Bike vs TaskPaper

Hello - new here :slight_smile:

Have only been using TaskPaper for about six months. Love it. Thanks!

Now I see there is Bike.

May I ask (then duck for cover), please: what’s the difference?

Styles would be very useful. Should I switch?

Thanks so much in advance for any guidance…

No need to duck for cover :slight_smile:

Here’s what I wrote last January:

Generally I’ve been working on TaskPaper a long time and wanted to work on some new approaches/ideas that didn’t really fit into TaskPaper. And that’s what Bike is.

Bike is where I’m putting my energy now, though I will also keep TaskPaper updated, I just don’t expect that I’ll add many new features to TaskPaper.



Thanks! Thanks so much for your quick and helpful reply; and tolerance/indulgence :slight_smile:

From what you kindly say, it looks as though I should switch to Bike, which I’m quite happy to do.

Can I export/import files; or just change their extensions etc?

My reticence has come from knowing the almost iconic status of TaskPaper: I started using it because it was such a venerable (and venerated) macOS standard.

I won’t lose any of that of I transition to Bike, will I?

Thanks again…

Maybe …

At the moment they are both good at pretty different things. TaskPaper has powerful search/tags/filtering/themes. Bike doesn’t have any of that. Bike has rich text, embedded links, and a fluid/animated editing experience.

For my use Bike is a better place to “think” right now, but if you are trying to manage and categorize lists of things TaskPaper has more tools to help you.

Over time I do expect Bike to keep getting new tools and features, but programmings slow and always takes longer then I expect.

As far as file format, Bike can open TaskPaper files directly (no need to change file extension)… Bike can read/write any plain text file. Though note that if you are working with a plain text file then Bike’s rich text features are disabled.

If you want to move your TaskPaper data into a Bike file that supports rich text maybe easiest would be to just create new document in Bike and then copy/paste from TaskPaper into that document.

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Thanks again, Jesse!

All clear and understood.

I have used OmniOutliner; good though it is, it’s overkill for such outlines/lists as reading programmes and planned/even sequenced lists of CDs etc to buy.

So TP is more convergent than it seems Bike is.

I do need Search, for sure. If that’s still to come for Bike, then I think my best plan is to keep an eye on developments (good luck with those!) and wait to make the move.

I currently use (coloured) tags in TP, but rich text would be a real help.

Thanks so much. I’ll do some more poking around.

(There isn’t a trial version of Bike, is there?)

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There is. Just download Bike from Bike Outliner: Outline writing, lists, and notes app for Mac and you’ll get a 7 day trial with all features enabled. After a week some features (rich text + AppleScript right now) will become disabled, but you can still use Bike in plain text free mode as long as you want.

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Got it. Thanks, Jesse.

Have done a few comparisons, already.

Somehow I like the ‘comfort’ of a sidebar :slight_smile:

Most important to me is elementary formatting - largely highlighting according to priorities (which rarely means TaskPaper’s ‘Done’ etc.

For instance, in a reading list, I need:

  1. Now!
  2. of secondary importance
  3. some day soon
  4. when I get time (middle to distant future)


But I could set all of those - with corresponding colours - in TaskPaper, couldn’t I.

But not (yet) in Bike?

The absolute ideal for me would be the ability to select multiple rows (with Cmnd+Click) and assign a tag and/or colour to them all to indicate priority etc…

Sorry late reply here, just found this post edited, but not posted:

Yes, if you add your own styles rules you can change line color based on tag in TaskPaper.

Also correct! :slight_smile:

I expect that will come to Bike, but will be a while yet.

No problem! Thanks, Jesse! Good luck.

Thanks to you both for a good conversation. I’m using Bike to outline & compile a new book, and I’ve been using TaskPaper for some years for to-do lists. It’s great to know that you can open TaskPaper files directly in Bike. My question: can you open Bike files, even as read-only, in a format that iOS can read? I know you can in some apps via OPML, but what about Bike format? Sorry if this is an obvious question that’s been answered before.

Yes to open and view, but unlikely to successfully edit.

Bike files are just .html files with a specific structure and a different file extension. If you want you can change the file extension of a .bike file to .html and then continue to edit it with Bike. I recommend trying this. Once you’ve changed the file extension then you can drag and drop the file to Safari to view the outline as a web page.

The view in a browser is functional, though with some rough edges. There is some discussion here on how to improve that look with a better css file.

You could also save this .html (Bike) file to iCloud and I think you should be able to just open directly on iOS, though I haven’t actually tried.

That’s great. Many thanks!