Why every product manager should write in Markdown
Using plain text to break our industry-wide framework addiction
If you aren’t familiar with Markdown, it’s a lightweight, plain-text way to add essential formatting to text you are writing (think headings, bolding, lists, etc). You can learn it quickly here. It’s super lightweight, fast, and works everywhere.
But why bother?
This obsession with frameworks and templates is leading to many of us being underdeveloped in our ability to do solid thinking. The most egregious place this shows is strategy, where many of us are helpless without a template.
Templates are useful—as a support for thinking, not as a replacement for it.
There is no better way to train ourselves to think than to write. Hence, I am advocating for making simple plain text your default starting document. You can always double-check it against a template later.
While we’re stripping out all the fluff to focus on the thinking, we might as well use the simplest format possible: plain text.
Instead of busting out Powerpoint or Keynote, try writing out your next key update in Markdown. Make some bullets first, then expand them into some basic text. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Later, you can add slides if you want, but now you won’t rely on them because you’ve done the thinking.
Let’s write our way forward.