April 3, 2024

Love the One You’re With Part 1

I download almost every text editor which is released. Every outlining program also gets my interest. Over the years, I have played with and used for significant amounts of time a whole host of programs. The advantage is that I have a lot of fun doing that1. The disadvantage? There are great solutions which I already have access to, which do not get used at all. Am searching for perfection when perfectly all right is right under my nose.

Today I am going to talk about one such solution.

Stepping Back to TaskPaper

TaskPaper IconTaskPaper Icon

I purchased TaskPaper the week it was released, sometime in the Fall of 2007. I updated to version 2 when it was available and then to version 3. It has been on my hard drive for all that time. I have used it off and on. But never concentrated on it enough to make it the main driver for my lists. Instead, I have used dedicated outlining programs like Opal, or OmniOuliner for making and maintaining lists.

Over the years I have moved to a test file focused workflow. TaskPaper files are plain text files which are accessible in any text editor. Moving to TaskPaper and using it for all my lists made sense2.

In TaskPaper, I made an effort to simplify my life, I decided to consolidate a couple of things. My diary and my lists. I changed my “single file for every day diary workflow” to one file for the whole year.

Diary file for the whole yearDiary file for the whole year

I have a few text files which are lists I access regularly. Links for the blog-posts titled, Links of Note, Books to read, Recipes to make, YouTube videos to watch, Computer tasks for a later date, etc.. There are about 20 of these lists. I consolidated all of them into one TaskPaper file.

Bunches of ListsBunches of Lists

Advantages of TaskPaper

  • macOS compliant. Two spaces turn into a period and the first letter of a new sentence is capitalized.
  • Typewriter scrolling. In the theme, you can set where you want the cursor to be.
  • Fast, stable, well-designed software.
  • The ability to concentrate on one part of the outline and not the whole thing. Less distraction that way.
  • Keyboard commands. TaskPaper has those, for everything. Makes using it fun.
  • Can handle large files without any problems.

Two More Features

Go to anything. ⌘P, and you get a dropdown list which lets you go to any project or sub-project in your outline. Fuzzy search window. Fantastic.

Go to anythingGo to anything

Command Palette. ⇧⌘P, and you get to a listing of all the commands available to you. Start typing. Choose the command. Hit return. Like Sublime Text and VSCode.

[Command Palette](/public/Go to anything

TaskPaper Looks After My Lists

TaskPaper is marketed as a program to manage your tasks. It can do that. I am not interested in that part of the product. I use the Reminders app for that. I use TaskPaper as an outlining program and it is fantastic at that.

Why didn’t I use it earlier? I don’t have a good answer for that. Getting distracted by the new shiny is something I seem to be susceptible to. Have to watch out for that impulse and stick to what is working and working well.

An added benefit of sticking to a program? You get to learn the keyboard commands and the muscle memory improves. TaskPaper is going to be handling my lists.

The Song

This is the original version. Stephen Stills

This is the CSN version. CSN

These are some good covers of the same song:

macosxguru at the gmail thingie.

  1. I pretend that it is something I need to do for the blog. But who are we fooling?↩︎

  2. My main machine is a 2011 iMac which runs High Sierra. I can’t use Bike on this machine. Thus TaskPaper was the only choice.↩︎

macOS TaskPaper

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