Write plain text files | Derek Sivers - Deepstash
Centers of Progress

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The historical significance of urban centers

The impact of cultural and technological advances

The role of urban centers in shaping society

Centers of Progress

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Our Mind In Writing

Our Mind In Writing

The written words are a precious asset: thoughts, notes, plans, diaries, correspondence, code, articles and books. They are a written history of our lives. That is why the format they should be in should be plain text files: the most reliable, flexible and long-lasting option.

Every device, including ones long gone, and ones not invented yet, can read and edit plain text.


78 reads

The Plain Text File: Uncommercial And Offline

The Plain Text File: Uncommercial And Offline

  • Every few years a new company says you should use their special format. You have to pay them a monthly fee to use it.
  • You will outlive these companies. Your writing should outlive you. Plain text is un-commercial.
  • There are places and times when you can't get online. Don't depend on any tool that needs an internet connection.
  • If you rely on Word, Evernote, or Notion, you are helpless without them.
  • Plain text files and a basic text editor are enough. If you only use plain text, you can work on any device, forever. The less you depend on, the better.


39 reads

Plain Text Is Easy To Convert

Plain Text Is Easy To Convert

Plain text can be converted into anything else, including HTML, Markdown, JSON, LaTeX, and many other standard formats.

You can make your own personal formats in your plain text files.

Use a scripting language like Ruby, Python, or JavaScript to grab the data and tags, and use them for categorizing, sorting, renaming, archiving, or exporting.


33 reads

What To Do For Visuals And Graphics

What To Do For Visuals And Graphics

  • Keep your graphics files alongside your text files.
  • Text as plain text will keep you focused on the tools instead of the thinking
  • Digital drawing can be saved into SVG files, and paper drawings scanned into JPGs
  • It's best to use formats that will outlast us.


31 reads



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