benjamin brandall

writer at process street, techcrunch, the next web, fast company

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benjaminbrandall@gmail.com

TaskPaper Tips & Custom Themes

I use WorkFlowy for meeting notes and outlines, but it’s not perfect for task management because I like to have a desktop app I can shrink and keep locked to the right-hand side of my screen.

Since I love WorkFlowy’s style and I’m always looking for the perfect task manager, TaskPaper really appealed to me. I’ve used at least 30 different checklist apps in the past year, and I find it hard to find one that fits my taste. I almost settled on Wunderlist, then Todoist. Then — searching for an alternative to Things — I found TaskPaper.

If you’re already familiar with plain text documents, you’ve got the basics down. TaskPaper is a text document with the features you need to tag, filter and break down your tasks. Here’s how I organize my list:

Any unstructured tasks go into INBOX to be organized the next morning and tagged by priority, with @1, @2 and @3. Even though TaskPaper allows for variables in your tasks (so you could make a tag like @priority(1)), that’s extra search steps I’d rather not include, because the speed of this app is why I chose it over something more fully featured like Evernote.

Other useful shortcuts include:

• CMD+D to tag a task as ‘done’

• CMD+Y to tag as task for ‘today’

• CMD+shft+A to move all ‘done’ tasks to ‘archived’.

As I mentioned, I prioritize tasks with @1, @2 and @3. To add a visual aspect to the priority tags, I added custom colors for these tags:

item[data-1], run[tag=data-1] {
     color: #33FFFF;
}

item[data-2], run[tag=data-2] {
     color: #33FFCC;
}

item[data-3], run[tag=data-3] {
     color: #33FF99;
}

You can also add colors to tags like @next, @waiting and @today with the same method. Here’s what my theme looks like:

Get the source on GitHub, or pasted below:

// Variables
@user-font-size: 16;
@text-color: #CFD8DC;
@background-color: #212121;
@tint-color: rgb(71, 91, 98);
@selection-color: #f0f3f4;
@invisibles-color: @selection-color;
@line-height-multiple: 1.3;


// Basics
item[data-type="note"] {
    >   run[display] {
        font-family: "sans-serif";
        font-style: italic;
        font-size: @user-font-size*0.9;
        color: #212121;
    }
    >   run[link] {
        color: rgb(33, 118, 199);
        font-style: normal;
    }
}

run[link] {
  color: rgb(33, 118, 199);
  text-decoration: underline;
}

run[link^="button"] {
    color: @text-color;
    text-expansion: 1;
    text-decoration: none;
}

run[link^="filter"] {
    color: @text-color;
    text-decoration: none;
}

item[data-type="project"] {
    font-weight: bold;
    font-size: @user-font-size*1.3;
    color: #fff;
 }

// Tags
run[tag] {
    font-style: normal;
    font-weight: normal;
    color: mix(@text-color, @background-color, 50%);
 }

item[data-today], run[tag=data-today] {
     color: #ec727d;
}

item[data-1], run[tag=data-1] {
     color: #33FFFF;
}

item[data-2], run[tag=data-2] {
     color: #33FFCC;
}

item[data-3], run[tag=data-3] {
     color: #33FF99;
}

item[data-waiting], run[tag=data-waiting] {
    color: rgb(89, 90, 183);
}

item[data-hold], run[tag=data-hold] {
    color: rgb(89, 90, 183);
}

item[data-done], run[tag=data-done] {
    color: #727272;
    >   run[display] {
         text-strikethrough: NSUnderlineStyleSingle;
         text-strikethrough-color: rgba(10, 41, 51, 0.5);
     }
 }

sidebar {
    search-item-prefix: "🔍 ";
}