Help with TaskPaper update plans

I’m planning to do a TaskPaper update once Bike 1.4 is out (maybe still a few weeks, but getting close).

My goal with TaskPaper is to keep it fresh and current, fixing bugs, not adding big new features. With that context please let me know what you think needs to be done in this thread. I’ve very likely not going to have time to do everything that’s requested, but I’ll do my best to fit in the bits that fit :slight_smile:.

A few things on my list now are:

  • Make it possible to style based on item text content

  • Solve conflict between click on sidebar to open existing tab that matches that sidebar item and desire to update frontmost tab item. Maybe it’s a preference, not sure yet.

So let me know what work needs to be done on TaskPaper. I’ll be away as of tomorrow until Monday, so won’t be able to respond till then.



Just had this thought: it’d be great if there was a way to select the entire branch, from a child within it.

For example, “Select branch” only works on the parent of said branch, “Expand selection” seems to jump right over the branch after you’ve selected the paragraph. However, in terms of selecting everything that would be collapsed with “Collapse Items”, I can’t see a way.

Edit: Also! Being able to target “guide-line-width : Float;” from more densely nested projects would be neat.

Like how you can do

item[depth="3"].item[data-type="project"] {
    font-size: @font-size-project - 16;

to target projects-of-projects, I was trying to make the guide-lines different as well but found out that wasn’t possible.

Really loving TaskPaper as well, if there was anything even close available on Windows it would be my all-time favourite application hands down.


Overall, I am very happy with TaskPaper, and I am thrilled to see any fresh & current developments that you choose to do.

Thanks for all that you do Jesse!

I really like TaskPaper and and its current functionality, but I am missing commands operating on branches.


@jessegrosjean I had these alternative commands in menu items early on, but it starts getting confusing trying to explain the difference between the two sets of commands. It means we have twice as many “Move” commands in the menus and it all starts to look very complex. So I took out the “Move Branch” items and just focus on the default text editor move commands right now.

@jessegrosjean The longer term solution that I would like to try is to use a separate “outline” mode that you enter with escape key. Then you use all the standard move command (and there shortcuts), but they are outline constrained in that mode. I won’t be getting to it anytime soon, but I feel it’s the best long term solution.

Personally, I don’t see the necessity of a separate outline mode (maybe I’m missing something here). I think adding “Move Branch” commands back is enough. Additionally, it would be nice if moving branches up and down would swap the whole branches at the same hierarchical level.

Related discussion:

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+1 for a “don’t violate outline hierarchies when moving nodes”, I invariably work that way.

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I think that slowly adding more styling to the document would be something good. Specially for some people that wanted to print the documents without having to convert the taskpaper files into a markup language.

Is it possible for TaskPaper to have Bike’s Focus In Focus Out animations? The Focus In Focus Out experience in TaskPaper is not so good, hard to relocate after focus out.

Unfortunately no, that’s a big part of the reason why Bike is Bike and not TaskPaper 4. I had to spend a long time building custom text engine to support those kinds of animations.

Got it, thx for the reply

Was just about to ask for not violating hierarchy when moving items up and down in the list. :laughing:

I’ve just posted a new TaskPaper preview release, please try it out:

I’m curious as to, going forward, the role you see for TaskPaper vs. Bike?


I expect most of my time will be spent on Bike, but I’ll continue to update TaskPaper to keep it updated with latest OS and update any issues that come up.

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would you ever consider adding back quick entry?

Perhaps the kind of thing that one would now tend to do with utilities like Alfred, Keyboard Maestro or Launchbar, and a small amount of script code ?

I don’t think I’ll redo it the way that I had it before. That version relied on a global keyboard shortcut and would popup a spotlight/like view, and then that text would get inserted into frontmost document (or maybe an alternative).

I think the invisible global shortcut + the unclearness on where exactly the text would go in a document based app made the feature of limited use for most users.

And like @complexpoint says you can recreate most of this behavior with existing tools and scripts.

With all that said, I recently noticed MindNode’s quick entry solution, which I think is nice and addresses most of these issues.

It works through icon and popover through macOS status bar. There’s a probably a global keyboard shortcut, but you can also just click with mouse. The entered content just stays in that window until you copy it out later… so there’s no question of which document it’s getting inserted into.

I think it’s good, and I would like to add for Bike, and if I do that I’ll probably also add for TaskPaper. So I would think “yes” eventually, but I don’t have any timing on this, lots of other things I want to work on sooner I expect.

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it would be slick to have it integrated into the command palette somehow.

In the meanwhile, it might be worth experimenting with Brett Terpstra’s na – a tool for adding and listing per-project TaskPaper todos:

na can now edit your actions -

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a few steps ahead of you! It is a great tool.