Yesterday I wrote a post why I prefer to use plain text files for my ToDo-lists instead of some fancy software. Shortly after publishing the post I came across a brand new application from Hog Bay Software called TaskPaper that might just give a new spin on the things I said yesterday.
To summarize my opinion about TaskPaper:
If you want (almost) the flexibility of plain text files with just the right amount of user convenience,
TaskPaper might be the solution for you.
Here is a screenshot from TaskPaper, displaying a file similar to the one I used yesterday:
Even though Hog Bay Software had a different idea how to organize projects, I could still use it the way I prefer to do things. TaskPaper is not forcing me into a workflow that doesn’t work for me. A big round of applause for Hog Bay for not telling me how I have to organize my life!
Another big advantage is, in my opinion, that TaskPaper’s data file is just a plain text file. So I will always be able to access my data – even if TaskPaper is for some reason not available. So for example syncing the file to a PDA and edit it like a plain text file should not be a problem.
So – what kind of convenience does TaskPaper add to using a plain text file?
Adding what is called “Projects” in TaskPaper can be done by clicking one of the buttons at the top, or using a keyboard shortcut. Adding tags to your tasks works just the same way. In order to mark a task as “done” you can just click on the little “bubble” and the tag “@done” will be added, like in my task “Prepare papers for budget meeting” above.
The main disadvantage I see so far: It is not possible to “fold” sections of your data file like in BBEdit. So keeping the overview in a very long file might be a bit dicey. On the other hand, it is possible to jump between Projects with the click of a button, so navigation in a big file should not be a problem. This is similar to the menu in BBEdit to jump between headers, as shown in the following screenshots:
TaskPaper is free to try for 15 days. Afterwards it’s $18.95 as an introductory offer, later probably something like $27.95.