As I mentioned recently, I made the switch from Evernote and OneNote to Simplenote to meet my note keeping demands. To keep this article short, a supplement option to Simplenote that I started to use is Google Drive (and Google Docs). I love the idea that Simplenote is super fast (and TOTALLY FREE) and the reason for that is that it is strictly a text based application; however, there were those occasions where I wished I could pull up a document, or picture using Simplenote.
The solution I came up with, that is working better than I ever expected, is to use the “markdown” feature in Simplenote to create links in a note that will link to and pull up a document, picture or any file from my Google Drive (or Docs). In Google Drive I created a folder called “Simplenote Links” and then created subfolders that matched the tags I used in Simplenote. For example, if I had a batch of notes in Simplenote tagged as “Rick”, then I created a folder in Google Drive (under the “Simplenotes Link” folder) called “Rick”. This method provided a way to keep the documents organized, based on my Simplenote tags. Keep in mind, any document you want to link to in Google Drive, you will have to get the shared link for that document.
The beauty to this is that I can use the power of Google Docs to create impressive documents and the simplicity (and speed) to find and load those documents by using Simplenote. This is especially remarkable on my smartphone, when I am out and about: and, need to locate a document quickly. Another plus to this is that the documents in Google Drive that I use for this purpose are synced and backed up to my home based computer.
The hardest part of all of this, and it really is not hard at all, is to create a note using “markdown”. When I have a note that I need to link to a specific document or file (or folder) in Google Drive, I simply create the note with a link using “Markdown”.
What is Markdown? The best definition I found for markdown was at Lifehacker:
At its core, Markdown is a super simple way to add formatting like headers, bold, bulleted lists, and so on to plain text. It was originally designed to be an easy alternative to HTML, and allows people to create web pages with no HTML experience—but it’s also a great way to organize notes, to-do lists, and other things. It has all the advantages of plain text, but with the organizational power of a word processor. The end goal is a minimalist writing system that you can use to get your thoughts down, and then export them elsewhere without worrying too much about the appearance. — Source: Lifehacker
Here is a sampling of using markdown in Simplenote and one of the examples below shows you how to create a link, using markdown, in Simplenote.
# heading 1
## heading 2
### heading 3
***Italics and Bold***
I know to most, this may sound like a geeky way to keep notes; but, I am telling you this works and it works great… The best part of it all is that Simplenote and Google Drive (Docs) are FREE… Also, both applications work on a variety of OS platforms, making it widely available from nearly every device we use.