What's missing in TaskPaper 3 Preview?

TaskPaper’s not done yet.

Here are some missing parts and how I expect them to turn out:

  • Quick Entry – I don’t plan to add this back, at least not in the same popup window form that it was implemented in for TaskPaper 2. I am considering a TaskPaper menu item that when clicked on drops down a TaskPaper editor on some fixed file. I think this could work well for people who only have a single TaskPaper file, but don’t want to leave a window open for it. I don’t know weather I’ll get this into the 3.0 release or not.

  • Tab views – I don’t plan to add tab views back. To me they make what should be a very simple TaskPaper user experience more complex then it needs to be. I think there should be tabs or a sidebar, but both is to much and sidebar is simpler. I’m open to feedback on this, but I really don’t want tabs.

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Quick Entry would be highly interesting as a separate app (meaning that I could make a quick entry without opening TaskPaper). I’ve done this myself, using Applescript and Keyboard Maestro (it simply prepends my entry into the .taskpaper file). But if you could make a tiny menu bar app that is running at all times, is invoked with a keystroke, and allowed me to choose a project to insert the entry in, that would be amazing.

Tab views would be interesting if each tab could be a separate document. For example, my main TaskPaper document is called Focus.taskpaper. My secondary one is Incubate.taskpaper (for less urgent projects and tasks) and my final one is Websites.taskpaper (which is dedicated to website projects and tasks, which can get quite large). It would be great to have all of them opened as tabs in one window, in the same way that Safari handles web pages.

I have a lot of AppleScripts set up. If they will continue to work with version 3, that would be great. If I have to learn JavaScript, and translate them over, well, that would be painful. What are the advantages to moving to JavaScript?

If I may, I’d like to list a few feature requests:

It would be great to have a keyboard shortcut for Toggle Projects Sidebar.

Add a weekly review system. It is one of the few GTD features that I miss from OmniFocus. I have come up with a workaround using Applescript and Keyboard Maestro. If you would like to see how I use it, let me know.

I would love to have a native command (with keyboard shortcut) to remove all tags from the currently selected item(s).

It would be amazing if there was a alarm tag (like the one that Taskmaster has) that would trigger a OS X notification when the task was due. For example: @alarm(2015-11-05, 1:00pm)

I broke your general feature requests off into there own topics. I think it’s easier to keep track and discus them that way.

The advantage of Javascript is that I can understand it for one! AppleScript is really tricky to get right for some things. Another advantage is that most of TaskPaper is internally a JavaScript app… so there’s quite a performance and control benefit to writing your scripts in JavaScript when dealing with TaskPaper. With that said… I am going to try to write thin AppleScript layer (similar to TaskPaper 2) before 3.0 is out.

Thanks for making them into their own topics. I wasn’t sure how you wanted to handle feature requests, so I lumped them together.

I have about two dozen AppleScripts that I use with TaskPaper. If I can continue to use them as is, that would save me a lot of grief.

I am not a AppleScript expert, but it makes sense to me. I’ve invested time in learning about it, as I can use it with virtually all of my installed programs. Learning Javascript from scratch, just for TaskPaper, feels a bit daunting. That said, if you will add a Javascript section to this forum, where I could ask for help, then I would be less concerned about moving my scripts from one to the other.

@Jim - I think you might be surprised how easy translating your AppleScript into JavaScript can be. You would really only have to learn the basics of JavaScript, and then the OS X Automation specific stuff. Here are a few resources if you (or anyone else) is interested:

JavaScript for Automation - WWDC 2014
Great video from WWDC introducing JavaScript for Automation

JavaScript for Automation Cookbook - Github
This is probably the best resource available. There are a ton of good examples.

Introduction to JavaScript for Automation Release Notes
The latest release notes

If you have any questions about anything feel free to post in this thread.

Two commands i miss in TP3:

cmd-\ for Move to Project


cmd-B for Select Block.

With those two commands, i could happily start using TP3 now.

I’m still working on Move to Project… but you can use Edit > Selection > Select Branch as an equivalent to Select Block. You can also use Edit > Select > Expand/Contract Selection to select from word, sentence, paragraph, to branch.

Ah, Select Branch. Great. I’ve now been experimenting with movements (after creating some keyboard shortcuts more to my liking)

The big difference from TP2 is that when i select a branch, it is not easy to move that branch up and down into other branches.

Here is an example (Note that the comment box formatting will not let me indent…which is a problem for TP comments!). To reconstruct my formatting, demote Subheads by 1 level and Subsubheads by 2 levels.

