New user thoughts on TaskPaper


Over my lifetime I have struggled with managing my tasks.
I have tried many task management systems and methodolgies but always found them lacking in certain areas.

I have recently started using TaskPaper and it is almost perfect so I thought I might post my thoughts.
It reminds me of the emacs OrgMode but is a lot more lightweight and doesn’t require emacs.
I have been using OmniFocus for a few years and found it to be restrictive.

It is extremely simple, extensible and stores everything in plain text.
But most importantly for me is the arbritrary tags and robust filtering.
This allows you to set it up however you see fit.

I have found a few shortcomings
1) The lack of a dedicated iOS app.
This is a major shortcoming for me and the reason why I probably won’t use TaskPaper long term.
I have tried a few on the market but they sync with DropBox and don’t support the robust filtering.
2) Can’t filter out completed tassks
Example would be selecting a task then adding “not @done” to the search.
The @done tasks will still be displayed.
3) Tagging with attributes is a little cumbersome.
There is a tag interface but it doesn’t complete for @tag(attribute).
Meaning you have to type the whole thing out.

I have though about rolling out my own interface, since the core is opensource for TaskPaper but unfortunately I am too disorganised.



Thanks for your feedback.

I’m not sure about point 2:

By default TaskPaper should come with a “Not Done” search in the sidebar that should solve this. The actual search is not @done except @done//*. If you just search for not @done you’ll still see @done items in the search results, if they have child items that are not done. But not @done except @done//* should handle that case.


Thank you.
The not @done except @done//* worked.

I was using it for when I focused in on a project.
I wanted to filter out completed things.


Welcome to TaskPaper.

Try this, example using the tag “focus”

@search(@focus except (@search union “done”///*))


If you don’t like typing, consider using a third-party utility like Keyboard Maestro, Typinator or Textexpander.

Once you configure one of them, and get used to using their triggers, you will be amazed at what they can do.


I use both Keyboard Maestro and Typinator. They are both amazingly useful apps that in my book are “must haves”. FWIW, I used TextExpander for a few years. Or I should say, I tried to use TE for a few years. It would suddenly quit - not all the time but enough that I didn’t trust its errors vs my learning curve errors. It was also not very fast. When I discovered Typinator I was over the moon about it. Very fast (compared to TE), very reliable, actively developed by a very responsive developer. And, Typinator can do code behind the scene (if you know how to write code).

Keyboard Maestro saves my (rear end) many times a day. Even now as I am writing this I know I tend to leave a lot of spelling errors behind in my posts as I have a hard time reading through my posts in a small comment area. I made a KM macro that copies the selected text, opens a TexEdit new document, pastes the text, and expands the text several times. It even runs a Typinator macro with the current date and time as I often use this script when updating my notes field in BusyCal. I also have a KM macro where any selected text will be read out loud. This also helps me in my proof reading. Many apps have a right click speak text, not all of them do, Pages for example, cannot do this.


Sounds like a great opportunity to solve your issue with 3). :slight_smile:

When you have some solutions figured out, share them here in the forum.


I think you are saying this to the OP. I do not find #3 difficult as 1) I don’t use attributes in tags very often and, 2) what the OP may not have discovered yet is that, once you do use a tag or a tag with an attribute such as @priority(2), then the next time you start to type this, it will show you a list to auto-complete with likely choices. Then all you need to do (once you have used it) is arrow down to the one you want and hit the space bar. Et Voila, you are done. :slight_smile:


Sorry—didn’t notice that you had replied. I figured that he would be the first to respond to my suggestion. Bad presumption.

@ndan — Take a look at one of the text macro/expander utilities. You can use them in all apps, and if you type the same text regularly, they will change your life for the better.