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The hunt for something to write in

I’m a software snob. I admit it. I can’t be like everyone else and just write everything in Word or even OpenOffice Writer… No, I have to be special. I have to set my standards so high that apparently there are no applications out there, apparently, that fit my criteria.

And so I’m stuck. I find myself not writing, simply because I don’t have the energy to move everything to a new format later. So to save time and energy, I’m doing nothing – or rather, I’m wasting a lot of time and energy on nothing.

These are the things I want:

  • Basic formatting. Can be BBcode or LaTeX or whatever, doesn’t have to be WYSIWYG. I’m flexible.
  • Hierarchal navigation and/or ordering. My mind organizes things through hierarchies, and I need my software to do, too. Word’s Outline view is very nice. As are various Outline applications.
  • Online-sync. The ability to show others what I’ve written, preferably with the ability to let them comment on the text (gdocs-like). I’d like this to be as transparent as possible, not converting through a multitude of formats and then back.
  • The ability to edit the same documents on an Android tablet or phone. The OPML format is nice, but it’s hard to find apps that use it, and have proper export/import.
  • It’d be nice to be able to export to something InDesign can use. Preferably making use of the formating under bullet #1.

Now, are these things REALLY that hard to get? Apparently.

Apparently, I need to choose. I’ve been searching for six months now, and I’m beginning to think that my best solution would be to just use plaintext files in a hierarchal folder system, synced by Dropbox. That would work, except for the comment-on-gdocs part. And the formatting-in-InDesign thing, unless I write HTML or InDesign Tagged Text in the plaintext files.

I have a very neat INDTT export plugin for DokuWiki, but DokuWiki is online-editing only and doesn’t have commenting functionality.

Google Docs has comments, but its HTML export is crap and there seems to be few or no Android apps capable of offline syncing and respecting the folder hierarchy at the same time.

Vault3 is a neat outliner, but lacks commenting and exports only to SQlite or a homebrew XML format.

Checkvist s a nice online outliner, and exports OPML, but almost no other software seems to use OPML. And there’s no commenting.

What have I missed? Or should I just man up and get back to my wiki, or to gdocs? Or should I waste time trying to put together something that leverages the power of gdocs, dokuwiki and plaintext editing on the Andoid all in one?


  1. keithpeter keithpeter October 29, 2012

    emacs with org mode?

    Write an export schema for the Indesign mark up you want?

    I just use text files in dropbox myself, with markdown mark up.

  2. Chris Chris October 10, 2015

    Hey Krank,
    I am looking for a way to export my my dokuwiki in a way I can import it into indesign. I have a bit of design background and like to fine tune the layout for a printout version in indesign. This is a private dokuwiki I am doing , mainly for 8mm film projectors.
    Would you provide you exporter plugin for me? That would be so great!
    Thank you!

  3. Carl Carl April 26, 2018

    Hi, I am also looking for a way to export my dokuwiki to indesign. Can you share your exporter plugin with me as well? Thanks!

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