TaskPaper vs. Folding Text vs. FoldingText Atom

I’m not sure what to think about the new direction for Folding Text… I bought TaskPaper years ago (2008 or 2009 from what I can remember). I LOVE the idea of keeping plain simple todo list & notes in a very portable format with great presentation and powerful query language.

The biggest things I used were ability to tag with a start date, done date, and status. I would have one file per month in a folder named for the year with the misc. stuff I had going on and then one file per bigger project.

Along came the iOS version and life was good.

Well, then the iOS version kind of went away and Folding Text came along. It looked like an outliner + notetaker with MarkDown syntax and the promise that some day it may do everything TaskPaper would do. The only major component missing was an iOS version. I worked around that by using another DropBox-enabled text editor.

Now this FoldingText Atom thing comes along. It stores things in some sort of HTML with its specific syntax? Wha? At what point will this be available on mobile platforms?

I want something cross platform, open and mobile that I can easily edit with other programs. Plain text gave that. MarkDown gave that. Custom HTML - I am not convinced at this point.

For now I am doing the Notebooks app for my notes. It’s MarkDown and works across Mac & iOS. As well as PC.

Thanks for the feedback. A few quick thoughts:

  • I don’t think FoldingText or FoldingText for Atom replace TaskPaper. At times I’ve thought they could, but I don’t think so now. I’ve done a bad job with updates since I though I was replacing it a bunch, but at some point I do expect to refresh TaskPaper. I don’t see it as an app that will grown much, but I do plan to keep it working long term.

  • Second FoldingText for Atom also saves as OPML (when you save just save file as .opml) which is a fairly standard outline format that can be read on iOS and in other places.

OK, so TaskPaper will live on and hopefully get some updates at some point soon. I’d just hate to see a program I had relied on so much stop working one day with a new version of OS/X. I actually PREFER that TaskPaper does not grow too much - it’s simplicity is part of the power.

The only additions I could see would be adding some kind of notifications like the TaskMator people did on iOS and maybe add the ability to tag a date when you start a task (similar to how it handles @done). Hm. I could probably just add that via AppleScript.

As for OPML, I guess the only way I have used OPML is to backup and restore my podcast subscriptions as I’ve tried out multiple podcast apps. Any recommendations for a good iPhone app to take notes/outlines in OPML on the go? Preferably universal apps so they look nice on iPads?

To work with OPML on iOS (via Dropbox sync): http://carbonfin.com

Haven’t used it for a while, but it served me well when I did.

OmniOutliner for IOS is expensive but it’s quality is unparalleled on IOS (but it is universal so you won’t have to purchase separate versions for phone and tablet). Omni Group stuff is more expensive but it’s well supported and integrates seamlessly across OS X and IOS. Carbon Fin is very solid (it will open and enable you to edit outlines without glitches) but the UX is vastly inferior to OmniOutliner IMHO.


Is FoldingText going to continue as a separate product from FoldingText for Atom, or will it eventually be discontinued?

I really prefer the UI for FoldingText compared to the outliner format of FoldingText for Atom (or OmniOutliner), so I’m hoping FoldingText will continue to live on as a separate product.

That’s what I really, really hope, too.

As of today, TaskPaper crashes continuously on the first preview of El Capitan.

I’ve bought WriteRoom, Taskpaper and FoldingText. I really like the current dev version (741) of folding text and would rather see this release continue. I especially like the various modes and use all three (to do, schedule and calc). I get the whole HTML discussion, but I feel more comfortable with plain text. Now I guess if Jesse could give me a writeroom experience (I miss session counters a lot) so that I could organize, brainstorm and write in a single app, that would be interesting.

A final note in the discussion announcing 741, Jesse mentioned that he had already made some changes, anyway we can push 742 to final while we wait to see what becomes of Atom?