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.

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

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 (Android)
  • beOrg — A plain text task management and outliner app that works with Emacs org-mode files (iOS)
  • neutriNote — A Markdown-enabled note taking app (Adroid)

Web Apps

  • 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
  • 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