Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Quickly Sharing Your Thoughts, Without Blogging or Tweeting

Sometimes, a tweet isn’t enough. You need a few more words to do that thought or that idea justice. But, on the other hand, a full-blown blog post is overkill. And, anyway, maybe you’re not posting often enough to justify blogging.

So, how do you share that thought or idea that you can’t quite fit into 140 characters? Some people turn to platforms like Tumblr. An tool like Tumblr inhabits a nice middle ground between a microblogging service like Twitter or App.net and an actual blog.

But if you use either Typerighter.com or TextDrop, you can quickly and easily share your thoughts on the web. All in plain text, and all nicely formatted.

Let’s take a look at how.

Sharing with Typerighter.com

Typerighter.com is my favourite a web-based, plain text writing tool. In fact, it’s one of the tools I rely on to do my work. You can read more about Typerighter.com in this blog post.

One feature of Typerighter.com is its ability to make selected documents visible to the wider web. By default, your document are private. To make a document public, add the hashtag #public at the end of the document. Then, copy and share the URL (on Twitter, for example). The URL will look something like this:

https://scottnesbitt.typerighter.com/f13386fbc6d3e7a024c2c62076bce430.html

And, in case you’re wondering, that URL doesn’t work.

What people see will be plain text (though not in a monospaced font like Courier), with no formatting. It doesn’t look too bad overall, though.

If, on the other hand, you’ve formatted your document using Markdown, then you can add .html to the end of your document’s URL and share that. The document will be kind of plain, but with the formatting you added to it.

Publishing with TextDrop

I talked about TextDrop in a previous post. And, like Typerighter.com, it’s one of the web-based plain text tools that I rely on.

It works with Dropbox, and that integration offers some interesting possibilities. If you know anything about Dropbox, you know that it comes with a folder named Public. Putting a file in that folder makes it available to others, as long as they know the URL.

To share a document, just format it with Markdown (or MultiMarkdown) and then click the Publish button in the top-right corner of the TextDrop window. TextDrop will inform you that the file will be made available in the folder /Public/textdrop/ in your Dropbox account. Then, the View Published button appears in the top-right corner of the TextDrop window. Click that to see your file.

The URL to the file will look something like this:

https://dl.dropbox.com/s/uutbah18hcfdh0d/publishing_test.md.html

Again, that URL doesn’t work.

Whether you’re using TextDrop or Typerighter.com, sharing thoughts or ideas — which are too long for a tweet but too short for a full blog post — is quick and easy. Best of all, you’re taking advantage of tools that you already use.

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