I really learned to love markdown during the last 6 month or so… by now I do most of my textwork in markdown and even write my meeting minutes or blogposts using it.
If you don’t have the slightest clue what markdown is, you should go an check out whatismarkdown.com.
Why I prever markdown over other formats
1. It’s Free
Markdown and most of the editors or software for it is free. No need to buy and install huge software solutions. You don’t need Pages or Word as there are plenty of free editors available on the web. Checkout Mou for Mac or even edit Markdown files with any regular text program like Notepad or so.
2. It’s Truly Crossplatform
Since there are tons of really good and free editors for all plattforms (Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS, Android, etc.) you’ll be able to edit or create your files pretty much independently from a device or a location.
3. Readable Documents All Time
Even if you dont use any particular software that is capable of markdown it stays readable. You could copy / paste the markdown source into an email and it would still be readable (all though looking a bit nerdy).
4. Easy to Learn
There are only a few things to remember to write markdown fluently and it’s also well documented. So just go ahead and checkt it out yourself. You’ll find lots of results on google…
5. Markdown In - Anything Out
Markdown is a flexible format. You can output
.md files as PDF, as HTML (for Blogs etc.) or even as presentations with apps like Deckset.
6. Dropbox & Markdown
If you use dropbox (or any other cloud based data service) this is the best place to store your markdown files. You will only need a little space (only a few bytes per page) and have your files at hand everywhere.
7. GitHub & Markdown
Github uses Markdown for readme files, as for GitHub Pages (with Jekyll) and also offers the free Atom Editor with built in markdown preview.
8. Jekyll & Markdown
Jekyll (or Octopress) will allow you to generate a static blog out of your markdown files. Jekyll is open source and really easy to set up and install (I also use Jekyll for my own blog where this here is actually a markdown file).
To me Markdown offers all the flexibility I always wanted for documents. I was able to slim down file size and installed software for all my writing purposes. I always have my stuff at hand and can do edits or drafts from wherever I am without transferring notes to a Pages file, Keynote or whatever. Also I can focus on writing without worrying if it will be a post, a document or a presentation later as long as I’m in an early stage of writing.
So if you don’t do it already… use Markdown for everything that has to do with text! You will love it!