Do you use Markdown? If you want to write and publish anywhere, Markdown makes it easy. Inspiration can strike when you’re out and about, or sitting on your sofa watching a DVD.
Although you can jot down a few words in the Notes app on your phone, this material is throwaway text. If you want to publish it, you’ll need to format it: in HTML say, for a blog post, or as RTF if you want to develop a Word doc, or a PDF.
What if it were easy to format your text?
Markdown lets you write publishable text anywhere. It makes your throwaway text publishable, and you can learn its simple formatting notations in a couple of minutes.
Here’s a quick summary of Markdown:
(Markdown) is a free markup language you can use to format plain text and generate different outputs. It implies that you do not have to invest in expensive software anymore to create and publish diverse content.
If you want to write anywhere, use Markdown
When you use Markdown, you write in plain text.
If I’m writing for a client, I create the text (with images) in Ulysses, then save as MS Word, PDF, or HTML: whatever the client prefers. Currently I’m writing a short manual for a client. As soon as a chapter’s done, Ulysses attaches it, in MS Word format, to an email message.
Markdown frees your creativity.
Let’s look at some useful Markdown tools. Although I’ve numbered them for convenience, they’re in no special order.
(BTW, here’s a good list of Markdown tools.)
1. Drafts: jot it, publish it
If the perfect idea for a client project, a blog post, or a tweet pops into your head, you can write in any app which accepts plain text. Write yourself a note as an email message, or use the Notes app on your phone.
Alternatively, consider the Drafts app. Open the app and type or dictate. Then send the text anywhere you choose. Drafts can publish a note as a tweet or send it to an application.
Drafts is perfect for sudden ideas and insights: write in Markdown, then share what you wrote. The app is updated frequently, and the free version is fully functional.
2. Use a Markdown editor: many are free
Once you’re comfortable with Markdown, using a dedicated editor on your desktop machine or on your phone saves time.
Not only does a Markdown editor make writing simpler, so you write more, but you can also preview your text in the format of your choice, and publish it.
3. Try Obsidian: the perfect writers’ studio and knowledge base
Have you discovered Obsidian?
Next to Curio and Ulysses, it’s my favorite app. You can turn Obsidian into anything you choose. Create a customized writing studio, or write your next novel or nonfiction book in Obsidian.
Getting started is simple. However, since you can use the app in any way you choose, beware of over-reaching too soon. Basically, your Obsidian vault is just a bunch of Markdown text files on your computer. This makes Obsidian the perfect note taking and studying app.
However, by using Obsidian plugins you can turn Obsidian into:
- A calendar and task manager (the Calendar plugin);
- Trackers for anything and everything (the Dataview plugin);
- Your writing studio (the Longform plugin);
Tempting as it might be to use Obsidian for everything, avoid the temptation. Inevitably, you’ll spend more time organizing and fiddling with your setup and less time writing and creating.
That said, do try Obsidian. You’ll write anywhere (in the Obsidian mobile app) and will write more.
Have fun. 🙂
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.