My Review of TaskPaper
I have recently started using TaskPaper from Hog Bay Software on my iMac and MacBook. I have been mostly using GTD with paper-based systems (3-ring binder, or index cards) but recently wanted to look at apps so I could have some of my action items linked directly to Gmail (a lot of tasks come in through email) and to pull out actions by context from both project lists and action lists into single context lists. I really like TaskPaper http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/taskpaper because of its beautiful simplicity, the ability to focus on just the actions or project (like I can do with a paper-based system), and its good tagging capabilities.
Right now the version I am using (2.2) is still in development and is available from the TaskPaper wiki page http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/wiki/TaskPaper. This version adds some nice features like syncing and saved searches. If you prefer not to use software that is still being worked on, you can download http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/taskpaper, the current, stable version.
In addition to what TaskPaper does, I also like it for what it doesn't do. It doesn't have a lot of extraneous information going on. I don't need to know how many actions are uncompleted, I don't need due dates on my action lists. If something is due by a specific date it goes on my calendar or in my tickler file. (There is, however, an AppleScript to use due dates in TaskPaper if you really need them). I don't need to see all my other project lists when I'm working from a project or task list. I don't need to see toolbars, etc. when I'm focusing on just the tasks.
Some of the features of TaskPaper I like are:
The data is stored in a plain text file. If for some reason I could not launch TaskPaper, I could still see my data through any text editor.
Items are easy to add. Type a dash followed by text to create an action. Type the name of a project followed by a colon to create a project. Notes are just plain text. An @ followed by text creates a tag.
Notes can be attached to a project or to a task.
Smart links make each context tag, such as @home, a link to a view of all items with that tag.
Access a TaskPaper quick entry window from any app with customizable keystrokes.
Use the Services menu to create an entry from selected text in another app (Turn this on in Services Preferences, it's called "New Entry").
Drag and drop a url to create a task with a link to the url. (I use this a lot with links to Gmail messages).
Link to a file from a task or a note.
Hide everything (toolbar, sidebar) and show only the action items.
I can syncronize my TaskPaper file between my iMac and my MacBook via a website.
There is an active, friendly forum with developer participation.
I can process the Inbox by dragging and dropping tasks and notes to projects and other lists, can also select multiple items to process. Can also use cut and paste for rearranging items.
TaskPaper has lots of keystroke shortcuts like Command-Command to popup a little search window when you have the Toolbar hidden.
Automatically append completed date to action item with the @done tag (Command-D). (Turn this on/off in the Preferences).
Use Boolean expressions in searches and save the searches. For example: @places and not @done.
Use multiple tabbed views.
Focus on one project or one list at a time or show everything at once. Just click on a project or select a tag from the pulldown or Command-L for the list.
Nest tasks, projects, notes, simply use the tab key to indent the items
Add multiple tags to items (for example, @home @today)
and last but not least...
It's not too expensive!
There is also a PC version called TodoPaper (link is on Hogbay's website).