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Most people can benefit from using to-do lists - there is too much to keep track of in our heads. Some people get away with only keeping lists at work, whereas others have lists for everything from when your dog next needs grooming to the exact tasks needed to complete a major project on which your companies success is dependent on. There are plenty of solutions out there which lock your data to a particular piece of software.
I’m a bit of an ostrich when it comes to Christmas. My usual game plan is to stick my head in the sand until the looming task of present buying, card writing and other festive activities can’t be ignored. Every year I tell myself this time it will be different. As the author of a task management app I’m going to stop the excuses and get organized for Christmas 2018.
A key goal for any task management tool is to reduce mental overhead when deciding what task to do next. I can’t imagine being someone who doesn’t keep to-do lists, my mind is far too sieve like for such anarchy. Back at University in the late 1990s I had a Palm Pilot and used a to-do list application, what apps were known as back then, that I’ve long since forgotten the name of.
beorg (and Org mode) store tasks, to-do lists and projects in files which you can open in any text editor. Most other to-do list and task management apps have a database in the cloud which you don’t have direct access to. Using multiple files allows you to clearly separate your to-dos, tasks and projects. It does though take some thinking to prevent file overload. In this article I’m going to review my personal approach to using multiple files.
The next major feature being introduced into beorg is the ability to search your files. It will be available from the agenda and TODO tab. to allow quick search and filtering of all your headlines, whether they are tasks, part of a document or used to help structure a project. A simple syntax has been designed to narrow down searches without needing to navigate a complex UI. Here are some examples of searches:
beorg 2.4 will be available this week and introduces a number of new features. The biggest new feature is the inclusion of a Scheme based language into beorg. The other big enhancement is file versions. Download beorg Scheme scripting Scheme is a language based on Lisp. If you are an Emacs Org mode user then you are probably at least semi-familiar with Emacs Lisp. beorg includes a Lisp variant closer to the Scheme programming language but looks and feels very similar to Emacs Lisp.
Support for Siri Shortcuts is coming soon, however a Siri Intent (where you can add tasks to beorg in the same way you can Reminders) is a little way off. Apple released an app called Shortcuts alongside iOS 12 which allows you to automate some tasks using a simple visual programming language. Shortcuts is fantastic and it’s quick and easy to put Shortcuts together. So much so that I started a new Shortcuts blog a few days ago (I find creating them quite relaxing after a day of writing Swift, Objective-C, Java, Kotlin, …).
beorg 2.3 is now available and introduces extensions. beorg is free to download and use. Extensions will introduce non-core features that can be added via in-app purchase. The first available extension allows you to turn on a dark mode theme and is available for $0.99. Extensions will provide revenue to allow for lots of new and exciting features to be developed. You can download beorg 2.3 today Coming soon in beorg is a Lisp based scripting system.
If you already use Markdown then the Org mode syntax will seem very familiar.
This is an overview of some of the basic Org mode syntax compared to Markdown. If you want to learn more check out the Org mode manual.