Keeping a Genealogy Task List, Part 2: TaskPaper

The first Mac task list software I have for your consideration is TaskPaper from Hog Bay Software. It is simultaneously a simple and powerful task manager. It meets both of the criteria I outlined in the first part of this series of articles, Keeping a Genealogy Task List, Part 1:

  • Unobtrusive storage
  • Simple, powerful retrieval

The developer has created an elegant design that enables entry of tasks in a natural way. Projects are inserted by typing a line of text followed by a colon. Tasks are lines of text preceded by a hyphen and a space. Anything else that’s typed is a note. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Retrieval is simple too. You can list tasks by project, tag, or arbitrary searches. Complex search language is supported for those that need it, but it stays neatly out of sight otherwise.

There’s even a quick entry window that allows you to add tasks to a project while in another application, without switching to TaskPaper first. This helps you stay in the zone.

In this video, I walk you through where to get a free trial copy of TaskPaper, and then how to use it to store and retrieve genealogy tasks. Please note that in the screencast I say “Hogs Bay Software” when it’s actually “Hog Bay Software.” Hog is singular.

Give it a try and let us know what you think in a comment.


  1. Steve says

    The only problem is that many of the the features described only seem to be in the version foe Leopard. If you still have not upgraded it is somewhat more basic!

  2. Janet Isenberg says

    Any chance that Hog Bay will create a TaskPaper app for the iPhone? It makes a lot more sense if I can sync this “to do” list to a place I'll have on me when the unexpected opportunity strikes.

  3. says

    Hi, Janet.

    I had the same question, so I looked into it. I saw a post in the Hog
    Bay Software forum saying that an iPhone app is in the works. I should
    have mentioned it in my article.


  4. Dave says

    It looks very simple. So simple that I'm wondering if it has any significant advantages over something like Textedit. Can anyone who uses it comment?

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