Developing software in the Real World

TaskPaper

One of the apps that I’ve found that I’m using daily is TaskPaper from Hog Bay Software. It’s a brilliantly simple idea where all it does is format up a standard text file to make it easier to use as a todo list.

You just start each item with a dash and it will automatically provide a checkbox next to the item. When you tick the checkbox, then a tag, @done, is added to the end of the line and it is crossed out. To aid organisation, any title that ends in a colon is automatically made bold and considered a project. Tags start with a @ symbol and can be used for filtering. For instance, you can get it to display all tasks with the tag of @town to provide a list of items to be done when you next go into town.

All in all, TaskPaper is very simple and very easy to use. You start it up and you can get going straight away.

Obviously, there are a few niggles! Three that I’ve noticed are:

  • Dragging and dropping of tasks to reorder isn’t as smooth as it could be as TaskPaper tends to put the task you are moving into the same line as the task you are trying to insert above.
  • If I’ve completed all sub-tasks, it would be nice if it automatically marked the parent task as done too. In reverse, it would be handy if it would auto-mark-done all child tasks when I mark their parent task as done.
  • The context menu contains items that don’t make sense, such as font and colours.

Niggles, really is the word, isn’t it?! I need to stress the application more so that I can find an important thing to complain about!

Hog Bay Software is run by Jesse, who is a really nice guy as he even answered my emailed bug report even though I was just a trial user. I’ve since bought the product as to my mind it’s well worth the money.

I’m now looking for a “diary” type program that will present me with a blank page every day automatically. Bonus points if it allows tagging of pages to help me find stuff I’ve stored and I’d also like it to store its files in RTF files or similar so that I can take them to Pages with no hassle. So far, I’ve looked at Journler, Jotter and MacJournal so far, but all require me to start a new entry manually.

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