  • Header1
    • Subhead1
      • Subsubhead1
    • Subhead2
    • Subhead3
  • Header2
    • Subhead4
    • Subhead5
    • Subhead6

Let’s say that i want to move Subhead1/Subsubhead1 to just below Header 2 (e.g. move a paragraph from the end of Chapter 1 to the beginning of Chapter 2).

If I select the branch Subhead1/Subsubhead1 and Move Branch Down, it gets stuck above Header2.

I have to Move Branch Left (promote Subhead 1), Move Branch Down, and it lands below Subhead 6. Finally, i Move Branch Right (demote Subhead1) and Move Branch Up two times. It’s a long, roundabout journey, and if the outline is long, one can easily get lost.

In TP2, the branches are, as you have always emphasised, “just text,” so i can move things around very easily. Nothing gets stuck when being moved. It’s what makes TP the best outliner.

Is this a behaviour that you can change, or is it now built into the new way that you have written TP3? This “getting stuck” behavior is the reason that i could never use OmniOutline.

If you want TaskPaper 2 behavior you should use the Item > Move > Line * commands. They will move all selected lines as “plain text” ignoring the outline structure.

When experimenting with the Item > Move > Branch * commands one thing to notice is that you wouldn’t generally mix them with “Select Branch” because the Move Branch commands already move the entire branch of the selected item, so you can skip that step.

As your example shows moving items by branch is constrained to the outline… quite possibly over constrained in this default implementation. I’ll look to lose it up a bit, while still moving all children along with the selected item.

Having the new Move Branch command is better than the original Select Branch + Move method. Glad you added this.

It would be very good to be able to Move Branch in a less constrained way. What makes TP so easy to use is that it trusts the user to move things around without constraint, just “like text.”

For instance, one of the ways that I use TP is as a weekly calendar. Items that i don’t happen to finish on, say, Monday, i Move Down to Tuesday.

So, with TP3, if i want to Move Branch item 2/subitem2&3, i have to Move Branch Left, Move Branch Down Down, Move Branch Right, and finally Move Branch Up (if i wanted it above item 4).

With TP2, i Select Branch item2 and Move Down Down. Done.

Week 1

  • Mon
    – item 1
    – item 2
    — subitem 2
    — subitem 3
    – item 3
  • Tues
    – item 4
  • Wed
  • Thur
    – item 5
  • Fri
  • Sat/Sun

(btw, i changed to the keyboard shortcuts: opt-cmd-arrows for Move Branch, and opt-arrows for Move Line. Much easier).

I don’t think I can use Option-Arrows because most people expect those to move the cursor by word and line in text. And the move line shortcuts that I’m using are also the OS X “standard” for moving lines… less of a standard in that case, but it’s what Xcode and other editors tend to use.

But I am using Option-Command-Arrows for some other TaskPaper commands… and I think they are probably not as important as moving items. I might switch that mapping, thanks for the feedback.

+10 for AppleScript but I’m launching queries in shortcut app more and more instead. I liked the idea of the script Extrainfo ++ from Pedro Lobo back in 2012. It was possible to add notes, diagrams, etc. related task in an extern folder. Pretty neat. The script was modified by Brett Terpstra in 2015 but I wasn’t able to make it work though. ;(

The ability to link an email to a task. I’m using a script in TP2 to copy the email header and description and then copy the info in the clipboard to paste it in TaskPaper. Super useful.

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  • 1 for cmd-\ for Move to Project and cmd-B for Select Block.

This should already be in there, just renamed to “Select Branch”, shortcut is Shift-Command-B

I got a werid bug with the beta, the font Source Sans Pro seem to mess with the checkbox, when the font is active, the checkbox is replace with caracteres

See with Source Sans Pro active :

It’s very bad news about Quick Entry :frowning:

Can you add any keywords for define task, note and project? It will be good thing for setup view. I don’t like tags for note and project.

For example:

(TASK and (@today or start<=2015-11-19) and not @done) or NOTE or PROJECT

It will show only current task with headers and comment.

Sorry for my English.

Bug report: (preview build 159)

No ‘clear search’ button appears when clicking on a tag

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Using the intro text as an example, add the @today tag to one of the tasks
  2. Click the @today tag to focus on tasks containing that tag
  3. There’s no ‘clear search’ button, and no (obvious) shortcut to getting back to the view you were just looking at. You have to go to the search bar, select the tag, and manually delete it. Not obvious.