My Latest Workflow

02/23/2011 22:26:04

Introduction

I wanted to take a few minutes to describe my latest workflow as it relates to MultiMarkdown. It demonstrates some of the power and flexibility of MMD, as well as trying to make creative use of standards.

I won’t go too much into the details, but will try to describe the big picture.

Speaking of…

Map
Map

The Core

Naturally, the core of my system is MultiMarkdown. It’s no surprise that the MMD text file can easily be translated into HTML, or via LaTeX into various PDF formats.

More interesting, however, is that it is easy to convert back and forth between an MMD text file and an OPML file. MultiMarkdown 3.0 can output to OPML by itself and there’s a utility script to convert OPML back into plain text. There may be a couple of differences in the whitespace in the two formats, but when the files are processed they should be identical (there are one or two exceptions, but they are pretty minor).

Finder tricks

By using the two Quick Look generators available for OS X, you can simply select either a MMD text file or OPML file and the space key to preview the file as HTML (as processed by MMD). This is an easy way to view the contents of the file, or to get a preview of how it will look when processed.

Mac OS X Apps

I tend to edit MultiMarkdown text files in TextMate, which is made even easier with my MultiMarkdown bundle. I find it easier to use TextMate for typing longer sections. Additionally, it makes it easy to switch back and forth from text to OPML.

For OPML documents, I prefer to use OmniOutliner. This makes it very easy to reorganize the structure of the document by rearranging various sections.

Dropbox

Most of the files that I am actively working on are stored in my Dropbox folder so that they are kept in sync on any computer I am using. More importantly, however, is that it allows these files to be accessed/synchronized via iOS apps.

iPad/iPhone

If I keep the OPML file on my dropbox, it can be then easily be kept in sync with my iPad/iPhone via iThoughts or iThoughtsHD.

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