Considering TaskPaper 3

Since April 2012, I’ve been a fan of Things as my task manager.1 I haven’t pondered venturing away—until TaskPaper 3. Here’s where my rabbit hole began:

I imagine that navigating through plain text in TaskPaper will be much quicker than going through the menus in an app like Things.2

My goal: see how switching a major part of my GTD system to plain text files affects my productivity, and speeds up weekly reviews. I’m also extremely interested in the power of saved searches. Thirdly, Matt Gemmell shared a TaskPaper theme that, in his words, mimics the aesthetic of OmniFocus.3


  1.  I have eight posts tagged about Things
  2. Yes, there are keyboard shortcuts for Things—which I use heavily—and TaskPaper. 
  3.  I haven’t used OmniFocus, but I’m aware many use it as their task manager of choice. See also: Omnifocus Field Guide by MacSparky, and “My Perspectives in OmniFocus 2” by Brett Kelly

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. Cat whisperer. Sometimes, a photographer and card magician.

5 thoughts on “Considering TaskPaper 3”

  1. I’m trying TaskPaper now too (thanks, Bryan, for the idea!), but hit a bit of a roadblock with lack of Siri integration. I use the Siri –> Reminders –> OmniFocus sync constantly with my Apple Watch and iPhone whenever a reminder comes to mind.


    1. w00t!

      I hadn’t considered Siri integration, having rarely used it for Reminders → Things. I’m definitely watching this forum thread at Hog Bay Software Support. 🙂

      Appending Items to a TaskPaper File Using Siri

      If I needed the capability right now when I’m out with my iPhone (AFK), I’m okay with a small amount of interaction using Drafts. Here’s the prerequisite:

      Using Drafts with Reminders and Siri

      1. Save some reminders with Siri to Reminders.
      2. When I’m ready to go through my Drafts inbox, I edit each one as needed (very minimal)
      3. Choose the Drafts action that prepends the todo to my desired TaskPaper file in Dropbox with the “@added” tag automatically.

      I currently have two TaskPaper files, so those require separate Drafts actions. (I think I could create a prompt to reduce the number of actions displayed in the menu, but it isn’t that big of a deal.

      Bonus tip in Drafts: If you have multiple todos—in separate drafts—to send to your TaskPaper file in Dropbox, you can run a single action on all of those at once. Just tested and confirmed. Quite speedy. 🙂

      Aside — I try to include the “@added” tag for each task/project (with the goal to create a saved search that displays all stale tasks/projects).

      I’m pretty sure this should’ve been a new post! 😀


      1. Drafts is something I haven’t played around much with. I just set it up as a complication on my Apple Watch and on my iPhone and iPad. Let’s see how this works.

        I do wish Drafts had a Mac app to help with triaging and quick writing.


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