Question

Does anyone know a good collaborative markdown editor?

Preferably free for 4 collaborators =P Been using dropbox paper, but their overhaul of file organisation was just awful, it became unusable for us.

Share
maguay's avatar
2 years ago

I've tried so many writing apps, and the crazy thing is I've still never found anything better than Google Docs for suggested edits, comments, and live collaborative editing. Google Docs isn't built for Markdown, but you can type Markdown formatting characters yourself and don't use Docs' own formatting tools, to essentially treat Google Docs as a plain text editor. You can then share the doc with others to write at the same time if you want (can get crazy but also can be a good way to get content out quickly when needed), add edits directly or as suggested edits (the latter being my preference), and restore previous versions or see who changed what if needed.

My default workflow is to write my first draft in a personal writing app (iA Writer or Ulysses are my favorites). I then paste the Markdown copy into Google Docs, share the document with the team, and get them to add edits. Once that's done, I'll copy the final text from Google Docs and paste it into our CMS (if using WordPress, make sure to paste into the plain text editor and have Markdown enabled, not as rich text).

There was an "GitHub for writers" app, Penflip, but it seem to not be maintained now. GitHub itself could work for a technical writing team to track changes and suggest edits on actual plain text files, though that's more of a developer workflow than the typical writing workflow.

Notion has great Markdown support; paste in Markdown and it shows as formatted text, but then if you copy the text and paste it into a plain text editor it retains the Markdown formatting characters. And it's collaborative—it just doesn't have suggested edits and isn't as easy to see who changed what. If that's not important for your team, definitely worth giving Notion a shot. It at least has better organization and search than Dropbox Paper.

Draft is another nice option, though it's built for individual writing. Idea here is you'd write by yourself in Markdown, then share the doc with others to let them add suggested edits and comments, then you would go through and merge in the edits you want. Great for handing writing back and forth, but not as directly collaborative as Docs, Notion, or Paper.

Amazingly, still feels like the perfect collaborative writing app has yet to be built.

4 points
rafa_atlantica's avatar
@rafa_atlantica (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Thanks Matthew! Thats an interesting workflow option.
We ended up deciding to try https://hackmd.io/ so far we are enjoying the experience! Its free for public files, which is fine for us for now!

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @rafa_atlantica )
2 years ago

Oh interesting, looks like they built a product around the Github markdown collaboration idea! How does it work with commenting—can you add a comment to a specific word/phrase/sentence?

1 point
rafa_atlantica's avatar
@rafa_atlantica (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

You can comment on a paragraph/block and spring a comment thread out of it. Not Ideal, but is getting the job done!

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @rafa_atlantica )
2 years ago

Ah cool—similar to the standard Git workflow then.

1 point
jamesray's avatar
a year ago

Hackmd is pretty good but it doesn't support underline in Markdown; you need to use

1 point
How do you manage your chat inbox?

Hey guys, first post here. As part of my work, I have to deal with and respond to a lot of incoming messages from different chats: Linkedin/WhatsApp/Signal/IG. I try to use Unreads/Archive features...

What are your favorite small, single-purpose apps?

There are plenty of advanced, powerful software filled with enough features to do almost anything. And then there are the tiny utilities that don't do much, but that are great at what they do do. ...

Do you use Readwise app? How much are you paying for the service?

I came across Readwise this week and I thought it was a very nice app. It sends emails with highlights from Kindle books, Instapaper, Pocket, iBooks and other services. It also offers the spaced re...

The community for power users.