Who are you, and what’s all this about plain text ?

I’m Ellane, and I’ve been a designer and educational publisher here in Australia for more than 30 years. See where I’ve been and where I’m going on Linktree.

I write about keeping things safe and simple while using the best tool for the job, and how paper can be part of an effective workflow.

About Obsidian-flavoured plain text productivity and Apple technology, with a sprinkling of self-improvement. I do not use AI to generate any of the words you read or pictures you see here. If I put my name to it, I made it all by myself.

I’m thankful for each and every paid subscriber to my work; you’re making it possible for people to read (almost) all my work for free. Medium members can read everything here.

I welcome serial subscribers/unsubscribers, because I am one! I know what it’s like to have an overwhelming inbox, so please feel free to pop in and out as it suits your cognitive load.

Principles of Plain Text Productivity

Following are the principles of productivity I aim to follow.

1. Use plain text format (.txt or .md) — This format is universally readable by any computer; past, present, or future. Using plain text essentially future-proofs your work.

2. Store files locally — It's the only way to truly be control of your data.

3. Stay app-agnostic — Use as many apps as you like, but keep your most important data independent of proprietary prisons. Don't let any vendor lock you in to their file format, even if their product is free.

4. Regularly check in with the big picture — Focus daily on the leaves while maintaining a clear view of the forest.

5. Keep the system simple and decoration minimal — Use a system that reflects the simplicity of paper-based productivity. Make it look nice enough to be pleasant to use, without being distracting.


I’m also on Medium and Mastodon

I’ve been writing on Medium since mid 2020, and plan to continue doing so. In an effort to increase my reach I’m gradually bringing the best of my Medium articles over here, and am delighted to announce that a selection of the most recent editions of the Plain Text, Paper-Less Productivity Digest will always be freely available to non-paying subscribers here on Substack.

If you’d like to read everything I write and you’d like the biggest bang for your buck, consider joining Medium to get access to my work as well as that of thousands of other talented, diverse, insightful authors.

Mastodon is my playground, and the best place to chat with me and keep up to date with what’s happening in my plain text world. @ellane@pkm.social

How to support me

Thank you for joining me on this journey as I learn in public! If you like what you see, the best ways to support me are one or more of the following:

  • Press the like button on articles you enjoyed

  • Leave a comment

  • Spread the word about Plain Text, Paper-Less

  • Pay what you like for any of my productivity resources on Gumroad

  • Become a paying subscriber here

  • Subscribe to Setapp with my referral link

Subscribe to Plain Text. Paper, Less.

Exploring productivity through a future proof, plain text mindset, while holding on to the paper that counts.


Graphic designer and educational publisher for more than 30 years. Part-time autodidact, full-time light seeker. Exploring productivity through a future proof, plain text mindset, with a soft spot for the paper that counts.