How exactly are you using FoldingText?

Thanks to Jesse for creating this great app. It seems like day after day, I find it more useful in my life. I haven’t found anything that does all that so nicely. That led me to think how others use this app. I have a few specific questions in mind:

  • Do you create a new document for every new project/thing you’re working on?
  • Or do you keep all projects in one document?
  • What you use FoldingText for?
  • Do you have separate documents for Personal and Work related things?
  • What has been the most useful feature or aspect in FoldingText and why?
  • Any other thoughts?

Thanks for any replies in advance!

At first I had all my projects in one file and used folding/focusing. But, I now use different files because of the plugin that Rob Trew wrote. This makes it more convenient to have several .todo sections at the top of a project file, then drafting or note sections later on.

I always have one file a project, but sometimes one file per project piece! That is why the bookmarking feature is my best friend. I use it all the time. I
always keep separate files for personal and work projects, but often I have a file of bookmarks to link things together as well.

I use FT for everything. I use Sublime for all coding or very heavy editing. The multiple cursors of Sublime is sometimes very much needed. But, for tutorial writing, I use FT and Scrivener. Scrivener is still needed for the massive projects and archiving previous work.

Thanks raguay,

Sorry, I must not be the most advanced user: what is this bookmarking feature you mention here? Linking documents has been one thing that I’ve really been missing with FoldingText.

Thanks to Derek as well – I’m reading now that thread you linked to – seems very useful. I also started with cramming everything into one document but later spread project into single files.

Hi Karri,

Look at my extensions for Alfred or LaunchBar. Both of them incorporate Rob Traw’s work on bookmarking locations in FoldingText. It makes life so much easier. I
keep a list in Alfred and just pop into it quickly and easily.

You can also save the generated URI to a FoldingText document to click on it there. That way, I make my notes about each document (or document location) and place a URI link to it. Very handy.

I created workflows in both Alfred and LaunchBar so more people can make use of it.

Let me know if you need any more help with it.

Do you create a new document for every new project/thing you’re working on?
Or do you keep all projects in one document?
Do you have separate documents for Personal and Work related things?

I split tasks/projects between a few different documents. Currently:

  • active projects (reviewed daily)
  • reference (reviewed daily-weekly)
  • shopping list (reviewed weekly)
  • someday/maybe (reviewed fortnightly/monthly)

I’m keen to keep my task/project lists as functional as possible, which means making sure I only see what I need to see in the appropriate context. Tagging and folding obviously serve to support this, but I want to be able to review and work through an entire list without fatigue.

What you use FoldingText for?

Mostly task/project management at the moment.

Also: specific log files. e.g. People— one file per important person/colleague— anything in particular I need to remember for each of them, notes of milestones.

I draft ideas for pieces of writing in iThoughts and develop further with Ulysses. Sublime for coding. NValt for random notes and journal entries. Evernote as an archive.

What has been the most useful feature or aspect in FoldingText and why?

So many useful features. Extensibility, perhaps? Love the power that FoldingText offers, combined with a degree of flexibility. Some very minor tweaking, and I have a platform that meshes beautifully with the way that I think, and it’s all in plain text— thus very compatible with tools on other platforms (e.g. iOS).

Any other thoughts?

Just very happy that FoldingText exists. Big thanks to Jesse and everyone else who’s developed any of the plugins I’m currently using daily (Rob Trew, Jamie Kowalski et al).

Hi , I am a newbie to FT and this forum, and come from an Omni based system mostly (OF and OO), but have also used Jesse’s Taskpaper and Writeroom, though I returned to Omni when I found TP too limiting and slightly buggy on iOS. However, after playing with FT I have decided to try again as I really do think text is so much the easiest way to write out and keep note and diaries of just about anything I am interested in and it is so portable, esp for those who have to wrk on Windows.

I initially used just one or two documents for GTD type stuff then wanted to increase it but found TP too limiting but I really like FT so far with the focus and fold modes and am considering converting to FT most of my old text documents from many years ago (Mac classic and newton).

I would like to add some scripts and look at plugins too but my biggest 1st desire is to work out how to archive my archived entries into a different set of documents, but early days for me.

Anyway, looking forward to trying out all the new stuff and ideas floating around, and thanks to all of you for inspiring me again. I just wish my applescript was better.

I know this is the wrong section but I can’t work out ho to download the CLI.

Thanks again.


Just a quick follow-up on this thread:

I’ve been doing pretty much like Derek here said and created a different document for each area/project that I needed.

Best thing I ever did with an app. Opening Ulysses for the first time comes as a close second.

For example, I have this one FoldingText document for a book I’m working on. I’ve divided that document in two big sections:

  • things to do at the top
  • and notes at the bottom

The todo section is broken into individual days (Monday.todo, Tuesday.todo, and so on).
This means that I see the big picture for the whole week in one view. I don’t really need tags for due dates with this system. I just repeat through the separate todo sections for each day over and over again. Week after week.

This all was like revelation falling from opened sky for me. I don’t know about those Omnifocus dudes, but holy s**t this system is better. Now even my girlfriend wants to try this system. And she is a normal person (read: not actual geek).

If there wasn’t for FoldingText, I think I wouldn’t ever found this system for myself. So… anyways, thanks for the app again and hopefully this post wasn’t completely useless to everyone.

Quick update on this. In the four months since I posted in this conversation, FoldingText has been my most used app, closely followed by Mail, iThoughts, Safari and Evernote (and probably in that order). It’s my jumping off point for tasks, project planning, lesson/workshop planning, and maybe half of my writing. My creative writing often starts in FoldingText when I’m on a computer (as opposed to the phone or tablet); I tend to plan/author longer blog posts and essays or series of essays via iThoughts, and I’m experimenting with using iThoughts to provide a larger overview for a collection of text files within a project (e.g. poems in a poetry collection)— in the past I used Scrivener for this, but I probably only ever used about 30-40% of what Scrivener had to offer.

I have one file that I tend to live in— gettingthingsdone.taskpaper. There’s another file that I split out recently— gettingthingsmade.taskpaper— that contains thinking/planning/tasks for my creative work. So I guess I’m moving in the direction of “one file per work area”, but in a really limited way.

Every now and then, I might work on a project that needs more dedicated focus, and that gets its own file. But I tend to keep that to a minimum. The more files I have to look at, the less I’m likely to look at them. FoldingText is useful for keeping a broad scope of work in the one file without it becoming too overwhelming.

For what it’s worth, this is the basic structure for my gettingthingsdone.taskpaper file:

  • Note to self: (something to meditate on— my mission of the moment)
  • Inbox: (mostly filled with tasks from email thanks to a script by @complexpoint. Other incoming tasks go direct to appropriate projects or areas as far as possible)
  • Daily: (daily routine and fundamental tasks, generated daily via TextExpander)
    — TODAY
  • single tasks:
  • [projects I want to push forward with today]
  • Health and fitness:
  • Professional development:
  • Finance:
  • Domestics:
  • Systems:
  • People/Community:
    — THIS WEEK:
  • [Projects to push forward with this week]
    — TO REVIEW:
  • [Projects that don’t need immediate attention but should be reviewed for activity at the end of the week, or at least fortnightly]
  • [Projects that are incoming, but have a future start date] beyond the scope of the coming week
    — PAUSED:
  • [Incomplete projects that don’t need immediate attention or need further thought but aren’t urgent or important and should probably be reviewed once a month for renewal or deletion]
  • [cleared every few days, or at least weekly]

Hope someone finds that useful.