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  • Writer's pictureDavid Knell

Topical Markup Language (TML) Manifesto

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

| Topical Markup Language

Topical Markup Language (TML) is a markup language that interprets and renders certain bits of text as meaningful elements. All thoughts are not the same. We think in questions, ideas, concerns, tasks, outcomes, decisions, and so on. Most markup languages focus on formatting your text (eg, bolding text, ordered and unordered lists). That's great, and TML allows for that. But beyond just styling text, the writer still needs to make sense of it. 

Making sense of your text can be cognitively-straining and time-consuming. There is a need for a way to jot down ideas quickly so you don't lose flow while also instilling meaning that can be clearly visualized in the moment, to enhance thought, and automatically extracted later, to enhance action. The solution needs to allow for typing in plain text so it is unburdened by UI and tool-agnostic. But there also needs to be an accompanying way to parse the text and present its meaning clearly and automatically-organized.

With TML, you can record your thoughts as fast as you can type. And then you can see not just what you thought, but how you thought about it in the form of questions, concerns, tasks, ideas, and decisions. Finally, with the help of a TML editor, your text can come alive as actionable items. 


| Title

# Topic

>> Project / Outcome

> Task

? Question

~ Problem / Issue

{ Idea / Option

} Decision

@ Person

Start an element by: [symbol] [space] [text]

End an element by:

- [new line]

- begin another element (eg, > this is a task > beginning of new task ? beginning of a question)

- \ (eg, end of element \ plain text)


=[new line]: Note divider (ie, unrelated thought)

-[new line]: Section divider (ie, related but separate thought)

[Tab][element]: Element becomes a child of previous element


![symbol]: Highlighted element (eg, !~ Big problem, !, Favorite idea, !>> Important project)

[element]\: Ends an element (ie, so plain text can go after on the same line)

`[TML syntax]`: Treats as plain text





- (or *) Unordered list item

1. Ordered list item




{ Oh, here's an idea ~ but I'm concerned about this issue } so yeah, we won't do that


>> Get away with our family { ideas 

     - House with pool 

          { there's that place in Orem we found 

               > Look up pools in Orem on Airbnb 

               > Look up pools in Orem on VRBO 

          { there are places in southern Utah

     - Yellowstone ~ may be too far ? how many hours is it? > Google driving time to Yellowstone \ I think that would be super refreshing } Let's do it!


​Thanks for reading. 

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