A while back, I wrote a review of TaskPaper over on MacSpark.net (http://www.macspark....-win-a-free-license/
). The truth is that since then I've fallen once again into my old habit of tweaking the tool and not doing the necessary. I played for a few months with RTM, again, and then settled to paper and my trusty, familiar old Moleskine pocket notebook (the same one I've carried everywhere for the past three years). But now and then I have opened TaskPaper, updated my lists, downloaded the latest development version, and every time I've done this I've breathed a sigh of pleasure and relief. There's something about plain text that I find so appealing.
But since I work on a Mac at home and on PCs during the day, I've searched for the best way to carry my lists. What I've done in the past is to use the portable version of Notepad++, which is a fine solution and does the job perfectly well, but really only to a minimum of usability when you compare with what's possible in TaskPaper.
And then along came TodoPaper ($29.99, http://widefido.com/products/todopaper/
), which bills itself as inspired by TaskPaper. The two programs are, in fact very similar, especially when you compare TodoPaper to the recent development versions of TaskPaper.
Both are really sophisticated envelopes for plain text files. Type in
a test project:
- one task @computer
- another task @errand
- yet another task @call
and TodoPaper turns your text into the following list:
The @tags are clickable - so clicking @computer brings up a list of all my tasks with that tag, across all of my projects. Click in the checkbox to the left of an item and TodoPaper adds @done and the date, and makes the font strikeout:
Of course, you might prefer to simply delete done tasks, but I like seeing what I've completed - and by clicking anwhere in the line and then using ctrl+down, you can move the completed task to the bottom of the list.
There are a few other keyboard shortcuts: ctrl+up to move an item up; ctrl+y to add the @today tag; ctrl+[1-9] to add an @priority tag; and if you prefer keyboard shortcuts to ':' at a line end, ctrl+p to start a new project; and ctrl+t instead of '-' at the start of a new line to add a new task.
Alt+o brings up a document outline, showing a list of all your projects or your tags (you choose which from a pull-down menu) down the left side of the window:
Another brilliant feature: you can tap ctrl+space from anywhere in Windows to bring up a quick entry box, from which you can add items to any of your projects.
That's about it.
Remember that I was looking for a way to use TaskPaper when I'm away from my Mac (never a happy time of the day for me). Of course, I could have continued to use Notepad++, since the files saved by TaskPaper are ordinary text files, but TodoPaper adds so much functionality and elegance, and it works just like TaskPaper does. Both offer a brilliantly simple and elegant to do list solution, and with TodoPaper on my USB drive I can now access my lists from just about any machine I find myself on.