Taskmator continues to be one of the best all-in-one iOS apps for working with TaskPaper formatted lists. Version 3 brings some great new features to the party with saved filters and integration with Reminders.1 Now I can create a saved filter for any TaskPaper search which means quick and easy access to just the information I want. Tapping a saved filter applies it instantly but it also populates the search field so I can tweak it if I need to.
Engineers are organized. One other advantage of having everything on a sheet of paper is that it doesn’t require WiFi or cell service.
I mentioned Todoflow, a python module for working with Taskpaper files, back when I first started using the system full time. It has a lot of the core query support of TaskPaper right from Python. Now, the same module is available through an Editorial workflow. The workflow automatically installs the module if needed and supports advanced queries and result folding. It adds some minor enhancements to the TaskPaper query syntax (like a “today” term) but does not support parenthetical (nested) expressions.
Using plain text to manage my projects means I have a lot of flexibility for viewing, editing and adding new entries. When I’m on my phone, I mostly lean on quick viewing and adding. I will occasionally review a project but my phone is primarily a way to input tasks. I use Drafts for iOS, of course. The Inbox I have a different TaskPaper file for each area of my work:
The PlainTasks plugin for Sublime Text is a terrific tool for working with plain text task management. It supports many aspects of the TaskPaper format and now adds relative due date parsing. On any task, type d then ⇥ to insert an @due() tag with the cursor ready to enter a date. Type +3 and then ⇥ to set the due date to three days in the future. The fun doesn’t stop there.
Back in January Hog Bay Software killed-off TaskPaper for iOS. They made it as easy as possible for someone else to pick up the torch by offering the source code for the original iOS app. Soon after Taskmator came out and it fixed many of the remaining bugs on iOS 7 but it also lost some features along the way. Today Taskmator brings back the original glory of TaskPaper but updated to support iOS 8.
Here’s an Editorial workflow for use with TaskPaper formatted tasks. You can set a custom tag (I chose @alarm) and it will parse the attribute out to use as the reminder date for Fantastical.1 So an Editorial line like this: :::text - Post Fantastical workflow for Editorial @mac @alarm(thursday at 7am) Will be sent to Fantastical as a new reminder with an alert for 7am on Thursday. Here’s one from the workflow directory that creates a link from Fantastical (or Due.
Here’s a little update on my post about accessing Dropbox by SFTP on a unix host. For the most part the setup just works. I connect directly from Sublime Text over SFTP and save as I work. Everything is uploaded to Dropbox almost instantly. The major gotcha is that twice in the past month the Dropbox service has stopped running. I cobbled together a shell script that checks to see if the service is dead and starts it if it needs to.
The Reminders app on Mac and iOS are one of the bright spots at the cross section of function and design. But I really like Fantastical 2 for managing calendars. It’s not the central focus, but Fantastical is also a great companion for managing reminders on the iPhone. The quick entry in Fantastical is more efficient for adding new reminders, but the real beauty is how Fantastical presents reminders at the top of the list view AND provides one-tap access to the entire list of reminder lists.
I’m about two months into my move from OmniFocus to plain text task management.1 I’ve spent the past month simplifying and analyzing how I make things happen.2 The first obvious conclusion is that I almost always need data and information to do anything reasonably complex. That’s where I’ve seen a significant benefit in the TaskPaper format over my previous 7 years with OmniFocus. Most of my projects involve gathering lots of little bits of information and are generally broken down into actionable tasks: