In TaskPaper, your to-do list is in a simple text format like
1 2 3 4 5
and presented with visual and functional improvements.
I’m a big fan of piggybacking on formats like this: taking something people are already doing, like this list markup, and adding value. The to-do lists I keep in plain text files are pretty much formatted this way, except for the tags (like
However, I edit my text files in TextMate. Using something else for to-do list text files complicates things. So I made a TextMate bundle for it:
Download it here, unarchive, then double-click to install: Tasks.tmbundle.zip
It’s named “Tasks” rather than “To-do” since a “TODO” bundle ships with TextMate (it finds “TODO” and “FIXME” comments in code).
This is a pretty simple bundle. I don’t need any special handling of priorities or due-dates. Feel free to modify it to fit your preferred markup and way of working.
The Tasks grammar and commands by default apply to files with the
Headers end with a colon (“:”). Headers are listed in the symbol list. Somewhat unfortunately, checkmarks are used in the symbol list to denote the current item. That checkmark obviously does not reflect the to-do status of anything.
Pending (uncompleted) tasks start with a hyphen (“-“). Completed tasks start with a checkmark (“✓”). The easiest way to get the checkmarks is to first add a pending task and then toggle it using the command described below.
Headers and tasks can be indented for grouping/hierarchy, as seen in the screenshot above.
⌅ to insert a new task.
The command has some smarts: if the caret is on the same line as a task but before the hyphen/checkmark, the new task is inserted above; if the caret is after a task, the task is inserted below. If the caret is inside the task, the line breaks, splitting the task in two. If the caret is on a blank line, a new task is inserted there without adding line breaks.
⌥⌅ to toggle completion for a task or set of tasks.
If no text is selected, the task on the current line is toggled: if it’s pending, it’s marked as completed and vice versa.
If text is selected, every task in the selection is toggled in batch: if any of the tasks are pending, all are marked as completed; if all are completed, they’re marked as pending.
In addition to these specific commands, you can obviously use general TextMate features like undo, Duplicate Line (
⌃⇧D), Current Date (
isoD⇥), move lines up (
⌃⌘↑) and down (
There. That’s one less thing to do.