iOSworkflows

Using Launchcenter Pro to start TaskPaper

Launchcenter Pro (LCP) is an app to quickly start other applications or to launch certain actions on iOS. To use LCP the app has to provide an iOS url scheme. At the moment TaskPaper provides a basic url scheme to launch the app.

To start TaskPaper through LCP you have to create a custom action. In the action composer you choose "Custom URL". In the following dialog you fill the field "Name" with TaskPaper and the URL field with taskpaper://.

Note: URLs are case-sensitiv. In the case of TaskPaper it is important to write it with lower case letters.

Using TextExpander Touch with TaskPaper

TextExpander Touch (TE) is a popular software to substitute snippets with longer predefined texts. Especially on an iPhone it is really handy to use TE for common writing tasks. You can define snippets for nearly everything that is connected with text.

Here are some example snippets for Taskpaper:

As you can see on the above examples that the combination of TE with TaskPaper can be really powerful. And the best you can also use snippets to define your search actions. Especially for longer search queries such as project = BYOD and @priority < 2 and @today you can easily define your snippets and use them in the search field of TaskPaper. There you can as well use %| to place the cursor where you want it to be.

Bear in mind that you have to find snippet names that are comfortable with you and that you can easily type on your iPhone or iPad.

Using Drafts to add new tasks

Drafts is an app that allows you to quickly capture text and forward it to many different services. It has full url scheme support (with x-callback-url) and allows you to create email, message, Dropbox, Evernote and url actions.

Until TaskPaper provides a more powerful support of url schemes you can use custom Dropbox actions in Drafts to quickly add notes, notes with comments or projects to your TaskPaper files without opening TaskPaper. The following workflows are inspired by the blog post Add a Task to TaskPaper with Drafts Using Dropbox Actions by Jeffrey Kishner. And if you look on that site you will also see screenshots of how the actions are implemented.

The advantage of the TaskPaper file format is that it is plain text. Therefore you can easily append or prepend stuff (projects, tasks, notes, a combination of them, with or without tags) if you no the syntax.

Adding a new task to your inbox

drafts://x-callback-url/import_action?type=dropbox&name=add%20to%20taskpaper&path=%2FTaskPaper%2F&filenametype=2&filename=tasks&ext=taskpaper&writetype=1&template=%09-%20%5B%5Bdraft%5D%5D

The above action is called "add to taskpaper" and can directly installed to Drafts on your iDevice by clicking on this link.

To work the action assumes that your Taskpaper Dropbox directory is /TaskPaper and that you want to add the note to the file tasks.taskpaper. The action also pretends the complete content of your Drafts document via the directive [[draft]]. You could also choose to append to or the create the file, but the advantage of prepending is that the new tasks will show up at the beginning of your outline tree and will not belong to any of your projects. In TaskPaper you can easily organise the new tasks.

Adding a new task with a belonging note to your inbox

drafts://x-callback-url/import_action?type=dropbox&name=add%20with%20note%20to%20taskpaper&path=%2FTaskPaper%2F&filenametype=2&filename=tasks&ext=taskpaper&writetype=1&template=%09-%20%5B%5Btitle%5D%5D%0A%09%09%5B%5Bbody%5D%5D

In Drafts you can get with [[title]] the first line of your draft and with [[body]] the remainder of it. With that knowledge you can compose a new task with note if you put the task name in the first line and the note in the second line of Drafts. You can directly add that action by clicking on this link.

If you want to contact the author of this text feel free to get in touch. You can find me as @dahan on app.net or @dahanbn on Twitter.