Markdown is in my opinion the best way to structure a plain text document. I have already written about why I prefer plain text here so I will not dive into that. I will however try to explain why I think Markdown is a fantastic tool for most writing tasks. Using Markdown separates the content from the visual appearance of a document, the presentation. The philosophy of separating content from presentation has been the standard in software development for many years. This makes Markdown all about the content of the writing, the text if you will, and not about how it looks. Some structure is essential to organizing text, and for this Markdown provides a very simple yet extremely powerful markup syntax. You can read more about Markdown on their website.
Compile The Markdown
When you are done writing and ready to publish your work, Markdown can be converted/compiled into formats like HTML, latex, PDF, epub, pdf, doc, Docx, and others. In the process of converting the text to a publishing format like for example a PDF, the style can be applied so what you end up with is a nicely formatted PDF. You only have to think about the style one time. You just tell the converter/compiler to use the style you want when converting/compiling to for example a PDF. For example, when I write a new blog post I just paste the markdown into the new post-text-box and hit create. My site then converts the markdown to HTML and displays it with the style defined for the website. This makes it very easy to write blog posts because I do not have to worry about the appearance of the post.
No Need For The Mouse
Another big advantage of Markdown is that there is no need for a mouse. No click, click, clicking to get to the right heading or to make some text bold. In addition, no need to remember all kinds of shortcuts in order not to use the mouse. I like shortcuts, but I use many programs and they all have their different shortcuts, and I have a hard time remembering them all.
Not to mention that shortcuts in Microsoft Office are different depending on the display language, and the Danish shortcuts are just stupid, for example, bold is ctrl+f and not ctrl+b. In almost every program ctrl+f means you want to search, not in the Danish Word it means bold, that is just stupid. So there you have it, this is why I believe Markdown is a fantastic writing tool and why I use it for everything from notes to large documents and I use it for both private and work writing.