Sublime Text as a Multi-Tool

December 11, 2014 by Gabe | [mmd] |

A couple of nice posts about Sublime Text over at TechnologyNotes. I use the heck out of Sublime Text, because it's ubiquitous and powerful.

In Jeff's posts, he highlights his awkward dance with Sublime Text and how he settled into it by replacing a bunch of other applications. That's a pretty good reason to make the move. His write-up of using Sublime Text for task management describes more or less how I do it.

The Filter Lines plugin for Sublime is a major bonus. I love the Fold by functionality. Instead of filtering the text by tags, it simply folds all other text to hide it except for lines that match the search terms.

I also really like the HighlightWords and Persistent Regex Highlight plugins. The Persistent package uses some simple settings to set a lot of callouts. One nice thing about using it in Sublime Text is that the highlights work in any text file if it applies.

    "regex": [{
        "pattern": "(@waiting|@hold)",
        "color": "00CD09",
        "ignore_case": false
    }],

The HighlightWords package is more of a quick and dirty way to highlight some text. It supports simple string matching or regular expression matching. I use it for a variety of things, including quickly flagging tags.

There are certainly gaps with the plain text task management approach when compared to a platform like OmniFocus. Everything to do with active alerts is harder with plain text files. Dates work fine in TaskPaper if you stay on top of your list. But, if you need a reminder to get something done, then that reminder needs to be set in another application.

After many months with the TaskPaper format, I've come to appreciate the separation between a project outline and the alerts that enable the work. Or at least that's what I tell myself. Managing large projects in the latest versions of OmniFocus is too much effort but handling small collections of tasks is effective. I miss the fluidity of working in the old OmniFocus but shifting to plain text has improved many more aspects in my daily entry and review. I still really love the ease of mixing notes and tasks in plain text.

I'm anxiously waiting to see how this experiment works out for Jeff. I'm positive I'll hear about it.