How does FoldingText compare to TaskPaper and WriteRoom

FoldingText is strongly influenced by TaskPaper and WriteRoom. And in some cases the apps can be used to solve the same problems. Here I'll describe some of the differences and why you might pick one over another.

FoldingText Compared to TaskPaper

The basic approach to text taken by FoldingText and TaskPaper is similar. Plain text it gets structured into an outline that you can view and manipulate in various ways. The difference is in each app's focus.

TaskPaper's focus is limited to todo lists. The format has four types of object: projects, tasks, comments, and tags. These are great building blocks for to-do lists, but are limiting beyond that scope.

FoldingText's focus is to create a great place to write. And then to leverage this writing workspace to create a general purpose productivity platform.

FoldingText's format is based on the popular Markdown format. This gives FoldingText a much richer set of text formatting options then TaskPaper. FoldingText text can be bold, italic, links, headings, ordered lists, unordered lists, etc. This makes FoldingText much more suitable for creating general purpose structured documents.

FoldingText's design is also extensible. It adds TaskPaper style tags, and it's own modes and properties, to the Markdown format. It does this so that Markdown can be used as a general purpose data model that's suitable for many different tasks. That's an abstract description, but you can see it in practice in the intro movie. There you see a standard Markdown document, but parts of it get are transformed into a todo list and a timer through the use of this additional formatting.

Over time our goal is to open FoldingText up to other developers. We already have good, and soon to be great AppleScript support. But longer term we plan to open source our own FoldingText modes (todo and timer) and open up the API's so that you can write and share your own modes. I think it's a pretty exciting vision, and we are typing hard to get there.

If you just need a simple todo list, TaskPaper is best choice. If you need a place to write, FoldingText is the best choice. If you like the big vision of what FoldingText is trying to become you can join now and help shape that future app. Or check back in later and see what we've done.

FoldingText Compared to WriteRoom

FoldingText and WriteRoom are both text editors that can be used for writing, but they have quite different philosophies.

FoldingText is working hard to try to create something new and more useful then what you already have. WriteRoom on the other hand is trying really hard to just provide you with default text editing and no other features or distractions.

FoldingText is much more powerful, but sometimes you need to just get everything out of the way and WriteRoom aims to keep providing that place for you. We don't expect FoldingText to ever replace WriteRoom as a product. But I think for many cases WriteRoom uses will find that FoldingText is a more productive writing environment.