Zettelkasten Forum


todo.txt markdown task apps for mac

My ideal workflow has .txt files used by The Archive, my writing app (Ulysses) and, ideally, todo.txt markdown app that culls through my planning files and pulls out tasks in todo.txt format to manage and... do. Suggestions for an app that can work with the same files as The Archive and consolidate and manage tasks?

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  • edited April 21

    @DeaconPatrick said:
    My ideal workflow has .txt files used by The Archive, my writing app (Ulysses) and, ideally, todo.txt markdown app that culls through my planning files and pulls out tasks in todo.txt format to manage and... do. Suggestions for an app that can work with the same files as The Archive and consolidate and manage tasks?

    Have you looked at NotePlan? I've been using it for several months and love it. You might say I've never got out of the honeymoon phase. It is a subscription app (also available if you subscribe to Setapp) but well worth the money. It works (only) with plain text files and recognizes Markdown. It's replaced 3 other apps that I used before to accomplish the same things (todo's, bullet journal and calendar) and does it so elegantly.

  • I use Noteplan 3 - https://noteplan.co

    You could conceivably make a note folder in Noteplan and then point the Archive to it. The principles of Noteplan 3 are similar to the Archive to generate a future proof life 😀.

    The only issue is that you have to choose the default file names extension (.txt or .md) as it will only read one, but this is easily done in settings. The default is .txt so that should work for you.

    To find where Noteplan's location is kind of strange because of Apple's sandboxing (or something like that) but if you follow the link you will find it.

    ~/Library/Containers/co.noteplan.NotePlan3/Data/Library/Application Support/co.noteplan.NotePlan3/

    Then choose notes and the folder you want to use. You can create notes in either, but I noticed that when creating a title in The Archive, the title was blank in Noteplan 3, but when I made the note in Noteplan 3 the title I used for the document was also the title of the document in the Archive.

  • I use TaskPaper, which I think was the first of the plain text todo programs. You can place its files in your archive or Zettelkasten folder and set The Archive prefs to recognise the .taskpaper extension. You can then edit TP files directly in TA. And you can even edit Zettels in TP. You can, if you like, use other file extensions. For working on my iPhone I use Editorial, which has special features for working with TP files, but will edit any plain text file. TaskPaper has a large collection of Keyboard Maestro and AppleScript extensions to its functionality, and plays well with Hook. Oh, and you can change the themes to your heart's content, even using CSS to create your own if you like. TaskPaper has been around for a long time, and is well supported.

    I tried NotePlan and really disliked its paradigm of a note for every day. I prefer a single file with all my tasks in it, but the ability to fold the list to make only single sections visible. I found that NotePlan was creating extra work for me to do, in keeping things up to date. And as for seeing a calendar view at the same time, I just keep BusyCal open in one half of the screen, and TaskPaper in the other. I find that works better for me.

    TaskPaper is also on Setapp.

  • A further item on NotePlan - it works seamlessly between all iOS devices - I use it as much on my iPhone as on my Mac.

    @MartinBB You don't have to put your todo's in your daily notes. You could put them in a separate ("normal") note. Sort of defeats the purpose of seeing what you need to do each day, but if you like working that way, NotePlan will accommodate you :smile:

  • A big thumbs up for NotePlan 3, which I just discovered a week or so ago. Plain text, a calendar, ZK functionality, and a nicely designed interface.

    Started ZK 4.2018. "The path is at your feet, see? Now carry on."

  • @GeoEng51 Yes, I thought of that and tried it out. I wanted to like NotePlan, but I'm afraid I couldn't. It just didn't click for me, so I went back to TaskPaper. I suppose it allows me to work the way I want to. And I suppose I'm fairly used to it, as I have been dabbling with it for many years. It is very easy to see what you should be doing each day, because you just tag things @today, and click on the sidebar to filter. In a way, its simplicity and flexibility are a bit like The Archive. I also didn't like the idea with NotePlan of an ever-increasing load of junk in old notes. I prefer to get shot of things for ever once they are done. I can see how if you keep a journal then NotePlan would be attractive, but I don't and have no intention of doing so. But thanks for the tip.

