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

Living My Life in Plain Text

Chances are, you don’t know the story behind this blog. Let me share it with you: in 2012, I was coaching a writer who wanted to start a blog. Her first thought was to use a simple platform, which let her write and publish quickly and easily. I set up this blog using a now-defunct service called scriptogr.am as a proof of concept.

She decided to go with WordPress, but I decided to keep this blog. Why? At that time, I was making tweaks to the way in which I did my work. Once again, I started doing more in plain text. Setting up this blog was the final push to fully embrace working and living in plain text. It was the catalyst for an experiment to see whether or I could live my life in plain text.

And I can. At least for a large portion of my life. I use plain text for anywhere from 80% to 85% of my work —for writing, for blogging, for planning and scheduling my tasks, taking notes and more. It is possible. I’m proof of that, and so are many other people out there.

As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, I do most of my work in plain text. Most, but not all. There are areas in which plain text falls flat. More than a few. That shouldn’t be a surprise. Not one tool, no one method will cover all of your needs.

There are two keys to living your life in plain text. The first is setting your expectations. Specifically, don’t expect to be able to do everything in plain text. The second, as I explain in this post, is to focus on what you need to do and the tools to carry out those tasks.

Living in plain text isn’t for everyone. But you’ll never know whether or not it’s right for you until you give it a try. Who knows, you might just be able to streamline your life by making that change.

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