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August 23, 2015 08:27
August 28, 2015 12:01


Welcome to the Plain Text Life project. This project consists of only two elements:

  1. The README you are reading right now,
  2. The today.txt template that assists you organising your everyday life in plain text files. Create one copy of today.txt for each day and use it as your journal/diary, to set your goal of today, to structure your morning, get done with your chores as quickly as possible, and to spend free time on the things you love.

This template keeps your life structured in an easy to manage system and thereby frees up time and mental capacity for the things that really matter in life such as relationships and personal growth. By using this template, you can de-clutter your life from using countless apps, and systems. Instead you can choose to use plain text files that will always work, will always remain readable by any computer and thus never become inaccessible.

How to use it

  1. Create a folder Life somewhere on your computer (Tip: you can also place this folder in a cloud folder, like Google Drive or Dropbox, to have it synced across devices).
  2. Each day in the morning, after having set your coffee but before having done any serious work, create a copy of today.txt and use today's date as the filename like this: 2015-08-23.txt. This structure stands for YYYY-MM-DD.txt and follows the ISO 8601 standard.
  3. Start writing by filling in blanks of the template.
  4. Whenever you feel like, add your thoughts to the file using the syntax below and hit save when you are done.


Although plain text files generally do not have a syntax, I recommend using the default Markdown syntax. Moreover, I advise you to separate elements with a blank line. Some examples:

# Heading

## Sub-heading

- list item

todo: to mark a line as a todo for today

done: to mark a line as done for today

thought: to mark a line as a thought of today

experience: to mark a line as an experience of today

reflection: to mark a line as a reflection of today

idea: to mark a line as an idea of today

feeling: to mark a line as a feeling of today

note: to mark a line as a useful information to remember of today

@context to indicate the context of a line

+project to indicate the project to which a line belongs to

(A) (B) (C) to indicate the priority of a line

Recommended software

If you are still looking for a software recommendation, then try one of the belows:

Working with your plain text files

Start a software that indexes all your plain text files. On Linux I recommend Recoll. Search for keywords or tags that you remember and quickly find the right file you were looking for.


Thanks to John Henry Müller from whom I took the inspiration to extend his initial template.


I am very happy for all kind of feedback that make this template more useful to other people. File a new issue with your question or suggestion. Thanks!


Lastly, share your experiences. How did Plain Text Life change your day?


A template to organise life in plain text files







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