  • Thank you, all! I appreciate it. It is wondrous how differently we all work. For me, this is:

    • [x] Confirm if current system of project/task management in The Archive, with a weekly task note that references the various project notes as needed via links is best practice for me.
    • [x] Is there a better way to manage projects/tasks? No. Not for me.

    Thank you for helping me reach that clarity!

  • Crow is tasty. Munch. Munch. Grin.

    I'm giving NotePlan another shot, and wow I am impressed. Something in me must have clicked or shifted. So, thank you for the suggestion, all! It goes invisible, so that after working in it, I only remember working on what I worked on, not on the tool I did it with ... one of my measures that I have a good and correct tool.

    I also found https://hookproductivity.com Hook app, which allows for linking to any files on my Mac, making it easy to "integrate" with my writing app and The Archive. I'll post it seperately if it's not already spoken about, so it's not buried in a thread.

    With abandon,
    Patrick

  • @DeaconPatrick If you haven't discovered it already, there was a blog post on the Hook site about NotePlan: https://hookproductivity.com/blog/2020/06/noteplan-2-a-noteworthy-linkable-planning-app/. Version 3 of NotePlan had not yet come out, but I guess a lot of it still applies.

  • @MartinBB. NotePlan3 is available.

    Started ZK 4.2018. "The path is at your feet, see? Now carry on."

  • @Phil said:
    @MartinBB. NotePlan3 is available.

    I know. I've used it. :)

  • edited April 27

    Oops, sorry @MartinBB. I misread your comment (read "had not" as "has not").

    Started ZK 4.2018. "The path is at your feet, see? Now carry on."

  • @DeaconPatrick said:
    My ideal workflow has .txt files used by The Archive, my writing app (Ulysses) and, ideally, todo.txt markdown app that culls through my planning files and pulls out tasks in todo.txt format to manage and... do. Suggestions for an app that can work with the same files as The Archive and consolidate and manage tasks?

    Emacs - org mode. You can read markdown with those tools and also export in markdown. With org mode you can manage everything in your life.

  • @MartinBB Had the same experience with Noteplan vs TaskPaper – prefer TaskPaper's simplicity. No clutter and you can get every view you want via Saved Searches, tagging, etc. Just a shame it doesn't have a good iOS client...

  • @Vinho I agree about iOS, but I recently stumbled on a web page that reminded me that Editorial will handle TaskPaper files pretty well. I had a licence for Editorial from years ago so I started using it. It is not ideal, but it works. The web page is here https://katanist.com/2020/02/18/plaintext-gtd-using-taskpaper-syntax/ You can scroll past all the stuff you know already and got straight to the section on Editorial. Might give you the odd idea! Cheers!

  • @MartinBB The main thing I'm missing from an iOS app is the integration of the same Saved Searches that I use on the desktop version, e.g. the "Today" search (@start <[d] tomorrow or @today) and not @done. As far as I can see, Editorial doesn't support anything like this...

  • @Vinho Yes, I can see that could be a problem. I hardly use Saved Searches, so it doesn't affect me much. Editorial does seem to be very scriptable, but I know nothing of scripts.

  • @Jvet said:

    Emacs - org mode. You can read markdown with those tools and also export in markdown. With org mode you can manage everything in your life.

    The past month I've been working on learning Emacs and now org mode.

    The potential of these programs looks excellent from I see in video demonstrations.

    There's a lot to learn in order to use them effectively and efficiently though. Spending an hour or so each day to try and learn more and get familiar with all the key bindings, etc.

    So, are these the tools you use for managing info, calendar, notes, tasks, etc. ?

    If so, about how long did it take for you to be effective with them?

    Thanks,

    Mark

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