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

Some Useful Plain Text Resources

Someone typing in a text editor

As you may or may not know, one of the goals of this blog is to share techniques and tips for living and working in plain text. While I’m not the first, and hope I’m not the last, person to try to live his life in plain text, I want to demonstrate that it’s not just techies and productivity nerds who can effectively work in plain text. I want to demonstrate that plain text is for everyone: the student, the writer, the office worker, the stay-at-home parent. Anyone who wants a simple but effective way to stay organized.

I’ll be writing more about using plain text in this space in the coming weeks and months. But, as I mentioned earlier, I’m not the only person out there who has embraced plain text. Here are a few resources for living and working in plain text that I’ve dug up over the last little while. I hope you find them useful.

WorkingMemory.txt (The Most Important Productivity Tool You’ve Never Heard Of) — Cal Newport shares a great technique for capturing and scheduling all those little tasks you have to do, which lie outside of your main task list.

Ten Clever Uses for Plain Text Files That Can Increase Your Productivity — Some familiar, and not so familiar, uses of a text file that can help you become and stay productive.

A Plain Text Primer — A nice explanation of what plain text is and how it can help you.

5 Unexpected Benefits of Plain Text for the Writer — Great reasons to use plain text, even if you’re not a writer.

Plaintext Productivity — A site devoted solely to become organized using plain text. While the site focuses on Windows and Getting Things Done (GTD), you can easily adapt the advice you find there to other operating systems. And you don’t need to be a GTD adherent to benefit from that advice.

Why Use a Plain-Text File for Your Todos? — It’s a bit of a marketing spiel for an application called TodoPaper, but there’s some good information in this post.

Removing the Word shackles: getting started with plain text — A detailed look at writing in plain text, mainly using Markdown. It’s a bit Mac/iOS centric, but you can easily adapt the advice in this post to other desktop and mobile operating systems.

store everything in text files — Leo Babauta on the simplicity, utility, and beauty of using plain text files to store information.

Sustainable Authorship in Plain Text using Pandoc and Markdown — A tutorial that explains the basics of Markdown and Pandoc (a tool for converting between markup languages), and how to effectively use them together.

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