We all write reports, presentations, etc. … and all have our moments of despair in front of the time-consuming and often complex word processor.
The asset management industry is particularly prolix and tears its hair everyday in this situation.
In all industries, managers and executives suffer daily, especially when they get a writing assignment they cannot delegate!
But good news!
There is a handy tool to simplify the creation of a professional article!
Back to the Essence of Writing
This tool was created by developers who can devote even less time to writing than a CEO. I use this very interesting tool that brings us to the essence of the text input : the markdown.
Guerric does as well : we both realized we wanted to convert each other to it ! :)
Markdown will allow you to focus on your content while ensuring an efficient and elegant layout effortlessly!
This post shares the essential value of markdown with you :)
Markdown is a computer language verrrry easy to learn in 5 minutes. (For beginners, it can even be a painless first step towards the logic of “programming”.)
It is an ideal tool for writing without distraction … and it’s perfect for publishing in all formats.
What Does Markdown Look Like ?
Here’s an example of an editing interface – I like the “dark mode” (reverse video), very relaxing for the eyes :
This will output like this (just clicking on the preview button) :
And if you want to have it in html for a well-built email or to create a website page, here is a one-click output.
Bam! Here I am: an html programmer, without spending a minute on the html syntax!
[GUERRIC: I use the HTML export feature for every article I publish on BoostCompanies. When I write an article in markdown, I export it in HTML, open the file in Firefox, and copy/paste the result into WordPress. A piece of cake.]
All this without concerns other than conceiving and typing my text.
Similarly, most markdown softwares allow immediate .pdf release.
How Do I Learn Markdown ?
Do not worry, the learning curve is very short: At a glance we grasp how to mark text as above with, for example, # for the title and * for a bullet point.
- A few minutes is all you need to know how to use this:
#text# for title :
- ##text## for subtitle :
- * text * for italic text
- ** text ** for bold text
- ~~text~~ for strikethrough
- `Text` for code :
- [great stuff](https://guerric.co.uk) to have a link to great stuff
All this done while focusing on your writing.
For perfectionists : get detailed markdown syntax —> gitbook. By the way, for those who do not know, gitbook is a platform for collaborative publishing … As you know me, it’s open source and of course it provides markdown ;)
Alternative resource: LearnXinYminutes
What Markdown Software Is out There?
Well, lot’s of ! You can have them online or as software.
Here are 3 online tools :
- Online Markdown Editor by ctrlshift.net – stripped and simple
- dillinger.io – more sophisticated, mobile friendly
- stackedit – the geeks stuff, quite complete with lots of functions, a toolbar…
Here are a few of the many markdown softwares that exist:
- markdown here add-on for browsers or mail client (works with Firefox, Pale Moon, Chrome, Chromium, Safari and Thunderbird!)
- macdown for Apple
- Byword for Mac, Iphone, Ipad
- uberwriter for Windows or Linux. I find this very lean version most comfortable!
- remarkable for Windows or Linux
- gedit-markdown for those who appreciate the excellent gedit text editor!
- MarkMyWords, very light availabilities for all Ubuntu and ArchLinux
I like to set the interfaces to Darkmode (light gray font on dark gray background – oblivion theme, for instance) with an inconsolata 12 font.
Go Further With Markdown
If you want to write collaborative texts with markdown, consider https://draftin.com/
If you want to import html to markdown, think about this online tool: https://domchristie.github.io/to-markdown/
In addition, some publishing tools directly include markdown features, such as the text editor of the WordPress CMS (this allows bloggers to make nice posts)
And of course the text editors of gitbook & github…
In Short :
Markdown really simplifies pure writing.
It takes less than 5 minutes to learn and memorize ; we can use it fluently in less than a day.
Personally, I no longer use anything but markdown to write.
We are then much more at ease to make an effective presentation since we can focus on the content on since we focus on the background !