052: Plain Text Productivity for the Preacher
In a long-awaited episode 52, we explore the various options and advantages to becoming a plain text preacher.
- This episode was posted on October 17, 2016.
- Show notes for this episode can be found at chadl.co/mbits/052.
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Notes from this episode:
##Why Plain-Text? (Advantages)
- Original - Because it's been around for a loooong time, and it will continue to be around for a long time
- Portable - will work and can be read by any app, word processor, code editor, or even web browser
- Small - takes up a tiny tiny amount of space (1GB = 1000 MB = 1,000,000+ text files) [54 files = 127 kb]
- Future-Proof - will work on anything in the future, almost certainly
- Robust App Ecosystem - tons of apps for iOS, a few for Android (iText Editors)
- Editable - edit on the go, no need to PDF anything, make last-minute changes to lessons, sync through Dropbox/GDrive
- Flexible - can import plain text into anything (Word, Pages, code editors, web forms, Taskpaper)
- Limited Styling - some styling through use of Markdown (but can paste easily to other apps)
- So nerdy and simple some people don't (or won't) understand it
- Need for nested file structures in a sync system (such as Dropbox)
- Sync may or may not be instant through various services (looking at you, iCloud)
- Setup and customization can be time-consuming and difficult
Plain text is perfect for preachers because we so often live in text - not so much a need for spreadsheets and formatted materials, but most of our stuff is for internal use and mostly only seen by us.
- No matter what platform you're on, there's plain text support there
- Mac: Typora, Taskpaper, Byword, TextEdit
- PC: Notepad, Filenotes
- iOS: Drafts, Editorial, Byword, 1Writer
- Android: Draft, MarkdownX
- Sync with Dropbox is probably your best option - fast and reliable
- iCloud also an option to sync on iOS/Mac
- Dropbox + Typora + Editorial + Taskpaper
- Everything starts with Dropbox - nested files live here, and everything syncs here (saving files)
- Typora (beta) on the Mac is where everything usually starts
- Editorial ($9.99, Universal) is where I manage/view text files on iOS devices (search built in!)
- Taskpaper ($24.99) is where I manage my to-do lists (iOS = Editorial)
- Markdown is where everything ties together
- It's a way of writing styled plain text (if that makes sense)
- It lets you style text but still maintains the integrity of a plain text file
- Created in 2004 by John Gruber (open standard)
- Pages/Word/Excel/Publisher/Scrivener have their own metadata formats
- Markdown includes no metadata whatsoever, just like plain text
- You won't have any problems opening an .md or .txt file, because they're the same
I love plain text. I know plain text. I have been working for the last four years in plain text, and every time I abandon it for some other note-syncing service, I always end up coming back. It's just better, and I know that I won't have to jump ship when it comes to using different apps and services. I love it, and I know if you give it a chance, you'll love it too.