beorg 3.0.0

September 10, 2019

beorg 3 is an update to the plain text task management app for iPhone and iPad. It introduces a new subscription option to unlock all current and future extensions, new export themes and task timers.

beorg Premium

beorg is free to download and use - certain features are optional extensions. In previous versions of beorg you could unlock individual extensions via an in-app purchase. In beorg 3 you now have the option of monthly and annual subscriptions to unlock all current and future extensions. If you don’t like subscriptions then you can continue to unlock extensions individually.

beorg isn’t developed by a large company but by an indie app developer without any venture capital or other outside investment. Offering a subscription model will help provide the revenue needed to keep updating beorg with exciting new features. There is a 7-day trial to see whether a subscription works for you, after which the subscription continues on either a monthly or annual basis.

The current pricing is $1.49 per month or $9.99 per year.

Export themes

You can render a beorg file as a document which can then be printed or exported as a PDF. In beorg 3 you now have a choice of three new themes to change how your exported document looks.

When you export a document (or part of a document) beorg turns your files into HTML. It then uses CSS to make the HTML looks nice. In beorg 3 you can define your own stylesheets to refine or completely change the look of your exports.

Your custom stylesheets are contained in a normal beorg file. A file can contain multiple stylesheets. Each stylesheet is contained in a special code block underneath a heading.

For example here is a minimal stylesheet which changes everything to use the font Chalkboard:

* Chalkboard theme
This is an example theme using the Chalkboard font.
#+BEGIN_SRC css
@include "beorg default theme";

body {
    font-family: "Chalkboard SE";
}
#+END_SRC

The very first line in the CSS block includes the default beorg theme so that your custom themes can be fairly minimal.

Finally you need to tell beorg to load your themes. You can do this from the REPL - or to have beorg load your themes automatically on start from your init.org:

(load-themes "themes")

Here themes is the name of the beorg file containing your themes. You can call this whatever you want - or have multiple themes files.

If you look in the REPL help you’ll find some more information about creating export themes - and a link to see the default themes included in beorg.

Export themes is available as part of a beorg Premium subscription or as an extension in-app purchase.

Task timers

beorg is based on ideas from Org mode - the fantastic plain text tool built into Emacs. A feature I’ve been asked to implement for quite some time is ‘clocking’. In Org mode this allows you to track time against tasks. beorg 3 introduces this to your iPhone and iPad.

You can start a timer by:

When a timer is running you’ll see a timer icon appear at the top of the screen. You can tap this to view the amount of time logged (both total and the current timer), stop the timer and jump straight to the task.

beorg will automatically parse all of your files to determine if any timers are running. So if you use clocking in Emacs then timers started there will be available in beorg to stop or view details of.

Like Org mode beorg only supports one running timer at once. If you do accidentally get multiple timers running then beorg will tell you and you can choose which ones to stop.

A future update to beorg will bring ways to view reports on your timers.

Task timers is available as part of a beorg Premium subscription or as an extension in-app purchase.

Properties

beorg 3 gives you the ability to search for items based on property drawers.

A property drawer is a special piece of text which can define key/value pairs. For example:

:PROPERTIES:
:Author: Charles Dickens
:Genre: Fiction
:END:

Here is an example search in beorg to find all items which have the genre fiction:

r genre fiction

Currently beorg understands properties but doesn’t have a nice UI to create or modify them. This will be coming in a future update.

Checkboxes

You can create checkboxes with a special syntax. Here is an example of a list of items where the second item is checked:

+ [ ] Apples
+ [X] Bananas
+ [ ] Oranges

In previous versions beorg would render checkboxes, however changing their state didn’t get saved. With beorg 3 when you change a checkbox the state is saved making them much more useful.

Other changes in this release

There are a number of other small changes in beorg 3:

Download now for iPhone and iPad

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