Gushing Good On TaskPaper


This is just meant to be a quick post to gush a bit about how much I enjoy using TaskPaper. I know I don’t use it in the same way that many use it.

I use TaskPaper for working through outlines of an idea, assembling a first draft, and so on, and so forth. When all the ideas I have collected and formulated using TaskPaper gets too unwieldy, I move the whole of the document’s text over to Scrivener or Nisus and get on with the deeper writing.

I just completed this basic assembly of some ideas in TaskPaper. For a few weeks now I have been concentrating on what I have in Scrivener as I further develop my story idea. I am still working out this idea and, it will likely take some time.

I am posting this as I just started to review a summary of some past work that I will present to someone this coming Friday. I had almost forgotten how nice it is to be able to create a written outline of ideas in TaskPaper. And, there is even a new version to download.

Like the Zen koan, consider the sound of one hand clapping, you can assign to me, the sound of one fan gushing. It his a conundrum that I use TaskPaper the way I do when it wasn’t really designed for the way that I use it. And yet, it works so well… Ahhhh.

Thanks again @jessie for your ongoing attention to TaskPaper.


could you give a detailed example, please?


A detailed example of how I use Taskpaper differently? Sure. This post linked to a review I put on MacUpdate: Just posted a review for TaskPaper on MacUpdate

I went into why I see things differently with Taskpaper a bit more, here: TaskPaper - Text organization tool with to-do lists and more

A detailed example of the meaning of a zen kaon? Not really, hates why it’s a zen koan. :wink:

P.S. to @jessegrosjean. Following a link to an earlier post, here: TaskPaper as a pre-organization tool I found that, spam has now been injected at the head of the article.

I thought you would want to be aware of it. Using Good Translate, it says,

“In this article, the 1080 Dialogue Center will share with you the content of international payment activities of commercial banks in the report on graduation of international payment topics according to the voucher credit method. In case you cannot do it yourself or do not have time to do it, please refer to the service of receiving the rental report of the Dissertation 1080.” It is an article selling someones international monetary services in Vietnamese.

Whatever I had responded to in that thread, is now gone.

To say more,

I am taking a quick break from writing with TaskPaper to summarize why I like to write using TaskPaper. Of course, this is how I like it and why I like it. Others may, or may not, share the same likes and dislikes that I have.

A distraction free writing environment has different meanings to different people. For me, a distraction free writing environment means that I can easily focus on what I am working on in TaskPaper by using a key combination to hide or show the search panel, by using option right arrow to focus on only the current project title and the text sections contained therein, and by expanding or collapsing my outline as I work on the outline.

Ironically, distraction free also means that I can change my page style as many times as I like using the .less files. When my eyes get tired, I switch to a .less file with larger fonts. When I go outside with my MacBook to write and pollute the wonderful fresh air with my cigar smoke, depending on how bright the day is, I can change to a large font with my .less style sheet.

TaskPaper is a plain text application. Personally I would live to see @jessegrosjean add in line text stying in the future, but, mine is not a majority opinion on this so, I am not holding my breath that this is going to happen.

TaskPaper is very good at faking formatting. I recently had a loooong discussion with other users on a Scrivener forum about this very idea. I have some disfunction in the way my brain organizes after some fairly serious head traumas in my past. It greatly helps me to be able to see (visually) how what I am writing, looks like, what I am actually writing. That is, visual cues are vital to the way my brain operates.

When I say fake formatting I meant that by using a .less file, you can assign text styling to Projects, Tasks, and Notes. You can even assign different values to these items depending on where they are in your outline. You can also assign formatting styles to any tag. Using the .less file, you can change line spacing, text color, space above, below a paragraph, bold or italic - but only for a whole paragraph, the style of setting just a word to bold is not a current feature in TaskPaper.

I will comment that, one of my first Mac apps was FairWitness, later known as InfoDepot. I loved how I could use FairWitness (FW) to create a talk I was going to give, or to collect ideas for a project I was working on. When I would write out my ideas using FW, sometimes I would wish for a way not to have every entry in my outline appear with little boxes surrounding every idea.

With TaskPaper I can finally do this. I don’t have to figure out indents and hanging indents. When I want to move a paragraph(s) in or out, I simply hit tab (or shift tab).

I can focus in or out on the entire outline or on any part of it.

TaskPaper is really more designed for folks who use it to track events, todos, and the like. I feel like I am a bit of a radical, using and loving TaskPaper for the organization of my written drafts.

If I could improve TaskPaper for my uses, I would love to see styles added. I would also love to see a way to provide better formatting for professional page print outs. TaskPaper has no way to clearly annotate the end of a page that I can find so a code that provides a page break would be very helpful. TaskPaper has no way to insert a header or a footer in a printed document that I am aware of. And, Taskpaper has no way to add automatic numbering if there were a footer (page xx of xx pages).

Because I know that these things will probably not become the focus of @jessegrosjean’s attention any time soon or possibly, at all, then I have accepted that TaskPaper is this wonderful tool for the creation and the organization of my drafts.

That is why at a certain point, I have to move my TaskPaper project to an actual writing environment that is intended to be a writing environment.

Also, as I have just noticed in your other post on using TaskPaper for a large writing project, at a certain point, the organization of my ideas in TaskPaper gets to be too much. You could do it by setting up searches in the sidebar - I suppose.

I need to put my written thoughts into a word processor, apply style to headings and sub headings, and generate a table of contents (TOC) so that I can stay aware of my outline once it gets large enough to consider submitting somewhere. I use Nisus for this.

I am also trying out Scrivener to see if it will help me to organize a long document. I think Scrivener is going to be a good choice for me. I am still not used to how Scrivener does things. I think Scrivener is very useful in the way I use the Scrivener sidebar (Binder) to gather all my ideas so that I can flesh them out farther than I had started out writing in draft and organization mode for an idea in TaskPaper. Scrivener was designed to separate the printing and formatting of a document from the writing of the document. With this in mind I am not yet convinced that when I am done with my book in Scrivener, I may still pull it into a Nisus document for proper formatting and printing/submission to an editor.