source, web-based outliner that's billed as the thinking tool for problem solvers
  • WorkFlowy — An outliner that lets you focus on not just your ideas, but specific parts of those ideas
  • TreeLine — An open source outliner for the Linux and Windows desktops. TreeLine's not the prettiest app, but it works

Mobile Apps

  • Simpletask — A task manager that uses Todo.txt's format (Android)
  • iA Writer — An app for taking notes, writing, and more (Android, iOS)
  • Writer+ — A simple app for jotting down notes or doing some serious writing (Android)
  • Orgzly — An outliner and note taking tool that lets you take your Emacs org-mode files mobile
  • beOrg — A plain text task management and outliner app for iOS devices that works with Emacs org-mode files
  • neutriNote — A Markdown-enabled note taking app for Android devices

Web Apps

  • Laverna — A private, text-based note taking application
  • Simplenote — A simple, effective app for storing your thoughts and ideas
  • Plain Text Table — Use it to create tables in a graphical interface, then save them as plain text
  • Draft — A flexible tool for writers
  • Pandoc Online — An online version of Pandoc that can convert between a handful of markup languages
  • MarkableA Remarkable Markdown Editor
  • Plain Text Tables Generator — An online tool that can help you quickly create tables in plain text and a few markup languages, too
  • Tables Generator — The easiest way to create HTML, LaTeX, Markdown, MediaWiki, and plain text tables

Desktop Wikis

  • TiddlyWiki — a single-page HTML file that you can edit and use to organize your information
  • Zim — A simple, flexible desktop wiki that stores your information in a set of text files

Other Tools