I have recently completed a large grant proposal and several research manuscripts. Such sticky projects involve hundreds of details that need to be remembered: “reformat table 3”, “find the page number in reference 76”, “ask someone to rework figure 5”, “read an article that the reviewer has pointed to”. I have no idea how I would stay sane, if not for TaskPaper, my favourite app for dealing with complex projects.
I have been using TaskPaper for many years and explained how it is important when things move too fast for OmniFocus with its slow weekly rhythm. Or how to use TaskPaper together with Ulysses in responding to reviewers’ comments on your manuscript. But last year TaskPaper started an entirely new game with version 3, which retains its plain-text simplicity while adding smoothness and sophistication often needed for complex projects.
TaskPaper 3 has many improvements. Most visibly, it allows to collapse or expand items as well as focus on specific projects in the side-bar, thus acting as an outline and not simply a linear task list. For example, the manuscript revision tasks can be structured into “Additional reading”, “Reworking Figures”, “Re-writing Methods”, “Preparing responses to reviewers” etc. I love that it is so easy to move tasks between sub-projects with a shortcut (⌘/) and not only with dragging them by a mouse. Completed tasks can be quickly archived (⌘⇧A) to clear the working space. The system is so convenient that I sometimes catch myself actually composing pieces of text in TaskPaper (in “Notes” attached to tasks).
One thing I miss in TaskPaper 3 is a system-wide shortcut to add new tasks. It used to be available in previous versions, but now I simply don’t know how to set it up and the Preferences do not give me a lead. But this is a small detail which can probably be fixed in the future.
All in all, thank you Jesse Grosjean for this great product!