Many people including myself have embraced plain text as a way of cataloging and organizing everything from notes, todos, thoughts….  everything.

Why?

text is portable and like a cockroach, will never die.

Even when our children grow up, the good ole’ .txt file will open on any system.

.txt is also easy to retrieve, sort and find anything.

.txt is the starting point for almost any content created.

.txt can easily be created, synced, and edited on any mobile device.

.txt files allow the user to use the tools and programs they prefer without confining them to any proprietary format.

Nerds all over have been embracing the .txt lifestyle by using sync tools like dropbox and simplenote.

Plain text editors abound on the mac and iOS app store.

It has never been easier to create content.

Enter OPML

OPML is the xml cousin of plain text.

OPML is a standard format that is recognized by nearly every outlining, mind mapping, and writing tools.

OPML creates outline type structures.

Mind mapping and outlining is often the beginning point for the greatest projects from books, blog posts, films, etc.

By mind mapping or outlining you release a flood of creativity by breaking out of a static structure.

It allows you to get the thoughts out of your head onto a medium that you can manipulate and re-arrange.

This is the power of OPML.

Here are a few of my favorite applications that support OPML – MindNode, Mindjet, Scrivener, Omni-Outliner, iThoughts, and nearly all decent outlining / mind mapping programs.

I am currently completing an app for iOS called OPML Outliner.

It is a dropbox powered OPML outliner.

It is what “elements” is for plain text but for OPML outlines.

It uses standard OPML as its file type.

No importing / exporting necessary

I am very excited about this app.

Please let me know your thoughts 🙂