I was driving up Interstate 95 coming back from Charlotte, NC, the site of RubyConf 2007 when I bought TaskPaper. Well actually my wife was driving while I was engaged on my MacBook Pro + EVDO. I think TaskPaper is quite a good task manager because it is simple yet still helps keep you organized. Its got all the basics: you can make Projects and Tasks, then Tag them. The Tasks can have sub-Tasks. Then you can focus in on a specific Project or Tag. Plus, Jesse has always been a good member of the Mac Indie Developer Community and I like to support my fellow Indies.

What’s interesting and perhaps sort of shocking is that the persistence mechanism of TaskPaper is plain text. In the age of CoreData with its SQLite databases, it seems almost archaic to use plain text. WebnoteHappy and WebnoteHappy Lite both use CoreData with SQLite. You can also just use XML for storage. Then there’s the venerable plist or property list format – basically a dictionary in programmer-speak. I think Apple likes dictionaries. Finally, there’s binary which is both boring and opaque, meaning that your data is locked in there forever. With every other way of saving your data, you can get it back out.

I think owning your data is a huge deal – one of the first Rights if we ever write a User’s Bill of Rights. Which is why I support exporting in XBEL, HTML, and uploading your bookmarks to del.icio.us either publicly or privately.

One day I opened up a TaskPaper document without TaskPaper on that computer and it opened up in TextMate. And I thought – wha? But it turns out that there’s a nice advantage to this plain text format: you can exchange “tasks” in plain text.

So – if you’re sending me feature requests or bugs, please send them on single lines with a dash at the beginning. I’ll be keeping track of them in TaskPaper. For example:

– support Camino 1.6 alphas