Configurable Markdown export (with Workflow workaround)

features
markdown
workflow

#1

Quick summary of request: make the markdown configurable for exporting, so that it is easier to share to other Markdown-centric tools, like Ulysses.

For the record, Agenda’s philosophy on Markdown has won me over. I find the readability of the styled text to be an improvement over Markdown for reading through notes, even as a longtime Markdown user. This has become a key differentiator between Bear and the plethora of other Markdown editors that promote themselves as note-taking apps. When I read through notes, I don’t want to deal with filtering out the *’s, -‘s, _’s, and >’s.

However, Markdown still has its rightful place, and I find it works very well for larger scale writing and editing, as with Ulysses. I’m less interested in importing Markdown into Agenda, but exporting from Agenda to Markdown-centric tools. This makes Agenda a useful app for making drafts.

Markdown definitions generally accept either “” or “-“ at the first non-white space for lists, “**” or “__” for bold, and “” or “_” for italics. It would be nice in some future version of Agenda to set a preference. Right now, it exports lists using “-“, and Ulysses doesn’t see that as a list element. (You can define a markdown in the macOS Ulysses that recognizes Agenda’s syntax, but you can’t then convert that to other markdown syntaxes,

So, I have a not-too-unreasonable workaround for now using Workflow: you copy the Agenda note as HTML into the clipboard and run the workflow, which converts HTML to RTF, and then converts the RTF to Markdown, which you can send directly to Ulysses or Drafts, or copy into the clipboard and paste to wherever.


#2

I miss the ability to edit markdown in Agenda. One MD editor, I forget which, had a great approach: you only saw the markdown syntax when your cursor was on the line (or perhaps para); otherwise you saw the styled text. Best of both worlds. I’d like this in Agenda.


#3

That is elegant. I wonder where you saw it.


#4

Typora does something similar I think.

Bear shows you the markdown inline but it’s also styled (as well).


#5

Typora does look like a Markdown display I would like: essentially it hides the Markdown syntax, giving the same kind of display Agenda does. The other Markdown editors I’m aware of display the syntactic elements, but also provide some enhanced display styling. And they all claim to be “distraction-free,” but displaying the asterisks and underscores are inherently distractions. Regardless of how you style the Markdown, it is not as clean and “distraction-free” as simply styled text:

IMG_0644

So, I think Agenda is adopting a strategy in which their "styled text” provides the best readability without resorting running the note through a display filter. In fact, with the left and right columns closed, note editing is pretty distraction-free.