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One Of Medium’s Hidden Formatting Features You Need To Know

  • 4 min read

It’s a yellow sticky note

Medium has many hidden features in regard to formatting that most of us don’t know and therefore never use.

Recently I submitted a draft to the pub ILLUMINATION. I came back to my unpublished draft the next day and I saw a yellow ‘TK’ on the left side of the headline.

I had no clue what the capital letters T and K meant. When I asked the editor she replied:

screenshot by Kristina God

Well, that wasn’t quite the answer I was looking for (LOL) but I did some research and found the following:

It is a marking system that helps you to remember that something is not complete. Dew Langrial

The TK sign is there for a reason

The reason why there was a ‘TK’ sign was that the editor wanted to come back to my text later in order to make some changes. In my case, the editor tweaked my headline a little bit.

Thus, let’s call the ‘TK’ sign a sticky note for your brain.

Background photo created by 8photo

Whenever you type the capital letters T and K you will see a yellow ‘TK’ on the left side of the sentence or paragraph as a note for you that signifies a placeholder.

Keep in mind: The ‘TK’ sign will remain on the left side until you remove it.

No accidental publishing

If you try to publish a draft that includes the TK note in the headline or in the body of your text you’ll get a warning that you have a placeholder and your draft isn’t ready to get published.

Since my text is about TK notes there are 10 paragraphs with TK in it ;) and I got this warning sign; screenshot by Kristina God

Perfect duo of TK and self note

My recommendation: I always combine the TK note with a self note in order to remind myself WHY I put the TK sign in my text in the first place.

How to make a self note

On a regular basis, I answer Medium-related questions on Quora.

Based on the questions I received, I’ve seen that many writers don’t know how to take private notes.

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

To make a self note just…

  • select a word or sentence.
screenshot by Kristina God
  • An options bar appears. Click the bubble with a lock on the right side.
screenshot by Kristina God
  • A self note opens to the right side of your text. You can write a note.
  • Click the green save button to save it. And come back to it later in order to to do what your personal note tells you to do or to comment on your own post.
screenshot by Kristina God


  • You can also use the sticky note to communicate with publication editors.
  • Editors can leave a personal note and ask you whether it’s possible to amend something.
  • Leave a personal note on someone else's work.

Takeaways for you

There are two hidden features on Medium you’re familiar with now: the two different note systems on Medium.

  • TK notes and self notes.
  • Both are like ‘sticky notes’ for your brain.
  • These notes tell you what you have to do in order to finalize a specific paragraph or sentence, for instance, ‘insert a trustworthy source’.
  • They are strong as a duo. Use them together.

© Kristina God

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