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Tap Utils for TapCellar

If you’re a TapCellar user, a beer drinker and a nerd who likes data 1, Terry Dorsey has you covered with his latest release of Tap Utils.

As usual, the documentation is stellar. It is really fun to play around with your own data like this and a huge thumbs up to Terry for making it a reality.

  1. I suspect there’s a big crossover between TapCellar, beer fans and nerds. 

Nerds on Draft β€” Episode 12 - EDC

Gabe and I talked about “every day carry” stuff on this week’s Nerds on Draft podcast.

The topic wasn’t just about what kind of keychain we hang on our belts but it went into what it means to buy things that last, how we fetishize objects and childhood knife mishaps.

Here’s what I have been carrying around for about a year.

Sublime Text Task Management Follow-up

I love getting feedback and I have received a lot of it lately based on my series about consolidating a plethora of apps down to one, much simpler, set of apps. The text editor piece was fairly straightforward since Sublime Text is a great text editor in its own right but the leap to task management was a bit of a leap since it looks too simple on the surface to work adequately or be too much overhead to use effectively.

The whole Sublime Text 3 thing seems to be working just fine at the moment but one email arrived today that I thought would be good to call out. Kindred spirit Tim Bendt has been using Sublime Text in a very similar way for several months.

The text editor SublimeText is incredible, and it has a vibrant plugin community. I decided to use Sublime Text to write 2 different book projects, and I love it. I found a plugin called PlainTasks which has a setting for taskpaper compatability! Itβ€˜s a free crossplatform implementation of taskpaper productivity in plain text files in the same application I already love to use for code and prose!

Great stuff and it is good to see great minds thinking alike. Of course, it probably a good time to mention Gabe’s post about Taskpaper and Sublime Text again too. Gabe and I talked a great deal about taskpaper a while back and it proved a bridge too far for me at the time. Sublime Text was also a learning curve I wasn’t willing to climb either.

I think climbing the Sublime Text hill for text editing before trying to use it for task management was key here. It made using the app for task management seem almost reasonable and, at this point, I’m glad I stuck with it. Don’t tell Gabe though – I hate admitting when he’s right.

One Hammer β€” Task Management Follow-up

I wrote in my last post about using Sublime Text 3 as my main task management system as well as the satellite apps and scripts that help me manage getting items into the system.

Archiving Tasks

Rarely do things ever have to leave that system which is handy but keeping things tidy is important because searching your document will reveal things you might not want to see in your filtered list views.

For instance, when you mark a task as “done” in PlainTasks, it adds the “@done(date)” tag and grays out the text. From there, PlainTasks provides the hotkey ⌘+shift+A to archive all completed tasks to an archive section at the bottom of the file1.

The issue with having the Archive section at the bottom of the file and using regular expressions to control my views is that @done tasks are included in the search results. This is supposed to be a hassle-free, low-maintenance system, right?

The solution relies on Keyboard Maestro on the Mac. I used Keyboard Maestro to create a macro that takes a text selection and appends it to a special taskpaper file called tpArchive.taskpaper. I tag the entries with the context of the file they were copied from and add a date in case I have to find the completed tasks again. Every morning, or at the end of the day, I select the tasks I completed, hit my hotkey and the tasks are removed from the current file and appended to my task archive.

You can download a copy of my macro here. You will need to fill in the text boxes with the contexts of your choice (it is currently set up for three types) and the name of your archive file before use.


The last item to mention is how I view and edit taskpaper files on iOS. There is only one real choice for me and that is Editorial. It natively supports taskpaper files, syncs with Dropbox and has an extensive python scripting/workflow system. If you are trying this Sublime Text 3/PlainTasks system out and need to view your files on iOS, you owe it to yourself to check out Editorial.

As the system evolves, I’ll continue to update these posts or post follow-ups.

  1. So you can see a general flow here – new items get inserted at the top of the file which serves as my default Inbox area and they flow down to the Archive area as they get completed.