A quick search on this blog will reveal I’m a long-time fan of TaskPaper. The plain-text task manager has provided the simplest form of portable project management I could ask for. TaskPaper 3.0 has been officially released, and it’s a complete rewrite for a new era.

TaskPaper’s file format consists of simple indented lists and project headers, and is one you can create in any text editor. The TaskPaper app serves as an elegant graphical interface for the underlying format, and it’s this separation that I love about it. The format hasn’t changed, but the interface has been rewritten.

Version 3.0 boasts a new, flexible folding implementation, allowing better focus on multiple areas of your projects and todos. The outliner and text editor features are more powerful, and features like zooming outline text in and out add more useful navigation to the interface.

Search is a vital part of managing larger projects. TaskPaper has always had a good natural syntax search, but version 3.0 extends it with hierarchical and relative date/time searches, and it adds the one feature I’ve always wanted: saved searches. You can now add a saved search to the sidebar, and have instant access to your more complex search criteria.

I’ve always enjoyed customizing TaskPaper to fit my own needs via AppleScripts and custom themes. As a caveat, any existing AppleScripts you have set up for TaskPaper 2 are going to break. The API is now entirely JavaScript-based, and the TaskPaper community is already offering an array of JSX scripts to fill the void and take advantage of the more flexible automation possibilities.

Theming is also now LESS-based, rather than the older XML formats. Theming is easier now that you can edit LESS/CSS files to modify colors, and things like tag-based highlighting are available via CSS selectors instead of more complex predicates.

For the next week, TaskPaper 3 is available at a “Launch Sale” price of $14.99 US (40% off). Whether you’re a current TaskPaper 2 user or someone looking for a highly-portable task management solution, go check it out!