Hide Future Start Dates in TaskPaper

I was recently listening to the Generational podcast in which Gabe Weatherhead talks with Jeff Hunsberger about task management. Their preferred task management app is Omnifocus, and they were discussing how Omnifocus hides tasks before their start dates. (For example, if you have a project you don’t even need to start thinking about until 2 months from now, you enter the start date as such, and Omnifocus won’t show you those tasks until that date hits.)

I have been using TaskPaper, and started thinking about how this can be accomplished using the app’s query language. (I can’t find the iOS user manual online, but here’s the Mac app user guide. The section about searching TaskPaper starts on page 14.)

TaskPaper supports tags with values in parentheses. So if I have a tag @start I can include a date: @start(2013-05-01). (Here I am using the date format YEAR-MONTH-DAY: YYYY-MM-DD. This is useful for search because 2013-02-04 is < 2013-04-01.)

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Add a Task to TaskPaper with Drafts Using Dropbox Actions

TaskPaper has long been my todo-list iPhone app of choice, because it stores its data in a simple text file, not an XML file or some proprietary format. Oh, and the text file syncs with Dropbox, so I can edit my todo list in any iOS Dropbox-friendly text editor, or on my Mac. However, instant capture is not TaskPaper’s strong suit. It does not have an URL scheme that allows you, say, to enter some text in Launch Center Pro and have it added as a todo in TaskPaper. I have in the past come up with various hacks, from using Launch Center Pro to prepend a task to a text file in Nebulous Notes, which I sync with my TaskPaper Dropbox folder to using Drafts to send an email to IFTTT to add a task to my TaskPaper file in Dropbox.

Now that Drafts — a note “capture” app that lets you send your text to various iOS apps and web services — supports Dropbox Actions, I can finally send a task straight to my todo list from Drafts.

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Add a Task in Drafts for iOS to TaskPaper with One Tap

Drafts for iOS is an excellent app that allows you to quickly jot down a note and then later “process” it by sending it to various apps like Evernote or Twitter. A recent development includes Mail Actions, which triggers an email of the note from a specific agiletortoise.com address. This is useful for a web app like IFTTT which will — with your permission — scan your gmail for emails coming from a specific address (the “trigger” or “if”) and then perform an action (or “that”) on it.

TaskPaper is an app for Mac and iOS that essentially renders a text file containing a todo list into a more usable format. If you place your text file in a Dropfox folder, then the iOS app will sync with the file on your Mac.

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