This topic is related to Recruiting / ATS Systems? and to Notes/reference/writing workflows and Text File Setup and Workflow
I’ve been thinking recently that it would be awesome if I could edit files locally in Markdown and then have them sync as Google Docs with Google Drive.
Why this would be so great
It would definitely be really great for my recruiting purposes, because I could put a link to a Google Doc notes file for the candidate on each row and have that sync as a locally editable file.
That’s better than using only Google Docs because when I get on the phone with a candidate, unless I have the Google doc or Lever profile already open I just bring up Sublime text to start capturing notes. Even the interface is easier because typing “##” is easier than selecting “Heading 2” in the Google Docs menu bar.
However, Google Drive has the major advantage that it’s collaborative with the rest of the world and any teammate regardless of whether they care to write in Markdown or not.
It would also be my favorite reference system because sometimes I capture or receive Google Doc files from others. They could live along side my local files and I can work on them on either local or online context.
Ways of making this happen
Using Stack Edit
This is a bit of a workaround and not quite the ideal but it’s about 50% there. StackEdit is an online Markdown editor, and it is possible to connect it to your Google Drive. Then, if you’re syncing .md files to Google Drive using the Drive OS X app, you can open the file in StackEdit from drive.google.com by clicking “Open with StackEdit.”
This is only a partial solution because it’s actually avoiding the use of Google Docs and the benefits of real-time editing. It’s more of a Markdown / Drive solution, but it is still more collaborative than using dropbox for the .md syncing, assuming that you explain to your partners that they can open it with StackEdit.
I’ve read that StackEdit can also export to fully “rendered” Google Doc file, but I’m not sure if this is actually possible.
Markdown to Google Docs Script
There are some available scripts, though I haven’t tried them, for exporting Markdown to a Google Doc file automatically.
I imagine it’s possible because I can literally copy any rendered HTML file and paste it into Google Docs.
Since I do most of my capturing with Sublime, I could write a command for Sublime to export whatever file I’m working on directly to a google doc in my drive.
Better yet, I could try programming Hazel to automatically turn any .md file into a corresponding Google Doc file (I think of this as Google Doc being the rendered HTML). This way I can use any markdown editor.
I am not sure if Hazel will detect changes to the .md file immediately upon saving or if it runs on some time-based schedule. @joebuhlig Do you know?
Google Docs to Markdown Script
There are also scripts available for the other way around. Google Docs to markdown. I’ve tried the drive add-on associated with this script and it works really well.
If I can detect when a change is made to a Google Doc file and then edit the associated .md file, then the system would work both ways. The .md file and Google Drive would always be in sync.
The script takes about 3 seconds to run, so it is not real time, and I have some trouble anticipating how this may cause trouble with versioning. Also, I would need to make sure that it doesn’t run into an infinite loop converting back and forth assuming that the conversion changes something like spacing every time. I have tried going back and forth a few times and visually the renderings look identical but the code might not be exactly the same.