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Newbie working with plain text: best practices for formatting etc?

Hey all,

I've searched far and wide online and am really surprised not to find very much info on this (perhaps I'm using the wrong search terms!).

After reading Bit Literacy, I decided that I wanted to starting using plain text files more at work, especially for notes. Unfortunately, years of reading 43F has enhanced my fiddly nature, and I'm more focused on trying to format my notes "correctly," or at least to have some sort of standard to stick to.

Does anyone have any best practices (or web resources) for working with text on a page? Currently, I find text files difficult to read (and line breaks confusing).

Any thoughts?

gte910h's picture

I use them almost exclusively for my business purposes

For my timelogs I keep in my consulting business (http://www.rowdylabs.com), I have three vim macros:

which outputs:
1/22/2008 10:38:20 AM - START

which outputs:
1/22/2008 10:38:20 AM

and which outputs:
1/22/2008 10:38:20 AM - END

I then have a time tracking program (a quick python script you can email me at michael.langford@rowdylabs.com if you want it) that adds up all the time in a given text file. This allows me to bill clients accurately for hourly work, yet let them know I was doing things, and that I did take breaks off the clock and what they were. In those logs I often take notes on phone conversations as they're happening as well.

I usually do a format like:

1/22/2008 10:38:20 AM - START
Flurbed the fliberty on the face

1/22/2008 10:44:30 AM
Having issues flurbing

But I intentionally keep it a little messy so I don't spend a lot of time reformatting it. It's like when I scribble all over the front page of my moleskine when I get it so I can use the thing rather than going "oooh pretty paper" and "that thought isn't good enough for that pretty paper"

My web page is similarly generated from a template and plain text.




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