TaskPaper is a GTD app that we’ve been keeping tabs on. It’s not just another GTD app; it’s getting things done at its simplest level.
What makes this app so unique is that your entire to-do list is stored as a plain text file. Think about the possibilities this gives! In August, we brought you a preview of TaskPaper, but boy has it evolved.
As I said before, the biggest feature that TaskPaper has, is working with text files. For example, take a look at my to-do list right now. All that information is stored in the text file below. Although it may not be apparent, having a text file means you can sync it to mobile devices, send it via email as plain text, or even manipulate its contents using shell utilities. Here are two screenshots, one in Taskpaper, and the other in a plain-text editor like TextEdit.
If you’ve read our earlier preview, you’ll have known that by now. So what’s different? Well, quite a bit actually. You’ll find tools that allow you to focus on individual projects or individual contexts (if you’re unsure of what working in context is, I suggest reading David Allen’s book). The always-useful tabs have made an appearance, so you can have multiple files open, to keep ‘tabs’ on several different things.
Another special feature is that every command required can be executed from the keyboard. In fact, if you misplaced your mouse, you could (theoretically) still use TaskPaper. For example, Command-L shows a list of all projects, Command-D marks the current task as done, while Command-K deletes the current task. According to Jesse Grosjean, the developer behind Taskpaper, the search functionality also works seamlessly, even with several thousand elements in the text file.
While I haven’t tested it with that many entries, all I can say is: for the average user, the search feature is plenty fast. If you’d like to take TaskPaper further, you can find scripts/plugins that extend its functionality. Jesse has three examples on his site at the moment: they allow you to put your to-do list on the web and use it in popular text-editors like TextMate and Vim.
So there you have it, TaskPaper is an extremely useful app; in fact it’s one of the most innovative apps since the delicious generation stole the show. But wait! There’s more! Stay tuned because we’ll be bringing you a no-holds-barred interview with its developer really soon, followed by a good ol’ fashioned giveaway.