Beautifying Logbook Lists & Co. with Markdown

Somehow the lists look ugly…

That’s what I thought from time to time when I was entering my daily dones in my private logbook. Contrary to the other logs I contribute to in a team context, my private one only contains lists. That’s enough to review my personal accomplishments regularly, I don’t need to explain everything in detail here.

teamspir.it was initially built for classic team journaling, meaning that plain continuous text is the best choice for most of the logbook posts. That’s still true, but by this time, we also have many users that prefer the quicker, list-based approach mentioned above. Ergo, it was time to improve the list handling. And to make a real job of it, we decided to add more text structuring and formatting options in general. This, on the other hand, absolutely makes sense especially for longer posts.

Two preconditions were important for this:

  1. No unnecessary complexity should be added. (A bloated WYSIWYG editor was not an option.)
  2. The plain text versions of posts and comments should remain easily readable without any limitations.

There was one obvious solution to achieve this, and we’ve implemented it yet: By now, it’s possible to use the easy Markdown syntax to format posts and comments. If you use teamspir.it already, you’ll find a compact formatting toolbar above the input fields. (Use the help button to view a brief introduction on Markdown.)

Markdown toolbar

Of course, also lists look much better now – even nested ones. Check it out!