I wanted to offer the case for @jessegrosjean to consider the idea of rebranding TaskPaper - just a bit. I am not trying to stir up controversy with those who love it’s ability to make to do lists, use scripts, use calendar dates, or use markup in TaskPaper. Really and truly, I am not trying to start a conflict here.
I think that TaskPaper can do so much more than to-do lists. For some users, certainly for myself, TaskPaper is a unique tool that makes organizing text incredibly powerful and simple. I think that the current byline for advertising Taskpaper; “TaskPaper - Plain text to-do lists for Mac” does not do Taskpaper justice. I suggest something more like; “TaskPaper - Text Organization Tool with to-do lists and more”.
OK, the plain text aficionados might say, nooooo, at least if you are going to say that say, “Plain text” as in, “TaskPaper - Plain text organization tool with to-do lists and more". I don’t have an argument with that. I suggested dropping that part of the description because, honestly, I do wish that Taskpaper allowed for some styled text. But, I am not sure that @jessegrosjean feels the same way or that most of the current users of TaskPaper feel the same way. Just saying …
The reason I am suggesting this here is because, as was recently mentioned in a post here on the forums, some of us really do make great use of TaskPaper for organizing large amounts of text - as writers. I could not do what I do in Taskpaper in almost any other program. I would have to build my own custom database to get such fast searches on tags I can create in TaskPaper to track parts of my document. And I can so easily embed searches to gather similar ideas.
To-do lists are important for sure. I am not knocking a to-do list. But, TaskPapers ability to allow me to write, to collapse sections or to easily focus in on a section, distraction free, is a fantastic benefit to a writer. This is a great way of organizing text. When you are writing a long document, there is nothing to match it.
I offer these suggestions not to change Taskpaper - although as I mentioned I would still love to see the ability to bold a word with styled text here or there and I would still love to see some kind of pagination so I could insert page breaks and print out a draft to put on my desk, pass around for critique, and carry around for editing away from the computer. I offer these suggestions because I want to see @jessegrosjea’s company thrive and to go as far as it can and to last as long as it can in the rapidly changing world of modern Mac software.
I need massive organizational help with my ideas. I tend to write down my ideas. TaskPaper has become an invaluable tool to organize my thoughts and my text.
I am not sure this part of the TaskPaper business model gets as much credit as it deserves.
I think there may be others like myself who might take an interest in TaskPaper if it were advertised as a text organization tool that also includes excellent to-do lists with full calendar integration (with an external calendar). I passed on TaskPaper for many years thinking it was just a to-do list maker. I offer these suggestions because I want others like myself to understand what you can do using TaskPaper. Hopefully, this would expand TaskPapers user base and increase @jessegrosjean’s companies profits so, this could be a win-win situation.
Strictly attending to to-do lists - which Taskpaper is great at doing, also misses the point entirely of how great it also is at the organization of text.
That is the reason I am suggesting changing the byline from “TaskPaper - Plain text to-do lists for Mac” to “TaskPaper - Text organization tool with to-do lists and more”.
Scrivener has stepped into a very large market for writers. I have Scrivener but I am still not making much use of it - yet. At some point I will give it another try. Scrivener, as nice as it is, is still a little on the complicated side. TaskPaper on the other hand is extremely simple - yet extremely powerful. I have worked as a professional writer. I have worked as a technical writer and as a technical editor. I understand how Word works very well. I can understand how the visual layout of a document using styles is important and, I know how to do this.
But, just putting down ideas when you don’t yet understand how they are going to end up, fit together, etc., gets unwieldy fast. Using styling to build a TOC (Table of contents) to track your ideas before you have a clear idea how all that you are writing - and still have to write, is going to fit together, is not the best use of your time.
TaskPaper is so very good for this. Really, I don’t see any apps competing with it in this way. Therefore I am suggesting that @jessegrosjean might consider the size of the writers market out there. Yes I know, HogBay also sells WriteRoom. But WriteRoom seems to me to be primarily based on the single idea of a plain screen “distraction free” writing environment. That concept has no appeal for me.
When I think of what a distraction free writing environment means to me, I much prefer the distraction free writing environment when I can option right arrow on a project title and see nothing but that section that I want to work on. I much prefer the distraction free environment when my eyes, tired of spending weeks or months in a long project, to be able to simply pull up a different style sheet and see a different background color and text color and line spacing.
Of course, the pagination would make printing a hard copy for editing much easier and, there is no easy way to transfer what I am writing in TaskPaper to my iPad.
Coming from a professional layout environment I do miss not being able to color, underline, or bold a specific word here and there without affecting the whole sentence - but then I would be making an argument for styled text and not plain text. I understand that TaskPaper with styled text may never be to others liking - especially if it meant killing markdown which I believe can only happen in a plain text environment (I don’t use markup as I am not attracted to it so I really don’t know). Again, no disrespect to those who love markup. I am simply, respectfully, pointing out that, some like it, and some don’t. And if Taskpaper is already something that markup fans love then please, do not change this on my account.
I wanted to give a clearer idea of what distraction free writing means to me. In the end, I am only offering ideas here. I don’t expect that others are going to agree with me. But if you have read this far and are willing to consider what I have said then, I thank you. I think that TaskPaper is missing a potentially huge writers market. I for one am very happy to have discovered this “plain text to-do list maker for the Mac” and I am so very happy that I have since learned that TaskPaper is so much more than this. I am only wishing that others knew this too.
Thanks to @jessegrosjean as always for providing such an excellent product and for continuing to listen to his customers feedback. I appreciate what this product is, and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into keeping it great. I know I am just one man with one humble opinion. Thanks as always for listening.